Changing Geography of National Parks and Protected Areas

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Protected Areas Specialty Group, Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group, Applied Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Selima Sultana
Chairs: Selima Sultana

Call for Submissions

Send an abstract of no more than 250 words and your personal identification number (received from the AAG after applying online at to one of the organizers by October 20, 2020.


Joe Weber Selima Sultana
Department of Geography Department of Geography
University of Alabama University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 Greensboro, NC 27402
phone:205-348-0086 phone: 336-334-3895


National parks and other protected areas are facing unprecedented challenges and changes, whether political, environmental, or social. The ‘dual mandate’ under which U.S. national parks are managed requires that providing access to the scenic and historic features of America’s national parks be balanced by environmental protections, but political and budgetary considerations make this increasingly difficult. Parks and protected areas in other countries face a variety of threats at different scales and often with no easy solutions; these affect not just the biological resources but cultural landscapes. This session will examine topics such as, but not limited to:

• Vacation travel to national park and other protected areas
• Race/ethnicity, gender, and changing visitation
• Changing cultural contexts of parks
• Environmental consequences of development projects within parks
• Political challenges to parks
• Climate change impacts on historical sites
• Cultural landscapes in and around protected areas


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