Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David S. Lemberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven E. Butt

Third Advisor

Dr. Rolland N. Fraser

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study investigates a complex location-planning problem that is often faced by managers of nature centers: how to select sites on which to position new habitat reserves. Mission statements of these establishments often indicate objectives of habitat preservation and public education. Inherent in land preservation is a limited amount of traffic through the area. In contrast, in order for visitors to fully experience an ecosystem, access to the site is required.

In order to address site selection problems at such institutions, the Educational Nature Reserve Model was developed. This model fits situations in which the conflicting goals of conservation and education must be considered when determining the best location for a new habitat. As a case study, the Kalamazoo Nature Center's main property in Kalamazoo County, Michigan was examined for the best location on which . to reconstruct a native tallgrass prairie. The Educational Nature Reserve Model proved beneficial in the site selection process at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Many alternative solutions were quickly generated, allowing trade-offs of objectives among decision makers, greatly enhancing the organization's decision-making capacities.

Included in

Geography Commons