Nature Connectedness & Winter Camping: A Combination of Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
A growing body of research indicates that nature connectedness should be an important component of environmental education programs as emerging empirical evidence shows a correlation between connectedness to nature and environmentally responsible behaviour. Despite an increased interest in further examination of the human-nature relationship, research is lacking in terms of specific factors or conditions that influence nature connectedness. In this study, a mixed methods approach was employed to quantitatively assess the impact winter camping had on nature connectedness and then qualitatively determine specific components of the camp experience that influenced this sense of nature connectedness. Nineteen scouts participated on a three day winter camp at Manning Park in British Columba, Canada, where they experienced many challenges such as sleeping in quinzees (snow caves) and learned new skills such as snowshoeing. The Nature Relatedness Scale was used to assess nature connectedness in this study. A pre-test was administered a few days before the winter camp and the post-test two days afterwards. The results from the paired sample T-test show that there was a statistically significant improvement in nature connectedness following the winter camp experience. Eleven scouts were then selected to participate in semi-structured interviews with the aim of gaining insight to the specific conditions of winter camping that influenced nature connectedness. The results indicate that the location of the camp, the condition of being immersed in nature, interacting with wildlife, the positive experience of challenges, the presence of risk, and freedom from technology are all contributing factors that influenced a sense o f nature connectedness. An increased environmental awareness was also a prevalent theme which supports research suggesting that there is a positive relationship between nature connectedness and pro-environmental behaviour. It is recommended that programs with the aim of promoting nature connectedness or environmental awareness should include as many of these components as possible. Further research should alsobe conducted to confirm that these results apply also to other populations as these results cannot be generalized with a sample size of nineteen.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 82 p.
nature connectedness, winter camping, mixed methods, location, nature immersion, wildlife interactions, challenges, risk, technology, environmental awareness
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120253ISRN: LIU-IKK-MOE-D--14/008--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120253DiVA: diva2:842532
Subject / course
Master in Outdoor Environmental Education and Outdoor Life
Nilsson Dahlström, Åsa, Senior Lecturer
Carlestål, Eva, Senior Lecturer