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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Paige Warren

Second Advisor

Robert Ryan

Third Advisor

Craig Nicolson

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Randall

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies | Urban Studies and Planning


Access to natural resources and restorative green space, especially in urban areas, has become critically important as an increasing number of people throughout the world move into cities. Stewardship of natural spaces and a sense of engagement with these environmental benefits are crucial, especially in urban areas where access to nature is more difficult and less equitable. This research proposes a model where individual and policy level values and decisions shape how urban nature is used, which affects the adoption of environmentally responsible behavior and natural resource conservation and in turn feeds back into environmental values and decisions. The research addresses four gaps in the existing literature; 1) the affect of risk on individual level ERB on private property, 2) how environmental attitudes affect policy level decisions about natural resource conservation, 3) how ecological availability can limit equitable distribution of urban green space, and 4) the ways in which users engage with small, community-driven urban green spaces. Policy implications and suggestions for further research are also discussed.