Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Volunteer water quality monitoring organizations from across the country were surveyed (n=516) to determine the relationship between public involvement and the generation of stewardship within the community. Program coordinators were asked first to rate the level of stewardship values within the community, and then respond to questions covering four broad areas of public involvement: pre-existing conditions, public education, volunteer behavior, and communal involvement. For each question, organizations were aggregated by response, and a frequency analysis was performed to discover the most common responses in each of the four public involvement categories. the mean of perceived stewardship values was graphed as a function of response for each question. To ascertain the significance of any differences in the means of perceived stewardship values, two types of significance tests were performed. Z (obtained) was used to establish significance for dichotomous questions, while a one-way ANOVA was performed on multiple choice questions. In addition, Scheffe's test for significance was used to isolate the differences when the one-way ANOVA indicated the presence of a statistically significant difference. Results support both hypotheses that 1) volunteer monitoring organizations can influence perceived stewardship values by adopting a public involvement campaign; and 2) in locales where resource protection has been given little attention, public involvement activities were associated with higher perceived stewardship values, and provide a means to establish links between the community and the resource.