Robert B.  Powell

Director of the Institute for Parks

Bob PowellEmail:
Office: 864-656-0787

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

281 Lehotsky Hall

Ph.D. (Forestry and Environmental Studies), Yale University

M.E.M. (Environmental Management), Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

B.A. (Interdisciplinary Studies), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Research interest:
Bob Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University. His research and outreach program has taken him to over 40 countries and 6 continents and focuses on international protected area management, ecotourism, informal environmental education/interpretation, biodiversity conservation, and integrated landscape scale planning. As part of his research program, Bob is currently investigating Antarctica tourism experiences, the effectiveness of community-based conservation projects for the National Audubon Society and the Toyota Foundation; and best practices for Interpretation, Education, and Visitor Orientation for the National Park Service. Past projects include conducting an integrated marine protected area, tourism, and coastal zone planning project in Sri Lanka for US Agency for International Development; working with land managers and tour operators in Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park to evaluate nature-based tourism as a conservation and informal environmental education tool; evaluating environmental education programs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Everglades National Park; and evaluating the Leave No Trace and TreadLightly! outdoor ethics education programs.

Miller, Z., Hallo, J.C., Sharp, J., Powell, R.B., & Lanham, D. (2014) Birding by ear: A study of recreational specialization and soundscape preference. Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Vagias, W.*, Powell, R.B., Moore, D.D., & Wright, B.A. (2014) Predicting behavioral intentions to comply with recommended Leave No Trace practices. Leisure Sciences. 38(5) 439-457.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., & Hill, D. (2014) Environmental education research in the new millennium: What do we measure and what have we learned? Environmental Education Research.

Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Hallo, J.C., Moore, D.D., Powell, R.B., & Wright, B.A. (2014) Attitudes towards water conservation: The influence of site specific factors and beliefs in climate change. Society and Natural Resources. 27(9) 964-982.

Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Hallo, J.C., Jodice, L.W., Moore, D.D., Powell, R.B., & Wright, B.A. (In press) Place attachment and marine recreationists’ attitudes towards offshore wind energy development. Journal of Leisure Research.

Thomsen, J.*, Powell, R.B., & Allen, D. (2013) What is the value and implications of viewing park resources as health resources? Park Science 30 (2) 30-36.

Stern, M.J. & Powell, R.B. (2013) What leads to better visitor outcomes in live interpretation? Special Issue of Journal of Interpretation Research, 18 (2), 9-44.

Powell, R.B. & Stern, M.J. (2013) Is it the program or the interpreter? Modeling the influence of program characteristics and interpreter attributes on visitor outcomes. Special Issue of Journal of Interpretation Research, 18 (2), 45-60.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., McLean, K.D., Martin, E., Thomsen, J.M. & Mutchler, B.A. (2013) The difference between good enough and great: Bringing interpretive best practices to life. Special Issue of Journal of Interpretation Research, 18 (2), 79-100.

Powell, R.B. & Stern, M.J. (2013) Speculating on the role of context in the outcomes of interpretive programs. Special Issue of Journal of Interpretation Research, 18 (2), 61-78.

Skibins, J.C.,* & Powell, R.B. (2013) Conservation Caring: Measuring the influence of zoo visitors’ connection to wildlife on pro-conservation behaviors. Zoo Biology, 32 (5) 528-540.

Brownlee, M. T. J., Hallo, J. C., Wright, B. A., Moore, D., & Powell, R. B. (2013). Visiting a climate-influenced National Park: The stability of climate change perceptions. Environmental management, 52(5), 1132-1148.

Holladay, P.J.* & Powell, R.B. (2013) Resident perceptions of social-ecological resilience and the sustainability of community-based tourism development in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Skibins, J.C.*, Powell, R.B. & Hallo, J.C. (2013) Charisma and conservation: Charismatic megafauna’s influence on safari and zoo tourists’ pro-conservation behaviors. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22 (4), 959-982.

Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Powell, R. B., & Hallo, J. (2013) A review of the foundational processes that influence beliefs in climate change: opportunities for environmental education research. Environmental Education Research. 19 (1) 1-20.

Skibins, J.C.*, Powell, R.B., & Stern, M.J. (2012) Linking interpretation best practices with outcomes: A review of literature. Journal of Interpretation Research, 17 (1), 25-44.

Vagias, W.*, Powell, R.B, Moore, D, & Wright, B.A. (2012) Development, psychometric qualities, and cross-validation of the Leave No Trace attitudinal inventory and measure (LNT AIM). Journal of Leisure Research. 44 (2) 234-256.

Van Riper, C., Powell, R. B., Machlis, G., Wagtendonk, J., van Riper, C.J.*,von Ruschkowski, E., Schwarzbach, S. & Galipeau, R. (2012) Using integrated research and interdisciplinary science: Potential benefits to managers of park and protected areas. George Wright Society Forum. 29 (2) 216-226.

Stern, M.J., Wright, M.E.*, & Powell, R.B. (2012) Motivating school participation in National Park Service education programs. Journal of Visitor Studies.15 (1) 28-47.

Powell, R.B., Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Kellert, S. R. & Ham, S.H. (2012) From awe to satisfaction: Immediate affective responses to the Antarctic tourism experience. Polar Record. 48(2) 145-156.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B. & Hockett, K.S. (2011) Why do they come? Motivations and barriers to interpretive program attendance at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Journal of Interpretation Research 16 (2).

Baldwin,R.F., Powell, R.B., & Kellert, S.R. (2011) Habitat as architecture for sustainability: Integrating conservation planning and human health. Ambio. 40(3) 322-327.

Powell, R.B., Stern, M.J., Krohn, B.* & Ardoin, N. (2011) Development and validation of scales to measure environmental responsibility, attitudes toward school, and character development. Environmental Education Research, 17(1) 91-111.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., & Ardoin, N.M. (2011) Evaluating a constructivist and culturally responsive approach to environmental education for diverse audiences. Journal of Environmental Education, 42(2)109-122.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., & Cook, C. (2010-2011) The benefits of live interpretive programs to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Park Science, 27(3) 56-60.

Vagias, W.* & Powell, R.B. (2010) Backcountry visitors’ Leave No Trace attitudes. International Journal of Wilderness, 16(3) 21-27.

Powell, R. B. (2010). Developing institutions to overcome governance barriers to ecoregional conservation. In S. C. Trombulak & R. F. Baldwin (Eds.), Landscape-scale Conservation Planning (pp. 53-67). New York: Springer.

Powell, R. B & Vagias, W.* (2010) Benefits of stakeholder involvement in the development of social science research. Park Science, 27 (1) 46-49.

Powell, R.B., Cushnir, A., & Peiris, P. (2009) Overcoming governance barriers to integrated coastal zone, marine protected area, and sustainable tourism management in Sri Lanka. Coastal Management, 37(6) 633-655.

Powell, R.B., Kellert, S. R., & Ham, S.H. (2009) Interactional theory and the sustainable nature-based tourism experience. Society and Natural Resources, 22 (8) 761-776.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., & Ardoin, N. (2008) What difference does it make? Assessing student outcomes of participation in a residential environmental education program. Journal of Environmental Education, 39 (4) 31-43.

Powell, R.B. & Ham, S.H. (2008) Can ecotourism interpretation really lead to pro-conservation knowledge, attitudes, and behavior? Evidence from the Galapagos Islands. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16 (4) 467-489.

Powell, R.B., Kellert, S. R., & Ham, S.H. (2008) Antarctic tourists: Ambassadors or consumers? Polar Record, 44 (230) 233-241.

Powell, R.B., Stern, M.J., & Ardoin, N. (2006) A sustainable evaluation framework and its application. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 5 (4) 231-241.

Professional society activity:
2011-2013 - South Florida National Parks Trust ($60,130). Evaluation and Research of Environmental Education at Everglades National Park. Co-principal Investigators: R.B.Powell, G. Ramshaw (Clemson), & M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech).

2008-2013 - National Audubon Society. ($506,000) Research for the evaluation and adaptive management of LEAD GREEN conservation fellowship program and the GROW GREEN innovative conservation grants program. Co-principal Investigators: R.B. Powell, M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech), & N. Ardoin, (Stanford Univ.).

2011-12 - Clemson University. College of Health, Education, and Human Development Innovation Grant ($49,930). Parks and protected areas as infrastructure for a sustainable future: Investigating the relationship between social conditions, human health, and ecological structure. Co-Principal Investigators: R.B. Powell & B. Baldwin (Clemson Univ.); Collaborators: R. Baldwin (Clemson Univ.), D. White (Clemson), S. Hammel (Clemson), and S. Trombulak (Middlebury College).

2010-2012 - National Parks Conservation Association: Center for Park Management ($219,368). Assessing quality indicators for interpretive programs in the National Park Service. Co-principal Investigators: M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech) and R.B.Powell.

2009-2012 - US National Park Service ($128,688). Assessing the health of Environmental Interpretation and Education in the National Park Service. Co-principal Investigators: M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech) and R.B.Powell.

2008-2011 - US National Park Service ($24,600). Evaluation of curriculum-based environmental education programs at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Co-principal Investigators: R.B.Powell and M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech).

2007-2011 - US National Park Service and Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ($155,600). Research for sustainable adaptive management of environmental education and outreach at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Co-principal Investigators: M.J. Stern (Virginia Tech) and R.B.Powell.

2007 - USAID Sustainable Coastal Tourism in Asia – Sri Lanka: Overcoming governance barriers to integrated coastal, marine protected area, and tourism management. Principal Investigator: R.B. Powell.

2007-10 - US National Park Service Wilderness Stewardship & Recreation Management Division ($70,000). Evaluation of wilderness recreational ethics education on public lands. Co-principal Investigators: R.B.Powell and Brett A. Wright (Clemson University)

2005/06 - South Georgia Island Conservation Group. ($15,000) South Georgia Island (SGI) Government (Falkland Islands Dependency) ACAP Giant and White-chinned Petrel survey. Principal Investigator: R.B.Powell. Overall Project Principal Investigator: Sally Poncet (SGI Gov.)

FOR 431/431L - Recreation Resource Planning in Forest Management

PRTM 403 - Elements of Recreation and Park Planning

PRTM 430/630 - Geography of World Parks and Protected Areas