[at-l] Trail magic study?

Carla & Dave Hicks carla_dave_hicks at verizon.net
Tue Dec 1 11:33:40 CST 2009

Anyone heard what happened to Clark Zealand's study?  Any findings published?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Clark Zealand" <cazed at hotmail.com>
To: <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 10:01 AM
Subject: [at-l] Trail Magic Research Study

To all members of the trail community:

I'm beginning an exciting new research project to study various elements
of trail magic and how and why people engage in trail magic. From what I
know of my time spent on the Appalachian Trail, trail magic appears to
be usually associated with trail angels while others refer to trail
magic as a holistic encounter with the entire trail community.  Since
this topic has been briefly discussed on the listserv in the past, I
thought you would be a knowledgeable community to contact to recruit
participants who are passionate about hiking long distance trails. If
you are a hiker, trail maintainer, or another member of the trail
community and interested in sharing your stories, experiences, and
thoughts about trail magic, I welcome and encourage you to participate
in this study.

Your participation, should you decide to voluntarily participate, would
involve no more than answering a few interview questions via email, at
your convenience, which should take no longer than one hour. The
interview questions would exclusively be about trail magic: what is it?
How and why does it happen? And what do you think is the point of it?
After your initial answers, I may request some further explanation upon
which you can, once again, choose not to participate.  If you do choose
to participate in the follow-up interview, I may set up a separate
listserv that will be dedicated to those involved in discussing trail
magic for this project.  This will also provide you an opportunity to
clarify, change or omit any comments. In short, every effort will be
made to represent you accurately.

This study is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Troy Glover
and has been reviewed and received full ethics clearance through the
Office of Research Ethics at the University of Waterloo. Results of the
study are intended for an academic audience, so they will be published
in academic journals and presented at academic conferences. In other
words, I assure you, I am not a writer or journalist who is out to
expose hikers or trail magic in a negative light; rather, I am simply a
researcher who is interested in studying the what, how and why of the
trail magic phenomena, largely because I'm a passionate trail hiker

For those interested in participating, please contact me and I will
email you an information letter and the interview questions, which
provides the specific details about the study. If you have any
questions, comments, or concerns about the study, please let me know,
too. My contact information is listed below in my signature.

Thank you for your consideration.


Clark Zealand
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
2223 BMH, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: 1 (519) 888-4567, extension 3894

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