Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jerry Daday (DIrector), Dr. Douglas Smith, Dr. Michael Stokes

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This is a qualitative study examining conservation attitudes and resource use of 63 individuals in Kasigau, Kenya. Community members described their perceptions of conservation, the resources that they use, the location and availability of these, their support for the protection of Mt. Kasigau, their likes and dislikes of plant and animal species, and their support of ecotourism in Kasigau. All individuals listed conservation behaviors and agreed that protecting Mt. Kasigau is important. Many recognized the mountain as the only source of water. Some resources were limited, especially at certain times of the year. All interviewed community members except one would like tourists to visit Kasigau and are interested in cultural exchange. There is an apparent difference between conservation and ecotourism attitudes in Makwasinyi and the other six villages which could be because Makwasinyi has a lower level of education and is isolated on the northeastern side of the mountain. Gender differences between males and females were also present as each gender uses different resources coupled with a division of labor. The main theory that evolved was rational choice theory. People of Kasigau are trying to sustain their livelihoods and will pick conservation activities due to their benefits and chance they will increase income. When developing a community-based conservation model, these attitudes, education level, and gender differences must be considered to make a plan the whole community can agree on and from which it will benefit.


Community-Based Research | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Place and Environment | Tourism