- Characterization of outdoor recreation: Characterizing participation in outdoor recreation activities is often difficult when participants are not required
to pass through a gate and pay an entry fee. Dr. Leggett has designed and implemented numerous on-site count studies to help government agencies better characterize outdoor recreation on public
lands. His efforts have focused on activities such as fishing, walking/running, biking, hiking, boating, swimming, surfing, camping, and sight-seeing. He often incorporates automated
vehicle counters, automated pedestrian counters, or video cameras to reduce data collection costs. He recently completed a comprehensive report for the National Park Service that describes
available methods for estimating visitation at parks and other public lands.
- Survey implementation: Surveys are useful tools for characterizing the behavior or opinions of a particular target population. For example, for a NOAA study investigating the
impact of marine debris on beach recreation, Dr. Leggett designed a mail survey of Orange County, California residents to obain data on trips to local beaches. For a National Park Service study
investigating potential exposure to contaminated sediments, he designed an on-site survey of visitors to Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area to obtain data on recreational activities and
fish consumption. For the town of Gilford, New Hampshire, he developed a mail survey of voters to evaluate opinions regarding a proposed police station expansion.
- Use of random sampling to reduce project costs: Rather than collecting information about an entire population, random sampling allows one to estimate
population parameters using information obtained from a sample. Dr. Leggett has worked closely with several clients to reduce analytical costs through careful random sampling designs. For
example, for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he designed a stratified random sample that was used in auditing payments made under EPA's State Revolving Fund. For the National Park
Service, he developed a multi-stage cluster sampling approach that was used to characterize visitors to Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.
- Economic losses due to park closures: When parks or beaches are closed due to oil spills or chemical releases, government agencies often seek to
recover damages to the public due to lost or diminished recreational opportunities. Dr. Leggett has developed on-site data collection efforts designed to assess recreational losses after major
oil spills, including the Cosco Busan Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay. For the National Park Service, Dr. Leggett worked closely with a team of academics to develop surveys and travel cost
models designed to assess recreational losses due to potential park closures in Texas, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.
- Economic losses due to fish consumption advisories: As part of natural resource damage assessment efforts, government agencies frequently need to assess
economic losses due to fish consumption advisories or recreational fishery closures. Dr. Leggett has used a variety of economic valuation techniques (including benefit transfer and random
utility models) to assess losses due to fish consumption advisories on various rivers, lakes, and estuaries throughout the United States. For example, he assessed economic losses due to fish
consumption advisories on Lake Ontario (for New York State) and a recreational fishery closure associated with the Cosco Busan Oil Spill (for NOAA).