Understanding and influencing urban residents' knowledge about wildland management in Austin, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • Due to increasing exurban settlement around Austin, Texas and subsequent land use changes, the City of Austin Wildland Division faces competing pressures from residential communities regarding land and wildlife management actions. Current environmental education and outreach efforts in Austin focus on developing environmental literacy about the city's wildland areas adjacent to exurban settlement as well as their management program. The desired outcome is to promote more positive perceptions and motivate pro-environmental behaviors that are consistent with the city's wildland program. We conducted a mail survey of 1,000 residents living near the urban wildlands to better understand factors that influence residents' proficiency in four knowledge domains: karst aquifers, endangered species, rangeland ecology, and the city's management program. Regression analyses identified positive associations between local newspaper readership and residents' environmental knowledge of karst aquifer geology, rangelands, and city's wildland program. Previous engagement in environmentally oriented education programs or organization was positively associated with all four knowledge domains. Some strategies for information dissemination about the wildlands include the use of local newspapers and homeowners association newsletters. Newer, younger residents are the suggested target audience for initiating a proposed environmental education and outreach program. Such programs should incorporate both local environmental organizations and homeowners associations. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Martin, L. E., Sorice, M. G., & Kreuter, U. P.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Martin, Laura E||Sorice, Michael G||Kreuter, Urs P

publication date

  • March 2013