Dr. Lauren Ferguson is an assistant professor in Recreation Management and Policy at UNH. Her research examines the connection between outdoor recreation, human health, and natural environments through ecosystem services and sustainable protected area conservation and management. Ecosystem services can be defined as the benefits natural ecosystems provide to humans. She studies how different components of ecosystems, such as soundscapes influence human health and the best practices for
managing parks and protected areas so that outdoor recreationists and the broader community can obtain various ecosystem services. Outcomes from her research have implications for protected area managers, health practitioners, and conservation policy. Application of her research can inform sustainable management practices that accomplish the dual mission of providing individuals with access to healthy outdoor recreation opportunities while also conserving healthy ecosystems.
“My research highlights the value of natural soundscapes for both humans and wildlife. Leave No Trace principles can be applied to soundscapes. Quieting conversations, music, automobiles, and more influence wildlife and the experiences of other outdoor recreationists.”