Office of Creative Services

Robert B. Powell

Associate Professor and Director of Research for Institute for Parks
Tel: 864-656-0787
Location: 281 Lehotsky Hall

B.A. University of North Carolina, Interdisciplinary Studies (Zoology and Resource Management), Chapel Hill, NC
Masters of Environmental Management, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Yale University, New Haven, CT
Ph.D Forestry and Environmental Studies (Social Ecology), Yale University, New Haven, CT

Additional Professional Responsibilities:

2011-present - Director of Research. Clemson University Institute for Parks (CUIP)

Research Interests:
  • Integrated landscape scale conservation planning
  • Protected area management
  • Ecotourism
  • Informal environmental education/interpretation
  • Coastal management
  • Biodiversity conservation.
Publications: (last 5 years)

Vagias, W.*, Powell, R.B, Moore, D, & Wright, B.A. (In press) The wildlands ethics scale. Journal of Leisure Research.

Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Powell, R. B., & Hallo, J. (In press) Understanding foundational processes that influence beliefs in climate change and the implications for environmental education. Environmental Education Research.

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

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

Stern, M.J., Wright, M.E.*, & Powell, R.B.  (In press) Motivating school participation in National Park Service education programs. Journal of Visitor Studies.

Powell, R.B., Brownlee, M.T.J.*, Kellert, S. R. & Ham, S.H. (2011) From awe to satisfaction: Immediate affective responses to the Antarctic tourism experience. Polar Record. DOI: 10.1017/S0032247410000720

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.

Grants and Self-funded Research Projects:

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.)

Courses Taught: Undergraduate:
  • PRTM 201 - The Recreation Environment
  • PRTM 298 - Creative Inquiry: Managing Recreation in the Clemson Experimental Forest
  • PRTM 403 - Elements of Park Planning
  • PRTM 430/630 - Geography of World Parks and Protected Areas
  • FOR 431/431L - Recreation Resource Planning in Forest Management
  • PRTM 498 - Values of Parks
  • PRTM 900 - Interdisciplinary Park and Protected Area Management