Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Brent Chamberlain


Brent Chamberlain


Arthur J. Caplan


Sarah C. Klain


Agroecosystems, including peri-urban systems, are important providers of a range of services. However, management of these systems has generally been based on the market value of crops, neglecting to capture the broader public goods that ecosystem services provide to stakeholders. While the ecosystem service framework (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [MEA], 2005) has been adopted to measure the market and non-market values associated with these services, knowledge gaps persist, particularly with respect to the quantification and valuation of cultural ecosystem services (CES). In this paper, the determination of CES values assigned to agroecosystems by residents of two communities along the Wasatch Front, Utah are explored through a randomly administrated survey designed to characterize and quantify CES. Descriptive statistics indicate that participants are motivated to visit farmland or rangeland because of their associated CES values. A principal component analysis is used to categorize specific CES values into factors representing ‘multifunctional’ cultural amenities and ‘traditional’ rural amenities. The clustering of CES values corroborates findings from other studies concerning multifunctional and traditional agricultural land-use preferences. OLS regression models subsequently reveal statistically significant relationships between multifunctional cultural amenities and religious affiliation and farming history. The regression models also uncover statistically significant relationships between traditional rural amenities and household income and community classification. Finally, our survey instrument demonstrates that while we are able to evaluate the range of commonly recognized CES categories, additional research is needed on lesser-studied CES (e.g. spiritual and inspirational values) and synergies among different CES (e.g. interconnected relationship between aesthetics and recreation) before their quantification can be standardized. However, this research demonstrates that CES values are ever-present in agroecosystems and can be integrated in peri-urban and agricultural land management and planning with existing CES knowledge.