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Title: Motivational functionalism and urban conservation stewardship: implications for volunteer involvement

Author: Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J.;

Date: 2012

Source: Conservation Letters. 5: 470-477

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Conservation in urban areas faces growing financial challenges and inadequate stakeholder involvement. Conservation psychology can mitigate these challenges in many ways. One way is through conservation volunteerism, if we attend to and capitalize on volunteers' motivations. Conservation volunteerism significantly contributes to ecological knowledge acquisition, and public education and awareness of conservation issues. In this study, we explored volunteers' motivations and how those motivations influence frequency of participation in urban conservation activities. We found that volunteers' frequency of participation is most motivated by personal and social benefits rather than by environment-related reasons. Environmental motivations, otherwise marginally significant, were more salient predictors of participation to the extent that personal and social motivations were met. We discuss how ecologically focused strategies are likely to be less effective for motivating more frequent participation than motivationally based appeals to personal and social motivations of urban conservation. We discuss implications for urban conservation stewardship initiatives and suggest ways that decisionmakers can harness volunteers' personal and social motivations to meet urban conservation practice and policy goals.

Keywords: conservation psychology, conservation funding, urban biodiversity conservation, motivations, recruitment, retention, Seattle-Tacoma

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Asah, Stanley T.; Blahna, Dale J. 2012. Motivational functionalism and urban conservation stewardship: implications for volunteer involvement. Conservation Letters. 5: 470-477.


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