Outdoor Recreation Major Publishes Paper on Space Travel Ethics

Published: January 30, 2019 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

outdoor recreation major parker veselyA paper on space colonization, conservation and environmental ethics earned Southern Utah University senior Parker Vesely a coveted spot in the peer-reviewed journal UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity for her literature review Conservative Colonization: An Ethical Analysis of Galactic Expansion.

Vesely, who is majoring in outdoor recreation, completed this paper for her class ORPT 2040: Americans in the Outdoors. After Vesely saw a notice announcing that UReCA was accepting submissions for their journal, she decided to submit her paper with the help of Professor Kelly Goonan. UReCA is an undergraduate journal run and led by students. The journal was started by Johnny MacLean of SUU and Brian White of Graceland University. UReCA’s overall acceptance rate is 14% with a 6.5% acceptance rate on humanities pieces.

A classroom conversation about potential colonization on the planet of Mars sparked Vesely’s idea for this paper and then this topic led into a series of questions about environmental rights and ethics. Vesely’s passion for protecting her own planet carried over into this paper that focuses on how American society tends not to be energy conscious, and the subsequent dangers that this mindset offers. Vesely was able to explain how the question of ethical colonization is more complicated in essence and diverse in argument than it seems.

“I wanted to better understand how ethics we apply to natural landscapes on Earth could be applied to landscapes in space,” said Vesely. “How could we create a home on another planet without destroying it like we are doing with the Earth?”

Simulated image of MarsVesely has a wide variety of interests including medicine, the outdoors, and science fiction; SUU has been a great vessel to accommodate all her tastes. She has completed three internships with the National Park Service and currently works with Search and Rescue at Bryce Canyon National Park. She is also an Advanced EMT and Wilderness EMT.

“SUU is the entire reason I was able to channel my passion for the outdoors into a viable career,” said Vesely.

“Parker’s topic of the ethics involved with colonizing Mars was unique.” said Goonan, “She did an excellent job of drawing us away from the simple temptation to fantasize about space travel and extraterrestrial life, and really consider the hard questions related to protecting the natural environment, human rights, and universal quality of life.”

Many college students choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism at SUU because of its proximity to 11 national parks, monuments, and recreation areas. The outdoor recreation degree is interdisciplinary and includes coursework from agriculture science, biology, communications, geology, and hotel and hospitality management. For more information about the Outdoor Recreation major, visit their website.

UReCA is peer-reviewed by students from the National Collegiate Honors Council and available online for everyone to read. For more information about UReCA, visit their website.

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