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Research in Outdoor Education

Abstract

This study explored the concept of sense of place during a 30-day National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) extended wilderness experience in a mountain range in the western United States. Sense of place is not a fixed concept, but may be best understood as a moving force that touches people's emotions on a variety of levels through the bonds they form with places (Tuan, 1974). The term has been utilized in such fields as geography and architecture since the early 1970s (Williams & Stewart, 1998). Scholars of leisure, recreation, and outdoor education are increasingly utilizing this concept because it holistically captures the value people place on "resources, lands, landscapes and ecosystems" (p.20).

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