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Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Alison A. Ormsby, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Studies
Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award, May 2008

Alison OrmsbyEckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
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Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH. 2003.
Dissertation title: Perceptions on the Park Periphery: Resident, Staff and Natural Resource Relations at Masoala National Park, Madagascar.
Master of Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT. 1996.
Bachelor of Environmental Science, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. 1991.


My research interests include people-nature interactions, the role of environmental education in biodiversity conservation, and protected areas management. My current research focuses on people-park interactions in Madagascar and Florida as well as sacred forests in Ghana, India, and Sierra Leone.

Teaching Interests:

I teach the following courses: Introduction to Environmental Studies, Environmental Education, Wildlife Policy, Advanced Policy of Protected Areas, Advanced Ecotourism Policy/Practice, and the Senior Environmental Comprehensive Exam/Internship course. I have also taught one-time field courses abroad, including Ecology and Cultures of Malaysia, Ecotourism and Conservation in Dominica, Madagascar: Conservation and Development, and Biodiversity Issues in Suriname.


International Institute for Sustainable Development
Writer, editor, and team leader for Earth Negotiations Bulletin, an international publication reporting on United Nations meetings, including the Commission on Sustainable Development, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and related environment and biodiversity conferences, such as the meeting of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo Education Department
Teacher Trainer conducting multi-day training workshops for international dissemination of K-12 life science curricula developed by the Bronx Zoo's Education Department. Personally trained over 2300 teachers across the United States and in Papua New Guinea.

Five Blues Lake National Park, Belize
Developed environmental education programs and interpretive exhibits for the park, working with the park manager and wardens. Designed an interpretive nature trail and wrote the accompanying trail guide. Conducted an attitudinal survey of local residents to assess their perceptions of the park and conservation.

United States Peace Corps, Sierra Leone
Park Manager and Environmental Education Officer at Mamunta Mayoso Wildlife Sanctuary.


Ormsby, A. (forthcoming). Cultural and Conservation Values of Sacred Forests in Ghana. In Pungetti, G., G. Oviedo and D. Hooke (eds.) Sacred Species and Sites: Advances in Biocultural Conservation. Cambridge University Press.

Bhagwat, S.A., A.A. Ormsby, and C. Rutte. 2011. The Role of Religion in Linking Conservation and Development: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. 5(1): 39-60.

P. Holladay and A. Ormsby. 2011. A comparative study of local perceptions of ecotourism and conservation at Five Blues Lake National Park, Belize. Journal of Ecotourism. 10(2): 118-134.

Ormsby, A. and C. Edelman. 2010. Community-Based Ecotourism at Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, a Sacred Natural Site in Ghana. Pgs. 233-243 in Verschuuren, B. and R. Wild (eds.) Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture. London: Earthscan.

Ormsby, A. and S.A. Bhagwat. 2010. Sacred forests of India: a strong tradition of community-based natural resource management. Environmental Conservation. 37(3): 320-326.

Ormsby, A. and Forys, E.A. 2010. The Effects of an Education Campaign on Beach User Perceptions of Beach-Nesting Birds in Pinellas County, Florida. Human Dimensions of Wildlife. 15 (2): 119-128.

Abrams, R.W., E.D. Anwana, A. Ormsby, D.B.K. Dovie, A. Ajagbe, and A.Abrams. 2009. Integrating Top-Down with Bottom-Up Conservation Policy in Africa. Conservation Biology. 23(4): 799-804.

Ormsby, A. 2008. Perceptions on the Park Periphery: Resident, Staff and Natural Resource Relations at Masoala National Park. Pgs. 275-299 in Kaufmann, J. (editor) Greening the Great Red Island: Madagascar in Nature and Culture. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.

Ormsby, A. 2007. Development of Environmental Education Programs for Protected Areas in Madagascar. Applied Environmental Education and Communication. 6 (3&4): 223-232.

Ormsby, A. and K. Mannle. 2006. Ecotourism Benefits and the Role of Local Guides at Masoala National Park, Madagascar. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 14 (3): 271-287.

Ormsby, A. and B. Kaplin. 2005. A Framework for Understanding Community Resident Perceptions of Masoala National Park, Madagascar. Environmental Conservation. 32 (2): 156-164.

Ormsby, A., T. Naiman, and A. Berkovits. 2002. Evaluating teacher training in Papua New Guinea. Applied Environmental Education and Communication. 1 (2): 91-99.

Ormsby, A. 1999. The Prairie. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. Book in a series on The Ecosystems of North America. Selected by AAAS as a 1999 Best Book for Children.

Ormsby, A. 1999. Don't Forget the People. Conservation Biology. 13 (1): 217-218. Book Review of Cultures of Habitat by Gary P. Nabhan.

Ormsby, A. 1996. An attitudinal survey of resident perceptions of conservation at Five Blues Lake National Park, Belize. TRI News: Journal of the Tropical Resources Institute. 15 (1): 13-15. Yale University, New Haven, CT.


Cultural and Biological Significance of Sacred Groves in India. 2009-2010. Fulbright-Nehru Scholar Award $15,000. Russ Family Fund $10,000.

Can Education Help Make Florida Municipal Beaches More Suitable For Beach Nesting Birds? 2006-2009. Nongame Program, Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission. Project Director, Beth Forys, PhD. Contributing Investigators Alison Ormsby and Monique Abrams. $31,541.

Cultural and Biological Values of Sacred Sites in Ghana. 2006. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation. $5,000.

Resident Park Perceptions and Education Curriculum Development, Madagascar. 2001-2005. Wildlife Conservation Society. $25,000.

Patterns of Natural Resource Use, Thong Pha Phum National Park, Thailand. 2004. Freeman Foundation, Ford Foundation. $9,000.

Life After Eckerd

Molly Rockamann '03
NRDC Growing Green Award winner
Young Food Leader

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Fiske Guide to Colleges
Eckerd College has been recognized for environmental studies in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013.