Publication Title

Human Ecology Review

Document Type


Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Publication Date



Understanding individuals’ and groups’ sense of place can provide insights into how people interact with and treat both natural and built environments, and inform understandings of proenvironmental behavior, place-protective action, management of regional amenities, participatory landscape planning, and environmental education initiatives. Notwithstanding these invaluable contributions, the empirical place scholarship has paid relatively little attention to several key dynamics, including the existence and implications of broad-scale sense of place, whether sense of place occurs in low- or mixed-amenity areas, and the biophysical (and bioregional) dimensions of sense of place. Accordingly, this empirical, phenomenological study investigates the scale at which sense of place develops and operates among a subset of residents engaged in watershed conservation activities in northeastern Wisconsin’s mixed-amenity coastal communities. The following questions guided our 5 research: 1) How do mixed-amenity bioregions contribute to people’s sense of place? 2) What sorts of biophysical characteristics, meanings, and/or experiences affect their sense of place? 3) How does this sense of place impact their reported proenvironmental behaviors? In total, 22 semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted individuals whose primary residence was in the Fox River Valley bioregion, and who were vocationally or avocationally involved in water-quality improvement and/or broad-scale conservation activities in northeast Wisconsin

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This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Bates College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.

Required Publisher's Statement

This is an accepted, pre-copyedit version of an article in Human Ecology Review.