Derrick  Taff 

photo of Derrick Taff

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

701 H Donald H. Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802


(fax) 814-867-1751


Ph.D., Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
M.A., American Studies, University of Alabama
B.A., Wilderness Recreation, University of Alabama

Research Interests

My research focuses upon communication as it pertains to visitor-use management, human behaviors, and social and ecological wellbeing in parks and protected areas.
I am currently researching communication as it pertains to perceptions and behaviors regarding Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park, City of Boulder Colorado Open Space and Mountain Parks, Pennsylvania State Forests, and at Shaver’s Creek Outdoor School; examining social and ecological wellbeing through the Healthy Parks Healthy People Program in Gettysburg and Catoctin Mountain National Parks; exploring the role of nature-based recreation with military veteran populations; collaborating with recreation ecologists to examine use and monitor ecological heath in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument; and working with other social scientists and ecologists examining coupled human-natural systems through a National Science Foundation-funded soundscapes project at Muir Woods National Monument and Grand Teton National Park. Finally, I serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.

Selected Publications

Abbott, L. A., Taff, B. D., Newman, P., Benfield, J. A., & Mowen, A. J. (2016). Influence of natural sounds on restoration. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 34(3), 5 – 15.

Taff, B. D., Benfield, J. A. & Newman, P. (2016). Promoting appropriate national parks for our service members: A call for new research. In Dustin, D., Bricker, K., Negley, S., Brownlee, M., Schwab, K., & Lundberg, N. (Eds.). This land is your land: Toward a better understanding of nature’s resiliency-building and restorative power for armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families. pp. 161 – 169. Sagamore, Urbana, IL.

Taff, B. D., Dattilo, J., Davis, K. D., & Moeller, J. D. (2016). Leisure Perceptions of OEF/OIF Combat Veterans. Journal of Leisure Research, 48(4), 265 – 284.

Taff, B. D., Weinzimmer, D., & Newman, P. (2015). Mountaineers’ wilderness experience in Denali National Park and Preserve. International Journal of Wilderness 21(2), 7 - 15.

Taff, B. D., Newman, P., Vagias, W. M., & Lawhon, B. (2014). Comparing day-users’ and overnight visitors’ attitudes concerning leave no trace. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 6(2), 133–146.

Benfield, J.A., Taff, B.D., Newman, P., & Smyth, J. (2014). Natural sound facilitates mood recovery from stress. Ecopsychology 6(3), 183 – 188, DOI: 10.1089/eco.2014.0028

Weinzimmer, D., Newman, P., Taff, B. D., Benfield, J., Lynch, E., & Bell, P. (2014). Human responses to simulated motorized noise in national parks. Leisure Sciences 36(3), 251 – 267, DOI: 10.1080/01490400.2014.888022

Taff, B. D., Newman, P., Lawson, S. R., Marin, L. D., Gibson, A. W., Archie, T., & Bright, A. (2013). The role of messaging and acceptability of military aircraft sounds in Sequoia National Park. Applied Acoustics, 84, 122 – 128.

D’Antonio, A., Monz, C., Lawson, S., Newman, P., & Taff, B. D. (2013). Enhancing the utility of visitor impact assessment in parks and protected areas: A combined social-ecological approach. Environmental Management 124, 72 – 81.

Lawhon, B., Newman, P., Taff, B. D., Vaske, J. J., Vagias, W. M., Bright, A., Lawson, S. R., & Monz, C. (2013). Factors influencing behavioral intentions for Leave No Trace behavior in Rocky Mountain National Park. Journal of Interpretation Research 18(1), 24 – 38.

Curriculum Vitae

Derrick Taff vitae