William Rice

Photo of Rice, William

William Rice

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation and Wildland Management

Website: www.willrice.us
Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

My current research seeks to provide wildland managers with social science to improve the experiences of all visitors while preserving the ecosystems that support those experiences. This agenda focuses broadly on improving measurement and management of demand for recreational ecosystem services (e.g., physical, mental, and social wellbeing) in parks and protected areas. More specifically, I'm interested in the personal and social outcomes demanded by recreationists and developing innovative tools and measures that can be used by public land managers to ensure the sustainable attainment of these outcomes.

In service of this research agenda, I frequently collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of conservation social scientists, resource economists, recreation ecologists, tourism scholars, and public land management agency partners.

Please check out my website or the Wildland and Recreation Management Research Lab website for updated information about research, current projects, graduate assistantships, and courses.


Ph.D Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment and Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 2020
M.S. Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 2018
B.S. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Policy, Clemson University, 2016

Courses Taught

PTRM 150: First Year Seminar in PTRM
PTRM 217: Outdoor Recreation Management
PTRM 391: Wildland Messaging and Communication
PTRM 482: Wilderness and Protected Area Management
PTRM 485: Recreation Planning
PTRM 595: Foundational Theory for Protected Area Management

Research Interests

Recreational Ecosystem Services
Protected Area Management
Visitor Use Management
Demand for Outdoor Recreation
Human Health and Nature
Spatial Analysis

Selected Publications

Taff, B. D., Thomsen, J., Rice, W. L., Miller, Z., Newton, J., Miller, L., Gibson, A., Riddle, M., Schaberl, J. P., & McCormick, M. (2022). National park visitor experiences during COVID-19: Data from five national parks. Parks Stewardship Forum, 38(1), 145-159. http://doi.org/10.5070/P538156128

Rice, W. L., Newman, P., Zipp, K. Y., Taff, B. D., Pipkin, A. R., Miller, Z. D., & Pan, B. (2022). Balancing quietness and freedom: Support for reducing road noise among park visitors. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 37, 100474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jort.2021.100474

Taff, B. D., Rice, W. L., Lawhon, B., & Newman, P. (2021). Who started, stopped, and continued participating in outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States? Results from a national panel study. Land, 10, 1396. https://doi.org/10.3390/land101213961

Rice, W. L., Reigner, N., Freeman, S., Newman, P., Mateer, T., Lawhon, B., & Taff, B. D. (2021). The impact of protective masks on outdoor recreation crowding norms during a pandemic. Journal of Leisure Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2021.1981791

Rice, W. L., Armatas, C. A., Thomsen, J.  M., & Rushing, J. R. (2021). Distribution of visitor use management research in U.S. Wilderness from 2000 to 2020: A scoping review. International Journal of Wilderness, 27(3), 46-61. https://ijw.org/distribution-of-visitor-use-management/

Baker, J. T., D’Antonio, A., Monz, C., Taff, B. D., Rice, W. L., Newton, J., Newman, P., Miller, Z. D., & Freeman, S. (2021). What’s ‘SUP’ with paddlers?: Integrating spatial, social, and ecological data to understand behavior among paddlesport users at a popular lake destination. Applied Geography, 135, 102531. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2021.102531

Mateer, T., Rice, W. L., Taff, B. D., Lawhon, B., Reigner, N., & Newman, P. (2021). Understanding psychosocial factors influencing outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.621029

Rice, W. L., Mateer, T. J., Newman, P., Lawhon, B., Reigner, N., & Taff, B. D. (2021). Outdoor Recreationists’ Perceptions of Risk, Agency Trust, and Visitor Capacities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Park and Recreation Administraion, 10730. https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2021-10730

Rice., W. L. & Park, S. (2021). Big data spatial analysis of campers’ landscape preferences: Examining demand for amenities. Journal of Environmental Management, 292, 112773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112773

Rice, W. L. & Pan, B. (2021). Understanding changes in park visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic: A spatial application of big data. Wellbeing, Space, and Society, 100037. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wss.2021.100037

Rice, W. L., Spivey, O., Taff, B. D., & Newman, P. (2021). “On the staff of the Grand Canyon”: Assessing manager and stakeholder perspectives on sustainable wilderness visitor use management. International Journal of Wilderness, 27(1), 52-69. https://ijw.org/staff-grand-canyon-manager-stakeholder-perspectives/

Drage, E., Rice., W. L., Miller, Z. D., Newton, J. N., D’Antonio, A., Monz, C., Newman, P., & Taff, B. D. (2021). Mapping spatial dimensions of wilderness recreation outcomes: A study of overnight users. Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management, 13(1), 31-40. https://dx.doi.org/10.1553/eco.mont-13-1s31

D’Antonio, A., Taff, B. D., Baker, J., Rice, W. L., Newton, J. N., Miller, Z. D., Newman, P., Monz, C., & Freeman, S. (2021). Integrating aspatial and spatial data to improve visitor management: Pairing visitor questionnaires with multiple spatial methodologies in Grand Teton National Park, WY, USA. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 39(1), 67-84. https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2020-10501

Miller, Z. D., Rice, W. L., Newman, P., Taff, B. D., Gottschalk, J., Meyer, C., & Beeco, J. A. (2020). Pavement treatment type influences visitor experiences related to vehicular road sound in Death Valley National Park. Journal of Ecotourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2020.1856856

Rice, W. L., Taff, B. D., Newman, P., Zipp, K. Y., & Pan, B. (2020). Identifying recreational ecosystem service areas of concern in Grand Canyon National Park: A participatory mapping approach. Applied Geography, 125, 102353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2020.102353

Rice, W. L., Mateer, T., Reigner, N., Newman, P., Lawhon, B., & Taff, B. D. (2020). Changes in recreational behaviors of outdoor enthusiasts during the COVID-19 pandemic: Analysis across urban and rural communities. Journal of Urban Ecology, 6(1), juaa020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jue/juaa020

Stelson, L., Rice., W. L., & Taff, B. D. (2020).  Managing cultural resources along a long-distance historic trail on the Alaska Peninsula. International Journal of Wilderness, 26(2), 70-85. https://ijw.org/managing-cultural-resources-alaska-peninsula/

Rice, W. L., Newman, P., Taff, B. D., Miller, Z. D., & Zipp, K. Y. (2020). Beyond benefits: Towards a recreational ecosystem services interpretive framework. Landscape Research, 45(7), 892-904. https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2020.1777956

Graduate Students

Elena Thomas

Peter Whitney

Sophie Morris

Kelsey Phillips

Prospective Grads

I am currently recruiting graduate students for 2023.