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Sustaining Florida

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043793/00001

Material Information

Title: Sustaining Florida Perceptions of Florida Regional Planning Councils about Key Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hrncirik, Lauren M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture -- decision-making -- florida -- issues -- motivation -- planning -- regional -- rpm -- sustainability
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With one of the fast growing populations in the U.S., Florida is faced with many challenges to the availability of the state's natural resources in the future. Including those threatening Florida's agriculture industry, which is the second largest in the industry after tourism and is the forerunner in U.S. citrus production. With these global concerns threatening the productivity and livelihood of Florida's agriculture and natural resources, it is imperative that local and state governments steer development decisions in the appropriate direction to address these pressing issues and sustain Florida's agriculture and natural resources for future generations. Sustainability is a growing global philosophy to help manage current decisions with economic, social and environmental concerns in mind, to minimize the negative effects of today's decisions. Regional planning has been implemented as one way for political representatives to engage in collaborative decision-making. In 1980 Florida legislature enacted the Florida Regional Planning Council which divided the state into eleven regions each with a representative Regional Planning Council (RPC) serving as Florida's only multipurpose regional entity. RPC's plan and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth and development related issues. The primary purpose of this study was to describe and understand the perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPC's) about key agriculture and natural resource issues. In addition, this study analyzed the factors that influenced the likelihood of incorporating sustainability principles in planning. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) and motivational theories. This study was a quantitative research design that utilized descriptive survey methodology. The population consisted of current appointed and elected regional planning council members (N=302). A convenience sample was taken of officials with accessible email address (n=239). This study found that appointed regional planning officials are more likely to feel that their decisions can make a difference in Florida, the future of Florida, Florida's agricultural and natural resource conditions, and feel less overwhelmed than elected officials. Appointed officials also feel more confident in their power to make a difference and that their decisions can improve environmental conditions, than elected officials. Additionally, regional planning officials who were involved with FFA or a related organization or who had taken agricultural or natural resource classes in high school, feel more overwhelmed, less clear-headed, and less confident in regional planning factors than officials who were not involved. Funding and state level legislators were identified as the strongest barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lauren M Hrncirik.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole Lamee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043793:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043793/00001

Material Information

Title: Sustaining Florida Perceptions of Florida Regional Planning Councils about Key Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hrncirik, Lauren M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture -- decision-making -- florida -- issues -- motivation -- planning -- regional -- rpm -- sustainability
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With one of the fast growing populations in the U.S., Florida is faced with many challenges to the availability of the state's natural resources in the future. Including those threatening Florida's agriculture industry, which is the second largest in the industry after tourism and is the forerunner in U.S. citrus production. With these global concerns threatening the productivity and livelihood of Florida's agriculture and natural resources, it is imperative that local and state governments steer development decisions in the appropriate direction to address these pressing issues and sustain Florida's agriculture and natural resources for future generations. Sustainability is a growing global philosophy to help manage current decisions with economic, social and environmental concerns in mind, to minimize the negative effects of today's decisions. Regional planning has been implemented as one way for political representatives to engage in collaborative decision-making. In 1980 Florida legislature enacted the Florida Regional Planning Council which divided the state into eleven regions each with a representative Regional Planning Council (RPC) serving as Florida's only multipurpose regional entity. RPC's plan and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth and development related issues. The primary purpose of this study was to describe and understand the perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPC's) about key agriculture and natural resource issues. In addition, this study analyzed the factors that influenced the likelihood of incorporating sustainability principles in planning. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) and motivational theories. This study was a quantitative research design that utilized descriptive survey methodology. The population consisted of current appointed and elected regional planning council members (N=302). A convenience sample was taken of officials with accessible email address (n=239). This study found that appointed regional planning officials are more likely to feel that their decisions can make a difference in Florida, the future of Florida, Florida's agricultural and natural resource conditions, and feel less overwhelmed than elected officials. Appointed officials also feel more confident in their power to make a difference and that their decisions can improve environmental conditions, than elected officials. Additionally, regional planning officials who were involved with FFA or a related organization or who had taken agricultural or natural resource classes in high school, feel more overwhelmed, less clear-headed, and less confident in regional planning factors than officials who were not involved. Funding and state level legislators were identified as the strongest barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lauren M Hrncirik.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole Lamee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043793:00001


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1 SUSTAINING FLORIDA: PERCEPTIONS OF FLORIDA REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCILS ABOUT KEY AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE ISSUES By LAUREN MARIE HRNCIRIK A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PA RTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Lauren Marie Hrncirik

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3 To my parents, your unyielding guidance and support enabled me to become the woman I am today

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and could not have been possible without the love and support from many individuals. First, I would like to thank God for putting this journey on my heart. I know He gave me th e courage to begin and the strength to finish. I thank my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Nicole Stedman, for her continuous guidance and support throughout the entire process. As I move on to the next chapter, I am grateful to have Nicole as a lifelong mentor and friend. I also thank Dr. Traci Irani for serving on my committee. Her advice and opinions provided the motivation to think outside the box and improved my research abilities. I especially thank my parents, Gina and Curtis Hrncirik, for the many sacrifices they made for my sisters and I. Looking back, I am so thankful for the importance my parents placed on education and for always pushing me to achieve greatness. I thank the both of you for your love and for making me the independent woman I am today. I would also like to thank my sisters, Megan, Katlyn and Kimberly for allowing me to be your big sister. In every decision, I think of the three of you and how I can best set an example that my sisters would be proud of. I also thank my closest fri ends for providing an incredible network of support during stressful times and for the endless laughs regardless of the occasion. Our friendships have truly been a gift from God. Finally, I would like to thank the faculty and colleagues who have influenced me throughout the years. I am especially grateful for those individuals in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Sustainability ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 14 Agriculture and Natural Resources ................................ ................................ ... 15 Key Issues in Florida Agricultural & Natural Resource Sectors ........................ 16 Planning and Development in Florida ................................ ............................... 18 Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) ................................ ..................... 18 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 19 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 19 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 20 Operational Definitions ................................ ................................ ............................ 22 Limitation s of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 23 Basic Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ 24 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 25 2 REVIEW OF TH E LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ............ 26 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 26 Conservation Behavior Change ................................ ................................ ........ 26 Adaptive Management ................................ ................................ ..................... 30 Reasonable Person Model (RPM) ................................ ................................ .... 31 Theories of Motivation ................................ ................................ ...................... 35 Previous Research ................................ ................................ ................................ 38 Challenges in Regional Planning ................................ ................................ ............ 38 Knowledge Factors ................................ ................................ ........................... 38 Information Flows ................................ ................................ ............................. 39 Self Interest ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 40 Confidence/Competence ................................ ................................ .................. 41 Perceived Control ................................ ................................ ............................. 41 Perceived Risks ................................ ................................ ................................ 42 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 42 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 44

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6 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 45 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 47 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 48 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 51 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 52 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 53 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 55 Demographics of Respondents ................................ ................................ ............... 56 Object ives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 62 Objective One ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 62 Environmental issues ................................ ................................ ................. 62 Agricultural an d natural resource issues ................................ .................... 63 Assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues) ................................ ................ 63 Sustainability principles ................................ ................................ .............. 63 How to apply sustainability principles in regional planning ......................... 64 How to acquire new i nformation about regional planning ........................... 64 How to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning ................................ ................................ .................... 64 Objective Two ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 69 Objective Three. ................................ ................................ ............................... 75 Objective Four ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 81 Objecti ve Five ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 94 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 97 5 CONCLUSIONS AND REC OM M ENDATIONS ................................ ....................... 98 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 98 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 99 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ .............................. 99 Objecti ve One ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 99 Objective Two. ................................ ................................ ................................ 101 Objective Three ................................ ................................ .............................. 103 Objective Four ................................ ................................ ................................ 104 Objective Five. ................................ ................................ ................................ 109 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 110 Objective One ................................ ................................ ................................ 110 Objective Two. ................................ ................................ ................................ 110 Objective Three ................................ ................................ .............................. 111 Objective Four ................................ ................................ ................................ 112 Objective Five. ................................ ................................ ................................ 115 Discussion and Implications ................................ ................................ .................. 115 National Research Agenda ................................ ................................ ................... 127 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 128 Recommendations for Practice ................................ ................................ ...... 128

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7 Recomm endations for Future Research ................................ ......................... 129 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 129 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL ................................ .................. 131 B SURVEY COMPLETION REQUESTS ................................ ................................ .. 132 Pre Survey Email ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 132 Initial Contact Email ................................ ................................ .............................. 133 Follow Up Contact Email ................................ ................................ ...................... 134 Final Follow Up Contact Email ................................ ................................ .............. 135 C DATA COLLECTIO N INSTRUMENT ................................ ................................ .... 136 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 148 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 154

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 List of Florida Regional Planning Councils and the Counties Covered by Each Council ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 47 4 1 Frequencies and Percentages o f Demographic Information ............................... 60 4 2 Percentage of Planning Background by type ( n =62) ................................ .......... 61 4 3 Years Serving as a Political Representa tive by type ................................ .......... 61 4 4 Percentage Region is Considered Urban and Rural ( n =60) ............................... 61 4 5 Participants by Regional Planning Council (RPC ) ................................ .............. 61 4 6 Frequencies and Percentages of Regional Planning Officials Knowledge Level of Factors Related to Regional Planning ................................ ................... 66 4 7 Frequencies and Percentages of Regional Planning Officials Relevance Level of Factors Related to Regional Planning to Role on a Regional Planning Council ................................ ................................ ................................ 67 4 8 Factors Related to Regional Planning Knowledge Level Vs. Relevance to Role on Regional Planning Council ................................ ................................ .... 68 4 9 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Environmental Issues and D emographics ................................ ............. 69 4 10 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues and Demographics .............. 70 4 11 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Assessing the Significance of Various Environmental Issues and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 71 4 12 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of Assessing the Significance of Various Environmental Issues and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 71 4 13 One Way Anal ysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Sustainability Principles and Demographics ................................ ......... 72 4 14 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledg e Level of How to Apply Sustainability Principles in Regional Planning and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 72

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9 4 15 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of How to Acquir e New Information about Regional Planning and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 73 4 16 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of How to Acquire New Information about Region al Planning and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 73 4 17 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of How to Acquire New Information about Incorporating Sustainability into Re gional Planning and Demographics ................................ ......................... 74 4 18 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of How to Acquire New Information about Incorporating Sustainability int o Regional Planning and Demographics ................................ ......................... 74 4 19 (n =58 ) ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 75 4 20 Regional Planning Official Level of Agreement with Decision Statements ( n =59) ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 76 4 21 Level of Agreement that Decisions as a Regional Planning Official Have the Opportunity to Make a Difference in Selected Capacities (n=58) ...................... 76 4 22 Regional Planning Officials Perception of Power (n =53 ) ................................ .... 77 4 23 Regional Planni ng Officials Degree Feeling Overwhelmed (n =55 ) ..................... 77 4 24 Frequencies and Percentages of Constructs Describing Regional Planning (n=58) ................................ ..................... 78 4 25 Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations (n=57) ................................ 79 4 26 Confidence Level of Regional Planning Officials (n=57) ................................ ..... 80 4 27 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Agreement with Decision Statements and Position Type ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 81 4 28 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Agreement that Decisions as a Regional Planning Official Have the Opportunity to Make a Difference in Selected Capacities and Demog raphics ................................ ................................ ............................. 83 4 29 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional ................................ .............. 83

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10 4 30 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Degree Feeling Overwhelmed and Demographics ................ 83 4 31 One Way Analysis of Variance Sign ificant Relationships between Regional .................. 85 4 32 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planni Non Formal Education ................................ ................................ ........................ 85 4 33 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional rceptions of Sustainability and Gender ............................. 85 4 34 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional al Representative for Any Florida RPC ................................ ................................ ... 85 4 35 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations and Type of Agricultural or Natural Resource Background ................................ ........ 88 4 36 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations and Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 89 4 37 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations and Years in Worked Planning ................................ ................................ .................. 89 4 38 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Type of Agricultural and Natural Resource Background ................................ ................................ ........................ 90 4 39 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Years Serving as Political Representative ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 93 4 40 One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Demographics ................................ 93 4 41 One Way An alysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Demographics ................................ 94 4 42 Percentages and Frequencies of Barriers to Incorporating Sustainab ility Principles into Regional Planning ................................ ................................ ....... 95

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Typology of Selected Behavior Change Techniques ................................ .......... 29 2 2 The Reasonable Person Model interrelated domains ................................ ...... 33 2 3 Reasonable Person Model ................................ ................................ ................. 33 2 4 Reasonable Person Model for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Planning ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 37 2 5 Learning about sustainable environmental knowledge and issues management is neither straightforward nor terminal ................................ ........... 40

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12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science SUSTAINING FLORIDA: PERCEPTIONS OF FLORIDA REGIONAL PLANN ING COUNCILS ABOUT KEY AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE ISSUES By Lauren Marie Hrncirik December 2011 Chair: Nicole Stedman Major: Agricultu ral Education and Communication The primary purpose of this study was to describe and understand the perceptions knowledge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on issues. In addition, this study analyzed the factors that influenced the likelihood of incorpor ating sustainability principles in planning. The conceptual framework used in this study was based on the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) and common factors from motivational theories. This study was a quantitative research design that utilized descriptive survey methodology. The targeted population in this study was appointed and elected regional planning officials currently serving on a RPC in the state of Florida (N=302). Due to the difficulty in acquiring email addresses for all members of the populatio n, a convenience sample of accessible officials was taken from the population (n=239). The survey instrument was researcher developed and administered on the web utilizing Qualtrics survey software. The majority of respondents were at least 55 years old, m ale and had

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13 The study found that regional planning officials feel between somewhat and moderately knowledgeable in the seven factors related to regional planning that were measured. However, officials reported these factors at a higher relevance to their Additionally, regional planning officials who had taken agriculture or natural resource classes in high school felt less knowledgeable in a majority of the regional planning factors than the officials who did not have the same background. Appointed regional planning officials felt more likely that their decisions can make a difference in Florida than elected officials felt. Officials also f elt their decisions could probably make a difference in their region, but less likely their decisions could have the same impact at the state level. When thinking about sustainability, officials who took agriculture or natural resource classes in college f elt more clear headed than those who took similar classes in high school or were involved with FFA. Additionally, females perceived sustainability to be more useful than males do. Regional planning officials identified funding and state level legislators a s the strongest barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION There is a growing concern for the future of humanity on earth. As the global population continues to grow, so do global warming concerns, po llution levels, natural resource depletion, biodiversity loss and high dependency on non renewable energy resources, like fossil fuels, is creating a rippling effect of problems for the global environment, its citizens a nd future generations. conditions are threatening the peace and stability among nations and may do so g, 2007). Leaders, experts and entire communities across the globe are challenging, questioning life issues 175). Thus the concept of sustainability arose as a collaborative approach among disciplines to address these concerns. Sustainability Traditional approaches t o addressing environmental problems were reactive, employing compensation and mitigation as management tactics once harmful effects were discovered (Uiterkamp & Vlek, 2007). This approach began to shift after the concept of sustainable development was pres Sustainability is a current global theme, representing an underlying ethical philosophy to guide a range of decisions and practices (Williams & Dollisso, 1998;

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15 Williams & Wise, 1997). Under this ethi cal philosophy, is the notion that as members of a global community, humans should live in a manner with a minimal impact on other beings, both living and non living. Sustainability is generally described as a way to compromising the ability of future generations to well Vlek, 2007, p. 177). This philosophy can be applied to all aspects of life, including those related to the field of agriculture and natural resources. Agriculture and Natural Resources The agricultural industry is an integral player in the United States ec onomy (American Farm Bureau Federation [AFBF], 2004). The commodities produced by this $75 billion dollar industry (United States Department of Agriculture, 2007), feed citizens nationally and globally, as well as provide employment opportunities for milli ons of individuals. In Florida, agriculture is the second largest industry after tourism (Park, 2005), and the state is the forerunner in citrus production, accounting for 70% of total U.S production in 2007 (United States Department of Agriculture and Con sumer Services, 2008). However, many of the global concerns facing society today are also threatening the productivity and livelihood of the agricultural industry nationally and across Florida. Concerns regarding limited and depleting natural resources ar e having a negative impact on the agriculture industry. As energy costs continue to rise, so do agriculture production costs, while commodity prices are expected to remain low, creating decreasingly smaller profit margins for farmers and increasing depende ncy on

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16 government subsidies (Fazio, Rodriquez Baide, & Molnar, 2009). In turn, conventional agricultural practices are also threatening the environment and natural resources on which the industry depends. Controversies are growing concerning land, water an d chemical practices, adding to social, economic and environmental global concerns (Roberts, 1995). It has been suggested that the principles of sustainability have the ability to address these concerns facing global society, as well as the agricultural a nd natural to the natural resources we use to raise food are not ground in the principles of have been integrated into legislative documents, such as the 1990 U.S. Farm Bill which defines sustainable agricultural as: An integrated system of plant and animal production practices having site specific application that will, over the long term: (a) sa tisfy human food and fiber needs; (b) enhance the environmental quality and natural resources base upon which the agricultural economy depends; (c) make the most efficient use of non renewable sources and on farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological sources and controls; (d) sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and (e) enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole. Through these integrated principles, sustainable agriculture has the ability to help ag ricultural production continue into the future without negatively affecting the environment (Fazio et al., 2009). Key Issues in Florida Agricultural & Natural Resource Sectors Florida has one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S., posing many cha llenges to the availability of the natural resources in the future. With a current population of about 18 million, strains on schools, roads, and water supply will continue

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17 to grow, making it ever more important for local governments to carefully plan for the growth of communities and conservation of resources. Older communities need to be revitalized and disaster recovery efforts should be established for quick and efficient responses (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2009). is greatly impacted and threatened by the increasing development and population growth taking place throughout the Florida Department of Community Affairs identified the following as areas of critical state concern: City of Apalach icola, City of Key West, Florida Keys Area, Green Swamp, and Big Cypress Swamp. In a 2009 steering committee meeting which brought together 25 stakeholders to discuss the issues facing agriculture and natural resources in Florida, The Florida Center for P ublic Issues Education (PIE Center) in Agriculture and Natural Resources identified the most pressing issues facing Florida citizens. Listed in order of importance, of agriculture, natural resources and connections between the two, water, financing, food safety, lack of a comprehensive land use plan, lack of civic engagement due to a complex system, profitability, fuel and energy, sustainability, regulations, populat in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2009).

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18 Planning and Development in Florida The Florida legislature began to address the interrelated issues of planning, development and sustainabil ity in 1972 through the enactment of the Florida State Comprehensive Planning Act, declaring that: The issues of public safety, education, health care, community and economic development and redevelopment, protection and conservation of natural and histori c resources, transportation, and public facilities transcend the boundaries and responsibilities of individual units of government, and often no single unit of government can plan or implement policies to deal with these issues without affecting other unit s of government. Coordination among all levels of government is necessary to ensure effective and efficient delivery of governmental services to all the citizens of the state. It is therefore necessary to establish an integrated planning system and to ens ure coordinated administration of government policies that address the multitude of issues posed by the state's continued growth and development. (Florida State Comprehensive Planning Act, 1972) Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) To address some of the issues posed by growth and development and in an effort to establish an integrated planning system, as stated in the Comprehensive Planning Act, Florida legislature enacted the Florida Regional Planning Council Act in 1980. Regional Planning Councils ( RPCs) were developed under the act, and are recognized RPCs plan and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth and development nding the boundaries of individual local general unit can address. The act identified the need for these regional planning agencies to related prob lems on greater than local issues, provide technical assistance to local governments, and meet

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19 the development of state policy (The Florida Regional Planning Council Act, 1980). influences the long term social, physical and economic development of the region (Brody, Carrasco, & Highfield, 2006, p. 299). Statement of the Problem The diff iculty in developing consistency in defining and incorporating sustainability principles across multiple groups of stakeholders, along with a lack of understanding about the variables which motivate and influence appointed and elected regional planning off icials in Florida to incorporate sustainability principles when addressing environmental issues in planning, establishes the need for this research. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this research was to describe and understand the perceptions, knowled ge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils about key agriculture and natural resource issues. Additionally, the factors that influenced the likelihood of regional planning officials to incorporate s ustainability principles when addressing environmental issues in planning were analyzed in this study. This research will address the following objectives: Objective 1: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have ab out factors related to regional planning in Florida. Objective 2: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variable s. associated with sustainable planning. motivation to complete tasks associated with sust ainable planning when examining specific demographic variables.

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20 Objective 5: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. Significance of the Study Before Florida and its communities can use sustainab ility to address the pressing issues facing agriculture and natural resources, the leaders involved must agree on what sustainability entails. How is it defined? What are truly sustainable practices in agriculture and natural resource management? These que stions have been difficult for farmers, agriculture professionals, industry experts, political decision makers and program and the 1990 U.S. Farm Bill, agreeing upon a univer sal definition for sustainable agriculture has been a great challenge (Fazio et al., 2009). Vlek and Steg (2007) suggested that more research needs to be done in environmental decision attribute scenario e valuation, multi party decision making, and long Recently the Agricultural Education and Communication National Research national and glob al situations, to identify effective teaching and learning models and approaches, and to determine how the development of these principles will influence 16). According to Ha milton (1998, p. 424), in order to meet these expressed needs, more sustainable manner, go vernment policies and regulations are often identified as a primary roadblock (Dietz, Ostrom, & Stern, 2003; Ostrom, Dietz, Dolsak, Stern, Stonich,

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21 will to steer [susta security and susta inability, the overall policy goal must be to reverse the trend of 14) Often cooperation and adequate dissemination of knowledge between stakeholders and political lea ders is inadequate or non existent. Also, sharp differences in power and priorities between parties make communication and collaboration that much more challenging (Dietz et al., 2003). This growing boundary between science and governance hinders the abili ty to institute change, which is particularly challenging in natural resource management (Fischer, Petersen, Feldkotter, & Huppert, 2007). Addressing critical problems, like pollution and non renewable resource depletion, t include dialogue between interested parties, officials, Through understanding the perceptions of agricultural and natural resource issues in Florida from appointed and elec ted regional planning officials throughout Florida, this study will contribute to developing policy and theory particularly for addressing environmental issues. It will aid in targeting specific areas of concern, identifying inconsistencies, and increasing the overall understanding of state and regional practices, knowledge, perceptions and motivations. Collectively, these understandings have the ability to influence policy makers towards developing more legislation based

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22 on sustainability for Florida, and serve as an example to push for state regulations and cohesiveness. It is the responsibility of policy makers to address environmental concerns across various scales, from energy use and livestock farming to transportation and tourism. However, the effecti veness and conditions of their approaches fall in the hands of the social and behavioral sciences (Vlek & Steg, 2007). Operational Definitions geographic area covered by the region include one elected school board member from the region. Representatives appointed by the governor represent one third of the voting members on a council (Florida Regional Planning Council Act). Elected official: i Council Act). Key agriculture and natural resource issues: are the most pressing issues facing Florida today according to local government officials serving on Regional Planning Councils. Regional Planning Councils (RPCs): are quasi governmental organizations (comprised of local representatives in the geographic area) responsible for identifying problems that im pact the state, planning appropriate solutions, and providing policy development input. As mandated under Florida Statutes, a RPC must be comprised two thirds of locally elected officials and the remaining members are local representatives appointed by the Governor. Florida is divided Stakeholders: the individuals, groups or organizations who have an invested ultural and natural resources. In this study, the stakeholders identified include the Center PIE Steering Committee, regional planning council officials, Sustainable Florida Collins Center, the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, local and state representatives, and special interest groups in agriculture, natural resources, and regional development. They are involved in defining sustainability for Florida as it relates to the Agriculture and Natural resources industry. Steering Committee: an advis ory committee comprised of stakeholders and experts who provide guidance and make decisions on key issues. In this case, the agricultural industry and commodity groups, public se ctor natural resources

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23 managers, Florida Cooperative Extension, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and University of Florida faculty (IFAS, UF water Institute, Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2009). Sustainable Florida profit and non partisan alliance and part of the Collins Center, which serves as the primary statewide collaborato r on sustainability issues and aims to advance the vision of sustainability by identifying, supporting and communicating best Sustainability principles: Although many versions of sustainability exist, this study utilized the following: Harmony with nature: Land use and development activities should support ecosystems rather than modifying them (i.e. preserve biodiversity; protect/restore essential services like water quality). Livable built environment: Characte ristics of human made surroundings should enhance the fit between people and urban form, encourage community cohesion by fostering access to land uses, and support a sense of place or community identity. Place based economy: A local economy should strive to operate within natural system limits and not cause deterioration to the natural resource base. Essential products of nature should not be used up more quickly than nature can renew them. Equity: Land use patterns should recognize and improve the condit ions of low income populations; equitable access to social and economic resources is essential for eradicating poverty. Polluters pay: Polluters that cause adverse community wide impacts should be required to bear the cost of pollution and other harms. R esponsible regionalism: Communities should not act in their own interests to the detriment of the interests of others, and they should be responsible for the consequences of their actions (Berke & Manta Conroy, 2000, p.23). Limitations of the Study This s tudy is based on a convenience sample of appointed and elected regional

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24 Councils. Therefore, the results cannot be generalized beyond appointed and elected Florida regional p lanning officials. Other procedural limitations of this study included the accessibility of the population. Due to time and financial constraints as well as the high profile nature of the population, the questionnaire was electronically distributed using web based software. Since the majority of RPCs did not provide direct email addresses for their council members, the researcher primarily gathered each contact email individually from the city sites also did not provide contact emails, thus limiting the entire population from being contacted about this study. Furthermore, it is probable that a small group of officials may not have had an email address or utilized their email. Additionally, the questionnaire was researcher developed which may have yielded error or bias. Finally, the data in this study was self reported. Self reported information can be a limitation if participants do not answer the questionnaire truthfully. According to Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, and Sorenso (2006) the validity of a self reported instrument understand themselves, and their willingness to answer honestly. Basic Assumptions In order for the study to be considered valid and reliable, a variety of assumptions must be made about the participants. The researcher has assumed that all contact information received from each RPC website is up to date and correct. This study also assumed that elected officials serving on a RPC will: 1) have a basic knowledge of sustainability 2) have current knowledge of issues and procedures of the planning

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25 region and the respective county or municipality they govern, and 3) respond to all survey questions hon estly and thoroughly. Summary This chapter described the current sustainability phenomenon as it relates to global issues and concerns facing agriculture and natural resources. The chapter justified the need for stakeholders in Florida to collectively defi ne sustainability, highlighting the need for political leaders to be particularly knowledgeable of its concepts and practices for adequate policy revision, planning and implementation. The chapter emphasized the notion that collaboration and problem solvin g among individuals from an array of interest groups are incredibly challenging and can hinder the momentum of positive change, particularly in governance and environmental planning. It suggested the need for a clear identification of issues and solutions among industry experts and the equal significance of effective dissemination of information to regional planning officials in order to promote positive change and growth.

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26 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERA TURE The purpose of this study was to describe and und erstand the perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils about key agriculture and natural resource issues. Additionally, the factors that influence the likelihood of regional plan ning officials to incorporate sustainability principles in planning will be analyzed in this study. The ng the possibilities In addition to the Reasonable Person Model, behavior change and motivation theories are incorporated to provide supplemental factors that influence motivations of regional planning officials to utilize sustainability principles in regional planning decision making processes. By understanding these cognitive, affective and situational factors, a better understanding for effectively incorporating sustainability into decision m aking and policy development process was expected. Theoretical Framework Conservation Behavior Change Human behavior is currently characterized as being highly resource consumptive and such costly behavior is creating a multitude of global challenges. The concerns for In the face of many pressing environmental issues, moving towards sust ainable behavior has become a major focus.

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27 Changing human behavior is a challenging concept influenced by many factors, which can be characterized as resulting from either environmental (tangible) or internal (intangible) sources (De Young, 1993). General ly, three interrelated elements: motives, change theories (McClelland, 1987). As a result, research has sought to understand the best behavior change techniques when at tempting to solve and address environmental issues (Stern & Oskamp, 1987; Stern, 1992). According to De Young (1993), while most environmentally driven techniques (i.e. social pressure, material incentives) provide more rapid behavior change results, they tend to lack in long term durability and require repeated interventions. One approach, conservation behavior change, includes informational knowledge about environmental problems, motivational forces/factors, and the perceived roles the individual plays (D e Young, 1993), to create long term change. Information. Behavior change can be facilitated in two ways: by merely providing people the adequate information to understand the environmental problem or by illustrating an action they can take to reach a resol ution. This notion suggests that people generally will engage in behavior change if they have an increased awareness and understand the information provided. With that, De Young (1993) suggested that acquiring information through self discovery has been mo re likely to influence an 1985), thus resulting in changed behavior. Also, externally acquiring environmental knowledge from a direct experience (Fazio & Zanna, 1981) or even case study involvement (Monroe & Kaplan, 1988) has been suggested to provide greater clarity and confidence in understanding the issue, than from a direct experience.

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28 Motivational forces There are motivational factors which make adopting a new envir onmental behavior more appealing to individuals (De Young, 1993). Positive motivational techniques, including monetary reinforcement, social reinforcement through recognition and support, altruism, and intrinsic satisfactions have been seen as effective in conservation behavior change (De Young, 1993). Environmental psychologists have had a tendency to disagree with the use of negative types of motivational techniques, like punishment, in facilitating conservation behavior change (Geller et al., 1982, as ci ted in De Young, 1993). The source initiating the behavior change, either internal or from the outside environment, determines the behavior change technique engaged in (Figure 2 1) and related effects. For example, individuals motivated internally have a sense of competence, confidence, commitment and are intrinsically satisfied, allowing them to address more challenging problems, gather data more efficiently and logically, and 991; as cited in De Young, 1993, p. 492). They also have more in depth information processing, enabling an increased applicability of the acquired knowledge (Nolan, 1988, as cited in De Young, 1993).

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29 Figure 2 1. Typology of Selected Behavior Change Techn iques (De Young, 1993). Effectiveness of behavior change. Cone and Hayes (1980, as cited in De Young, 1993) addressed the diverse issues related to addressing behavior change related to environmental issues and identified five general criteria for measurin g the effectiveness of behavior change techniques: reliability, speed of change, particularism, generality and durability. De Young (1993) concluded that conservation change techniques have historically elicited rapid, short term change, and attention to d urability and generality is needed. Durability is described as the ability of the change to be adopting and influencing other unintentional conservation behavior cha nges (De Young, 1993). Perceived role. Another important aspect is the perceived role the individual sees themselves, which is dependent upon the source of change. Kaplan (1990, as cited in De Young, 1993) has suggested that individuals maintaining a sens e of challenge and

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30 purpose, generally perceive themselves as needed and view their contribution to the De Young (1993) suggested techniques become more creative, personal ized, and enhances the individual discovery process, while also yielding feelings of challenge, excitement, satisfaction, and enjoyment. Adaptive Management Adaptive Management, a method for managing natural resources introduced by ecologist C.S Holling in the 1970s, has been used as a means to implement natural resource policies as experiments (Holling, 1978). The adaptive management process assumes that human beings do not have enough information in order to effectively manage ecosystems, thus the process h risk and uncertainty. Adaptive experiments, rather than waiting to proceed until enough information is known (Lee, 1999). This causes the adaptive management process to b ecome very costly and slow in most cases (Walters, Goruk, & Radford, 1993, as cited in Lee, 1999). Additional problems with this approach include unintended costly catastrophes, management failures, inefficient short term management, lack of communication, high conflict, and ineffective record keeping (Lee, 1999). However, when executed efficiently, adaptive management has the ability to be a useful, long term tool for resource management agencies.

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31 Reasonable Person Model (RPM) For this study, the Reasonabl e Person Model (RPM) developed by Kaplan and Kaplan (Kaplan, 2000; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2003; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009), provided a guiding framework for incorporating the aforementioned constructs and principles of conservation behavior change and adaptive manag ement, to better understand and manage environmental issues. A commonly understood factor shared by most of these behavior change theories is that obtaining adequate information is a prerequisite in decision making and influences change in human behavior ( De Young, 1993; Holling, 1978, Kaplan, 2000; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2003; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). To examine the use of sustainability when addressing, understanding and managing issues particular to the natural resource and agricultural sectors, the existence o f other environmental factors which can affect this particular type of human behavior change should be recognized. In this context sustainable principles and practices are viewed as innovative ideas (or the informational pieces) that can be used as a new m eans to address environmental issues and influence policy decisions. However, many factors and challenges hinder the adoption of such innovative strategies. understanding h environment satisfies human informational needs. Kaplan (2000) suggested that many only material gains matter. Conversely, the altruistic view is ignorant of the existence of self interest in human behavior. The Reasonable Person Model embraces the complicated tendency that people have of resisting changes that are perceived to reduce t heir quality of life, while acknowledging

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32 that people are also generally concerned about the future of the environment. In this capacity to be reasonable as well as unreasonab le depending on the circumstances of the situation (Kaplan, 2000). They are more likely to behave reasonably in a cooperative, helpful, constructive manner when their environment meets their basic informational needs (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2003). From this psyc hological perspective, processing mechanisms have been offered as a tool for studying subjects such as environmental decision making and environmentally responsible ple interact with the surrounding environment and to understand the decisions they make. Creating a truly an integrative approach, RPM is based on principles across many fields, particularly research on attention restoration (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995; Kaplan, 2001), cognitive maps (Kaplan, 1973, 1991; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1983), environmental preferences (Kaplan, 1983; Kaplan, 1992; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995), environmental behavior change (De Young, 1993, 1996, 2000), and helplessness (Kaplan, 1983; Peterson et al., 1993; Seligman, 1998). durable source of motivation, to reduce the corrosive sense of helplessness, and to generate innovative solutions that people do not perceive as thre atening their quality of needs: model building, becoming effective, and meaningful action (Figure 2 2 & 2 3). Kaplan & Kaplan have offered two ways of conceptualizing t he model, both demonstrating the three motivational components highly interrelated nature.

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33 Figure 2 2. The Reasonable Person Model interrelated domains (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2006) Figure 2 3. Reasonable Person Model (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009) Model building. The first informational need in the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) involves the capacity of humans to build mental models in order to function in the surrounding world. Building mental models helps individuals to plan and evaluate information through explo ration and understanding. This process involves integrating

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34 newly acquired information, while building upon existing knowledge capacities (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). aversion to feel are strong emo tional reactions associated with confusion, which implies a human desire to maintain orientation, suggesting a learning environment which can provide adequate exploration opportunities without the fear of becoming disorientated. Positive exploration then b ecomes a motivational force for exploring more (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989) and continuously building mental models. Becoming effective. People desire to learn and acquire new information, not simply to collect it, but so that they can apply it and make a contr ibution to the world. However, some environments pose situations that limit the ability to be effective. In the Reasonable Person Model, becoming effective involves two linked components: being sufficiently clear headed and increasing feelings of competenc e and confidence, particularly when surrounded by an abundance of information and complexity (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). Often the abundance of information related to environmental concerns can challenge achieving clear headedness, leading to feeling of being overwhelmed and suffering from mental fatigue. The second component of becoming effective -achieving competence -demonstrates the relationship between motivation and facil

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35 an d how to move forward (p. 332). Meaningful action. Just as people have a desire to acquire information, understand, explore and feel competent, they also want to make a difference in the world. Meaningful action concerns the need to actively participate i n the surrounding environment (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2006). People want opportunities to become engaged and involved. Often when dealing with an abundance of environmental issues and information, coupled with few opportunities to become engaged or involved, fee lings of (Scheuer, 2007, p. 18). Thus, in this perspective feeling helpless would be one of the most negatively motivating concerns to consider in the context of behavior change. Theories of Motivation p. 113). To fully understand behavior change, the motivating forces of building mental models, being effective, and meaningful action, and the influencing environmental factors, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of motivational theories. The s ubject of motivation is based on psychological principles that aim to determinants of behavior (McClelland, 1987). Many theories of motivation exist, addressing all types of motives and influencing factors. Motives are seen as a driving force to move towards action. Some of these motive systems include the achievement

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36 motive, power motive, affiliative motive, avoidance motive and hunger motive. a natural incentive This emphasis on natural incentives underlies the significance of many influencing factors. For example, consis tency refers to the natural human desire to live in stable and predictable environments, conform to social norms, and minimize confusion, uncertainty, stress and conflict from our lives (McClelland, 1987). Particularly central to RPM, is the importance of acquiring information. From a motivational perspective, a growth in understanding, or cognition, is an example of one such way to reach the desired human state of stability and control (McClelland, 1987). Motivational theories are the underlying framework for understanding and identifying the human and environmental factors that hinder or contribute to behavior change. The human and environmental factors influencing the human motivation needs towards understanding and engaging in sustainable environmental i ssues management are displayed in the conceptual model below (Figure 2 4).

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37 Figure 2 4. Reasonable Person Model for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Planning (Adapted from Kaplan & Kaplan Reasonable Person Model, 2006).

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38 Previous Research Du empirical studies have examined the utility of the model in the same discipline that this study attempts. The few studies that have operationalized the RPM are in the fields of gr een building design (Scheuer, 2007), landscape planning (Basu, 2009), participation in ecological restoration (Phalen, 2009), and environmental behavior change in reducing automobile use (Corbett, 2005). Challenges in Regional Planning Brody, Carrasco, a nd Highfield (2006) analyzed the variables that influenced the adoption of sprawl reduction plans by local planning agencies in southern Florida. The study found that as the number of professional planners working on a plan increased, so did the likelihood of adopting comprehensive plans and sprawl reduction policies, thus building the planning capacity of the agency. The researchers suggested that this technical expertis e and training associated with sustainable growth and environmental take proactive measures, but as Brody et al. (2006) identified, the ability of planners to anticipa te future growth has been a major challenge. Knowledge Factors and accurate information, part icularly related to environmental issues associated with agriculture and natural resources, can lead to frustration and avoidance behaviors thus limiting the likelihood of any action or behavior change (Kaplan, 1983).

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39 A high level of familiarity can influe subject, although the correlation is not always guaranteed. The degree of familiarity credibility of the sources of information familiarity with a subject can create a feeling of disinterest, leading to lower preference. Despite the paradox between familiarity and preference, studies support the positive relationship between famili arity and preference (Basu, 2009). When addressing preference presents a significant challenge for persuading the public to adopt more sustainable forms of development that may Visualization methods have been seen as useful for enhancing the understanding and familiarity with complex environmental issues particularly when applying new and changing approaches like sustainability (Basu 2009; Kaplan, Kaplan, & Austin, 2008). Information Flows The frequency of information flows or access to numerous sources of information is shown to influence the likelihood that people will adopt new innovations or ideas (Toole, 1998, as cited in Scheur 2007). However, the opposite occurs when there are gaps in information flows or missing information, causing the level of uncertainty to increase and reducing the likelihood of accepting new ideas. Under such inty is seen as directly proportional to the Scheuer (2007) analyzed the challenge of creating change within the homebuilding industry by focusing on how homebuilders think about green buildin g

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40 su stainability concepts impacts problem solving, learning and the adoption of its practices. The adoption of appropriate sustainable solutions in the context of managing environmental issues is a learning process that involves the transfer of knowledge from conventional solutions to sustainable ones. As suggested by Scheuer (2007), in this 5). Figure 2 5. Learning about sus tainable environmental knowledge and issues management is neither straightforward nor terminal (Adapted from Scheuer, Learning about green building is neither straightforward nor terminal, 2007) Self Interest The RPM suggests that people are more reasonabl e when the environment

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41 alternative solutions or [even] activities that may compromise environmental behavior interest. Kapla n referred to this (2005), used the RPM to analyze the difficulty in getting people to stop driving their vehicles as an environmentally responsible behavior. When the re spondents were asked to identify the largest factor in choosing an alternative to driving, the majority (22%) of respondents answered convenience and ease (Corbett, 2005). These two factors support the notion of self interest as a positive motivating facto r towards environmental behavior change. Confidence/Competence Lacking information about the environment can lead to feelings of helplessness and incompetence (Kaplan, 1983). The pressing environmental concerns can be perceived as too big or impossible to solve. Confidence can also negatively impact behavior change when there are too many distractions from the external environment. Perceived Control The concept of control in an environment has received a fair amount of research attention in the fields of social and environmental psychology (Perlmuter and Monty, 1979; Barnes, 1981). Traditionally, resea rch has suggested that individuals perceive a in their environment, but rather they d Another distinction Kaplan (1983) identified as weak, was the relationship between

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42 activity and potential influence on an outcome without implying that the outcome is Perceived Risks In addition to storing information and individual preferences, mental models create relationships between ideas and when these relationships ass ociate a particular cause with a negative effect a perceived risk is formed (Basu, 2009). Risks are perceived differently depending on the individual, their associations, experiences, and values. For ioners often deal with the perceived risk of not being able to accommodate future growth or being able to meet Such differences in perceived risks can lead to conflicts between interested parties. Summary Reasonable Person Model (RPM), developed by Kaplan and Kaplan (2003), in addition to factors common to behavior change and motivation theories, provided the basis in this study for the theoretical framework that examines the factors influencing regional planning officials perceptions of sustainability and issues related to agricultural and natural resources in Florida. The RPM framework is based on the psychologica l principle that humans have a natural desire to understand and have the capacity to make reasonable decisions when they have access to and understand their their surrounding environments. RPM is based on three interrelated human informational needs, model building, becoming effective and meaningful action (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). Using RPM as a guiding framework, additional factors were identified from

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43 behavior change and motivation literature. The factors used in this study included knowledge, relevance, confidence, clear headedness, power, ability, decision making, perceptions, and barriers. Sustainability has been proposed as a valuable way to create long term solutions to growing concerns facing agriculture and natural resources. However, a common chal lenge has been actually applying sustainable principles and changing set behaviors. Previous research conducted uncovered perceptions that there is no single approach to adopting sustainability; its open ended nature challenges the understanding, problem s olving, and adoption of sustainability concepts (Scheur, 2007). Research has also identified challenges in regional planning officials ability to anticipate future growth (Brody et al., 2006), and the perceived risk associated with not being able to accomm odate growth or satisfy budget limitations (Basu, 2009). This study aims to better understand the challenges and perceptions of regional planning officials in Florida regarding sustainability and agricultural and natural resource concerns.

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44 CHAPTER 3 METH ODOLOGY This study was designed to describe and understand the perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of elected and appointed officials serving on Florida Regional Planning out key agriculture and natural resource issues. The researcher sought to determine the factors that influenced the likelihood of regional planning officials to incorporate sustainability principles when addressing environmental issues in planning. The pur pose of this study was guided by the following research objectives: Objective 1: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. Objective 2: To determine differen ces in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. a ssociated with sustainable planning. Objective 4: To determine differences that exist in regional planning officials motivation to complete tasks associated with sustainable planning when examining specific demographic variables. Objective 5: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. The focus of this chapter is to outline the methodology utilized to address aforementioned research objectives. The researcher also describes the research design, popul ation and instrumentation in full detail, as well as any validity and reliability concerns. Finally, the chapter concludes by describing the statistical analysis techniques that will be used to analyze the data.

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45 Research Design This study was a quantitativ e research design that utilized descriptive survey methodology. McMillan and Schumacher (2010) defined descriptive survey research as as demographic information fro m a group of subjects (p. 235). This is a particularly useful method for collecting accurate data in politics and government (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). In this study, the entire population of interest consisted of appointed and locally elected official s serving on a Regional Planning Council (RPC) in Florida as of June 2011. However, due to the difficult nature in contacting high political representatives, this study utilized a convenience sample of accessible regional planning officials. The use of a w eb based questionnaire was appropriate for this study because respondents were asked about their perceptions and opinions related to issues in Florida agriculture and natural resources. In order to collect accurate information, the survey aimed to minimiz e the four types of survey error. As identified by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009), the four types of survey error include: measurement, coverage, sampling, and non response. developed, addressing measuremen t error was imperative. Measurement error inhibits the ability of participants to understand the meaning and design of questions, and is often a result of poorly worded questions or questionnaire layout (Dillman et al., 2009). In this study, measurement er ror was Education and Communications Department review the instrument, and then conducting a pilot test with a group of 32 past serving Regional Planning Council members to e stablish the reliability of the instrument.

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46 Coverage error occurs when not all members of the population have an equal opportunity to be included in the sample and when those that are included in the sample are greatly different from the remaining populati on not included (Dillman et. al., 2009). This study addressed coverage error by compiling the most recent list of elected planning officials serving Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPC). The researcher compiled this list by visiting each of the eleven local area government websites and assumed that this information was correct and up to date. If no list was found on a RPC website, the researcher contacted the council via telephone to acquire an updated list of counc il membership. According to Dillman et al. generalizations cannot be made to all regional planning officials in Florida, data collected from the convenience sample of accessible regional planning officials can inform and guide future research, as well as provide an overview of the characteristics of the officials in the sample. The final source of error addressed in this study was non response error. This occurs when not every individual sampled in the survey responds, and non responders should be accounted for in order to investigate the potential for bias in the results (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). In this study, nonresponse error was addressed in two ways. First, the researcher contacted the members of the population utilizing the Dillman Tailored Design Method to minimize nonresponse error. Secondly, the researcher compared the differences between early responders and late responders (Lindner & Wingenbach, 2002). According to Lindner, Murphy, and Briers (2001) late

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47 respondents are defined (p. 242). In this study, the early respo ndents (n= 50 ) were defined as the first 50% who responded to the survey and late respondents (n= 50 ) were defined as the latter 50% who responded to the survey. Early respondents were compared to late respondents on the basis of the demographic data and sel ect variables Population The population for this study was appointed and elected regional planning officials in Florida. The researcher comprised a list of the appointed and elected regional planning officials (N=302) currently serving on each of the elev en regional planning Florida Statutes, a RPC must be comprised two thirds of locally elected representatives (county and municipal) and the remaining one third representati ves for the region are appointed by the governor. These councils serve to as a forum for the coordination and review of federal, state, local government policies. They address private sector planning and development activities affecting their region. Each council provides a large array of services particularly benefiting its local governments. Additionally, the appointed and elected officials were selected to participate in this study because they represent the voice and interests of the citizens living in within their region. Table 3 1. List of Florida Regional Planning Councils and the Counties Covered by Each Council Regional Planning Council Counties Apalachee Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla Central Florid a DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Polk East Central Florida Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia North Central Florida Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Taylor, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison,

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48 Table 3 1 Continued Regiona l Planning Council Counties Suwannee, Union Northeast Florida Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns South Florida Broward, Dade, Monroe Southwest Florida Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Sarasota Tampa Bay Hillsborough, Mana tee, Pasco, Pinellas Treasure Coast Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie West Florida Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington Withlacoochee Citrus, Hernando, Levy, Marion, Sumter A convenience sample was taken from the population (n=247). A convenience (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010, p. 137). The sample was elected and appointed regional planning officials with direct email addresses mad e available on their respective regional planning council website or their local area government website. Eight regional planning officials declined to participate, leaving a usable population of n=239. Instrumentation The researcher found no existing ins trument for measuring the variables that influence regional planning officials to incorporate sustainability principles when addressing environmental concerns. Therefore, the researcher developed a web based questionnaire. The questionnaire was composed of 28 questions, divided into four sections, including Likert type, multiple choice and short answer question formats. The questionnaire began by providing detailed instructions for properly filling out the survey. The first section of the instrument asked q knowledge of various issues in Florida agriculture and natural resources (i.e., water

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49 quality, soil degradation, etc.) and the relevance of those topics to regional planning. This section also acquired regional offi responsibilities. Then, through a serious of questions the respondents were asked to identify the sustainable principles which they have incorporated into regional planning and perceptions of those approaches. Thirdly, a variety of constructs (i.e., power, confidence, ability) were used to identify the motivational influences that regional planning officials had for completing planning tasks associated with sustainable approaches. Lastly, to obtain individual and regio nal demographic information, participants were required to indicate their length of planning experience, if they had previous related experience (planning or industry related), if they had an agricultural or natural resource background, the number of years as a political representative and the highest level of education they obtained. Questions also obtained individual demographics (age, gender), demographic information related to the region (urban, rural) as well as the individuals current title (elected o r appointed; city or county representative). These demographics were used to describe the differences between regional planning councils and officials across the state of Florida, as detailed in objectives two and four above. To address the concerns of ins trument validity and reliability, several steps were scientific explanations of phenomena match reality and refers to the truthfulness of our types of validity exist within research design:

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50 internal validity, statistical conclusion validity, construct validity, and external validity (Campbell & Stanley, 1963 as cited by McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). According to McMillan and Schumacher (201 impact that extraneous variables have on the relationships on between independent and dependent variables (p. 106). Eight threa ts to internal validity in research design have been identified as history, maturation, testing, instrumentation, statistical regression, selection, mortality and interactions among all these variables (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). The internal threats of history, maturation, testing, and mortanilty were addressed by the design of the study. Since this study used a researcher developed instrument, instrumentation was the greatest concern for achieving internal validity. As previously mentioned, the researc her addressed this threat and further ensured that all four types of validity (content, statistical, internal and external) were met by having a panel of experts analyze the instrument and pilot testing. The issues of reliability were also addressed throug h pilot testing the survey to a group of past Florida Regional Planning Council members. The instrument was then modified according to their suggestions. Furthermore, pilot study data and determined the reliability of the credibility construct to be a coefficient of 0.86. According to the literature, an alpha coefficient of 0.70 has shown to be an acceptable reliability coefficient (Nunnaly, 1978, as cited by Santos, 1999). To further address the diff iculties in measuring abstract psychological constructs elated to motivations and perceptions, related empirical studies in the literature were consulted (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010).

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51 Data Collection The first step in instituting this study was to receiv e approval from the University of medical projects (IRB 02). The proposal was approved (UFIRB Protocol number 2011 U 0329 and the study proceeded (Appendix A). After the instrument was reviewed by a panel of exp erts for validity and then pilot tested to a group of past Florida Regional Planning Council members to ensure reliability, the contact information (e mail, RPC, position title) for all 302 regional planning officials (appointed and elected) was collected from the corresponding RPC websites and local area government websites. After considering the convenience, time Tailored Design Method, five different contacts were used to distribute the survey and to increase the likelihood of responses (Dillman et al., 2009). The five contacts included: a brief pre notice letter, questionnaire, a thank you postcard, a replacement questionnaire, and a final contact (Dillman et al., 2009). A ll the contacts made aimed to establish trust with the participants, demonstrate the benefits of participation and decrease the costs of participation (Dillman et al., 2009). Before contacting the regional planning officials about the study, a personalize d e mail was sent on April 8, 2011 to all eleven RPC executive directors to inform them of the upcoming study. The first contact was a personalized pre notice e mail sent to all regional planning officials on August 8, 2011, informing them of the study and the upcoming questionnaire. Dillman et al. suggests that personalized letters aid in minimizing the likelihood of non response (2009). The participants received a second contact on August 11, 2011, when the web based survey links were sent to their e mail

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52 addresses. The third contact was made one week later on August 18, 2011. For those that had completed the survey, a thank you letter was sent, and for those who had not completed the survey received a reminder notice. By August 31, 2011, a fourth contact was made to the participants who had still not completed the survey, and the tone of the letter reinforced the importance of the survey (Dillman et al., 2009). The survey closed one week later on September 8, 2011. Then, a comparison was made between early and late respondents. Data Analysis The researcher used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 17.0 for Windows to analyze the data collected. A variety of descriptive statistics were used to conduct an analysis of the datasets and to det ermine the differences across variables of interest. To address the first objective of this study standard deviations ( ), means ( ), and frequencies ( ), were calculated to determine the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida and planning. Additionally, to compare the differences between the knowledge and relevance of regional planning factors, mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy scores were also calculated. The topics were ranked in order with the topic with the greatest absolute value discrepancy score assigned the highest priority. To sustainable planning (third objective), standard devia tions ( ), means ( ), and frequencies ( ) were used. The researcher utilized a one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) in objectives two and four in order to measure potential relationships that existed among demographic

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53 variables when looking at the knowledg e, relevance and motivations that regional planning officials have about agriculture, natural resources and sustainability planning tasks in Florida. Lastly, standard deviations ( ), means ( moment correlation coefficients (r) were used to describe the perceived barriers to incorporating sustainability into regional planning. At the conclusion of data collection procedures, 100 (41.8%) of the regional planning officials responded. This response rate was deemed acceptable when compa red with studies surveying similar populations (Kaplan, Kaplan, & Austin, 2008) that yielded a 21% response rate. Furthermore, Kittleson (1997, as cited by Cook, Heath and Thompson, 2000) noted that email surveys without any follow up can expect to yield b etween a 25 and 30% response rate and surveys that utilize follow up reminders can approximately double the response rate. Thus, a 41.8% response rate was acceptable based on prior trends and the literature. Summary This chapter described the methods the researcher used to achieve the research objectives described in Chapter 1. More specifically, this chapter outlined the details for collecting data and statistical analysi s tests. The study utilized a quantitative perspective through a descriptive survey research design. The independent variables in this study included the characteristics specific to the individual participant, age, gender, education level, previous plannin g experience, type of agriculture and natural resource background, years of political experience, current position held, and the percentage the region is considered rural or urban. The dependent variables were the knowledge,

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54 perceptions, and motivations of agricultural and natural resource issues in Florida and incorporating sustainable principles in regional planning tasks. Lastly, issues related to reliability and validity were discussed in detail.

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55 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this study was to desc ribe the perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of appointed and elected officials serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils about key agriculture and natural resource issues, as well as the factors influencing the likelihood of incorporating sustaina bility principles in planning. Chapter 1 explained the significance of sustainability for addressing local and global issues, the importance of agriculture and natural resources in Florida and the role Florida Regional Planning Councils have as leaders of the state. Furthermore, the first chapter stated the importance of Regional Planning Officials incorporating sustainability Objective 1: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. Objective 2: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Fl orida when examining specific demographic variables. associated with sustainable planning. Objective 4: To determine differences which exist in regional planning officials motivation to complete tasks associated with sustainable planning when examining specific demographic variables. Objective 5: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. Chapter 2 presented an overvi ew of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that were utilized for studying this topic. A brief discussion of environmental behavior change theories, particularly the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) which was the foundational theory used in the developme nt of the conceptual model for this study. Also included in this chapter were a brief discussion of motivation and the challenges

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56 faced in regional planning. Overall, the chapter 2 literature did not reveal any previous studies that measured the factors in fluencing the likelihood of incorporating sustainability into decision making, thus further establishing the need for this study. Chapter 3 described the research methodology utilized in this study, including the research design, population, instrumentati on, data collection and data analysis procedures. This chapter presents the findings of the study. The chapter begins with objectives. The population of this study consisted of all appointed and elected officials procedures described in Chapter 3, a convenience sample was taken of regional planning officials that had personal email addresses made accessible on the web. Of the 247 officials contacted, 8 declined to participate. Of the remaining 239 regional planning officials, 100 (41.8%) responded. Demographics of Respondents Regional planning officials were analyzed by the following demographics : age, gender, education level, agricultural or natural resource background, years in planning, council officer, elected or appointed, city or county representative, position title, planning background, years as political representative, percentage region is urban or rural, and Regional Planning Council. Results can be found in Table 4 1, 4 2, and 4 3. Table 4 the respondents, 67.3% ( n =35) were male and 32.7% ( n =17) were female. In the age category, 7.7% ( n =4) were between 26 34 years of age; 11.6% ( n =6) were between 35

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57 44 years of age; 15.4% ( n =8) were between 45 54 years of age; 44.2% ( n =23) were between 55 64 years of age; and, 21.2% ( n =11) were between 66 75 years of age. In regard n =6) indicated their highest level of education to be high school graduate; 5.4% ( n =3) had trade school education; 39.3% ( n n =19) received a % ( n =6) received a doctoral degree. Respondents were asked to report any agricultural or natural resource background. Of the 56 respondents, 35.7% ( n =20) reported taking classes in high school; 41.1% ( n =23) took classes in college; 12.5% ( n =7) were involv ed in FFA or a similar organization; 35.7% ( n =20) have owned a farm or agricultural property; and, 32.1% ( n =18) reported having another type of agricultural or natural resource background. Some responses for other types of agricultural or natural resource background reported include: raised on a farm, professional involvement with the industry, involvement with 4H club, serving on natural resource committees, and workshops/seminars. n = 9) have worked in planning for less than a year; 25.6% ( n =14) worked in planning for 1 5 years; 12.2% ( n =6) worked in planning for 6 10 years; 8.2% ( n =4) worked in planning for 11 15 years; and, 32.7% ( n =16) worked in planning for 16 or more years. The ave rage years n = 49, SD =11.11). Respondents were also asked to describe the percentage of their educational planning background that was obtained through various means. Each type of planning background signifies a

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58 planning (Table 4 2). Since the responses were answered on a continuous interval from 1 100, therefore means could not be calculated only the averages of percentages. Of the 62 respondents, t he average percentage of planning background obtained through on the job experience was 46.98 ( SD =28.99); the average percentage of planning background obtained through formal education (i.e. academic courses) was 12.66 ( SD =18.80); the average percentage o f planning background obtained through non formal education (i.e. workshops/seminars) was 15.00 ( SD =16.07); the average percentage of planning background obtained through personal research was 10.52 ( SD =10.87); and, the average percentage of planning backg round obtained through other means was 1.13 ( SD =5.07). Respondents indicated the number of years serving as a political representative in many capacities (Table 4 3). The average number of years respondents have served on their current regional planning co uncil was 6.23 ( n =55, SD =7.43). The average number of years respondents have served on any Florida Regional Planning Council was 5.45 ( n =31, SD =6.42). The average number of years respondents have served as a political representative throughout their entire career was 7.68 ( n =42, SD =7.12). As described in Chapter 3, Florida regional planning councils are comprised of locally elected officials and governor appointees. Elected officials are representatives from a city or a county within their region. Of the r espondents 56.4% ( n =31) were locally elected officials and 43.6% ( n =24) were appointed by the governor. Of the respondents who indicated being elected officials, 60% ( n =18) were city representatives and 40% ( n =12) were county representatives. 23.6% ( n =13) of respondents were serving as an

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59 officer on their Regional Planning Council and 76.4% ( n =42) were not serving as an officer. In regards to the current position titles the respondents held, 16% ( n =9) were mayors; 5% ( n =3) were vice mayors; 30% ( n =17) were commissioners; 30% ( n =17) were councilmembers; 4% ( n =2) were attorneys; 4% ( n =2) were school board members; and, 11% ( n =6) indicated holding a different position title. Finally, respondents were asked to indicate the percentage their region was considered urban and rural (Table 4 4). Similar to the responses in Table 4 2, the responses were answered on a continuous interval from 1 100, therefore means could not be calculated only the averages of percentages. The average percentage respondents considered th eir region to be urban was 43.92 ( SD =28.51) and the average percentage respondents considered their region to be rural was 50.25 ( SD =28.67). Of the respondents ( n =100), four respondents were officials serving on Apalachee RPC, 7 respondents were officials serving on Central Florida RPC, 12 respondents were officials serving on East Central Florida RPC, 14 respondents were officials serving on North Central Florida RPC, 12 respondents were officials serving on Northeast Florida RPC, 4 respondents were offic ials serving on South Florida RPC, 7 respondents were officials serving Southwest Florida RPC, 9 respondents were officials serving on Tampa Bay RPC, 21 respondents were officials serving on Treasure Coast RPC, 4 respondents were officials serving on West Florida RPC, and 6 respondents were officials serving on Withlacoochee RPC (Table 4 5).

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60 Table 4 1. Frequencies and Percentages of Demographic Information f Percent Total Answered Gender Male Female 35 17 67.3 32.7 52 Age 26 34 35 44 45 54 55 64 65 74 4 6 8 23 11 7.7 11.6 15.4 44.2 21.2 52 Education Level High School graduate Trade School Bachelors Masters Doctoral 6 3 22 19 6 10.7 5.4 39.3 36.3 10.7 56 Agricultural or Natural Resource Background Classes in High school Classes in College FFA or related organization Own farm or agricultural property Other 20 23 7 20 18 35.7 41.1 12.5 35.7 32.1 56 Worked in Planning (years) Less than a year 1 5 6 10 11 15 16 or more 9 14 6 4 16 18.4 25.6 12.2 8.2 32.7 49 Currently Serving as Off icer on Council Yes No 13 42 23.6 76.4 55 Position Type Elected Official* Governor Appointee City representative* County representative* 31 24 18 12 56.4 43.6 60.0 40.0 55 30

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61 Note: *Other position titles: Economic Development Official, Chair Elect & Former Chair, Mayor Commissioner Pro Tem, Vice Mayor Pro Te m, and Governor Appointee Table 4 2 Planning Background by type ( n =62) Type of Planning Background M SD On the Job Experience Formal Education (academic courses) Non formal Education (workshops/seminars) Personal Research Other 46.98 12.66 15.00 10.52 1.13 28.99 18.80 16.07 10.87 5.07 Table 4 3 Years Serving as a Political Representative by type Type of Political Representative n M SD Current Regional Planning Council Any Florida Regional Planning Council Through Entire Career 55 31 42 6.23 5.45 7.6 8 7.43 6.42 7.12 Table 4 4 Region is Considered Urban and Rural ( n =60) M SD Urban Rural 43.92 50.25 28.51 28.67 Table 4 1. Continued n Percent Total Answered Position Title Mayor Vice Mayor Commissioner Councilmember Attorney School Board member Other* 9 3 17 17 2 2 6 16 5 30 30 4 4 11 56 Table 4 5. Participants by Regional Planning Council (RPC) RPC n Percent Total Answered Apalachee Central Florida East Central Florida North Central Florida Northeast Florida South Florida Southwest Florida Tampa Bay Treasure Coast West Florida Withlacoochee 4 7 12 14 12 4 7 9 21 4 6 4 7 12 14 12 4 7 9 21 4 6 100

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62 Objectives Objective One: To describe and compare the knowledge and releva nce regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida Respondents indicated their level of knowledge of seven factors related to regional planning on a five standard deviations of the seven regional planning factors are presented in Table 4 6. Using the same seven factors, respondents indicated the relevance level of the factors to their role on a regional planning council on a five point likert scale. The scale frequencies, means, and standard deviations of the seven regional planning factors are presented in Table 4 7. Mean weighted discrepancy scores (MWDS) were us ed to compare regional perceived knowledge and relevance to their position on a Regional Planning Council of specific factors related to regional planning The mean weight discrepancy scores for all seven factors related to region al planning are presented in Table 4 8. Environmental issues When asked to report their knowledge level of environmental issues, the majority of respondents (41.1%) indicated being moderately knowledgeable ( M =3.95, SD = 0.867). The majority of respondents indicated that environmental issues were between moderately important (36.8%) and very important (54.4%) to their role on a regional

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63 planning council ( M =4.40, SD =0.821). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for environmental issues was 1 .84. Agricultural and natural resource issues For the second factor, the majority of respondents (43.9%), stated that they were moderately knowledgeable in agricultural and natural resource issues ( M =3.84, SD =.902). Respondents also indicated that agricul tural and natural resource issues were between moderately important (38.6%) and very important (50.9%) to their role on a regional planning council ( M =4.33, SD =0.873). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for agricultural and natural res ource issues was 1.82. Assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues) For the third factor, the majority of respondents (50.9%) indicated being moderately knowledgeable in assessing the signi ficance of various environmental issues, including agricultural and natural resource issues ( M =3.77, .846). The majority (46.4%) also reported that assessing the significance of various environmental issues was moderately important to their role on a regio nal planning council ( M =4.13, SD =0.916). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues) was 1.26. Sustainability principles For the fourth factor, the majority of respondents (50.9%) reported that they were moderately knowledgeable in sustainability principles ( M =3.89, .772). Respondents (42.1%) indicated that sustainability principles were moderately important to their role

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64 on a regi onal planning council ( M =4.19, SD = 0.895). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for sustainability principles was 1.16. How to apply sustainability principles in regional planning For the fifth factor, the majority of respondents indicat ed being between somewhat knowledgeable (42.1%) and moderately knowledgeable (36.8%) about how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning ( M =3.63, SD =0.816). Respondents (39.3%) reported knowing how to applying sustainability principles in reg ional planning as being moderately important to their role on a regional planning council ( M =4.18, SD =0.855). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning was 1.85. How to acquire n ew information about regional planning For the sixth factor, the majority of respondents (33.9%) reported that they were moderately knowledgeable in how to acquire new information about regional planning ( M =3.82, SD =0.97). Respondents (31.6%) indicated kno wing how to acquire new information about regional planning as being moderately important to their role on a regional planning council ( M =4.05, SD =0.90). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for how to acquire new information about regio nal planning was 0.89. How to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning When examining the final factor related to regional planning, the majority of respondents stated that they were between somewhat knowledgeable ( 42.1%) and moderately knowledgeable (28.1%) in how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning ( M =3.6, SD =.96). Respondents indicated that knowing how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability

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65 in to regional planning was moderately important to their role on a regional planning council ( M =4.07, SD =0.920). The mean weighted knowledge relevance discrepancy score for how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional plann ing was 1.58.

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66 Note: 1= Not knowledgeable, 2=Slightly knowledgeable, 3=Somewhat knowledgeable, 4=Moderately knowledgeable, 5=Very knowledgeable. Bolded means and standard deviations are the highest coefficients within each factor. Table 4 6. Frequencies and Percentages of Regional Planning Officials Knowledge Level of Factors Related to Regional Planning Regional Planning Factor Likert Rank Response n M SD 1 2 3 4 5 Environmental Issues 0 (0.0) 3 (5.2) 14 (24.1 ) 24 (41.4) 17 (29.3) 58 3.95 .87 Agricultural and natural resource issues 0 (0.0) 5 (8.8) 13 (22.8) 25 (43.9) 14 (24.6) 57 3.84 .90 Assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues) 0 (0. 0) 5 (8.8) 13 (22.8) 29 (50.9) 10 (17.5) 57 3.77 .85 Sustainability principles 0 (0.0) 2 (3.5) 14 (24.6) 29 (50.9) 12 (21.1) 57 3.89 .77 How to apply sustainability principles in regional planning 0 (0.0) 3 (5.3) 24 (42.1) 21 (36.8) 9 (15.8) 57 3.63 .82 How to acquire new information about regional planning 1 (1.8) 3 (5.4) 17 (30.4) 19 (33.9) 16 (28.6) 56 3.82 .97 How to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning 1 (1.8) 4 (7.0) 24 (42.1) 16 (28.1) 12 (21.1) 57 3.60 .96

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67 No te: 1=Not important, 2=Slightly important, 3=No opinion, 4=Moderately important, 5=Very important. Bolded means and standard deviations are the highest coefficients within each factor. Table 4 7. Frequencies and Percentages of Regional Planning Officials Relevance Level of Factors Related to Regional Planning to Role on a Regional Planning Council Regional Planning Factor Likert Rank Response n M SD 1 2 3 4 5 Environmental Issues 1 (1.8) 1 (1.8) 3 (5.3) 21 (36.8) 31 (54.4) 57 4.40 .82 Agricultural and natural resource issues 1 (1.8) 2 (3.5) 3 (5.3) 22 (38.6) 29 (50.9) 57 4.33 .87 Assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues) 1 (1.8) 3 (5.4 ) 5 (8.9) 26 (46.4) 21 (37.5) 56 4.13 .92 Sustainability principles 1 (1.8) 2 (3.5) 6 (10.5) 24 (42.1) 24 (42.1) 57 4.19 .90 How to apply sustainability principles in regional planning 1 (1.8) 0 (0.0) 10 (17.9) 22 (39.3) 23 (41.1) 56 4.18 .86 How to a cquire new information about regional planning 0 (0.0) 2 (3.5) 15 (26.3) 18 (31.6) 22 (38.6) 57 4.05 .90 How to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning 1 (1.8) 0 (0.0) 15 (27.3) 17 (30.9) 22 (40.0) 55 4.07 .92

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68 Table 4 8. Factors Related to Regional Planning Knowledge Level Vs. Relevance to Role on Regional Planning Council Regional Planning Factor Mean weighted discrepancy score (MWDS) How to apply sustainability principles in regional planning 1.85 Environmental issues 1.84 Agricultural and natural resource issues 1.82 How to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning 1.58 Assessing the significance of various environmental issues 1.26 Sustainability principles 1.16 How to acquire new information about regional p lanning 0.89

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69 Objective Two: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. An analysis of variance (ANOVA ) was utilized to determine if significant relationships existed in mean regional planning factors and demographics of the respondents. After analyses were conducted, significant relationships were found between select regional planning factors and respond ents planning background obtained through on the job experience, formal and non formal education; agricultural or natural resource background from classes in high school or owning a farm or agricultural property; and, the percentage a region is considered urban and rural. Partial eta squared was used to show effect sizes for planning background and the percentage a region is considered urban and rural. Statistically significant relationships existed between the knowledge level of environmental issues and th e percentage of planning background a regional planning official obtained through on the job experience ( F =2.146, p =<.05). These scores are presented in Table 4 9. The partial eta squared was .45, indicating a large effect size, showing that planning backg round obtained from on the job experience accounted for 45% of the variance in the knowledge level of environmental issues. Table 4 9. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Environmental Issues and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: On the job Experience Between Within 15 40 2.146 .028 Significant relationships also existed between the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues and the percentage a region is considere d urban ( F =2.176, p =<.05), the percentage a region is considered rural ( F =2.553, p =<.05); having an

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70 agricultural and natural resource background from owning a farm or agricultural property ( F =5.982, p =<.05); and having agricultural or natural resource back ground from taking classes in high school ( F =10.037, p =<.05). These scores are presented in Table 4 10. By percentage the region was urban, the partial eta squared was .48, indicating a large effect size, showing that the percentage a region was urban acco unted for 48% of the variance in the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues. By, percentage the region was rural; the partial eta squared was 0.53, indicating a large effect size, showing that the percentage a region was rural accounte d for 53% of the variance in the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues. Table 4 10. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues and Demographics Demograp hic df F Sig. Percentage Urban Percentage Rural AG/NR Background: Classes in High school AG/NR Background: Own farm or agricultural property Between Within Between Within Between Within Between Within 16 38 16 37 1 53 1 53 2.176 2.553 10.037 5.98 2 .025 .009 .003 .018 Another statistically significant relationship was found between regional planning and the percentage of planning background obtained throu gh non formal education ( F =2.181, p =<.05) as well as the having agricultural or natural resource background from taking classes in high school ( F =10.399, p =<.05). (Table 4 11). The partial eta squared for planning background obtained through non formal edu cation was 0.38, indicating a medium effect size, showing that planning background obtained from non

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71 formal education accounted for 38% of the variance in the knowledge level of assessing the significance of various environmental issues. Table 4 11. One W ay Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Assessing the Significance of Various Environmental Issues and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: Non formal education AG/NR Background: Classes in High school Between Within Between Within 12 42 1 53 2.181 10.399 .031 .002 Moreover, Table 4 12 highlights the relationship in the relevance level to the role on a regional planning council of assessing the significance of various environmental issues (in cluding agricultural and natural resource issues) compared to the percentage of planning background obtained through formal education ( F =2.181, p =<.05). Additionally, the partial eta squared for planning background obtained through formal education was 0.4 0, indicating a large effect size, showing that planning background obtained from formal education accounted for 40% of the variance in the relevance level of assessing the significance of various environmental issues. Table 4 12: One Way Analysis of Vari ance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of Assessing the Significance of Various Environmental Issues and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: Between 11 2.518 .016 Formal Education Within 42 Table 4 13 highlights t he significant relationship between the knowledge level of sustainability principles and having an agricultural or natural resource background from taking classes in high school ( F =6.520, p =<.05). Furthermore, Table 4 14 highlights the significant relation ship between the knowledge level of how to apply sustainability

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72 principles in regional planning and having an agricultural or natural resource background from taking classes in high school ( F =8.711, p =<.05). Table 4 13. One Way Analysis of Variance Signif icant Relationships between Knowledge Level of Sustainability Principles and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. AG/NR Background: Classes in High school Between Within 1 53 6.520 .014 Table 4 14. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationsh ips between Knowledge Level of How to Apply Sustainability Principles in Regional Planning and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. AG/NR Background: Classes in High school Between Within 1 53 8.711 .005 Another significant relationship existed betw een the knowledge level of how to percentage of planning background obtained through formal education ( F =2.575, p =<.05). (Table 4 15). The partial eta squared for planning b ackground obtained through formal education was 0.40, indicating a large effect size, showing that planning background obtained from formal education accounted for 40% of the variance in the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about regional planning. Additionally, Table 4 16 displays the significant relationship in the relevance level to the role on a regional planning council of how to acquire new information about regional planning compared to the percentage of planning background obtained through on the job experience ( F =2.126, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for planning background obtained through on the job experience was 0.45, indicating a large effect size, showing that planning background obtained from on the job experience accounted for 45% of the variance in the relevance level of how to acquire new info rmation about regional planning.

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73 Table 4 15. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of How to Acquire New Information about Regional Planning and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: Formal Education Between Within 11 32 2.575 .014 Table 4 16. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of How to Acquire New Information about Regiona l Planning and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: On the Job Experience Between Within 15 39 2.126 .030 In Table 4 17, ANOVAs revealed statistically significant relationships between the knowledge level of how to acquire new i nformation about incorporating sustainability into regional planning and the percentage the region is considered urban ( F =2.758, p =<.05), percentage the region is considered rural ( F =2.529, p =<.05), and the percentage of planning background obtained throug h formal education ( F =2.032, p =<.05). By percentage the region was urban, the partial eta squared was 0.54, indicating a large effect size, and showing that the percentage a region was urban accounted for 54% of the variance in the knowledge level of how t o acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. By percentage the region was rural, the partial eta squared was 0.52, indicating a large effect size, and showing that the percentage a region was rural accounted for 52% of the variance in the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. The partial eta squared for planning background obtained through formal education was 0.34, indicating a medium effect size, showing that planning background obtained from formal education accounted for 34% of the variance

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74 in the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. Finally, Table 4 18 highlights the relati onship in the relevance level to the role on a regional planning council of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning compared to the percentage of planning background obtained through on the job experience ( F =2.151, p =<.05). The partial eta squared was also calculated for the planning background obtained through on the job experience and was 0.44. This indicated a large effect size and showed that 44% of the variance in the relevance level of how to acquire ne w information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning was from planning background obtained through on the job experience. Table 4 17. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Knowledge Level of How to Acquire New In formation about Incorporating Sustainability into Regional Planning and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Percentage Urban Percentage Rural AG/NR Background: Classes in High school Planning Background: Formal Education Between Within Between Withi n Between Within Between Within 38 54 16 37 1 53 11 43 2.758 2.529 6.404 2.032 .005 .010 .014 .049 Table 4 18. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Relevance Level of How to Acquire New Information about Incorporating Sus tainability into Regional Planning and Demographics Demographic df F Sig. Planning Background: On the job experience Between Within 14 38 2.151 .031

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75 tasks associated w ith sustainable planning. with sustainable planning, several behavioral questions utilizing likert five point scales were used. Scales included level or agreement or disagreem ent, level of likelihood, confidence level, level feeling clearheaded, and level feeling overwhelmed. The frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations of these statements are included in the tables below. In Table 4 19 respondents ( n =58) indicat ed between neither agreeing nor ( M =3.62, SD =.75). Table 4 19. Regional Planning Official Levels (n =58 ) Likert Rank Response M SD Other planning officials in my region seem to have adequate knowledge of sustainability principles in regional planning 1 1 (1.7) 2 3 (5.2) 3 16 (27.6) 4 35 (60.3) 5 3 (5.2) 3.62 .75 Note: 1=Strongly disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neither agree nor disagree, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly agree. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages. When asked about making decisions as a regional planning official, r espondents ( n ( M =3.76, SD M =3.64, SD =1.05). The results are shown in Table 4 20.

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76 Table 4 20. Regional Planning Official Level of Agreement with Decision Statements ( n =59) Decision statement Likert Rank Response M SD My decisions as a regi onal planning official can improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida 1 2 (3.4) 2 4 (6.9) 3 19 (32.8) 4 14 (24.1) 5 19 (32.8) 3.76 1.10 My decisions as a regional planning official can make a difference in the future of F lorida. 1 (1.7) 8 (13.6) 16 (27.1) 20 (33.9) 14 (23.7) 3.64 1.05 Note: 1=Definitely not, 2=Probably not, 3=Maybe, 4=Probably yes, 5=Definitely yes. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages within each decision statement Reg ional planning officials were asked to report whether their decisions as a regional planning official had the opportunity to make a difference (Table 4 21). Respondents ( n =58) indicated between maybe and probably that their decisions have the opportunity t o make a difference in their city or municipality ( M =3.76, SD =1.10). Respondents felt their decisions probably have the opportunity to make a difference in their region ( M =3.95, SD =.93) and maybe in Florida ( M =2.93, SD =1.02). Table 4 21. Level of Agreemen t that Decisions as a Regional Planning Official Have the Opportunity to Make a Difference in Selected Capacities (n=58) Likert Rank Response M SD My city or municipality My region Florida 1 2 (3.4) 0 (0.0) 4 (6.9) 2 4 (6.9) 5 (8.6) 16 (27.6) 3 19 (3 2.8) 11 (19.0) 22 (37.9) 4 14 (24.1) 24 (41.4) 12 (20.7) 5 19 (32.8) 18 (31.0) 4 (6.9) 3.76 3.95 2.93 1.10 0.93 1.02 Note: 1=Definitely not, 2=Probably not, 3=Maybe, 4=Probably yes, 5=Definitely yes. Note: Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages within each variable.

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77 Generally, respondents ( n =53) feel more likely that they have the power to make a difference ( M =3.79, SD =.91). Respondents ( n =55) feel between slightly and somewhat overwhelmed when thinking about environ mental pressures ( M =2.51, SD =1.22). These results are shown in Table 4 22 and 4 23. Table 4 22. Regional Planning Officials Perception of Power (n =53 ) Likert Rank Response M SD Generally, I feel I have the power to make a difference 1 1 (1.9) 2 3 (5.7 ) 3 13 (24.5) 4 25 (47.2) 5 11 (20.8) 3.79 .91 Note: 1=No, not at all, 5=Yes, very much. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages. Table 4 23. Regional Planning Officials Degree Feeling Overwhelmed (n =55 ) Likert Rank Re sponse M SD When thinking about environmental pressures 1 16 (29.1) 2 10 (18.2) 3 16 (29.1) 4 11 (20.0) 5 2 (3.6) 2.51 1.22 Note: 1=Not overwhelmed, 2=Slightly overwhelmed, 3=Somewhat overwhelmed, 4=Moderately overwhelmed, 5=Extremely overwhelmed. Bo lded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages. Respondents were asked to describe sustainability based on a five point likert scale for five dichotomous constructs. Constructs included the level to which sustainability is: confusing or clear, easy or difficult to enforce, useful or useless, simple or complex, and impractical or practical. Regional planning officials ( n =58) reported sustainability is more clear than confusing ( M =3.64, SD =0.89), more difficult than easy to enforce ( M =3 .97, SD =0.90), more useful than useless ( M =1.66, SD =0.97), more complex than simple ( M =3.98, SD =0.83), and more practical than impractical ( M =4.12, SD =0.77). The constructs that received the highest and lowest mean score indicated strong tendencies to supp M =4.12, SD M =1.66, SD =0.97). Table 4 24 exhibits the

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78 constructs, frequencies, means, and standard deviations describing regional planning tainability. Table 4 24. Frequencies and Percentages of Constructs Describing Regional Planning (n=58) Likert Rank Response M SD Confusing : Clear Easy to enforce : Difficult to enforce Usefu l : Useless 1 1 (1.7) 1 (1.7) 35 (60.3) 2 4 (6.9) 1 (1.7) 12 (20.7) 3 19 (32.8) 15 (25.9) 8 (13.8) 4 25 (43.1) 23 (39.7) 2 (3.4) 5 9 (15.5) 18 (31.0) 1 (1.7) 3.64 3.97 1.66 .89 .90 .97 Simple : Complex 0 (0.0) 2 (3.4) 14 (24.1) 25 (43.1) 17 (29.3 ) 3.98 .83 Impractical : Practical 0 (0.0) 1 (1.7) 11 (19.0) 26 (44.8) 20 (34.5) 4.12 .77 Note: Likert Rank of 1 represents of the left construct and a Likert rank of 5 represents the right construct (i.e. 1=Confusing, 5=Clear). Bolded coefficients repr esent the highest frequencies and percentages. Respondents were asked to indicate on a five point likert scale the degree they felt clear headed when in various situations. Being clear headed refers to feeling aware, alert, astute and/or lucid. The scale level feeling clear headed acr oss the six situations are presented in Table 4 25. The majority of respondents reported feeling between moderately to extremely clear headed across all six situations: when addressing individual planning tasks ( M =4.26, SD =0.84), thinking about sustainabil ity ( M =3.98, SD =0.74), working with other regional planners ( M =3.90, SD =1.00), addressing regional planning issues ( M =4.07, SD =0.94), addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources

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79 ( M =3.96, SD =0.93), and applying sustainab ility principles to regional planning efforts ( M =3.84, SD =1.01). Table 4 25. Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations (n=57) Situation Likert Rank Response M SD Addressing individual planning tasks Thinking about sustainability Working with other regional planners 1 1 (1.8) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.7) 2 1 (1.8) 2 (3.5) 5 (8.6) 3 5 (8.8) 10 (17.5) 11 (19.0) 4 25 (43.9) 32 (56.1) 23 (39.7) 5 25 (43.9) 13 (22.8) 18 (31.0) 4.26 3.98 3.90 .84 .74 1.00 Addressing regional planning issues 0 (0.0) 5 (8 .8) 8 (14.0) 22 (38.6) 22 (38.6) 4.07 .94 Addressing regional planning issues related to ag/nr Applying sustainability principles to regional planning efforts 0 (0.0) 4 (7.0) 13 (22.8) 21 (36.8) 19 (33.3) 3.96 .93 1 (1.8) 4 (7.0) 16 (28.1) 18 (31.6) 18 (31.6) 3.84 1.01 Note: 1=Not clear headed, 2=Slightly clear headed, 3=Somewhat clear headed, 4=Moderately clear headed, 5=Extremely clear headed. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages for each situation. Regional plannin statements, on a five highest score (5). The confidence level frequencies, means, and standard deviations of the seven situational statements are presented in Table 4 26. Respondents reported feeling between moderately and extremely confident in his/her ability to solve comple x problems ( M =4.37, SD =0.67) and in his/her ability to address the concerns of the region ( M =4.19, SD =0.85). Respondents also indicated being moderately confident in his/her ability to address the environmental concerns of the region ( M =3.98, SD =.83).

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80 Note: 1=Not confident, 2=Slightly confident, 3=Somewhat c onfident, 4=Moderately confident, 5=Extremely confident. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages for each statement Ta ble 4 26. Confidence Level of Regional Planning Officials (n=57) Situational Statement Likert Rank Response M SD My ability to solve complex problems My ability to address concerns in my region My ability to address the environmental concerns of my re gion 1 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 2 1 (1.8) 2 (3.5) 2 (3.5) 3 3 (5.3) 10 (17.5) 14 (24.6) 4 27 (47.4) 20 (35.1) 24 (42.1) 5 26 (45.6) 25 (43.9) 17 (29.8) 4.37 4.19 3.98 .67 .85 .83 My power to make a difference through my planning decisions 3 (5.3) 5 (8.8) 7 (12.3) 28 (49.1) 14 (24.6) 3.79 1.08 My current knowledge of sustainability principles 0 (0.0) 3 (5.3) 16 (28.1) 27 (47.4) 11 (19.3) 3.81 .81 My current knowledge of how to apply sustainability principles in planning decisions 0 (0.0) 3 (5.3) 2 2 (38.6) 20 (35.1) 12 (21.1) 3.72 .86 My regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of my region 1 (1.8) 5 (8.8) 12 (21.1) 21 (36.8) 18 (31.6) 3.88 1.02

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81 Objective Four: To determine differences which exist in regional planning officials motivation to complete ta sks associated with sustainable planning. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was utilized to determine if statistically complete tasks associate with sustainable planning and demographics of the respondents. There were no significant relationships discovered between the mean level of agreement with the statement have adequate knowledge of sustainability principles in regional plan the demographic variables. Statistically significant relationships existed between the mean level of agreement agricultural and natural resource conditi being elected or appointed ( F =7.286, p =<.05) as well as an elected official being a city or county representative ( F =6.265, p =<.05). Also, there was a statistically significant relationship between the level o F =5.393, p =<.05) as well as an elected official being a city or county representative ( F =2.382, p =>.05). These scores are presented in Table 4 27. Table 4 27. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Agreement with Decision Statements and Position Type Decisi on Statement Elected or Appointed City or County df F Sig. df F Sig My decisions as a regional planning official can improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida Between Within 1 53 7.286 .009 1 28 6.265 .018

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82 Table 4 27.Continu ed Decision Statement Elected or Appointed City or County df F Sig. df F Sig My decisions as a regional planning official can make a difference in the future of Florida. Between Within 1 53 5.393 .024* 1 28 2.382 .134 Note: *Relationship is significa nt at the p<.05 levels Table 4 28 highlights the significant relationships between the level of agreement that decisions as a regional planning official have the opportunity to make a difference in selected capacities and planning background obtained thro ugh non formal education as well as being an elected or appointed representative. A significant relationship was found between the level of agreement that decisions as a regional planning official have the opportunity to make difference in their region and the percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education ( F =2.784, p =<..05). The partial eta squared for planning background obtained through non formal education was 0.44, indicating a large effect size, showing that planning backgroun d obtained from non formal education accounted for 44% of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feel their decisions have the opportunity to make a difference in their region. Also, there was a relationship between the level of agreement t hat decisions as a regional planning official have the opportunity to make a difference in Florida and the percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education ( F =2.366, p =<.05) as well as being an elected or appointed representative ( F = 11.2 41, p =<.05). The partial eta squared was 0.40, indicating a large effect size, and showing that the percentage of planning background obtained from non formal education accounted for 40% of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feel t heir decisions have the opportunity to make a difference in Florida.

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83 Table 4 28. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Agreement that Decisions as a Regional Planning Official Have the Opportuni ty to Make a Difference in Selected Capacities and Demographics Planning Background: Non Formal Education Elected or Appointed df F Sig. df F Sig My city or municipality Between Within 12 42 1.502 .162 1 52 .012 .913 My region Between Within 12 42 2.784 .007* 1 52 3.995 .051 Florida Between Within 12 42 2.366 .020* 1 52 11.241 .001* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Analysis of Variance also determined a significant relationship between level of agreement with the statement and regional planning council (RPC) ( F =2.779, p =<.05). (Table 4 29). Another significant relationship existed between regional planning officials degree feeling overwhelmed when thinking about envir onmental pressures (Table 4 30) and having an agriculture or natural resource background from involvement in FFA or a related organization ( F =6.832, p =<.05) as well as being an elected or appointed representative ( F =4.648, p =<.05). Table 4 29. One Way Ana lysis of Variance Significant Relationships between df F Sig. Generally, I feel I have the power to make a difference Between Within 10 42 2.779 .010* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 30. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Degree Feeling Overwhelmed and Demographics AG/NR Background: FFA or related organization Elected or Appointed df F Sig. df F Sig W hen thinking about environmental pressures Between Within 1 52 6.832 .012* 1 51 4.648 .036*

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84 Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Significant relationships were found between the perception of sustainability being able 4 31) and regional planning council ( F =2.386, p =<.05), as well as number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC ( F =2.317, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for years serving as a political representative for their current RPC was 0.56, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC accounted for 56% of the variance in the level sustainability was perceived as confusing or clear. Another significa nt relationship was found between the perception of sustainability 32) and the percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education ( F =2.009, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for planning bac kground obtained through non formal education was 0.36, indicating a medium effect size, showing that planning background obtained from non formal education accounted for 36% of the variance in the level sustainability was perceived as easy or difficult to enforce. A statistically significant relationship existed between the perception of 33) and gender ( F =5.220, p =<.05). Another statistically significant relationship was found between the perception of sus 34) and the number of years as a political representative for any Florida RPC (F=2.462, p=<.05). Additionally, the partial eta squared for years serving as a political representative for any Florida RPC was 0. 71, indicating a large effect size, showing that years serving as a political representative for

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85 any Florida RPC accounted for 71% of the variance in the level sustainability was perceived as simple or complex. Table 4 31. One Way Analysis of Variance Sig nificant Relationships between Regional RPC Years Serving as Political Representative: Current RPC df F Sig. df F Sig Confusing : Clear Between Within 10 47 2.386 .022* 19 35 2.317 .015* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 32. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Background: Non Formal Educa tion df F Sig. Easy to enforce : Difficult to enforce Between Within 12 43 2.009 .047* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 33. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Pla df F Sig. Useful : Useless Between Within 1 50 5.220 .027* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 34. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relat ionships between a Political Representative for Any Florida RPC df F Sig. Simple : Complex Between Within 15 15 2.462 .046* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Tables 4 35, 4 36, and 4 37 highlights the significant relationships between headed in various situations and select demographic variables. Significant relationships existed between the level of feel ing clear headed when addressing individual planning tasks and having an agricultural or natural resource background from classes in college ( F =9.371, p =<.05), and from involvement

PAGE 86

86 with FFA or related organization ( F =5.969, p =<.05), as well as regional pla nning council ( F =2.386, p =<.05), percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education ( F =2.174, p =<.05), and number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC ( F =2.615, p =<.05). By planning background obtained t hrough non formal education, the partial eta squared was 0.38, indicating a medium effect size, showing that planning background obtained through non formal education accounted for 38% of the variance in the level feeling clear headed when addressing indiv idual planning tasks. By years serving as a political representative for their current RPC, the partial eta squared was 0.59, indicating a large effect size, showing that years serving as a political representative for their current RPC accounted for 59% o f the variance in the level feeling clear headed when addressing individual planning tasks. Another statistically significant relationship existed between level feeling clear headed when thinking about sustainability and having an agriculture or natural re source background from classes in high school ( F =4.228, p =<.05) classes in college ( F =12.818, p =<.05), and involvement with FFA or another related organization ( F =4.487, p =<.05). A relationship was found between the level feeling clear headed when workin g with other regional planners and having an agriculture or natural resource background from classes in college ( F =5.493, p =<.05). There were no statistically significant relationships discovered between the level feeling clear headed when addressing regio nal planning issues and any of the demographic variables. Two significant relationships were discovered between the level feeling clear headed when addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources and having an agriculture o r natural resource background from owning a farm or agricultural

PAGE 87

87 property ( F =6.550, p =<.05) as well as the number of years worked in planning ( F =2.656, p =<.05). Additionally, the partial eta squared for the number of years working in planning was 0.64, ind icating a large effect size, showing that the number of years worked in planning accounted for 64% of the variance in the level feeling clear headed when addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources. Finally, a relation ship was found between the level feeling clear headed when applying sustainability principles to regional planning efforts and having an agricultural or natural resource background from taking classes in college ( F =5.098, p =<.05).

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88 Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 35. One Way Anal ysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations and Type of Agricultural or Natural Resource Background Statement Classes in High school Classes in College FFA or Related Organization Own Farm or Agricultural Property df F Sig. df F Sig. df F Sig. df F Sig Addressing individual planning tasks Between Within 1 54 1.242 .270 1 54 9.371 .003* 1 54 5.969 .018* 1 54 .605 .440 Thinking about sustainability Between Within 1 54 4.228 .045* 1 54 12.818 .001* 1 54 4.487 .039* 1 54 1.559 .217 Working with other regional planners Between Within 1 54 1.347 .251 1 54 5.493 .023* 1 54 .651 .423 1 54 .632 .430 Addressing regional planning issues Between Within 1 54 1.464 .232 1 54 2 .858 .097 1 54 .343 .560 1 54 3.202 .079 Addressing regional planning issues related to ag/nr Between Within 1 54 2.270 .138 1 54 .427 .516 1 54 1.329 .254 1 54 6.550 .013* Applying sustainability principles to regional planning efforts Between Within 1 54 .893 .349 1 54 5.098 .028* 1 54 1.213 .276 1 54 .014 .907

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89 Table 4 36. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in V arious Situations and Demographics Statement RPC Planning Background: Non Formal Education Years Serving as Political Representative: Current RPC df F Sig. df F Sig. df F Sig Addressing individual planning tasks Between Within 10 46 2.386 .006* 12 4 3 2.174 .031* 19 35 2.615 .007* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 37. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Feeling Clear headed in Various Situations and Years in Worked Planning Statement df F Sig. Addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources Between Within 19 29 2.656 .009* Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Regarding the confidence level of respondents ANOVAs showed significant relationships between situational statements and demographics in Tables 4 38, 4 37, 4 40, and 4 level of confidence in their ability to solve complex p roblems and having agricultural and natural resource background from involvement with FFA or related organization ( F =5.042, p =<.05). (Table 4 38). confidence in their ability to a ddress the concerns of their region and having an agricultural and natural resource background from involvement with FFA or related organization ( F =4.237, p =<.05), as well as the number of years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career ( F =2.143, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career was 0.69, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years served as a political

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90 representative throughout the ir entire career accounted for 69% of the variance in the confidence level in their ability to address the concerns of their region. Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels evel of confidence in their current knowledge of sustainability principles and having an agricultural and natural resource background from classes in high school ( F =5.260, p =<.05) and involvement with FFA or related organization ( F =6.115, p =<.05), as well as the number of years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career ( F =2.850, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for the years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career was 0.75, indicating a large effect si ze, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career accounted for 75% of the variance in the confidence level in their current knowledge of sustainability principles. confidence in their ability to address the environmental concerns of their region and the number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC ( F =1.923, p =<.05) as well as throughout their entire career ( F =2.795, p =<.05). By years serving as Table 4 38. One Way Analysis of Var iance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Type of Agricultural and Natural Resource Background Situational Statement Classes in High school FFA or Related Organization df F Sig. df F Sig My ability to solve complex problems Between Within 1 54 3.611 .063 1 54 5.042 .029* My ability to address concerns in my region Between Within 1 54 3.449 .069 1 54 4.273 .044* My current knowledge of sustainability principles Between Within 1 54 5.260 .026* 1 54 6 .115 .017*

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91 a political representative throughout their entire career, the partial eta squared was 0.75, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative throughout their entire career accounted for 75% of the variance in the confidence level in their ability to address the environmental concerns of their region. By years serving as a political representative for their current RPC, the partial eta squared was 0.51, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC accounted for 51% of the variance in the confidence level in their ability to addre ss the environmental concerns of their region. their power to make a difference through their planning decisions and the number of years serving as a political representat ive for their current RPC ( F =2.030, p =<.05), percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education ( F =2.090, p =<.05), and being an elected or appointed representative ( F =7.296, p =<.05). The partial eta squared for years serving as a polit ical representative for their current RPC was 0.52, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC accounted for 52% of the variance in the confidence level in their power to mak e a difference through their planning decisions. Additionally the partial eta squared for planning background obtained through non formal education was 0.37, indicating a medium effect size, showing that the percentage of planning background obtained throu gh non formal education accounted for 37% of the variance in the confidence level in their power to make a difference through their planning decisions.

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92 Finally, when analyzing respondents level of confidence that their regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of their region, significant relationships were found when compared to number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC ( F =2.394, p =<.05), percentage of planning background obtaine d through non formal education ( F =2.345, p =<.05), being an elected or appointed representative ( F =8.004, p =<.05), RPC ( F =2.347, p =<.05) and education ( F =3.415, p =<.05). By years serving as a political representative for their current RPC, the partial eta s quared was 0.57, indicating a large effect size, showing that the number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC accounted for 57% of the variance in the confidence level that regional planning decisions have the ability to imp rove the environmental conditions of their region. By, planning background obtained through non formal education, the partial eta squared was 0.40, indicating a large effect size, showing that the percentage of planning background obtained through non form al education accounted for 40% of the variance in the confidence level that regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of their region.

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93 Note: *Relationsh ip is significant at the p=<.05 levels Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Table 4 39. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Reg ional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Years Serving as Political Representative Situational Statement Throughout Entire Career Current RPC df F Sig. df F Sig My ability to address concerns in my region Between Within 21 20 2.143 .047* 19 35 1.680 .090 My ability to address the environmental concerns of my region Between Within 21 20 2.795 .013* 19 35 1.923 .046* My power to make a difference through my planning decisions Between Within 21 20 1.494 .187 19 35 2.030 .034* My current know ledge of sustainability principles Between Within 21 20 2.850 .011* 19 35 1.470 .158 My regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of my region Between Within 21 20 1.562 .162 19 35 2.394 .012* Table 4 40. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Demographics Situational Statement Planning Background: Non Formal Education Elected or Appointed df F Sig. df F Sig My power to make a difference through my planning decisions Between Within 12 43 2.090 .039* 1 53 7.296 .009 My regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of my region Between Wit hin 12 43 2.345 .020* 1 53 8.004 .007*

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94 Note: *Relationship is significant at the p<.05 levels Objecti ve Five: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning This study measured 24 factors believed be potential barriers to incorporating sustainability into regional planning. These factors were based on i nput from experts in the field and the literature. Respondents indicated on a five point likert scale the degree highest score (5). Funding was the factor that received the highest mean score indicating a strong tendency to be a barrier ( M =4.04, SD =1.20). The factor receiving the lowest mean score indicating weaker tendency to be a M =1.57, SD =0.85). The knowledge level frequencies, means, and standard deviations of the 24 potential barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning are presented in Table 4 42. Table 4 41. One Way Analysis of Variance Significant Relationships between Regional Planning Officials Level of Confidence and Demographics Situational Stateme nt RPC Education df F Sig. df F Sig My regional planning decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of my region Between Within 10 46 2.347 .025* 4 51 3.415 .015*

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95 Note: 1=Not a barrier 2=Slightly a barrier, 3=Not sure, 4=Moderately a barrier, 5=An ex treme barrier. Bolded coefficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages within each barrier. Table 4 42. Percentages and Frequencies of Barriers to Incorporating Sustainability Principles into Regional Planning Barrier Likert Rank Response N M SD 1 2 3 4 5 Funding 3 (5.3) 6 (10.5) 3 (5.3) 19 (33.3) 26 (45.6) 57 4.04 1.20 Time 5 (8.9) 10 (17.9) 11 (19.6) 23 (41.1) 7 (12.5) 56 3.30 1.17 Community support 7 (12.5) 15 (26.8) 11 (19.6) 19 (33.9) 4 (7.1) 56 2.96 1.19 Resources 3 (5.3) 12 (21.1) 11 (19.3) 22 (38.6) 9 (15.8) 57 3.39 1.15 Complexity of environmental issues 2 (3.5) 12 (21.1) 7 (12.3) 24 (42.1) 12 (21.1) 57 3.56 1.15 Complexity of sustainability 4 (7.0) 10 (17.5) 7 (12.3) 25 (43.9) 11 (19.3) 57 3.51 1.20 Resources available 6 (10.5) 9 (26.3) 11 (19.3) 19 (33.3) 12 (21.1) 57 3.39 1.28 Availability of incentives 5 (8. 8) 8 (14.0) 15 (26.3) 17 (29.8) 12 (21.1) 57 3.40 1.23 Lack of coordination between planning regions 8 (14.0) 13 (22.8) 17 (29.8) 12 (21.1) 7 (12.3) 57 2.95 1.23 Lack of a clear statewide plan or vision for regional planning Lack of partnerships 7 (12 .3) 9 (15.8) 9 (15.8) 11 (19.3) 11 (19.3) 18 (31.6) 10 (17.5) 9 (15.8) 20 (35.1) 10 (17.5) 57 57 3.47 3.00 1.43 1.31 Planning officials in your RPC 29 (50.9) 11 (19.3) 10 (17.5) 5 (8.8) 2 (3.5) 57 3.00 1.31 14 (24.6 ) 7 (12.3) 32 (56.1) 2 (3.5) 2 (3.5) 57 2.49 1.02 Non planning legislators in your county or municipality 9 (15.8) 9 (15.8) 10 (17.5) 19 (33.3) 10 (17.5) 57 3.21 1.35

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96 Note: 1=Not a barrier 2=Slightly a barrier, 3=Not sure, 4=Moderately a barrier, 5=An extreme barrier. Bolded coe fficients represent the highest frequencies and percentages within each barrier. Table 4 42. Continued. Barrier Likert Rank Response n M SD 1 2 3 4 5 Non planning legislators in other counties or municipality 4 (7.0) 9 (1 5.8) 17 (29.8) 16 (28.1) 11 (19.3) 57 3.37 1.18 State level legislators 0 (0.0) 8 (14.0) 8 (14.0) 19 (33.3) 22 (38.6) 57 3.96 1.05 Your level of knowledge of the issues 21 (36.8) 23 (40.4) 6 (10.5) 7 (12.3) 0 (0.0) 57 1.98 .99 Your level of knowledge o f sustainability principles 22 (39.3) 22 (39.3) 5 (8.9) 7 (12.5) 0 (0.0) 56 1.95 1.00 Your level of comfort with your abilities 34 (60.7) 15 (26.8) 4 (7.1) 3 (5.4) 0 (0.0) 56 1.57 .85 Your level of comfort with the issues 31 (55.4) 16 (28.6) 5 (8.9) 4 (7.1) 0 (0.0) 56 1.68 .92 The clarity of information available 18 (32.1) 20 (35.7) 8 (14.3) 9 (16.1) 1 (1.8) 56 2.20 1.12 The diversity of needs to be met 12 (21.8) 10 918.2) 8 (14.5) 19 (34.5) 6 (10.9) 55 2.95 1.37 The number of needs to be met 10 (17 .9) 8 (14.3) 7 (12.5) 22 (39.3) 9 (16.1) 56 3.21 1.38 Level of public involvement 8 (14.3) 11 (19.6) 8 (14.3) 21 (37.5) 8 (14.3) 56 3.18 1.31

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97 Summary This chapter presented the findings of the study. The findings were organized and Objective 1: To descri be and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. Objective 2: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. associated with sustainable planning. Objective 4: To determine differences which exist in motivation to complete tasks associated with sustainable planning when examining specific demographic variables. Objective 5: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. Chapter 5 will summarize the study and discuss the conclusions, implications and recommendations of this study.

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98 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND REC OM M ENDATIONS This chapter summarizes the study and presents a discussion of the findings, conclusions, implication s and recommendations from this research study. The problem that was addressed by this study was the challenge of incorporating sustainability principles across multiple stakeholders and a lack of understanding about the variables, which motivate and influ ence regional planning officials in Florida to incorporate sustainability principles in planning. A review of literature showed an absence of research in these areas. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions, knowl edge, and motivations of Florida Regional Planning officials about key agriculture and natural resource issues, and the factors influencing the incorporation of sustainability principles in regional planning. The objectives for this study are as follows: O bjective 1: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. Objective 2: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials h ave about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. associated with sustainable planning. Objective 4: To determine differ motivation to complete tasks associated with sustainable planning when examining specific demographic variables. Objective 5: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles int o regional planning.

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99 Methodology The population for this study was all appointed and elected officials currently serving on Florida Regional Planning Councils. A convenience sample was taken of 247 regional planning officials with direct email addresses ma de available on their respective regional planning council website or their local area government websites. Of the convenience sample, 8 declined to participate, leaving a usable sample of 239 regional planning officials. At the conclusion of the study, th ere were 100 respondents which yielded a 41.8% response rate. Summary of Findings Objective One: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. The first objectiv relevance to their role on a regional planning council of seven factors related to regional planning. The seven regional planning factors measured were environmental issues, agricultural and natu ral resource issues, assessing the significance of various environmental issues (including agricultural and natural resource issues), sustainability principles, how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning, how to acquire new information abo ut regional planning, and how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. Respondents indicated their knowledge level and relevance level on two five point likert scales as described in Chapter 4. Finally, Mean wei ghted discrepancy scores (MWDS) were used to compare Planning Council of the seven factors related to regional planning

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100 Of the seven regional planning factors, the fact or that received the highest mean M =3.95, SD information about incorporating sustainability into regional weaker knowledge level of all the planning factors ( M =3.60, SD =.961). The two regional various environmental issues (including agricultural an n =29) being moderately knowledgeable. Additionally, respondents indicated the relevance level the seven regional planning factors were to their role on a regional planning council. Of all the factors, ( M =4.40, SD =.821). The factor that received the lowest mean score wa ( M =4.07, SD =.920). All seven regional planning factors had mean scores that were 4 or above, indicating the factors were between moderately to very important to their role on a regional planning council. The factor that received the highest frequency was n =31) of the respondents indicating that environmental issues are very important to their role on a regional planning council. Mean weighted discrepancy scores were calculated in order to compare the regional planning council. The factor with the greatest difference in mean knowledge and relevance wa

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101 1.82) relatively large mean weighted discrepancy scores as well. The fact or that received the smallest difference in mean knowledge and relevance 0.89). Objective Two: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials hav e about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. The second objective utilized ANOVAs to identify the statistically significant ven regional planning factors and demographic variables. As identified in Chapter 4, demographic variables that revealed significant relationships included: planning background obtained through on the job experience, formal and non formal education; agricu ltural or natural resource background from classes in high school or owning a farm or agricultural property; and, the percentage a region is considered urban and rural. In addition to ANOVAs, partial eta squared was used to show effect sizes for planning b ackground and the percentage a region is considered urban and rural. The percentage of planning background obtained through on the job experience, indicated the largest effect sizes for knowledge of environmental issues, relevance of how to acquire new inf ormation about regional planning and the relevance of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability in regional planning, with partial eta squared scores from 0.44 0.45. The percentage of planning background obtained from formal educati on indicated medium to large effect sizes for relevance level of assessing the significance of various environmental issues, knowledge level of how to acquire new information about regional planning, knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning, with

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102 partial eta squared scores from 0.34 0.40. The percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education indicated a medium effect size of 0.38 for the knowledge level of assessing the significance of various environmental issues. In terms of whether a respondent had agricultural or natural resource background, significant relationships were found between whether or not a respondent took agricultural or natural resource classes in high school and knowledge level of five regional planning factors. Respondents who had taken classes in high school ( n =20) had a slightly lower knowledge level in all five significant regional planning factors including: agricultural and natural resource issue s ( M =3.40, SD =.88), assessing the significance of various environmental issues ( M =3.35; SD =.93), sustainability principles ( M =3.55; SD =.83), how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning ( M =3.25, SD =.786), and how to acquire new information a bout incorporating sustainability into regional planning ( M =3.20, SD =.95), than those respondents who had not taken classes in high school ( M =4.14, SD =.81; M =4.06, SD =3.35; M =4.09; SD =3.55; M =3.89, SD =.76; M =3.86, SD =.91). However, respondents who owned a farm or agricultural property had a greater mean knowledge level ( M =4.25; SD = .72) of agricultural and natural resource issues than respondents that did not own a farm or other property ( M =3.66, SD =.94). The percentage a region was considered urban and rur al indicated large effect sizes for both the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues and the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning, with partial eta squared scores fr om 0.48 0.54. The percentage a region was considered urban had a larger effect size in the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning than

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103 the percentage rural. While the percentage a region was considered rural had a larger effect size in the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues than the percentage urban. tasks associated with sustainable planning. The third objective sought to determine the motivating factors affecting the likelihood a regional planning official would complete tasks associated with sustainability. Data was collected from several behavioral questions that utilized likert f ive point scales. Scales included level of agreement or disagreement, level of likelihood, confidence level, level feeling clearheaded, and level feeling overwhelmed. Respondents were asked to describe their perceptions of other regional planning officials n =35) agreed that other planning officials within their region seemed to have adequate knowledge of sustainability principles in regional planning. Also, respondents felt that their decisions as a regional planning official probably ( M = 3.95, SD =.926) have the opportunity to make a difference in their region, receiving the highest mean score of three factors. The factor receiving the lowest mean score M =2.93, SD =1.024), indicating a lesser tendency for respondents to feel t hat their decisions have the opportunity to make a difference in the state. Of respondents, 47.2% ( n =25) felt they have the power to make a difference. Of all the constructs describing sustainability, the factor receiving the highest M =4.12, SD =.77). The factor that received the n =35) of the respondents.

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104 In regard to the level respondents felt clear headed in various situations, the situation recei ving the highest mean score, indicating a strong tendency to feel clear M =4.26, SD =.84). The situation receiving the lowest mean score, indicating a weaker tendency to feel clear headed, M =3.84, SD =1.01). headed and moderately clear headed for all seven situations. Additionally, respondents indicated their confidence level in seven situa tions. Of all indicating a strong tendency to feel confident ( M =4.37, SD =0.67). The situation that received the lowest mean score, indicating a weaker tendency to feel confident, was ( M =3.72, SD =0.86). For this statement, the majority of respondents (38.6%, n =22) indicated feeling somewhat confident. Objective Four: To determine diffe rences which exist in regional planning when examining specific demographic variables. The fourth objective utilized ANOVAs to identify the statistically significant relationships associated with sustainability and demographic variables. In addition to ANOVAs, partial eta squared was used to show effect sizes for planning background, years in planning, years served as a political representative and the percentage a region is considered urban and rural. Many significant relationships were discovered between types of representatives and level of agreement with decision statements. Respondents who were appointed

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105 representat ives felt more likely that their decisions as a regional planning official could: improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida ( M =4.08, SD =0.78), make a difference in the future of Florida ( M =3.96, SD =0.91), and have the opportunity to m ake a difference in Florida ( M =3.33, SD =0.92), than respondents who were elected representatives ( M =3.42, SD =0.99; M =3.32, SD =1.08; M =2.50 SD=0.90). Respondents who were appointed representatives ( M =2.09, SD =0.95) felt less overwhelmed when thinking about environmental pressures than elected representatives ( M =2.80, SD =1.35). Moreover, county representatives ( M =3.92, SD =0.79) felt more likely that their decisions as a regional planning official could improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in F lorida than city representatives ( M =3.06, SD =1.00). In regard to RPC, respondents from East Central Florida RPC ( M =4.50, SD =0.58) felt the most like they have the power to make a difference, while respondents from Withlacoochee ( M =2.67, SD =1.53) felt the l east likely. Additionally, respondents who had agricultural or natural resource background through involvement with FFA or a related organization ( M =3.57, SD =1.27) had a stronger tendency to feel overwhelmed when thinking about environmental pressures than those who did not have the experience ( M =2.34, SD =1.15). The percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education indicated large effect sizes for the level regional planning officials feel their decisions have the opportunity to make a difference in their region as well as Florida, with partial eta squared scores from 0.40 0.44. There were also significant relationships between perceptions of sustainability and demographic data. Respondents serving on the East Central Florida RPC ( M =4. 40,

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106 SD =.55) were more likely to perceive sustainability as clear rather than confusing, while those on Withlacoochee RPC were more likely to perceive sustainability as confusing rather than clear ( M =2.33, SD =1.528). Also, years serving as a political repre sentative for their current RPC indicated a large effect size of 0.56 for sustainability perceived as confusing or clear. In regard to gender, female respondents ( M =1.18, SD =0.53) were more likely to perceive sustainability as useful rather than useless co mpared to males ( M =1.74, SD =0.95). The percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education indicated a medium effect size of 0.36 for the perception of sustainability as easy or difficult to enforce. The number of years serving as a pol itical representative for any Florida RPC indicated a large effect size of 0.71 for perceiving sustainability as simple or complex. Many significant relationships were found between demographic data and the levels regional planning officials feel clear he aded in their tasks and when addressing issues related to sustainability in regional planning. In addressing individual planning tasks, respondents who had taken agricultural or natural resource class in college ( M =4.65, SD =0.49) felt more clear headed tha n those who did not ( M =4.00, SD =0.94), and respondents who were involved with FFA or a related organization ( M =3.57, SD =0.98) felt less clear headed than those who did not have the same involvement ( M =4.37, SD =0.78). Among RPCs there were significant relat ionships that indicated respondents from Apalachee ( M =5.00, SD =0.0) felt the most clear headed in addressing individual planning tasks and West Florida ( M =2.50, SD =2.12) felt the least clear headed. The percentage of planning background obtained through no n formal education had medium effect size of 0.38 and the years serving as a political

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10 7 representative for their current RPC had a large effect size of 0.59 on the level clear headed in planning tasks. When thinking about sustainability, respondents who ha d taken agricultural or natural resource classes in high school ( M =3.70, SD =0.80) felt less clear headed thinking about sustainability than those who did not take classes ( M =4.11, SD =0.67); individuals who were involved with FFA or a related organizations ( M =3.43, SD=1.13)felt less clear headed than those who were not involved ( M =4.04, SD =0.64); and, those who took the similar classes in college ( M =4.35 SD =0.57) felt more clear headed than those who had not taken the classes ( M =3.70, SD =0.73). Additionally, officials who had taken agricultural or natural resource classes in college (M=4.17, SD =0.94; M =4.22, SD =1.04) felt more clear headed applying sustainability principles to regional planning efforts and working with other regional planners than those who d id not take classes ( M =3.58, SD =1.00; M =3.61, SD =0.90). Respondents who reported owning a farm or other agricultural property ( M =4.35, SD =0.75) were more clear headed addressing planning issues related to agriculture or natural resources than those who did not ( M =3.72, SD =0.94). The number of years worked in planning also had a large effect size of 0.64 on the level feeling clear headed when addressing planning issues related to agriculture or natural resources. Finally, significant relationships were ident ified between demographic data and decisions in situations related to sustainability in regional planning. Respondents who were involved with FFA ( M =3.86, SD =1.07; M = 3.57, SD =0.98) reported feeling less confident in their abilities to solve complex problems and to address concerns in their

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108 region than individuals who had not been involved ( M =4.45, SD =0.58; M =4.27, SD =0.81). The number of years an official had served as a political representative their ability to address concerns in their region, including environmental concerns, with partial eta squared scores from 0.69 0.75. The number of years as a political representative for their current RPC also had a large effect size of 0.51 on the confidence level in their ability to address concerns of their region. Appointed officials ( M =3.92, SD =0.78) felt more confident in their powe r to make a difference through their planning decisions than elected officials did ( M =3.71, SD =0.82). The number of years as a political representative for their current RPC also had a large effect size of 0.52, and planning background from non formal educ ation had a medium through their planning decisions Respondents who had taken agricultural or natural resource classes in high school ( M =3.50, SD =0.76) and those who we re involved with FFA ( M =3.14, SD =0.69) felt less confident in their knowledge of sustainability principles than individuals who did not have the same agricultural backgrounds ( M =4.00, SD =0.79; M =3.92, SD =0.79). The number of years serving as a political re presentative throughout their entire career had principles. Appointed officials ( M =4.25, SD =0.74) indicated feeling more confident that their regional planning de cisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of their region than elected officials felt ( M =3.52, SD =1.09). Respondents serving on the

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109 East Central Florida RPC ( M =4.60, SD =0.55) were the most confident in their planning decisions abilit y to improve on environmental conditions, while those on Withlacoochee RPC felt the least confident in their decisions ( M =2.00, SD =1.00). Based on the highest degree ( M =4.37, SD =0. 76) reported feeling the most confident that their planning decisions have the ability to improve on environmental conditions, followed by those with a high school degree ( M =4.33, SD =0.52), doctoral ( M =3.67, SD =1.21) or trade degree ( M =3.67, SD =1.53), and finally individuals with a degree ( M =3.36, SD =1.00) were the least confident. The percentage of planning background obtained through non formal education and number of years serving as a political representative for their current RPC had large e ffect sizes from 0.40 their decisions have the ability to improve the environmental conditions of their region. Objective Five: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into r egional planning. The final objective sought determine the barriers that regional planning officials perceived to be most limiting for incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. Of the twenty four barriers measured, funding indicated t he strongest tendency to be a barrier to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning ( M =4.04, SD =1.20). State level legislators also indicated a strong tendency to be a barrier ( M =3.96, SD =1.05).

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110 Conclusions Objective One: To describe and compare the knowledge and relevance regional planning officials have about factors related to regional planning in Florida. Regional planning officials feel between somewhat and moderately knowledgeable in all factors related to regional planning. Offi cials feel the same factors related to regional planning are between moderately and very important to their role on a regional planning council. Thus, regional planning officials are less knowledgeable in all seven regional planning factors than they shoul d be for the reported relevance level. The three regional planning factors with the largest discrepancies in knowledge level are how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning, environmental issues, and agricultural and natural resource issues Objective Two: To determine differences in the knowledge and relevance that regional planning officials have about agriculture and natural resources in Florida when examining specific demographic variables. Planning background from on the job experience, formal education and non formal education accounted for medium and large variances and relevance of specific regional planning factors. The variance in regional planning argely affected by the percentage of planning background obtained from on the job experience. On the job experience also accounts for a large amount of the variance in the relevance of how to acquire new information about regional planning and about incorp orating sustainability into regional planning. Th e percentage of planning background obtained from formal education accounts for a large amount of the variance in the knowledge of how to acquire new information about regional planning and accounts for a me dium amount of the variance of acquiring

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111 information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. The percentage of planning background obtained from formal education also accounts for a large amount of the variance in the relevance of asses sing the significance of environmental issues. Furthermore, t he percentage of planning background obtained from non formal education accounts for a medium amount of the variance in the knowledge of assessing the significance of environmental issues. Regio nal planning officials who had taken agriculture or natural resource classes in high school feel less knowledgeable in five of the seven regional planning factors, while those who had not taken classes in high school feel more knowledgeable in the same fac tors. Regional planning officials who own a farm or agricultural property feel more knowledgeable in agricultural and natural resource is sues than officials who do not. The percentage a region is considered urban or rural accounts for a large amount of the resource issues as well as acquiring new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. ation to complete tasks associated with sustainable planning. Generally, regional planning officials feel they have the power to make a difference. R egional planning officials feel that their decisions can probably make a difference in the future of Florid a as well as improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida. Furthermore, officials feel that their decisions probably have the opportunity to make a difference in their city or municipality as well as their region, while

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112 feeling less like ly that their decisions might have the opportunity to make a difference in Florida. Regional planning officials feel between slightly and somewhat overwhelmed when thinking about environmental pressures. In regards to sustainability, regional planning off icials feel that other planning officials within their region have an adequate knowledge of sustainability principles and they perceive sustainability to be moderately clear, difficult to enforce, useful, complex and practical. Regional planning officials feel moderately clear headed in their tasks and when addressing issues related to sustainability in reg ional planning, as well as mo derately confident in their abilities, power, knowledge and decisions in situations related to sustainability in regional pl anning. Objective Four: To determine differences which exist in regional planning when examining specific demographic variables. Appointed regional planning officials are more li kely to feel that their decisions can resource conditions, and feel less overwhelmed than elected officials. Additionally, appointed officials feel more confident in th eir power to make a difference and that their decisions can improve environmental conditions, than elected officials. Of the elected officials, c ounty representatives are more likely to feel that their decisions as a regional planning official can improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida than elected city representatives. The percentage of planning background obtained from non formal education accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feel their decisions have the opportunity to make a difference in Florida and in their region,

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113 as well as their confidence that decisions can imp rove environmental conditions. Non formal education also accounts for a medium amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feel clear headed when addressing individual planning tasks and feel confident in their power to making a difference. Also, for a medium amount of ility as easy or difficult to enforce. Of all eleven RPCs in Florida, officials from East central Florida feel the most like they have the power to make a difference, perceive sustainability as moderately clear and are more confident that their decisions can improve environmental conditions. While officials from Withlacoochee feel the least like they have the power to make a difference, perceive sustainability as moderately confusing, and are less confident that their decisions can imp rove environmental co nditions. Furthermore, Apalachee officials feel the most clearheaded when addressing individual planning tasks; while West Florida officials feel the least clear headed when addressing individual planning tasks. In regard to agricultural or natural resourc e background, r egional planning officials who were involved with FFA or a related organization feel more overwhelmed when thinking about environmental pressures; feel less clear headed in planning tasks and thinking about sustainability; and, feel less con fident in their abilities and knowledge of sustainability than of ficials who were not involved. Similarly, r egional planning officials who had taken agriculture or natural resource classes in high school also feel less clear headed when thinking about sust ainability and feel less confident in their knowledge of sustainability principles than officials had not.

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114 The years regional planning officials have served for their current RPC accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning sustainability as confusing or clear. The years regional planning officials have served for their any Florida RPC accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree r complex. In regard to gender, f emales perceive sustainability to be more useful than males do. When thinking about sustainability, regional planning officials who took agricultural or natural resource classes in college feel more clear headed than those who took classes high school or were involved with FFA or a related organization. They also f eel more clear headed in four of the six tasks related to sustainability in regional planning, while those who had not taken classes in college feel less clear he aded. Furthermore, regional planning officials who own a farm or other agricultural property feel more clear headed addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources than those who do not. Look at experience level, the numbe r of years regional planning officials have served for their current RPC accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feels clear headed when addressing individual planning tasks and feel confident in their abilitie s, power, and decisions related to sustainability in regional planning. The total number of years worked in planning accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feels clear headed when addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and natural resources. The number of years served as a political representative throughout their entire career

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115 accounts for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials feels confident in their abil ities and knowledge of sustainability principles. In regards to education level, o f the highest education regional planning officials planning decisions have the abilit y to improve environmental conditions of their region, while individuals with a trade, bachelors or doctoral degree feel less confident. Objective Five: To determine the current barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. O ut of twenty five potential barriers, regional planning officials felt that f unding and state level legislators are the strongest barriers to incorporating sustainability principles into regional planning. Discussion and Implications In order to address c oncerns facing the sustainability of agriculture and natural resources in Florida, political leaders are needed to guide development and aid in solving the problems (Saadatian, Tahir, & Dola, 2010). Unfortunately, government policies and regulations are of ten identified as the primary barrier and without effective governance institutions natural resources and the environment are danger (Dietz et al., 2003). Oftentimes cooperation, knowledge dissemination, power, communication, and varying priorities between stakeholders make addressing such complex subjects very challenging. It is important that local planning agencies take proactive measures in addressing issues, but the ability of planners to anticipate future growth has been identified as a major challeng e (Brody et al., 2006). This research is aimed to describe

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116 about key agriculture and natural resource issues, as well as the factors that influence the incorporating susta inability principles in planning. The Reasonable Person Model (RPM) along with other behavior change and motivational theories were utilized in this research. RPM suggests that people are more reasonable when their environment satisfies their human informa tional needs. This model is particularly useful in examining the use of sustainability principles for addressing issues in the natural resource and agricultural sectors. rel ated to addressing agricultural and natural resource issues sustainably in regional planning. For all seven factors measured, regional planning officials felt knowledgeable. According to Kaplan (1983) not having adequate and accurate information, especial ly when dealing with environmental issues related to agriculture and natural resources, can cause frustration and avoidance that limits any action from taking place. Behavior change research asserts that obtaining an adequate amount of information is a pre requisite to decision making and behavior changes (De Young, 1993; Holling, 1978, Kaplan, 2000; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2003; Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). Moreover, regional planning officials felt that all seven factors related to regional planning are very important to their role on a regional planning council. This finding 558). It appears tha t factors related to addressing agricultural and natural resource issues sustainably in regional planning are relevant and important to regional planning officials.

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117 Although regional planning officials reported having knowledge of all regional planning fa ctors, there were widespread discrepancies in their level of knowledge and the importance to their roles on a planning council. With a lack of knowledge in the factors related to addressing agricultural and natural resource issues sustainably, it is impera tive to create educational opportunities (i.e. workshops or training seminars) for regional planning officials to increase their understanding of topics related to these regional planning factors. Providing such opportunities would enhance the ability of r egional planning officials to better address regional planning tasks and devise more sustainable solutions to environmental issues. De Young (1993) suggests that such behavior change is possible if people have an increased awareness and understand the info rmation provided. He recommends acquiring information through self discovery, as mere awareness, and can impact changes in internal values (Gray, 1985). The three regional planning factors with the largest discrepancies in knowledge level were how to apply sustainability principles in regional planning, environmental issues, and agricultural and natural resource issues. This finding indicates that regional planning officials would benefit most from an increased understanding in these three topics areas. It is interesting that regional planning officials reported being moderately ability principles in regional planning, thus furthering the need for educational training that enables learning through self discovery. Fazio and Zanna (1981) recommend acquiring environmental knowledge externally from a direct experience or through invol vement with a case study (Monroe & Kaplan, 1988), which is

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118 suggested to provide greater clarity and confidence in understanding, than from an indirect experience. When broken down by demographics, it can be seen that regional planning officials knowledge and relevance of specific regional planning factors are influenced by the type of planning and/or agricultural or natural resource background they have, as on the job expe rience, formal and non formal education, indicated significant relationships in the knowledge levels of regional planning factors. Knowledge of environmental issues was largely affected by individuals planning background from on the job experience, while k nowledge of assessing environmental issues was largely affected by non formal education. This finding could indicate that while having professional experiences in planning may increase an awareness of environmental issues, non formal educational methods (i .e. workshops/trainings) are needed to go a step further in order to help assess the issues. Formal education in planning accounted regional planning and accounted for a medium variance in how to acquire information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning. This could indicate that traditional courses in planning help to teach the skills needed to know how to find up to date information about new subjects (i.e. sustainability). Formal education in planning also had a large effect on the relevance of assessing environmental issues, while on the job experience in planning had large effects on the relevance of how to acquire new information. It would appear that having professional experiences in planning would

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119 increase the significance for acquiring new information related to planning and sustainability. Different types of agricultural and natural resource backgrounds resulted in varying knowledge levels fo r respondents. Not surprisingly, regional planning officials who had once owned a farm or agricultural property reported feeling more knowledgeable in agricultural and natural resource issues than officials who did not have the same farm background. This t endency can be linked back to Fazio and Zanna (1981) who found acquiring environmental knowledge externally from a direct experience to bring greater understanding. On the other hand, regional planning officials who had taken agricultural or natural resour ce classes in high school feel less knowledgeable in five of the seven regional planning factors, while those who had not taken classes in high school feel more knowledgeable. Most likely, this finding highlights the inconsistency between actual knowledge and self reported knowledge. Individuals who have more information on a subject tend to more accurately rate their knowledge level than those who have less knowledge and may exaggerate. Furthermore, the findings indicated that the percentage a region was considered urban had a larger effect size in the knowledge level of how to acquire new information about incorporating sustainability into regional planning than the percentage rural. While the percentage a region was considered rural had a larger effect s ize in the knowledge level of agricultural and natural resource issues than the percentage urban. It would appear that a characteristically rural region would have a greater need for understanding agricultural and natural resource issues and in a more urba n region it

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120 may be more characteristic to know how to find information about sustainability due to greater growth related issues. component of behavior. Motives are identi fied as determinant of behavior and seen as a driving force for action (McClelland, 1987). There were some factors in this study that supported previous literature findings about the motivational factors that influence behavior change in complex situations Overall, regional planning officials felt that other officials within their planning council have an adequate knowledge of sustainability principles in regional planning. In a study on sustainability in landscape planning, Basu (2009) supports the notion preferences to an issue or subject. Thus, for regional planning councils to develop sustainable solutions to regional problems, it is imperative for regional planning officials to have an adeq uate knowledge of sustainability principles. could make a difference in many aspects, including improving agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida and in Flo positively influenced by the power motive (McClelland, 1987), feeling that they have the power to make a difference. These findings support the notion put forth by Kaplan and Kaplan (2006) that in additio n to human beings desire to gain information, understand, explore, and feel competent, they also aspire to make a difference in the world. Additionally, this study found that regional planning officials feel they have the opportunities to make a difference in their city or municipality as well as their region. Although, feeling slightly less likely that their decisions would have the same opportunity

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121 Model, people desire opport unities to become engaged and actively participate in the surrounding environment. It is greatly beneficial that regional planning officials feel they have opportunities for meaningful action within their region and would be even more beneficial if the sam e sentiment existed for the state. becoming effective involves two linked components: being sufficiently clear headed and feeling competent and confident, especially when surrounded b y an abundance of information and complexity. Of all the planning tasks and issues related to sustainability in regional planning, officials felt moderately clear headed. Moreover, they felt moderately confident in their abilities, power, knowledge and dec isions in situations related to sustainability in regional planning. However, this study found regional planning officials feel slightly and somewhat overwhelmed when thinking about environmental pressures. As seen in the conceptual model, feeling overwhe lmed is a negative motivational factor, particularly harmful when addressing highly complicated issues like environmental issues. According to Kaplan and Kaplan (2009) feeling overwhelmed is a result of an abundance of information which limits an individua headed and causes mental fatigue. McClelland (1987) suggests that a growth in understanding, or cognition, is one way to reach a desired state of stability and control. It is important to do more than share information about envir onmental pressures, but rather focus on increasing regional planning officials understanding of environmental issues as well as the big picture which can reduce feeling overwhelmed and increase confidence.

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122 ons of sustainability, it can be derived that officials feel the concept is moderately useful, practical and clear. However, planning officials also feel sustainability is complex and difficult to enforce. Similarly, g design identified with common sustainability problems, concluding that there is no single approach to the adoption of sustainable practices, particularly due to the open ended nature of its concepts. When looking at motivational factors according to demo graphic variables, it can be type, RPC, years as a political representative, planning and agricultural background, education and gender. According to position type, this study found that appointed regional planning officials feel that their decisions are more likely to make a difference throughout Florida, feel less overwhelmed thinking about environmental pressures, are more confident in their power to make a differe nce and that their decisions can improve environmental conditions, than elected officials. Additionally, of the elected officials, county representatives felt more strongly that their decisions could improve agricultural and natural resource conditions in Florida than city representatives did. These findings could be attributed to the difference in how officials are selected to serve on a council and the size of the region they represent. Since appointed officials are selected by the governor of Florida, ra ther than being locally elected from a particular region, they may have an increased confidence in the power of their decisions and scope of impact. The same notion could be attributed to county officials, who represent a large population than a city repre sentative may.

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123 Another factor related to position type was the regional planning council officials served on. Of all eleven RPCs in Florida, officials from East Central Florida feel the most like they have the power to make a difference, perceive sustaina bility as moderately clear and are more confident that their decisions can improve environmental conditions. While officials from Withlacoochee feel the least like they have the power to make a difference, perceive sustainability as moderately confusing, a nd are less confident that their decisions can improve environmental conditions. Kaplan (1983) revealed that lacking information about the environment can lead to feelings of helplessness and incompetence, developing perceptions that pressing environmental concerns are too big or impossible to solve. This finding could indicate that the characteristics of a region (i.e. population, density, urban/rural) influence the likelihood that some regional planning councils have more information about environmental i ssues and sustainability than other councils have. This notion could also be applied to the finding that officials from Apalachee feel the most clearheaded when addressing individual planning tasks; while officials from West Florida feel the least clear he aded when addressing individual planning tasks. In this study, direct experience was measure by the number of years as a political representative and years working in planning. The number of years serving as a political representative in any capacity accou nted for a large amount of the variance in regional headed in their tasks, and in their perceptions of sustainability. Similarly, the number of years worked in planning accounted for a large amount of the variance in the degree regional planning officials felt clear headed when addressing regional planning issues related to agriculture and

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124 natural resources. These variances could be attributed to Fazio & Zanna (1981) that suggested the more an indivi dual externally acquires knowledge from a direct experience, than from an indirect experience, it can provide greater clarity and confidence in understanding the issue. Non feeli ng they have opportunities to make a difference in their region as well as throughout Florida and their confidence in improving environmental conditions. Moreover, non percepti on of their power to make a difference, level feeling clear headed in planning tasks and perceptions of sustainability being easy or difficult to enforce. These findings can be related back to a previous finding in this study that non formal education in p lanning largely affects the knowledge of assessing environmental issues. Together these findings further promote the benefits of providing opportunities for non formal education to regional planners on topics related to planning, sustainability and environ mental issues. This study found interesting relationships among regional planning officials with different types of agricultural or natural resource backgrounds. Not surprisingly, individuals had taken agriculture or natural resource classes in college ind icated feeling more clear headed in tasks related to sustainability in regional planning than those who did not have college classes. Additionally, those who reported owning a farm or other agricultural property felt more clear headed addressing issues rel ated to agriculture and natural resources than those who do not. This tendency to feel more clear headed could be attributed to acquiring a greater knowledgebase from coursework and/or direct

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125 experiences. However the opposite was found among individuals wh o had involvement with FFA or reported taking agricultural or natural resource classes in high school. Overall, involvement with FFA resulted in feeling more overwhelmed, less clear headed and less confident. Furthermore, those who took classes in high sch ool were found to feel less clear headed and less confident related to sustainability. Specifically, when thinking about sustainability, officials who took agricultural or natural resource classes in college felt the most clear headed when compared to thos e who took classes in high school or were involved with FFA. These findings may suggest that taking agriculture and natural resource classes in college is one of the better ways to achieve confidence and clear headedness in regional planning tasks related to agricultural and natural resource sustainability. This finding is particularly interesting because literature typically supports the relationship between involvement with direct experiences and positive motivation. However, this finding suggests a diff organization. It might be hypothesized that FFA involvement does not address sustainability or focus on solutions to environmental problems, but rather may only introduce complex issues c ausing greater confusion. Scheuer (2007) a similar type of disconnect when there are gaps in information flows or missing information, causing the level of uncertainty to increase rather than decrease. Another potential explanation could be attributed to t complex topics like environmental issues and sustainability. Obtaining information from classes or club involvement could have a less of a positive influence on confidence levels and understanding wh en an individual is at a younger age.

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126 Gender was identified having a significant relationship only once in this study. Regarding regional planning officials perceptions of sustainability, females perceived sustainability as more useful than males did. It would appear that female officials would be the most likely to incorporate sustainability principles into their regional planning decisions given they had an adequate understanding. The final demographic variable to have a significant relationship with mo tivational improve environmental conditions of their region, while individua ls with a trade, bachelors or doctoral degree feel less confident. Furthermore, individuals with a high confidence in improving environmental conditions is very sensitive to the amount of information received. Perhaps, individuals with a high school degree do not have much, if any information related to environmental issues t hus they are able to remain confident in their decisions. The high confidence level of individuals with a high school degree could also be attributed to the existence of another demographic relationship (i.e. having non formal education in planning, being an appointed representative, or their RPC). Individuals with a doctorate degree could be experiencing information overload and thus be less confident in their ability to improve environmental conditions. In terms of the barriers to incorporating sustainab ility principles into regional planning, it can be derived that funding and state level legislators are the strongest barriers to actually implementing sustainability. These findings are supported by Basu

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127 deal with the perceived risk of and Highfield (2006) analyzed the variables influencing the adoption of sprawl reduction plans by local planning agencies in southern Flor ida and found that the number of planners involved increased the likelihood of adopting plans associated with sustainability and improving environmental management. This notion supports the finding that if state level legislators are perceived as barriers, it is less likely that sustainable principles will be adopted by regional planning councils. National Research Agenda The previous conclusions, discussion and implications can all be linked back to Agriculture Education and Communication National Researc h Agenda 2007 2010. Specifically this study aids in the following research priority areas (RPA): RPA 1: Enhance decision making within the agricultural sectors of society (p. 9). Discovering information that various stakeholders need in order to make infor med decisions. RPA 4: Engage citizens in community action through leadership education and development (p. 12 13). Determining the competencies used by community leaders for improving communities, interacting with constituents and solving community issues. Identifying educational strategies and programs that develop and enhance local leadership. RPA 5: Identity and use evaluation systems to assess program impact (p. 15). Understanding how the principles of teaching and learning in a non formal educational s etting influence sustainable development and enhancement of the global community.

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128 Rec om m endations Based on the results and conclusions of this study, the researcher has made recommendations for practitioners and researchers. Recommendations for Practice T he Florida Regional Planning Councils Association (FRCA) and/or related organizations should provide educational opportunities for regional planning officials to gain greater knowledge of and understanding in factors related to regional planning, including sustainability and issues related to agriculture, natural resources and the environment. Teaching strategies should incorporate self discovery techniques, direct learning, case studies Traditional courses in planning should be offered to help to educate r egional planning officials the skills needed to understand how to find up to date information about new subjects that related to planning, including sustainability. Organizations should reach out to planning councils in urban regions and provide educationa l opportunities to learn about agriculture and natural resources issues in Florida. Sustainable Florida and other related organizations should offer workshops for regional planning officials in order to educate them about sustainability and how to incorpor ate into regional planning. Particular attention should be given to regional planning councils located in rural regions. Florida legislators need to identify or create opportunities for regional planning officials to become involved in discussions and in developing solutions to statewide concerns alongside state government. Regional planning councils should participate in hands on exploration to learn more about the environmental issues of their region and in Florida. Opportunities should promote explorat ion of the natural environment rather than just receiving information. Examples could include taking a tour of a landfill, natural preserve, or river guided led by an expert or researcher. A unified framework for the state of Florida needs to be developed for how to incorporate sustainability into regional planning. The framework should be jointly developed by stakeholders in planning, government, sustainability, and agriculture and natural resources. Create opportunities for regional planning councils to work together on various issues, develop partnerships and communicate more directly with each other. One way to achieve this would be to create a list serve or online community for regional

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129 planning councils to communicate with each other, exchange informa tion and resources, as well as maintain discussion boards. State legislators need to improve and/or increase communication with local regional planning officials. Examples include: legislator(s) attending RPC meetings once a year or video conferencing int o meetings for guided question and answer sessions. Regional planning councils should keep their websites up to date and provide contact emails for all council members directly on the RPC website. Recommendations for Future Research A qualitative study s hould be done with leaders in sustainability to uncover the best approaches for applying sustainability principles and methods for developing and enforcing sustainable solutions. A quantitative study should be done with regional planning councils in other states planning, and to identify states which may have successfully implemented sustainability into regional planning. Research should be done to understand the motivation al differences (i.e. confidence, power, perceived knowledge and abilities) between different types of political representatives. Types of representatives should include appointed and elected representatives, city and county representatives, and by their re characteristics. Research should be done to understand the differences in understanding complex issues between individuals who had taken agricultural or natural resource classes in high school, were involved with FFA or had taken agricultural or na tural resource classes in college. Research should be done to further investigate the actual cost associated with implementing various sustainable practices/principles, particularly related to agricultural and natural resource issues. A qualitative study should be conducted with regional planning councils to identify how state legislators are creating barriers, particularly when addressing agricultural or natural resource issues and to incorporating sustainability principles. Summary Chapter 5 began by re summary of the methodology used in this study was presented, followed by summaries

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130 of the findings for each of the five objectives. Next, conclusions were drawn from the data presented in Chapter 4 and pr esented based on each objective. These conclusions were discussed in further detail and compared to previous literature. Additionally, this chapter outlined how this research coincided with the National Research Agenda for Agriculture Education and Communi cation. Finally, Chapter 5 concluded with recommendations for practice and further research.

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131 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL

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132 APPENDIX B SURVEY COMPLETION RE QUESTS Pre Survey Email Monday, August 8, 2011 Good afternoon_____________ My name is Lauren Hrncirik and I am a University of Florida graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. I am writing to ask for your help with an important research project being conducted by the University of Florida, with support from the Collins Center for Public Policy, Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, and Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. This study will aid in the understanding of current issues facing agriculture an d natural resources in Florida, as well as the perceptions of Florida's Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) in addressing these issues and the sustainability of Florida. As a current member of _______ Regional Planning Council, your participation in this stu dy is greatly valued. I wanted to touch base with you personally and inform you of this upcoming research opportunity because in a few days from now you will receive an email request to fill out the online questionnaire associated with this study. This st udy is an important one that will assist Florida's leaders in tackling pressing agricultural and natural resource issues and in working together for the growth of our state. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. It is only with the generous h elp of people like you that our research can be successful. For any further questions or comments please contact me at hrncir ik@ufl.edu or (xxx) xxx xxxx. Sincerely, Lauren Marie Hrncirik Graduate Student |University of Florida Agricultural Education & Communications UF IFAS | Office of the Dean for Research hrncirik@ufl.edu

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133 Initial Contact Email Thursday, August 11, 2011 Goo d morning ________, This past Monday an email was sent to you inviting you to participate in an important research project being conducted by the University of Florida, with support from the Collins Center for Public Policy, Century Commission for Sustain able Florida, and Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. As previously mentioned, this study will be critical in assisting Florida's leaders in tackling issues in agriculture and natural resources. Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated. Please click on the following link to access the survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or you may copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Your participation in this survey is stri ctly confidential If you have further questions please contact me at hrncirik@ufl.edu or (xxx) xxx xxxx. Thank you again for your time. Sincerely, Lauren Marie Hrncirik Graduate Student |University of Florida Agricultural Education & Communications UF IFAS | Office of the Dean for Research hrncirik@ufl.edu

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134 Follow Up Contact Email Thursday, August 18, 2011 Dear ___________, I recently sent an invitation asking for your assistance with a research study being conducted here at the University of Florida. My name is Lauren Hrncirik, and I am a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Your responses to this survey will be vital to understanding and addressing sustainability issues in Florida. This study is being conduc ted by the University of Florida with support from the Collins Center for Public Policy, Century Commission for Sustainable Florida, and Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. Your participation in this survey is strictly confidential. Please click on the link below to begin this survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or you can copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Should you have any other questions or comments please contact me at hrncirik@ufl.edu or call me at (xxx) xxx xxxx. Your response is important. Thank you in advance for helping by completing this survey. Many Thanks, Lauren Marie Hrncirik Graduate Student |University of Florida Agricultural Education & Communications UF IFAS | Office of the Dean for Research hrncirik@ufl.edu

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135 Final Follow Up Contact Email Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Dear ______________ The University of Florida study you have been asked to help with will be ending next week. I understand how valuabl e your time is and your participation in this survey is vital. We highly value your leadership experiences serving on ________ Regional Planning Council and the knowledge you are able to share about pressing agricultural and natural resource issues in Flor ida. The results of this study will be shared with the Collins Center for Public Policy, Century Commission for Sustainable Florida, Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources and other interested constituents that might benefi t from this research, including your Regional Planning Council. Please remember your participation in this survey is strictly confidential. Please click on the link below to begin this survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or you can copy and past e the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Should you have any questions or comments please contact me at hrncirik@ufl.edu or (xxx) xxx xxxx. Thank you in advance for completing this survey. Your responses are very important to this stu dy and for guiding sustainability in Florida. Respectfully, Graduate Student |University of Florida Agricultural Education & Communications UF IFA S | Office of the Dean for Research hrncirik@ufl.edu

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136 APPENDIX C DATA COLLECTION INST RUMENT

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148 LIST OF REFERENCES American Farm Bureau Federation. (2004). Farm facts Washington, DC: American Farm Bureau Federation. Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorenso. (2006). Introduction to research in education (7 th ed). Thomson W adsworth. Barnes, R. D. (1981). Perceived freedom and control in the built environment. In J. J. Harvey (Ed.), Cognition, Social Behavior, and the Environment Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Basu, A. S. (2009). The role of nature patterns in the percepti on and acceptability of rural density. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (AAT 3392990) Berke, P. R., & Conroy, M. (2000). Are We Planning for Sustainable Development?. Journal of the American Planning Associati o n 66 (1), 21 33. Brody, S. D., Carrasco, V., & Highfield, W. E. (Spring 2006). Measuring the adoption of local sprawl. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 25 (3), 294 310. doi:10.1177/0739456X05280546 Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. ( 2009, July 16 th ). Executive Summary of Steering Committee Meeting. Gainesville, FL. Cone, J. D., & Hayes, S. C. (1980). Environmental problems/behavioral solutions. Monterey CA: Brooks/Cole. Corbett, J. B. (2005). Altruism, self interest, and the reasona ble person model of environmentally responsible behavior. Science Communication, 26 (4), 368 389. doi:10.1177/1075547005275425 Crabbe, M. J., Martinez, E., Garcia, C., Chub, J., Castro, L., & Guy, J. (2010). Is capacity building important in policy develop ment for sustainability? A case study using action plans for sustainable marine protected areas in belize. Society & Natural Resources, 23 (2), 181 190. doi:10.1080/08941920802409593 De Young, R. (1993). Changing behavior and making it stick: The conceptua lization and management of conservation behavior. Environment and Behavior, 25 (3), 485 505. doi:10.1177/0013916593253003 Dietz, T., Ostrom, E., & Stern, P. C. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. Science, 302 (5652), pp. 1907 1912. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3835713 Dillman, D. A. (2006). Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method 2007 Update with New Internet, Visual, and Mixed Mode Guide. Wiley.

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149 Dillman, D. A., Smith, J. D., & Christian, L. M. (2009). Internet, Mail, and Mixed Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Fazio, R. A., Rodriquez Baide, J. M., & Molnar, J. J. (2009). Barriers to the Adoption of Sustainable Agri cultural Practices: Working Farmer and Change Agent Perspectives. Final Report to the Southern SARE. Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University: Auburn, AL. Fazio, R. H., & Zanna, M. P. (1981). Direct experience and attitu de behavior consistency. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 14, 161 202. doi:10.1016/S0065 2601(08)60372 Fischer, A., Petersen, L., Feldktter, C., & Huppert, W. (2007). Sustainable governance of natural resources and institutional change an analy tical framework. Public Administration and Development, 27 (2), 123 137. doi:10.1002/pad.442 Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (2008). Overview of Florida Agriculture. Retrieved from http://www.florida agriculture.com/agfacts.htm Flo rida Department of Community Affairs. (2009). Overview of Programs. Tallahassee, FL. Florida Regional Planning Council Act, Florida Stat. 186 501 513 (1980). Florida State Comprehensive Planning Act of 1972, Florida Stat. 186 001 002 (1972). Gray, D. B. ( 1985). Ecological beliefs and behaviors: Assessment and change. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Geller, E. S., Winett, R. A., & Everett, P. B. (1982). Preserving the environment: New strategies for behavioral change. New York:Pergamon. Hamilton, N. D. (1998). Th e role of law in promoting sustainable agriculture: Reflections on ten years of experience in the United States. Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, 3 423 431. Holling, C. S. (Ed.). (1978). Adaptive environmental assessment and management New York: John W iley and Sons. Johnson, B. L. (1999). The role of adaptive management as an operational approach for resource management agencies. Conservation Ecology, 3 (2), 8. Retrieved from http://www. consecol.org/vol3/iss2/art8/ Kaplan, R. (2001). The nature of the view from home: psychological benefits. Environment and Behavior, 33, 507 542. Kaplan, S. (1973). Cognitive maps in perception and thought. In R.M Downs, & D. Stea (Eds.), Image and Envir onment (pp. 63 78). Chicago: Aldine

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150 Kaplan, S. (1983). A model of person environment compatibility. Environment and Behavior, 15 (3), 311. Kaplan, S. (1990). Being needed, adaptive muddling and human environment relationships. EDRA 21. Proceedings of the T wenty First Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association. Oklahoma City, OK: Environmental Design Research Association. Kaplan, S. (1992). Environmental preferences in a knowledge seeking knowledge using organism. In J. H. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The Adapted Mind (pp. 535 552). New York: Oxford University Press. Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15 (3), 169 182. doi:10.1016/0272 4 944(95)90001 2 Kaplan, S. (2000). New ways to promote proenvironmental behavior: Human nature and environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56 (3), 491 508. doi:10.1111/0022 4537.00180 Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (1982). Cognition and E nvironment: Functioning in an Uncertain World New York: Praeger. Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (1989). The visual environment: Public participation in design and planning. Journal of Social Issues, 45 (1), 59 86. doi:10.1111/j.1540 4560.1989.tb01533.x Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (2003). Health, supportive environments, and the reasonable person model. American Journal of Public Health, 93 (9), 1484 1489. Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (2008). Bringing out the best in people: A psychological perspective. Conservation Bi ology, 22 (4), 826 829. Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (2009). Creating a larger role for environmental psychology: The reasonable person model as an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29 (3), 329 339. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.10.005 Kapl an, R., Kaplan, S., & Austin, M. E. (2008). Factors shaping local land use decisions. Environment and Behavior, 46 71. Lee, K. N. (1999). Appraising adaptive management. Conservation Ecology, 3 (2), 3. Retrieved from http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iss2/art3/ Lepper, M. R. (1981). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in children: Detrimental effects of superfluous social controls. In W. Collins (Ed.), Aspects of the development of competence: Th e Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology 14 155 160.

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151 Lindner, J. R., Murphy, T. H., & Briers, G. E. (2001). The handling of nonresponse in agricultural education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 42 (4), 43 53. Lindner, J. R., & Wingenbach, G. J. (2002 ). Communicating the handling of nonresponse error in Journal of Extension research in brief articles. Journal of Extension, 40 (6), 1 5. Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2002december/ rb1.php McClelland, D. (1987). Human Motivation. New York, NY: Camb ridge University Press. McMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2010). Research in Education: Evidence Based Inquiry (7 th ed.). Pearson Higher Education. Monroe, M. C., & Kaplan, S. (1988). When words speak louder than actions: Environmental problem solving in the classroom. Journal of Environmental Education, 19 38 41. Monroe, M. C., Oxarart, A., Mcdonell, L., & Plate, R. (July/December 2009). Using community forums to enhance public engagement in environmental issues. Journal of Education for Sustainable De velopment, 3 (2), 171 182. doi:10.1177/097340820900300212 Nolan, S. B. (1988). Reasons for studying: Motivational orientations and study strategies. Cognition and Instruction, 5 269 287. Osborne, E. W. (Ed.) (n.d.) National research agenda: Agricultural e ducation and communication, 2007 2010. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Ostrom, E., Dietz, T., Dolsak, N., Stern, P., Stonich, S., & Weber, E. U. (Eds.). (2002). The drama of the commons Wash ington, DC: National Academy Press. Park, K. (2005). World Almanac & Book of Facts. New York: World Almanac Education Group Inc. Perlmuter, L. C., & Monty, R. A. (1979). Choice and Perceived Choice. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Peterson, C., Maier, S. F., & Seligman M. E. P. (1993). Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control New Yo rk: Oxford University Press. Phalen, K. B. (2009). An invitation for public participation in ecological restoration: The reasonable person model. Ecological Restoration, 27 (2), 178 186. doi:10.3368/er.27.2.178 Pintrich, P. R., & Garcia, G. (1991). Student goal orientation and self regulation in the college classroom. In M. L. Maehr & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 7, pp. 371 402). Greenwich, CT: JAI.

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152 Roberts, B. (1995). The quest for sustainable agriculture and land use. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Saadatian, O., Tahir, O. M., & Dola, K. B. (2010). Identifying challenges in implementing sustainable pr actices in a developing nation. Journal of Sustainable Development, 3 (2) 107 116. Journal of Extension, 37 (2). Scheuer, C. W. (2007). Adoption of residential green bu ilding practices: Understanding the role of familiarity. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (3276288) Sneddon, C., Howarth, R. B., & Norgaard, R. B. (2006). Sustainable development in a post Brundtland world. Ecological Economics, 57 (2), 253 268. Stern, P. C. (1992). Psychological dimensions of global environmental change. Annual Review of Psychology, 43, 269 302. Stern, P. C., & Oskamp, S. (1987). Managing scarce environmental resources. In D. Stokols & I. Altman (Eds.), Handbook of environ mental psychology (pp. 1043 1088). New York: Wiley. innovations. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 124 (4), 323 332. Uiterkamp, A. J. M. S., & Vlek, C. (2007). P ractice and outcomes of multidisciplinary research for environmental sustainability. Journal of Social Issues, 63 (1), 175 197. doi:10.1111/j.1540 4560.2007.00502.x United States Department of Agriculture. (2007). Performance and Accountability Report. Ret rieved from http://www.ocfo.usda.gov/usdarpt/pdf/Accessible_PAR.pdf Veeman, T. S., & Politylo, J. (2003). The role of institutions and policy in enhancing sustainable development and conserving natural capital. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 5 (3), 317 332. doi:10.1023/A:1025720911995 Vlek, C., & Steg, L. (2007). Human behavior and environmental sustainability: Problems, driving forces, and research topics. Journal of Social Issues, 63 (1), 1 19. doi:10.1111/j.1540 4560.2007.00493.x Walters, C. (1986). Adaptive management of renewable resources New York, New York: MacMillan. Walters, C., Goruk, R. D., & Radford, D. (1993). Rivers inlet sockeye salmon: An experiment in adaptive management. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 13 25 3 262.

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153 Walters, C. J., & Holling, C. S. (1990). Large scale management experiments and learning by doing. Ecology, 71 2060 2068. Williams, D. L., & Wise, K. L. (1997). Perceptions of Iowa secondary school agricultural education teachers and students rega rding sustainable agriculture. Journal of Agricultural Education, 38 (2), 15 20. Williams, D. L., & Dollisso, A. D. (1998). Rationale for research on including sustainable agriculture in the high school agricultural education curriculum. Journal of Agricult ural Education, 39 (3), 51 56. Winter, D. D., & Cava, M. M. (2006). The psycho ecology of armed conflict. Journal of Social Issues, 62 (1), 19 40. doi:10.1111/j.1540 4560.2006.00437.

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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lauren Marie Hrncirik was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. S he is the oldest of four girls. She and her family moved to Orlando, Florida in 1990. Ms. Hrncirik graduated from Winter Park High School in May 2005. The summer following graduation, Ms. Hrncirik moved to Gainesville, Florida to attend the University of Florida. In May, 2009, Ms. Hrncirik received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a specialization in International Studies. She received two minors, Spanish and International Humanitarian Assistance. Upon graduation, Ms. Hrncirik mo ved to Russellville, Arkansas to visit with her father. During her time in Arkansas, she was employed by Russellville School District as a K 12 Substitute Teacher. In January, 2010, Ms. Hrncirik returned to the University of Florida and entered the gradua te program in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, served as a graduate teaching assistant as well as a Grant Resource Team (GRT) Trainer and Communica tions Coordinator for IFAS Office of the Dean for Research