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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Living Water on Participants' Connection to Nature
by Ramsey, Scott C., Ph.D., Prescott College, 2018, 378; 10815090
Abstract (Summary)

In recent years a surge in research focused on the influences of water on humans. However, few have studied the effects of water on our relationship with nature, particularly to explore enduring impressions from a longitudinal perspective. Addressing these gaps, this qualitative exploratory research enlisted a case study methodology that employed multiple methods to investigate how a multi-day wilderness trip on the Tatshenshini River might affect participants’ connection to nature and position toward a sustainable lifestyle. The 12 participants were administered the Kellert Shorb Biophilic Indicator (KSBVI) questionnaire prior to the trip and reflected in journals during the experience. Six months after the trip ended a survey was administered. After 16 months, in-depth interviews were conducted. The results suggest that immersion into river time, an experience conceptualization that connected participants to nature’s rhythm, generally equated with a flow state and a condition of blue mind, positively influenced their connection to nature. It appears that living water in concert with awe-inspiring encounters in the natural world enhanced and affirmed participants’ position toward a sustainable lifestyle. Furthermore, this multi-day wilderness experience seemed to inform their orientation toward sustainability. The findings suggest that further research into the lasting effects of river time and awe within these types of contexts is warranted.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Santo, Bev
Commitee: Nichols, Wallace J., Shorb, Terril, Thomas, Loren
School: Prescott College
Department: Education / Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Sustainability, Environmental science
Keywords: Biophilia, Blue Mind, Blue space, Human-nature connection, River time
Publication Number: 10815090
ISBN: 978-0-355-96086-0
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