Graduation Date

Summer 2021

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources, option Wildlife

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Jeffrey Black

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Matthew Johnson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Barbara Clucas

Subject Categories

Wildlife Management


Environmental art projects use artistic interpretation to tell stories about the natural world, often with the hope that they will inspire awareness or behavioral change. In 2019, an art project to raise awareness about North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) was launched in Northern California, using over 100 river otter sculptures painted and decorated by local artists. Through a mixed-methods approach, I quantified the initial outcomes of the project, North Coast Otters, as well as the response to the project by the public on social media as a case study in environmental art and outreach. Participating artists’ interviews and statements revealed inspiration from the natural world and the shared environments of humans and river otters. Art themes were equally distributed between abstract interpretations of their relationships with nature and direct representations of river otter ecology and the natural world. Responses on social media varied between the two platforms, suggesting that for this project different approaches to outreach had different levels of success. The findings add to the growing body of research in environmental art and serve as a baseline for understanding the impacts to a corresponding citizen science monitoring project when North Coast Otters is completed.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location