Graduate Project


Using marketing management tools to evaluate non-credit, nature-based education : The Seatauqua program Public Deposited

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  • As the role of tourism in Oregon's coastal economy grows, associated economic and resource management issues gain heightened importance. Outdoor recreation associated with natural resources is now the main component of tourist activity on the Oregon coast, and facilities and programs that address this public interest are growing in Oregon, as well as across the country. Many of these entities have a two-pronged objective: to provide a popular recreational offering to visitors, and to educate the public on natural resource issues. The Seatauqua marine education program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center serves as a case study for understanding factors affecting the demand and supply of natural resource education programs. The program is presently a model for other coastal communities interested in developing education programs centered on enhancing enjoyment of marine coastal environments while teaching concepts of conservation and stewardship. While, in general, Seatauqua has been considered a successful program, changes are now taking place which will require the program to re-evaluate management and promotional strategies. These inter-related changes include: 1) The retirement of Seatauqua's coordinator and subsequent incorporation of the program into the HMSC; 2) The redesign of the Marine Science Center's public wing, including an evaluation of Seatauqua's role as an educational vehicle; 3) Expected increases in the supply and demand for marine based "ecological tourism" in the Newport area during the next decade; and 5) Demographic changes among coastal regional populations. The Seatauqua program can improve its future effectiveness by adjusting its strategies in response to these market forces. However, in order to effectively develop new strategies, Seatauqua must first evaluate its existing programs in order to determine their effectiveness in terms of objectives, costs and external benefits. Over the years, evaluation of Seatauqua programs and attendance has taken place on an ongoing basis. However, a comprehensive analysis of Seatauqua management, programs and attendance was never completed. With the retirement of the Seatauqua coordinator, an extension agent, Extension requested an evaluation of the program. This evaluation was used as a decisionmaking tool in determining Extension's role in the future of Seatauqua. Oregon Sea Grant's Marine Advisory Service, the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, and the Holt Scholarship Fund also contributed funds for this evaluation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Seatauqua using a framework consistent with strategic management principles, and provide suggestions for future management and marketing strategies. The results have been reported in five parts as follows: Part 1: "The Seatauqua Marine Education Program: Program operations and attendance, and preliminary participant survey findings"; Part 2: "Determining Leisure Program Formats Based on Participant Preferences: A case study in nature-based education"; Part 3: "A Comparison of Alternative Markets for a Nature-based Marine Education Program"; Part 4: "Preferences for Job and Program Characteristics Among Environmental Educators" and; Part 5: "Recommendations and Strategies for the Future Existence and Management of Seatauqua." This compilation of the project provides an overview and brief description of each of these parts, as well as a copy of the original works. It also includes a brief summary of the main results as they would apply to suggested changes for the design of the Seatauqua program.
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  • This report funded by Extension Sea Grant, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station and a Holt Educational Grant.
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