Business researchers provide insights on public perception related to stormwater runoff

Research from professors in Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business provides insight on public concern about stormwater management.

A paper, titled Managing stormwater runoff in Appalachia: what does the public think?, is forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

The Appalachian business researchers, Drs. Peter Groothuis, Tanga Mohr and John Whitehead, are professors in the Department of Economics in the Walker College. The three worked with Drs. Kristan Cockerill (Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian), William P. Anderson Jr. (Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Appalachian) and Chuanhui Gu (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China) on the project.

The abstract states that as concerns about urban stormwater runoff become more acute and decentralized management gains popularity, there is a need to better understand public attitudes about stormwater management. We surveyed residents in Appalachia to assess knowledge about stormwater runoff, concerns about impacts, efforts to abate runoff on private property, and attitudes toward who should manage and pay for management. The survey also employed a split sample technique to assess how detailed, science-based information documenting negative impacts influences public concern and attitudes toward stormwater management. The results show a majority of respondents know what stormwater runoff is, but they know less about what its impacts are. About a third of respondents have implemented stormwater abatement measures on their property. There is no consensus on who should manage or pay for stormwater management. Providing more detailed science-based information had no influence on respondents’ general concern about stormwater runoff or their attitudes about its management.

About Research in the Walker College of Business

Walker College of Business faculty produce and disseminate extensive research through both academic and professional communities. In the last five years, faculty members have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 130 conference proceedings and made more than 400 conference and professional presentations in 170 different venues. In total, the faculty has produced more than 700 individual intellectual contributions in basic discovery research, more than 400 contributions in applied or integrative research and 240 contributions in teaching and learning research. For more information, visit

About the Department of Economics at Appalachian State University

The Department of Economics in Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business is an intellectually vibrant place for students and faculty. As a research-intensive department committed to student learning, the department offers a wide range of courses that provide critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, complemented by student-faculty research collaboration. Our faculty members are engaged in research that contributes locally and globally in areas related to energy, environmental, development, trade, health, sports and tourism. The Department of Economics is ranked among the leading U.S. economics departments for research productivity, and is particularly strong in environmental and experimental economics. Learn more at

Business researchers provide insights on public perception related to stormwater runoff
Published: Jan 28, 2019 10:19am