Brenda Lackey.jpgBrenda Lackey, Ph.D.


Contact Information
Phone: (715) 346-2076
Fax: (715) 346-3624
Office: TNR 182



  • Ph.D., University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, 2002.
    Area of specialty: Natural resources interpretation and communication.
  • M.S., Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, 1998.
    Area of specialty: Natural resources interpretation and communication.
  • B.S., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, 1988.
    Forestry major with emphasis in park management.


A native of Illinois, Brenda worked as a park ranger for eight years on the upper Mississippi river, then returned to graduate school, attained a M.S. at Stephen F. Austin in Texas, then her Ph.D. at the University of Idaho. Her research efforts focused on assessing communication and interpretive efforts as a way to alleviate human/black bear conflicts in Yosemite National Park. Prior to coming to UWSP, Brenda worked as Manager of Research and Program Evaluation for Cleveland Metroparks, conducting assessments of visitor satisfaction and program evaluation in an urban park system. Her research interests include environmental interpretation and communication, program evaluation, visitor studies, and human/wildlife conflicts.

Professional Affiliations

  • National Association of Interpretation (NAI), 1989 to present
  • NAI College/University Academic Section Committee Member, 2002 to present
  • Associate Editor for the Journal of Interpretation Research, 2007-present

Courses Taught

  • NRES 367: Park Interpretation
  • NRES 368/568: Oral Interpretation Methods
  • NRES 369/569: Interpretive Media
  • NRES 482: Environmental Education and Interpretation Practicum
  • NRES 483/683: Professional Development in Environmental Education/Interpretation
  • NRES 750: Research in Environmental Education/Interpretation
  • NRES 794/795: Graduate Seminar

Refereed Publications

Lackey, B.K., & Ham, S.H. (2004). Assessment of communication focused on human-black bear conflict at Yosemite National Park. Journal of Interpretation Research, 8(1), 25-40.

Lackey, B.K. & Ham, S.H. (2003). Contextual analysis of interpretation focused on human-black bear conflicts in Yosemite National Park. Journal of Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 2(1), 11-21.

Lackey, B.K. (2008). The state of interpretation in academia. Journal of Interpretation Research, 13(1), 27-36.

Conference Presentations

Lackey, B.K., Ham, S.H., & Hall, T.E. Analysis of interpretive communication focused on human-bear conflicts in Yosemite National Park. 2003 National Interpreters Workshop, Reno, Nevada.

Lackey, B.K., Ham, S.H., & Hall, T.E. Human-black bear interaction in Yosemite National Park: A Visitor Study. 8th Western Black Bear Workshop, April, 2003. Pray, Montana.

Lackey, B.K. A Theory Based Communication Approach to Reducing Human-Bear Conflicts. 9th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, June, 2002. Bloomington, IN.

Lackey, B.K. Human-Black Bear Interaction Conflict: Analysis of the Current Interpretive Communication System at Yosemite National Park. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the Western U.S., October, 2001. Alta, WY.

Lackey, B.K. Electrify Your Audience. National Interpreters Workshop., November, 1997. Beaumont, TX.

Lackey, B.K. & Schaefer, C. Public input for public programming. National Interpreters Workshop, November, 2007. Wichita, KS.

Lackey, B.K. Interpretation in academia: How our future interpreters are trained. National Interpreters Workshop, November, 2006. Albuquerque, NM.


Rib Mountain State Park, Wausau, WI. Principal consultant with Schmeeckle Reserve Interpreters designing an Interpretive Master Plan for a new educational and interpretive facility, 2008.

Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education. Developed a new online course “Quantitative Research Methods”, 2008.

University of Idaho Visitor Services Project. Survey supervisor at Minute Man National Monument, a National Park Service site in Concord, MA, 2007.

Black Hills State University. Conducted a program review and submitted a report for the Outdoor Education Program in Spearfish, SD, 2007.

University of Idaho Visitor Services Project. Survey supervisor at Devils Postpile National Monument, a National Park Service site in Mammoth Lakes, CA, 2006.

Cleveland Metroparks. Conducted a study and submitted a report, Integrating human perceptions and attitudes about wildlife with decision-making on public lands, Cleveland, OH, 2006.

Idaho Forest Products Commission. Developed a series of interpretive signs depicting the role of forest management and cultural history in north central Idaho along a portion of the historic Lewis and Clark trail located in the Bitterroot Mountains, Boise, ID, 2003.


Brenda enjoys hiking, biking, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends.