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One example of such is in West Virginia, where the coal industry has sought to downplay the environmental impacts of coal mining in order to minimize environmental concerns among local residents Bell and York Other researchers have used population within metropolitan boundaries to define urban residence Fortman and Kusel ; Tremblay and Dunlap Sharp and Adua considered agroenvironmental concern across six categories of place sizes, and found greater agroenvironmental concern in more urban populations than in rural; however, the differences dissipated when the authors controlled for social proximity to agriculture.

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Place attachment is an indicator of affective bonds that are shared between a person or groups of people and a particular setting Tuan ; Vaske and Korbin Place attachments are usually positively oriented in that people with more favorable associations with a place are also more emotionally bonded to that place Brandenburg and Carroll At its root, place attachment involves much more than relationships to the biological, topographical, or other physical characteristics of place, but is multifaceted such that social interactions and cultural traditions that are seemingly apart from the natural environment are intertwined with attachment to the place in which these events occur Low and Altman ; Stedman et al.

Place attachment is also based upon place meanings, or descriptions of what a place is Stedman ; Williams et al. Place meanings are not emotions, but are the descriptive elements—the defining characteristics of a place—in the eyes of the viewer. Place meanings are complex and multidimensional such that, once again, social and environmental descriptions of places may be highly intertwined Van Patten and Williams , and individuals and groups can hold multiple and diverse place meanings.

For example, Brehm et al. Individuals with stronger, more positive associations with a place experience more emotional investment in that place Trentleman Important places may take significance within one's personal identity e. Second homeowners, the focus of our analyses herein, can demonstrate levels of place attachment that are equal to permanent residents of the same community Stedman When an environmental change threatens the place meanings, the emotional connection to place represented by place attachment creates environmental concern Brehm et al.

Place attachment may be particularly indicative of environmental concern when residents have lived in the community for longer durations, and migration occurs less frequently Vorkinn and Riese Place outlook is an attitudinal orientation about the place's future problems and prospects—that is, how is a place changing over time?

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Before a disruptive change to a place may or may not occur, people anticipate and imagine possible futures Brown and Perkins Heberlein , notes that individuals connect with the natural environment as an attitude object through personal experiences, and thus build evaluative impressions of and concerns about environmental quality in relation to their local setting. Measures of environmental concern that use geographically ambiguous or even geographically unbounded operationalizations of the environment may be detached from the local environment, such that the assessments measure general environmental values more so than specific environmental concerns Neiman and Loveridge Additionally, items measuring environmental concern that are designed to be general, as to compare across regions or urban and rural places e.

Accordingly, Heberlein and Freudenburg recommend that environmental concern be assessed using local environmental indicators and topics, as respondents are guided to consider their immediate environmental conditions. Nonetheless, measures of environmental concern are often generalized to facilitate comparisons at the state Klineberg et al.

A major question in analyzing local environmental concern across urban and rural residents is whether the concern is based on reasonably comparable environments. Critical to the relationship between environmental concern and the urbanity or rurality of place of residence, assessments of local environmental concern do not actually compare urban and rural residents' concerns about the same type of place, even when operationalizing environmental concern as local environmental concern.

This is because of autocorrelation in the local environment and place of residence: Residents of rural areas, when asked to indicate their local environmental concerns, would convey their concerns about their nearby, rural area. Similarly, urban residents would convey their concerns about their local, urban area. Both types of environments face pollution, management, and degradation challenges, but these challenges can drastically differ in character and impact.

Therefore, the extent to which urban or rural residence shapes local environmental concern is difficult to assess as long as the environment as an attitude object correlates with the type of place of residence. Our work focuses on second homeowners, which allows us to tease apart how permanent residence in urban, suburban, or rural places shapes local environmental concerns about the local environment.

Within this analysis, we broadly consider whether local environmental concerns can be disentangled from meanings and attachments about the local place as a whole. We examine the above research questions in three communities of the northeastern United States, which has a strong and venerable legacy of second homeownership and natural amenity visitation to the forested landscapes and interspersed rural settlements Armstrong and Stedman ; Klein and Wolf Like other rural areas with prominent second homeowner populations see, e.

These areas were selected to represent key variations across surrounding land management and governance regimes found in the region. The central Adirondacks area is geographically isolated from major transportation corridors, and thus economic diversification and growth are limited.

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We focused on three communities and their surrounding areas within the central Adirondacks: Long Lake, Indian Lake, and Newcomb total combined population of 2, Bureau of the Census In contrast, the number of seasonal housing units grew by 34 percent during the same time period, with 70 percent of all housing units in this area classified seasonal as of Residents of and visitors to the central Adirondacks have extensive access to lakes, wilderness, forest, and mountain landscapes.

Nearly 42 percent of all housing units in this region were second homes as of , representing a 43 percent increase in the number of second homes from The Northeast Kingdom study area is predominantly under private ownership, with mixed land uses surrounding small town centers and numerous state parks and a ski resort within a short driving distance. The northern New Hampshire study area consists of the town of Pittsburg, located in Coos County, the northernmost county of the state. In contrast to the Adirondack and Northeast Kingdom study areas, the population of Pittsburg is quite stable: between and , the town experienced a 2.

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Despite this very modest increase in permanent residents, the number of second homes in Pittsburg increased 61 percent over the same period. We note that our case study, as is any, is limited in geographic scope. We conducted a mail survey to gather information on environmental concerns, place attachment, and other measures. We drew survey samples from property tax records, with landowners randomly sampled from each study location for a total of 1, survey recipients.


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The survey was implemented in March using a repeat mailing method with reminder notices Dillman As our overall response rate across the three communities approached 50 percent, and we lacked access to some key information to conduct a nonrespondent analysis i. For the purposes of our analysis here, we focus only on the seasonal residents who responded to the survey. We recognize that respondents of the same study areas may have conceptualized different geographical areas within the community; however, the items of potential environmental concern were also intentionally phrased to be applicable to any area within the study locations.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements about [name of study community]? How many years have you owned a home, either permanent or seasonal, in the [study community]?

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We examined five measures representing constructs typically considered from the social bases of environmental concern perspective. Table 1 summarizes the operationalization of these measures. The place outlook measure represents a general attitudinal orientation toward the place of seasonal residence, one that is not necessarily restricted to the environment, but that indicates residents' attitudes towards the potential problems or prospects that could affect their place into the future. This is all to say that rural, suburban, and urban places of residence may vary at a geographic scale much smaller than the county level, which is regularly used in analyses of residence and environmental concern.

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The Tapestry Segmentation place typology is constructed using a cluster analysis that identifies unique place segments, or areas that have similar social, economic, and demographic attributes. Our climate is changing. Observed changes over the 20th century include increases in global average air and ocean temperature, rising global sea levels, long-term sustained widespread reduction of snow and ice cover, and changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation and regional weather patterns, which influence seasonal rainfall conditions. These changes are caused by extra heat in the climate system due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The additional greenhouse gases are primarily input by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas , agriculture, and land clearing.


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