Date of Award


First Advisor

Katie Boswell

Second Advisor

Jamie Hutchinson


This thesis attempts to address questions of why conservation and preservation of wilderness areas is or should be important to us in our daily lives. These questions are examined through the lens of Yellowstone National Park in an attempt to highlight the importance of personal connections to a place that is a candidate for such conservation and management.

Beginning with a history of the park in both geologic and human terms, the uniqueness and value of the Yellowstone area is explained, framed within a narrative of travels throughout the American southwest during the spring of 2011. In the latter half of the thesis, which is framed by stories from a summer spent at Old Faithful in Yellowstone, the ideas of conservation and inherent value are addressed through the key ideas of existence value (inherent) and experience value (personal connection), which are used finally to argue for a land-relations ethic and the importance of wilderness in our lives.

Simon's Rock Off-campus Download

Simon's Rock students and employees can log in from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Simon's Rock username and password.