Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Environmental Studies and Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

Thesis Type

Honors College, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Patricia Stokowski

Second Advisor

Robert Bartlett

Third Advisor

Walter Kuentzel


national parks, social media, park personality, Facebook, visual image analysis


This study examines how US national parks use images to craft and present aspects of “park personality” for social media followers. We ask: How is park personality portrayed through the images in Facebook posts? Discourse analysis approaches (content, rhetorical, and semiotic qualitative analyses) were used, and three large natural resource-based national parks were compared. Preliminary results indicate that photographic images provide both literal and symbolic meanings about park features (landscape, wildlife, people), though personality profiles vary by park. Results of this research can inform agency-public communications as well as public support for parks and protected areas.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.