Describing Coastal Prairie Place Attachments for Improved Conservation Messaging
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The decision to conserve natural resources is largely based on individual beliefs and values. Therefore, the field of communications can assist conservationists in the development of meaningful messaging to better engage audiences in supporting conservation efforts. Recent studies have pointed to the emotional bond between person and place as an effective way to frame conservation messages. This basic qualitative study explored the use of messaging efforts meant to embody a tripartite framework of place attachment. A total of 31 individuals were segmented into two audiences based on their perceived value toward the coastal prairie. Then, each individual participated in a semi-structured interview in which they were asked to describe their feelings of attachment toward the prairie. The results from this study showed the audiences described attachment to the coastal prairie was multidimensional rather than a consistent pattern of physical, social, or experience based connections. However, the research identified unique themes of place attachment which can aid in the development of coastal prairie conservation messaging. Furthermore, degrees of attachment to the coastal prairie that varied between the audiences suggested that place attachment evolves through a process. Therefore, coastal prairie conservation organizations who wish to embody messages who invoke feelings of place attachment should do so through a multidimensional approach. These organizations should also consider how their targeted audience values the prairie, was well as their varying degree of attachment to the prairie.
Pfeifer, Matthew Jacob (2018). Describing Coastal Prairie Place Attachments for Improved Conservation Messaging. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from