Assistant Professor of Economics Sahan T. M. Dissanayake and Ryu Matsuura ’16 published an article in the Maine Policy Review on preferences for the proposed Maine North Woods Park. Their research, conducted with Andrew Meyer of Marquette University, contributes to the ongoing public dialogue about the proposed park by analyzing the preferences of out-of-state visitors. The authors find that many respondents would visit, stay three to five days, and visit the coast and other areas in Maine while in the state. The research also finds that providing both a National Park and a National Recreation Area would attract more visitors and increase overall welfare more than just having one or the other.

This research was funded by research grants from the Engaged Scholarship Initiative of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and from Colby’s Social Sciences Division. Matsuura was a student research assistant during the summer of 2015 with funding provided by the Colby Summer Research Program. Director of the Goldfarb Center Dan Shea stated, “This research is a good example of how the Goldfarb Center and Colby in general provide opportunities for students and faculty to work together on research to tackle current policy-relevant issues aimed at informing regional and national policy.”