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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Jessica Fefer

Dr. Jessica Fefer

Assistant Professor

Park Management & Conservation | Applied Park Science Lab

Kansas State University
1611 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-1408
Fx: +1-785-532-6949

Biography & Education


Dr. Fefer was raised in Maine, and spent her early years exploring and enjoying the New England outdoors. After graduating from the University of Vermont with her B.S. in Environmental Studies, she worked at Acadia National Park as an Interpretation Ranger. Her work at Acadia National Park inspired her to continue her education in parks and protected area management. She received her masters' degree from the University of Maine, where she studied the Human Dimensions of Forest Resources, and her Ph.D. from the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Department at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Dr. Fefer's teaching and research focuses on visitor motivations, behaviors and outcomes associated with outdoor recreation participation in both U.S. and international contexts. She has conducted research to inform visitor use and capacity decisions at several protected areas, including Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Her passion for travel and outdoor recreation bolster her work, and allow her to translate her experiences to her students in and outside of the classroom.

In her free time, Dr. Fefer enjoys running, hiking and visiting national parks with her dog Scout, and travelling at any opportunity she gets. She has spent time in Europe, India, Thailand, Australia and Oman – visiting natural areas in each to explore and learn about the global protected area system.

  • Ph.D., Parks Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University (2019)
  • M.S., Forest Resources, University of Maine (2015)
  • B.S., Environmental Studies, University of Vermont (2011)


  • Citarella, Maggie; Hallo, Jeffrey; Fefer, Jessica; Brownlee, Matthew; Powell, Robert (2019). Taking the Plunge: Enhancing the Visitor Experience in Waterfall-Based State Parks. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.
  • Fefer, Jessica; De Urioste-Stone, Sandra; Daigle, John; Silka, Linda (2018). Understanding the Perceived Effectiveness of Applying the Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) Framework for Recreation Planning: A Multi-Case Study in U.S. National Parks. The Qualitative Report, 23(7).
  • Hallo, Jeffrey; Brownlee, Matthew; Hughes, Matthew; Fefer, Jessica; Manning, Robert (2018). The Experiential Carrying Capacity of a Barrier Island: A Norm Based Approach at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Tourism in Marine Environments. DOI: 10.3727/154427318X15276699095989
  • De Urioste-Stone, S.M., Fefer, J.P., McLaughlin, W.J., Daigle, J.J (2018). Applying case study
    methodology to tourism research. In R. Nunkoo, Handbook of research methods in tourism and hospitality management. Edward Elgar.
  • Miller, Zachary; Fefer, Jessica; Kraja, Arben; Lash, Benjamin; Freimund, Wayne (2017). Perspectives on Visitor Use Management in the National Parks. George Wright Forum, 34(1).
  • Fefer, Jessica; De Urioste-Stone, Sandra; Daigle, John; Silka, Linda (2016). Using the Delphi Technique to Identify Key Elements for Effective and Sustainable Visitor Use Planning Frameworks. Sage Open, 1-16. DOI: 10.1177/2158244016643141


Recreation resource management, parks and protected area management, visitor use management, human dimensions of natural resources, environmental interpretation, outdoor recreation use and outcomes