Selected Resources

Natural Environments

Books and Articles

Abbey, Edward. "Polemic: Industrial Tourism and the National Parks." In Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. New York: Ballantine Books, 1971, c1968: 48-73.

Abstract: A classic look at the dangers of Industrial Tourism as seen through the lens of America's national parks.

Brower, David. "Yosemite Draft Plan is Destructive: The Comments of David R. Brower on the Draft Yosemite Valley Plan." (July 7, 2000).

Abstract: David Brower, considered the father of the modern environmental movement, criticizes the proposed Yosemite Valley plan stating that it has little to do with protecting the Park's natural resources and more to do with favoring the Park's concessionaire, Delaware North. Note: David Brower passed away at the age of 87 in November 2000.

Ehrenreich, Ben. "Wilderness, Inc: Southern California's Controversial 'Adventure Pass' Program." LA Weekly (Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 1999).

Abstract: The Southern California Adventure Pass program, shared by all four Southern California National Forests (Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino) has met with controversy since before the program started in 1997. "I look at those mountains," said one man protesting the fee, "and I no longer see a symbol of freedom. I see a dollar sign."

Korber, Dorothy. "Final Plan for Yosemite Likely to Spur Big Changes." Sacramento Bee, November 8, 2000

Abstract: The Yosemite Valley plan will be Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbit's, final policy "hurrah" before he leaves office on January 20. The Sierra Club has already criticized the plan stating that the increase in diesel busses required to shuttle tourists to the Valley will diminish the Park's air quality and visitor experience.

To view the Sierra Club Yosemite Committee's comments on the Yosemite Valley draft plan, click here.

Leigh, Andrea. "Seeking a Silent and Serene Grand Canyon." Southern Sierran (1999).

Abstract: Scenic air tours disrupt and nullify the sense of place at Grand Canyon National Park.

Leigh, Andrea. "Reserve Offers Some Respite from City Din." UCLA Today (March 22, 1999).

Abstract: Taking a hike along a trail at UCLA's Stunt Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, participants make the point of enjoying the silence, but find it hard to do so because of the sounds of motorcycles and aircraft.

Leigh, Andrea. "Silent City Ain't Silent No More." Southern Sierran (December 2000).

Abstract: A group of Sierra Club members bus over to Southern Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park only to find that they are bombarded by the sound of sightseeing helicopters that disturb and disrupt an otherwise peaceful respite.

Lyons, James R. "Recreation in the 21st Century: Increasing Demand, Increasing Recognition." Remarks of The Honorable James R. Lyons Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Washington, D.C. Idaho Governors Tourism Conference, May 9, 1997.

Abstract: The USFS and other federal land management agencies have partnered with private-sector recreation and entertainment corporations to convert outdoor recreation into a commodity. In this speech, Lyons talks about creating Brands of Outdoor Recreation, comparing those brands with the branded products of companies such as Coleman, REI, and the Walt Disney Coompany.

Nye, David. "Constructing Nature: Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon." In Narratives and Spaces. Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1997: 13-24.

Abstract: An historical and critical examination of Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon as American icons. "Today, much of the public sees the Grand Canyon through a cultural lens shaped by advanced technology."

Turner, Jack. "The Maze and the Aura." In The Abstract Wild. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996: 3-18.

Abstract: Turner looks at how aura is disrupted in natural environments through technological reproductions.

Websites and Databases

Wild Wilderness. An environmental organization located in Bend, Oregon fighting Industrial Strength Tourism.


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Artificial Environments

Books and Articles

Benjamin, Walter. "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." In Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Edited and with an introduction by Hannah Arendt. New York: Schocken Books, 1969: 217-242.

Abstract: Walter Benjamin examines the quality of place as a culminating experience resulting in a synthesis of "aura"--a presence in time and space, "its unique existence at the place where it happens to be." Benjamin analyzes the processes that diminsh aura, which he believes is "related to the increasing significance of the masses in contemporary life. Namely the desire of contemporary masses to bring things 'closer' spatially and humanly, which is just as ardent as their bent toward overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accepting its reproduction.

Leigh, Andrea. "The Art of Compromise: The Paradox of Place at the Getty." (July 2000).

Abstract: The Getty as information object. What is it trying to say? The paradox refers to the fractured sense of place that is experienced by the sights and sounds of the city.

Malm, Rasmus. "Public Space: A Guerrilla Art Attack Hits Stockholm. "Adbusters (June/July 2000).

Abstract: "Akayism is about confusion and beauty reclaiming the streets." Akay's work is semiotic guerilla warfare that serves no other agenda than the idea that public space belongs to public expression.

Martin, Richard. "The Triumph of Unreality." The Industry Standard. (March 12, 2001).

Abstract: Technology is blurring the already fading lines between real life and simulation - and the blurring of reality and entertainment has infected just about all of American culture.

McLaren, Carrie. "The Billboard Jungle." Mother Jones v25, n3 (May, 2000):25.

Abstract: "Ad creep"-the process by which previously untouched surfaces are converted into advertisements-has taken to the streets ... Ever wonder what it would be like to be trapped inside an issue of Details? Take a walk in downtown Manhattan.

Sittenfeld, Curtis. No-Brands-Land. Fast Company (September 2000).

Abstract: Nike. Starbucks. Apple. The Brand Called You. Author-activist Naomi Klein knows all of the arguments in favor of high-powered brands. She just doesn't buy them.

Werbach, Adam. "A Block Party in Every Neighborhood." In Act Now, Apologize Later. New York: Cliff Street Books, 1998: 235-273.

Abstract: Werbach, at 24, the youngest president in the Sierra Club's history, takes a whack at the Walmart culture and stresses the importance of supporting local, independent enterprise.

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Virtual Environments

Books and Articles

Dyson, Esther. Put friction back in cyberspace! Forbes, Dec 2, 1996,(ASAP Supplement): 98-99+.

Abstract: This article argues that friction is one of the fundamental aspects of reality and that it has positive aspects. In virtual reality, it is possible to create a frictionless space, which lacks all of the advantages of friction.

Rockwell, Robert. "An infrastructure for social software." IEEE Spectrum, Mar 1997, 34(3): 26-31.

Abstract: This article talks about a new breed of programs that is needed: social software. The overriding point of social software is not simulations but conversation. Its applications are not substitutes for real-world interaction, but extensions of it.

Suler, John. Life at the Palace - A cyberpsychology case study. John Suler website at Rider University.

Abstract: This is a great ethnographic study of a virtual community called the palace, in which users can create their own virtual environments, their own characters and events. Alas, the palace doesn't exist any longer. But the series of case studies is great.

Thalmann, Daniel; Babski, Christian; Capin, Tolga; Thalmann, Nadia Magnenat; Pandzic, Igor Sunday. "Sharing VLNET worlds on the Web Computer." Networks & ISDN Systems, Oct 1997, 29(14): 1601-1610.

Abstract: This article argues that for collaborative virtual environment to be really effective, they need to provide a sense of presence to the users. One way to provide this sense of presence is to use three-dimensional representations of each user in a virtual reality environment.

Turoff, Murray. "Virtuality." Communications of the ACM, Sep 1997, 40(9): 38-43.

Abstract: This article explains that before virtual reality, models of reality used to help researcher understand it better and that therefore, they had to be fit to reality. Now, the advent of virtual reality enables us to depart completely form reality. Virtual reality need not resemble reality. The new virtual realities are going to become part of reality, which is why using the terms 'virtual reality' is ambiguous; we should use the term 'virtuality'. This implies that designers of virtual reality should be really careful in assessing the social consequences of their creations.


Websites and Databases

Rheingold, Howard. Virtual Community Services.
University of Colorado at Denver. School of Education. Actor Theory Network.


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