Graduation Date

Fall 2022

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Michihiro Clark Sugata

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Anthony Silvaggio

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Historically, marginalized groups, including people of color and those from low socioeconomic populations, have been at a disadvantage in accessing outdoor recreation on public lands. This project explores whether this phenomenon is mirrored in undergraduate student populations, specifically within Latinx first-generation college students. This project had a sample size of twenty undergraduate students who identified as first-generation Latinx students attending Cal Poly Humboldt. Utilizing a semi-structured interview, participants were presented with survey questions which were intended to elicit their response on how the natural environment and their participation in the environment through outdoor recreation were significant factors in their decision to attend and remain enrolled at Cal Poly Humboldt. The survey research identified three significant finds including (1) an expected difficult transition to Cal Poly Humboldt, (2) barriers to outdoor recreation, (3) and perceived exclusion and isolation. The findings in this research suggested Latinx first-generation college students attending Cal Poly Humboldt found value and importance in the outdoor environment and outdoor recreation, however, external factors such as cultural shock, race-based discrimination, and the lack of cultural representation were much more significant in shaping their experiences.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location