Vaske receives National Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award

jerry vaske
CSU Professor Jerry J. Vaske

For his significant contributions and dedication to the field of parks and recreation, CSU Professor Jerry J. Vaske will receive the National Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research.

The National Recreation and Park Association will present the award to Vaske at a special reception at the association’s 2014 NRPA Congress in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Vaske is a professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources. He teaches classes on research methodology and advises graduate students studying social science issues related to natural resources. For the last 30 years, Vaske’s research has focused on the application of social science theory and methodology to the concerns of tourism and natural resource managers.

‘Legacy of leadership’

“Dr. Jerry Vaske embodies the legacy of leadership that Colorado State University cultivates in its faculty and staff,” said Mike Manfredo, department head of HDNR. “He is a leader in the field of outdoor recreation research and has made many life-long contributions to several key areas including tourism, norms, crowding and recreation carrying capacity, and several topical areas within the human dimensions of wildlife and fisheries.”

Vaske’s current research focuses on people’s preparedness for wildfire, a critical issue on the Colorado Front Range.

Along with Manfredo, Vaske introduced and refined a new statistic called the Potential for Conflict Index . The PIC offers an intuitive and manager-friendly way to understand variations in recreation and parks use data.

Vaske has published over 150 refereed journal articles, nine books, and 20 book chapters. He is a co-founder of the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife and has served as its Editor in Chief for nearly 20 years.  He has been a guest editor for Leisure Sciences and Journal of Parks and Recreation, and served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Leisure Research and the Journal of Sport and Tourism. He has co-chaired seven major international conferences including several meetings of the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, and was a co-founder of the Northeastern Recreation Research Conference.

Training future researchers

“Not only has Vaske made professional contributions to these areas, but he has made a personal contribution through his involvement in training future researchers,” said John P. Hayes, dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources. “Dr. Vaske personifies the comprehensive and experiential learning approach that the Warner College of Natural Resources fosters in our faculty. He has impacted the lives of several generations of students and is passionate about paving the way for students to succeed in natural resources career fields.”

National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 40,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit