Positions

Research Areas research areas

Overview

  • I am an Assistant Professor in Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Broadly speaking, I design, manage, and analyze human dimensions of natural resources research in parks and protected areas (PPAs) around the world. Specifically, my research models outdoor recreation visitor behaviors, decision-making, and experiences in PPA settings. My primary area of research focuses on outdoor recreation visitor use management within PPAs. My interlinked sub-areas of research focus on the extent to which three specific factors influence visitor behaviors, decision-making, and experiences within PPAs: 1) social impacts (e.g., crowding, conflict), 2) situational impacts (e.g., parking, traffic, energy development), and 3) ecological impacts (e.g., water quality, water levels, snowpack).

    Resource managers, elected officials, the outdoor industry, and the general public are growing increasingly concerned regarding the influence of exponential PPA visitation growth upon the visitor experience, the protection of natural resources, and the viability of the outdoor economic sector. To ensure that current and future generations continue to benefit from PPAs, the goal of my research is to provide these stakeholders with scientifically grounded and legally defensible research to inform policies and strategies which sustainably manage increasing visitation in these priceless PPAs. Research collaborators include the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sea Grant, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, NH State Parks, and other various federal, state, local, and private organizations.

    A second aspect of my career involves educating and mentoring undergraduate and graduate level university students. I teach courses such as recreation resource management, human dimension of natural environments, recreation facility design and management, marketing the recreation experience, and the history of outdoor recreation. My teaching is modeled within a constructivist approach where I include applied, experiential, and group-based learning techniques which emphasize the development of applicable problem-solving skills. Throughout all of my courses I include elements of my own research to provide students with real-world situations and resulting trade-offs to better prepare them as they emerge as outdoor recreation professionals.

    I am also the founder of the Applied Recreation Research Collaborative (ARRC) laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. For more information, please visit: https://www.unharrc.com/
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2022 Love thy neighbor (or not): Regionalism and support for the use of offshore wind energy by othersEnergy Research and Social Science.  90:102599-102599. 2022
    2022 Seeing the forest for the trees: A social-ecological systems approach to managing outdoor recreation visitation in parks and protected areasJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.  38:100473-100473. 2022
    2022 The Outdoor Renaissance: Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic upon Outdoor Recreation Visitation, Behaviors, and Decision-Making in New England's National ForestsSociety and Natural Resources.  1-20. 2022
    2022 The nature of the pandemic: Exploring the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic upon recreation visitor behaviors and experiences in parks and protected areasJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.  100498-100498. 2022
    2021 Uncharted waters: Exploring coastal recreation impacts, coping behaviors, and attitudes towards offshore wind energy development in the United StatesEnergy Research and Social Science.  75:102029-102029. 2021
    2020 What do outdoor recreationists think of fracking? Politics, ideology, and perceptions of shale gas energy development in Pennsylvania State ForestsEnergy Research and Social Science.  62:101384-101384. 2020
    2020 Developing visitor thresholds of sound from shale natural gas compressors for motorized and non-motorized recreation users in Pennsylvania State ForestsApplied Acoustics.  157:107012-107012. 2020
    2019 The Impacts of Shale Natural Gas Energy Development on Outdoor Recreation: A Statewide Assessment of PennsylvaniansJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.  27:1-10. 2019
    2019 The Association of Constraints, Negotiations, and Social Influences with Recreation Specialization among Recreational Baseball ParticipantsJournal of Park and Recreation Administration.  37:40-58. 2019
    2019 Winds of change - Predicting water-based recreationists' support and opposition for offshore wind energy development in the Great LakesJournal of Great Lakes Research.  45:187-195. 2019
    2018 Innovations in Outdoor Recreation Visitor Use Management: Applying Market Segmentation at the Timberline Lodge Recreation ComplexInternational Leisure Review.  7:108-131. 2018
    2018 Coping with Climate Change: A Study of Great Lakes Water-Based RecreationistsJournal of Park and Recreation Administration.  36:52-74. 2018

    Teaching Activities

  • Hist Outdoor Pursuits North Am Taught course 2022
  • Independent Study Taught course 2022
  • Mktg Recreation Taught course 2022
  • Independent Study Taught course 2021
  • Recreation Resource Management Taught course 2021
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2021
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2021
  • Hist Outdoor Pursuits North Am Taught course 2021
  • Independent Study Taught course 2021
  • Rec Admin & Organization Behav Taught course 2021
  • Independent Study Taught course 2020
  • Program and Event Marketing Taught course 2020
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2020
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2020
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2020
  • Venue Mgmt Design & Operations Taught course 2020
  • Hist Outdoor Pursuits North Am Taught course 2020
  • Independent Study Taught course 2020
  • Program and Event Marketing Taught course 2020
  • Independent Study Taught course 2019
  • Mgt & Design Recreation & Park Taught course 2019
  • Recreation Resource Management Taught course 2019
  • Hist Outdoor Pursuits North Am Taught course 2019
  • Rec Admin & Organization Behav Taught course 2019
  • Mgt & Design Recreation & Park Taught course 2018
  • Mgt & Design Recreation & Park Taught course 2018
  • Program and Event Marketing Taught course 2018
  • Teaching Practicum Taught course 2018
  • Hist Outdoor Pursuits North Am Taught course 2018
  • Mgt & Design Recreation & Park Taught course 2018
  • Mgt & Design Recreation & Park Taught course 2018
  • Program and Event Marketing Taught course 2017
  • Recreation Resource Management Taught course 2017
  • Full Name

  • Michael Ferguson
  • Mailing Address

  • University of New Hampshire

    Recreation Management and Policy

    4 library Way, 193 Hewitt Hall

    Durham, New Hampshire  03824

    United States