Approximating the distribution of recreational visits from on-site survey data

J. S. Shonkwiler, Jeffrey Englin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While convenient and often used, on-site surveys are biased by the fact that users who visit the site more often are proportionately more likely to be sampled. This so-called avidity or size biased sampling results in over-estimating the visitation patterns of the average user. This analysis develops a rule of thumb method that may easily be applied by recreation site managers to visitation data collected on-site in order to infer behavior of the average user of the site. The key assumption that drives the derivation is that the visitation data of users is logarithmically distributed. To evaluate the methodology, we analyze several data sets of recreational users assuming that they reflect the populations of users and from these construct hypothetical on-site samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1850-1853
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Avidity bias
  • Logarithmic distribution
  • On-site sample
  • Recreation sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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