Date of Completion

2018

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

The Environmental Program

Type of Thesis

Honors College, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis

First Advisor

Dr. Rachelle Gould, RSENR

Second Advisor

Dr. Brendan Fisher, RSENR

Third Advisor

Kelly Hamshaw, CDAE

Keywords

Cultural ecosystem services, psychological distance, blue-green algae, knowledge, harmful algae blooms, mediation model

Abstract

This research examines the relationships between psychological distance and knowledge of blue green algae on cultural ecosystem services with the hope of understanding how to better incorporate these values into managing the issue of harmful blue-green algae blooms within Lake Champlain. A questionnaire was developed and conducted to characterize the relationships between the three concepts. I hypothesized there would be a significant relationship between both people’s knowledge of algae blooms, their psychological distance from algae blooms, and the corresponding impact on cultural ecosystem services from Lake Champlain. In order to test this hypothesis, a mediation model was created and run to determine the relationship between the three variables. Although there was a significant relationship between psychological distance and CES, knowledge of blue-green algae blooms failed to significantly mediate the primary relationship, with the exceptions of the Bequest and Heritage variables. By understanding these relationships, one can better frame the tradeoff between valuable ecosystem services and environmental degradation in decision-making. Additionally, applying the concept of psychological distance to cultural ecosystem services can motivate individuals to take action against the collective problem of phosphorus management within the Lake Champlain Basin.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, January 10, 2020

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