Graduation Date

Summer 2019

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Gregg Gold

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Erin Kelly

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

John Meyer

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


In a world rich with a diversity of stories and values, successful conservation must not rely on everyone thinking and feeling the same way. Values are the foundation of the cognitive hierarchy of human behavior and are relatively fixed and unlikely to change. As a result, environmental communication that is reliant on a particular set of values may cause polarization around conservation issues. The reasoned action approach offers a way to explore communication techniques that address the cognitive hierarchy of human behavior at its most malleable point, behavioral intentions. Because land trusts work with historically divergent audiences who are often polarized by conservation issues, they are in a unique position to provide insight on how to bridge this divide. This project examines the websites of sixteen land trusts operating in Northern California through the lens of the reasoned action approach. The result offers land trusts and others engaged in the broader environmental communications insight into the current website communication practices of land trusts and to how website narratives and structures can work towards building of community through the well-balanced treatment of these diverse audiences.

Citation Style