iSwoop: Research on Adult Interests in National Parks

iSwoop (Interpreters and Scientists Working in Our Parks) sought to help improve how we understand lifelong learning by understanding the impact staff-facilitated experiences in national parks have on adult interest pathways. In 2016, National Park Service (NPS) visitation rates broke records for the third year, exceeding 331 million visitors. Given these visitation rates, the NPS is easily one of the most visited free-choice science learning institutions in the U.S. Yet, little was known about the mechanisms by which park ranger-visitor interactions can support and sustain visitor interest and engagement related to science. With support from the National Science Foundation, the Institute conducted exploratory research in order to understand how interpreter visitor conversations spark and sustain visitor interest.


Project Team: Monae Verbeke Ph.D., Scott Pattison, Ph.D.