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The research team at ORET works closely with each partner to provide tailored services prescriptive to particular agencies, problems, and contexts. We use mixed methods research, including but not limited to:

  • Infrared trail and traffic counting
  • GPS tracking of recreationists and tourists to determine spatial and temporal distributions of use
  • Evaluation of outdoor recreationists’ and tourists’ monetary expenditures
  • Questionnaires, interviews, and collaborative public meetings
  • Time-lapsed photography
  • Outdoor recreation and tourism demand assessments

Assessments of certification and guidelines for best practice approaches to management and development

Research Products

  • Workshops to integrate results
  • Presentations to boards, legislative bodies, and associated partners
  • Defensible technical reports and research summaries
  • Baseline or updated maps and data
  • Peer-reviewed publications

Specialized Services

ORET helps decision-makers evaluate and understand:

Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

  • Spatial and temporal distributions of use
  • Monetary expenditures
  • Motivations and benefits
  • Health oriented outcomes
  • Perceptions of climate change
  • Recreation and tourism supply and demand
  • Certification and guidelines to improve product and development
  • Transportation routing and planning
  • Community tourism planning and development

Park and Protected Area Management

  • Park visitation and health outcomes
  • Carrying capacity
  • Sign placement and content
  • Visitor support for potential management action
  • Visitor impacts to physical and social systems
  • Modeling potential visitor behavior and travel patterns in response to management action
  • Environmental interpretation
  • Perceptions of climate change
  • Impacts of ecotourism in adjacent communities and near parks
  • Transportation and route planning

Outdoor Adventure Programming and Education

  • Evaluation plan development and implementation
  • Outcome evaluation
  • Program quality assessment
  • Questionnaire development

Contact the ORET Lab

The Outdoor Recreation, Education, & Tourism Lab

Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
270 South 1400 East
Room 201, William A. Stewart Building

Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Phone: 801-585-7239