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Thesis Defence: Participatory Mapping of Cultural Ecosystem Services in Lake Country, B.C.

May 16 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Travis Sheldon Nagy will defend their thesis.

Travis Sheldon Nagy, supervised by Professor Bernard Momer, will defend their thesis titled “Participatory Mapping of Cultural Ecosystem Services in Lake Country, B.C.” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Urban and Regional Dynamics theme.

An abstract for Travis Sheldon Nagy’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.


Over the last two decades, the concept of ecosystem services (ES) has become a powerful tool for conservation opportunities, as a contribution to human well-being, and an aid in land use management. Cultural ecosystem services (CES), one of the four categories of ES, refer to the immaterial benefits that ecosystems provide and hence the opportunities that humans have to receive those benefits. Human-nature relationships are complex and are largely governed by the values given to landscapes. This thesis explores locations in the landscape where people obtain CES and how vulnerable landscapes can be understood through CES in the District of Lake Country of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (study area). Using mixed-methods that includes an internet-based Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS) mapping survey and a demographic questionnaire, residents in the study area understood the categories of CES, chose and placed CES markers, and named and described their special places. Activities in the landscape varied and included recreation, leisure, and observing nature and wildlife. CES markers were placed within the boundaries of all four Lake Country communities with Okanagan Center leading the way. Notable locations included historical landmarks and buildings, beaches, hiking trails, viewpoints, and parks in all four communities where people receive benefits from CES. Recreation and Ecotourism was the most frequently mapped CES followed by Aesthetic Values. While still important to participants, all other CES categories were chosen but at a lesser frequency suggesting these CES are less tangible or intuitive. The top three most selected landscape management preferences were weighted towards preferences that mean care and concern for the landscape. Using thematic content analysis, themes were developed using in vivo codes on the annotative text and a codebook was created. Exploring these relationships revealed that CES are important and can be used to identify how people make sense of the landscape. CES has the potential to act as a conduit to understand values given to landscapes that can lead to a greater understanding of landscape vulnerability. The type of data acquired from this study would be very helpful in local planning policies especially since PPGIS studies are designed to engage communities. As development and ecosystem conflicts continue, an opportunity exists to create and deploy PPGIS surveys that can capture multiple environmental values.


May 16
9:00 am - 1:00 pm


University Centre (UNC)
3272 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
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Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Environment and Sustainability, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates