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Carly Sponarski

Coordinates:

Office: SN 1022
Telephone: (709) 864-6127
Fax: (709) 864- 3119
Email: carly.sponarski@mun.ca

Supervisors:

Dr. Alistair Bath (Memorial University)

Dr. Jerry Vaske (Colorado State University)

Thesis Title:

Understanding Human-Coyote Interactions in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Research Description:

I grew up on the beaches and in the forests around Vancouver, BC and completed my BSc in Animal Biology at the University of British Columbia. My undergraduate thesis focused on social dynamics in African Painted Dogs. Since my bachelor’s I have continued to volunteer with animal conservation projects. Recently I completed my Master’s of Environmental Design with Dr. Marco Musiani from the University of Calgary. My research there examined residents’ attitudes toward wolves in southwest Alberta and the effects on wolf management strategies.

The evolution of my research interests over my career has converged in my PhD research. My research focuses on human dimension of natural resource management. I am specifically interested in the interface of relationships between humans, the management agency, and the resource. Human dimensions (HD) is an applied and research oriented field. From a research perspective, HD focuses upon people’s attitudes, values and behavior toward the environment. This provides insights on the nature of conflicts, and levels of support or opposition toward management options. From an applied perspective, HD uses public involvement techniques to engage people and identify a spectrum of possible solutions to achieve conservation. All management and conservation challenges share one common component: humans drive them. Due to the current biodiversity crisis and continued expanding human populations, involving people is no longer just an option, but crucial to achieve management and conservation objectives.

My PhD dissertation is on a case study of HD focusing on human-coyote interactions in Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The project involves minimizing human-coyote interactions through understanding attitudes and behaviour toward coyotes, knowledge about coyotes and coyote management. This is a four-year project involving park visitors, park staff and local community residents.

Research Interests:

  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict
  • Animal Geographies
  • Experiential Education
  • Resource Geography
  • Species Conservation
  • Risk Communication
  • Quantitative Analysis

Publications:

Journal Articles:

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., & Bath, A.J., (In review). Attitudinal differences among residents, park staff, and visitors toward coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada. Society and Natural Resources.

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., & Bath, A.J., (In review). The role of emotions in human-coyote interactions. Society and Natural Resources.

Sponarski, C.C., Bath, A.J., Vaske, J.J., & Musiani, M., (In review). Salient Values, Social Trust, and Attitudes toward Wolf Management in Southwestern Alberta, Canada. Environmental Conservation.

Sponarski, C.C., and Loeffler, TA. (2013). Reconnecting our youth with nature. Combat nature deficit disorder. The Osprey: The Nature Journal of Newfoundland and Labrador. 44(2): 8-12

Sponarski, C.C., Bath, A.J., Semeniuk, C., Glikman, J.A., & Musiani, M. (2013). Heterogeneity among rural resident attitudes toward wolves. International Journal of Human Dimensions of Wildlife. 44(4): 239-248.

Salomon, M., Sponarski, C., Larocque, A. & Avilés, L. (2010). Social organization of the colonial spider Leucauge sp. in the Neotropics: vertical stratification within colonies. Journal of Arachnology 38(3).

Conference Presentation:

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., & Bath, A.J. (2013). The role of emotions in human-wildlife interactions: A case study of human-coyote relationship in Cape Breton Highlands National Par. Canadian Association of Geographers Conference St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, August 11 – August 15 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., & Bath, A.J. (2013). Mapping human-wildlife conflict using the potential for conflict index: A case study of coyotes in Nova Scotia, Canada. International Congress for Conservation Biology 2013 Baltimore, Maryland, July 21 – July 25 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., Beaman, J., Maarten, M.H., & Dubois S. (2013). Rethinking the internal consistency of Cronbach’s alpha. 19th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management 2013 Conference. Estes Park, Colorado, June 4 – June 8 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., Bath, A.J., & Loeffler, TA. (2013). Experiential education as a philosophy to teach understanding: A case study with a proposed human-coyote interactions education program. The 15th Annual Aldrich Interdisciplinary Conference. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, April 24 – April 25 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., Vaske, J.J., & Bath, A.J. (2013). The role of emotions in human-coyote interactions. Northeastern Recreation and Research Symposium 2013 Conference. Cooperstown, New York, April 7 – April 9 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., J.J. Vaske, and A.J. Bath. 2012. Attitudinal differences among residents, park staff, and visitors toward coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pathways to Success 2010 Conference. Breckenridge, Colorado, Sept 24 – Sept 27 (Oral Comm.).

Sponarski, C.C., A.J. Bath, and M. Musiani. 2010. Changing attitudinal rural landscape: A case study study of values and attitudes toward wolves and wolf management. Pathways to Success 2010 Conference. Estes Park, Colorado, Sept 27 – Oct 1 (Oral Comm.).

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