SORP 2019 Webinars:


The Effects of Climate Change on Outdoor Recreation in the United States
Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Climate change is already affecting the ability of individuals to participate in outdoor recreation. In the coming decades these impacts are expected to become more noticeable. Some geographic regions and outdoor recreation activities will see increased participation rates while others will be negatively impacted, potentially significantly. These impacts will have numerous ripple effects, including shifts in the economic vitality of recreation-dependent communities to the sustainability of existing management approaches used by local, state, and federal agencies. This webinar will present the state- of-the science about what is known about how climate change will affect outdoor recreation across the United States. The presentation will highlight specific geographic regions and outdoor recreation activities that will continue to be impacted in the near future. The presentation will finish with a discussion of solutions that local, state, and federal management agencies can put in place to adapt to future impacts.


  • Understand the distinct ways in which climate change impacts outdoor recreation
  • Know how the impacts of climate change will impact specific geographic regions and activities differently
  • Identify potential solutions that local, state, and federal management agencies have, and can, use to adapt to climate-related impacts.


Jordan W. Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Utah State University

Matt Brownlee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Clemson University

Chris Zajchowski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies
Old Dominion University

Speaker Bios

Smith Bio
Jordan W. Smith is the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. Jordan’s work provides natural resource professionals, elected officials, private industry, and the general public with a scientifically-grounded understanding of how to best manage outdoor recreation.

Brownlee Bio
Dr. Brownlee is an Associate Professor of Parks and Conservation Area Management in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Dr. Brownlee's inter-disciplinary research links outdoor recreation, park planning, and resource management. His applied research provides information to help park and protected area professionals manage visitor experiences while evaluating the reciprocal linkages in complex social-ecological systems.

Zajchowski Bio
Chris Zajchowski is an Assistant Professor of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Studies. His interdisciplinary research explores human dimensions of natural resource management, particularly in parks and protected areas which experience degraded air quality. Additional research interests include visitor use management, behavioral economics, social-ecological systems, and diverse methodological approaches to leisure research.