Our Work Is Grounded In Science

Leave No Trace is grounded in science and research and has been since its origins in the field of recreation ecology. This has evolved over the years as recreation-related impacts and associated monitoring has incorporated human dimensions of natural resources, striving to understand how and why humans cause impacts and, ultimately, how to influence behaviors to decrease recreational-related impacts. While this document highlights both recreation ecology and human dimensions of natural resources research needs, coupled social-ecological research is optimal. 

Un grupo de personas toma muestras de agua de un estanque

Meet Leave No Trace's Science Team

Leave No Trace research covers a plethora of different topics and studies. Scientists from all over the world are working individually and in teams to study, assess, and understand more about Leave No Trace behaviors, ideology, messaging, and more. Below are some of the scientists who are currently helping to understand and boost Leave No Trace research.

Read About Our Upcoming Research

Research Studies

Are you a fan of learning about human behavior and data? Follow the below links to find a small selection of the research that informs Leave No Trace practices and guidance.

Carretera de tierra en el desierto al atardecer

Research Bibliography

Research that informs the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.

Cubos de basura en un sendero con las montañas nevadas como telón de fondo

Residuos en los Parques Nacionales

A brief look at our Zero Landfill Initiative work in the National Park System.

Hombre paseando a su perro tirando su caca en un cubo de basura

Estudio sobre residuos de mascotas

Insights on behaviors and perceptions of pet waste in natural areas.

Grupo de niños desenterrando hojas

Estudio juvenil "No dejar rastro

Will they leave what they find? The efficacy of a Leave No Trace education program for youth.

Cubos de basura en un sendero con las montañas nevadas como telón de fondo

RMNP Bouldering Study

Boulderers’ attitudes and beliefs regarding Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Cartel fijado a poste de madera

Estudio de uso de senderos no designados

The efficacy of messaging and direct site management actions in an urban-proximate open space context

Voluntarios tomando notas en un campo de arena

State Park Visitor Behavior

Understanding and influencing state park visitors’ Leave No Trace behavioral intent.

Persona haciendo senderismo en un parque con altos acantilados y altos pinos

National Park Visitor Behavior

Factors influencing behavioral intentions for Leave No Trace  in national parks.

Senderista mirando un cañón

Estadísticas de la investigación Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace Research listed by principle.