Dr. Dietsch and her team primarily employ a social psychological approach to understand the influence of human cognition on individual and group behaviors across various contexts. They have worked in the context of human-nature interactions, carnivore conservation, wildlife management, and recreation management on public lands using a range of methodologies and analyses, including multilevel modeling, survey sampling, and geospatial analysis.

Project highlight: The National Visitor Survey

To learn more about the experiences of visitors to national wildlife refuges, the Human Dimensions Branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with a team of social science researchers from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University and staff from the American Conservation Experience (ACE).

This national visitor survey (NVS) aims to provide managers, planners, visitor services specialists, and the public with reliable baseline data about refuge visitors and their experiences at refuges. Survey results can inform the management and planning of visitor services, facilities, and experiences from a field station to a national level. In particular, the results of this effort can inform site-specific decisions related to Comprehensive Conservation Plans, associated step-down plans, and transportation plans.

Results of this work reflect a myriad of recreation activities, trip characteristics, contributions to local economies, and beliefs about the importance and satisfaction of vital aspects of the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 15,000 visitors from over 110 refuges nationwide have told us about their experiences – learn more at go.osu.edu/NVSresults!