Natural Resource Stewardship Communication

Funding Agency:
Department of the Interior

The National Park Service “preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” Preserving resources unimpaired is a significant challenge for managers. Parks are part of a larger dynamic community and faced in with continuous environmental change. Managers also have to ensure public access while minimizing intentional or unintentional actions by visitors that could harm park resources. Non-compliant behaviors are actions that negatively affect the physical and social environment of parks, such as harassing wildlife, careless behaviors—littering, speeding, or engaging in non-sanctioned uses—social trails, entering closed areas, etc.  

Two common approaches are used to mitigate the effects of non-compliant behaviors. Interpretation and education services build long-term knowledge and stewardship ethics and enforcement targets specific harmful actions. However, many of the non-compliant behaviors in parks are hard to address through enforcement and interpretation and education programs because law enforcement is not present when the behavior occurs and the benefits of education and interpretation programs are achieved over long periods of exposure. In addition, using techniques to achieve voluntary compliance is preferable to enforcement through the authority of the agency. Previous work has identified a range of non-compliant behaviors and suggested strategies for addressing those behaviors (Dietsch et al, 2016). The purpose of this project is to build on that work and develop and pilot targeted communication strategies that address noncompliant behaviors and enhance visitor experience. 

Deadline: May 25, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

In accordance with 54 U.S.C. § 100703, Cooperative Study Units, this funding opportunity is limited to public or private educational institutions that are part of the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units Network.

Amount Description

Maximum funding for Phase 1 is $25,000.00. Maximum funding for Phase 2 is $175,000.00. Funding for Phase 2 will be determined at the completion of Phase 1 and dependent on appropriations. 

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

May 25, 2018