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Natural resource management, Socioecology, Recreation, Visitor impacts, Social carrying capacities
Dr. Budruk is a natural resource social scientist whose work focusses on natural resource management and community development. Her research interests focus on the inclusion of stakeholder perspectives into resource management. Specifically, she studies human - nature relationships, visitor experience and impact management, and community development within the context of parks, protected areas, and cultural monuments. She has extensive research experience with several US federal, state, county and local public land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Arizona State Parks, and Maricopa County Parks. Her work contributes to the long-term sustainability of natural and cultural resource settings through an increased understanding of human relationships with these settings.
Dr. Budruk's current research projects include understanding visitor impacts on the Navajo Nation, Arizona, understanding visitor use on the Maricopa County Parks, Arizona, and providing the National Park Service with information to assist with visitor management at three national monuments in Arizona. Her international work includes leadership training among youth in East Africa and a study exploring place attachment to nature-based religious sites in India. This latter work, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities brings together the natural and social sciences with humanities. In addition to two dozen articles and book chapters on sustainable recreation, place attachment, and visitor management, Megha co-edited a book, Quality of Life and Community Indicators for Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Megha regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Sustainable Communities, Wilderness and Parks in America, and Theoretical Perspectives in Community Studies.