Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type



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

Committee Chair Name

Erin Kelly

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Nicholas Perdue

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Steven Martin

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


Recent increases in visitation to public lands in the U.S. are often attributed to a rise in social media sharing of outdoor spaces, and particularly to the use of geotagging and hashtagging for location sharing. There are conflicting views on the influence of social media on visitation to public lands, including negative perceptions of social media users, and positive perceptions of social media’s potential to spread information to underrepresented and underserved communities. Due to the growing interest in social media use and its effects on outdoor spaces, it is important to understand how social media use correlates with recreational behavior compared to the rhetoric about this type of use. To this end, I conducted a discourse analysis of media articles on the subject, and implemented a visitor survey about recreation behavior, attitudes, and environmental identity at Jedediah Smith State Park, a park in Crescent City, California which is popular on social media. While discourse analysis found that opinions on social media use is largely two-sided for and against the technology, the survey results display a more complex and diverse relationship between social media use and outdoor recreation experience.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location