Dr. Gina Depper is a Senior Program Manager and Assistant Research Scientist at the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University.
Depper specializes in conservation social science, using social theories and social psychological constructs to better understand behavior and decision-making as they pertain to the environment. She is interested in the underlying cognitive and affective constructs that influence environmental behavior and the capacity of land management organizations to develop environmental stewardship among populations and make resource conscious decisions. Depper studies environmental values frameworks; environmental values transmission; perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding park and recreation areas and entities; and organizational planning and training needs.
Depper holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Biological Anthropology and History from the University of California, San Diego, a Master’s in Biological Anthropology from University College London, and a Doctorate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University.
Dr. Depper focuses on research and planning to develop stewardship for the environment and improve land management decision-making. She has over eight years of experience running training needs assessments with the National Park Service and other entities, evaluating programs and organizations, and conducting research and planning projects with municipal agencies. Drawing from the fields of psychology, sociology, parks, forestry, and natural resources, she identifies theory and methods that best fit research questions or project aims to guide her work. She has completed research on environmental values transmission to young adults; an inventory of park, recreation, and tourism resources in 11 rural counties in Indiana; a return-on-investment study of an NPS program; training needs assessments for multiple divisions of the National Park Service including Facility Management; research on identifying and communicating storm and climate impacts; and visitor use studies. She has also worked on master planning for city and county parks and recreation agencies.
- Environmental values
- Land management decision-making,
- Program evaluation
- training needs
- Depper, G. L. (2018). Coming together to overcome challenging times. The George Wright Forum, 35(3), 265-268.
- Depper, G. L., Lang, T., Rocha de Souza, M., & Mechels, B. (2017). Reimagining the National Park Service to be a resilient agency. The George Wright Forum, 34(1), 53-61.
- Depper, G. L., Vigil, D., Powell, R. B., & Wright, B. A. (2016). Resource protection, visitor safety, and employee safety: How prepared is the National Park Service? Park Science, 32(2), 18-24.
- Powell, R. B., Depper, G. L., & Wright, B. A. (2017). Interpretation training needs in the 21st century: A needs assessment of interpreters and educators in the National Park Service. Journal of Interpretation Research. 22(2) 19-34.
- Seaman, A. N., & Depper, G. L. (2019). Visiting scuttled ships: An examination of the important elements of the wreck diving experience. Tourism in Marine Environments, 14(1-2), 31-44.
Awards and Honors
- Francis A. McGuire Graduate Student Teaching Award, Clemson University, 2017
- Ellen Schalk-Feild Memorial Scholarship, Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, 2013
- Richard and Sandra Conover Fellowship, Clemson University, 2013
- Sixth College Dean’s Award for Leadership and Service, University of California, San Diego, 2008
- Provost’s Academic Honors, University of California, San Diego, 2007, 2008