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The Social construction of nature and health : perceived health benefits of engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

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Title:
The Social construction of nature and health : perceived health benefits of engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Creator:
Newman, Sara
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Health and behavioral sciences
Committee Chair:
Scandlyn, Jean
Committee Members:
Thomas, Deborah
Hickox, Abby
Kreuger, Patrick

Notes

Abstract:
Parks are more than the location where physical activity takes place; as such we must advance our understanding of the many ways park engagement influences the perception of health. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska is commonly characterized as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural (Kollin, 2001). The social construction of these places influences the ways in which people expect to experience them when visiting. In parallel fashion, interacting with nature is widely viewed as healthy. Health, also a socially constructed concept, so too superimposes preconceived notions onto engagement with nature. With the explicit goal of “creating healthy outdoor recreation” opportunities and as places where many people seek to experience nature, U.S. National Parks act as a focal point where complex interpretations of the health-nature nexus play out. Yet tensions remain on what constitutes health in parks. I explore these tensions, through an ethnographic case study of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) to examine how these discourses affect the perceived health of representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged). Exploring health-nature relationships expands the definition of who can participate and receive health benefits from the natural environment beyond the gendered, racialized, ablebodied, ideal of an outdoor enthusiast.
General Note:
n3p

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Sara Newman. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF NATURE AND HEALTH;
PERCEIVED HEALTH BENEFITS OF ENGAGING WITH KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH
NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK by
SARA NEWMAN B.A., University of Denver, 2008 M.S.P.H., Johns Hopkins University, 2011
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Health and Behavioral Sciences Program
2018


©2018
SARA NEWMAN
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Sara Newman has been approved for the Health and Behavioral Sciences Program by
Jean Scandlyn, Chair Deborah Thomas, Advisor Abby Hickox Patrick Kreuger
Date: June 22, 2018
m


Newman, Sara (Ph.D., Health and Behavioral Sciences Program)
The Social Construction of Heath and Nature: Perceived Health Benefits of Visitors Engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Thesis directed by Associate Professor Deborah Thomas
ABSTRACT
Parks are more than the location where physical activity takes place; as such we must advance our understanding of the many ways park engagement influences the perception of health. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska is commonly characterized as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural (Kollin, 2001). The social construction of these places influences the ways in which people expect to experience them when visiting. In parallel fashion, interacting with nature is widely viewed as healthy. Health, also a socially constructed concept, so too superimposes preconceived notions onto engagement with nature. With the explicit goal of “creating healthy outdoor recreation” opportunities and as places where many people seek to experience nature, U.S. National Parks act as a focal point where complex interpretations of the health-nature nexus play out. Yet tensions remain on what constitutes health in parks. I explore these tensions, through an ethnographic case study of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) to examine how these discourses affect the perceived health of representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged). Exploring health-nature relationships expands the definition of who can participate and receive health benefits from the natural environment beyond the gendered, racialized, able-bodied, ideal of an outdoor enthusiast.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Deborah Thomas
IV


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I have always liked to tell students that Public Health is a team sport - no one accomplishes anything individually - and that is certainly true for this dissertation. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of many people and institutions. First, I would like to express my thanks to the many visitors that let me barge into their vacations and ask them questions about what they thought of Alaska. I would like to thank the rangers and administration of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park for allowing me to interview them while off the clock and for the endless patience as I talked about my project. To my ranger friends who heard countless iterations of this and offered suggestions and support, I thank you. A special thanks to Superintendent Mike Tranel, who both fostered ideas about this research as well as allowed access to Klondike Gold Rush’s facilities and institutions. In addition, he supported my research through funding my assistant, Lindsay Adams, who was my constant fieldwork companion. Lindsay is a brilliant social researcher who helped me make sense of the culture and nuances of both the park service and visitor experiences. This research is as much hers as it is mine. The views expressed in this dissertation are my own and do not reflect those of the National Park Service.
A very special thank you to my committee and academic advisors, Deborah Thomas,
Jean Scandlyn, Abby Hickox, and Patrick Krueger, whose insightful comments and conversations helped me improve this dissertation tremendously. Deb and Jean, as my co-Chairs have heard countless versions of this project. I am eternally grateful for Deb’s academic and professional mentorship and I credit her in guiding me through the darkest days of my academic future. I owe to her my development as a writer and as a scholar through her thoughtful evaluations and encouragement. Jean’s unwavering support, intellectual space, and encouragement - not to mention her hiking the Chilkoot trail with me - were invaluable. I could not have asked for better co-Chairs. For Abby, a special thank you for introducing me to the field of human geography and helping me shift my worldview each time we met. Patrick has been a steady presence from the start of this project and I thank him for helping me shape it into a solid dissertation.
I would also like to thank the Health and Behavioral Sciences Department, where I have found a home for the past six years. Abby Fitch, especially, was a source of support and humor.
It was through this department that I discovered my love of instructing undergraduate public health students and shaped my future career. To my fellow doctoral students in the program, thank you for your constant support and encouragement. You are a group of brilliant and inspirational researchers who have helped me think critically and supported me through this process, not to mention the brainstorming, edits and endless hours of side-by-side work. I owe a special thank you to Sarah Brewer, Rachel Norton, Karen Hampanda, Stephanie Chamberlin, and Ryan O’Connoll. To my superb cohort, Melanie Tran, Shane Sheridan and Dayna Matthew, I feel privileged to be your peer. I would also like to acknowledge funding from the University of Colorado Denver Health and Behavioral Sciences Department that helped me conduct and analyze this research.
I would like to thank my friends and co-workers at the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes and Delivery Sciences. You have expanded my mind and my research and I thank you for the flexibility to work at ACCORDS while completing this dissertation. To Juliana
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Barnard, your mentorship, counsel and intellectual curiosity have greatly inspired me. To my work partner, Sophia Arabadjis, thank you so much for your friendship and your incredibly insightful edits and comments of this dissertation. I will work with you anytime, anywhere. Thank you to Laura Helmkamp who patiently helped me work through the quantitative portion of this project. Sarah Brewer is the exact friend you want in a crisis and I am grateful for all her help.
Finally, I thank my friends and my family. Even for those who do not know exactly what it is I do; they have kept me going with their constant support, companionship, sometimes-needed distraction, and always with encouragement. Beth Davidson, thank you for the miles hiked to come up with this project. Sarah Fazekas always reminds me how far I have come and helps provide me with the strength to continue onward. Carol Ann Fisher has been in the trenches with me daily yet never seems to tire of being my cheerleader, best friend, and soul sister. Myntha Anthym inspires me daily as a researcher, social justice warrior, and embodies the exact mix of fun, laughter, and intellectual stimulation. To the Carrolls, I thank you for your hearty welcome into the family at the exact moment that I needed to devote too much of my time to this dissertation. Above all, thank you for your son and brother, Andrew Carroll. Without his unquestioning support, edits, and care - even when he had no idea what sort of state he could find me in - from one day to the next, I could not have completed this dissertation. I cannot wait to be married to this man.
To my family, especially my parents, thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. Without your support, I could never have pursued this dream. I have deep thanks for teaching me to love our National Parks and my legacy with the parks. For my grandfather,
Robert Dunkeson (Yellowstone National Park), father, Thomas Newman (Grand Teton National Park), mother, Patricia Newman (Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon National Park), and Aunt and Uncle, Cindy and Wayne Nielsen (Grand Teton National Park, Glacier National Park, Death Valley National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Arches National Park, and Great Basin National Park to name a few) thank you for being the source of this connection.
I wish my Aunt Cindy could have seen this project, I think of her frequently and her career dedication to the parks. To me, and many, the National Park Service has great symbolic meaning. The parks are some of the places where I saw my parents love for each other and I found love there as well. Certainly, the parks are not perfect, but I believe the idea behind them is radical and noble, and I am committed to making them inclusive for all. Okay, Andy, let’s go earn some more junior ranger badges!
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Photo 1: Author and her family
vii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1...............................................................1
INTRODUCTION............................................................1
National Park Service.................................................1
Specific Aims.........................................................5
Aim 1:..............................................................8
Aim 2:..............................................................8
Aim 3:..............................................................8
Theoretical Frameworks................................................8
Foucauldian Discourse Analysis........................................9
Landscape Framework..................................................11
Conceptual Model.....................................................16
....................................................................18
Literature Review....................................................18
Views of Parks and Health, Focus on Public Health Perspective......18
The Outdoors and Physical Health..................................19
The Outdoors and Mental Health....................................19
The Outdoors and Social and Spiritual Health......................20
Implications and Further Work......................................21
Programmatic Implications..........................................21
Disciplinary Implications..........................................22
CHAPTER 2..............................................................23
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS............................................23
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Research Setting.............................................................23
Location, Population, History..............................................23
Klondike Gold Rush.........................................................24
Activities at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park..................26
Tourism in Alaska..........................................................28
Ethnography..................................................................28
Research Assistant...........................................................30
My Role......................................................................31
Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National
Historical Park..............................................................34
Overall Methodological Approach:...........................................34
Methods....................................................................35
Participants...............................................................35
In-depth Interview Topics..................................................36
Analysis...................................................................37
Observations...............................................................39
Analysis...................................................................40
Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits.
.............................................................................41
Semi-structured interviews.................................................41
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Aim 3: To understand the social meanings and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush
National Historical Park...................................................44
Semi-structured interviews..............................................44
NPS Sponsored Survey....................................................48
Synthesis...............................................................51
Ethical Considerations and Protection of Human Subjects....................51
CHAPTER III..................................................................53
NATURE AS A HEALTH DISCOURSE.................................................53
Introduction...............................................................53
“Out There” or “Behind a Window”: Health and Park Engagement...............54
Active Engagement..........................................................55
Passive Engagement.........................................................62
Health Narratives..........................................................65
Stress Narrative........................................................65
Mental Health and Engagement............................................68
Physical Engagement.....................................................70
Social and Spiritual Health.............................................72
Identities.................................................................75
Body Size...............................................................76
Age and Ability.........................................................78
Gender..................................................................82
Race and Ethnicity......................................................85
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Exclusion and Implications.................................................90
CHAPTER IV...................................................................91
LANDSCAPE, HEALTH, AND PLACE.................................................91
Introduction...............................................................91
Photo Elicitation Method...................................................93
Alaska.....................................................................94
Alaska as Beautiful and Scenic..........................................96
Alaska as Natural......................................................106
Alaska as Adventure.......................................................109
Alaska and Crowding.......................................................115
History and Historical Connection.........................................118
Purity and Fresh Air......................................................121
Authenticity..............................................................126
Conclusion and Implications...............................................133
CHAPTER V...................................................................135
RANGER AND NATIONAL PARK PERSPECTIVES.......................................135
Introduction..............................................................135
Theoretical Perspective...................................................137
Methods...................................................................139
National Park Status......................................................139
Photo Three, Visitor’s Center..........................................143
Photo Four, Jeff Smith’s Parlor........................................146
Photo Ten, Row of Historic Buildings, Including the Mascot Saloon......148
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Ranger Identity and Place within the Park.....................................151
Photo Six, Visitor Center Desk..............................................156
Photo Five, Ranger Led Walking Tour.........................................159
Active and Passive Discourse, and Constructions of Health.....................161
Stress Narratives and Mental Health.........................................164
Physical Health.............................................................167
Social and Spiritual Health.................................................168
Identities....................................................................171
Body Size...................................................................171
Age and Ability.............................................................173
Gender......................................................................175
Race and Ethnicity..........................................................176
NPS Visitor Survey............................................................178
Methods.......................................................................180
Measures......................................................................180
Dependent Variables.........................................................180
Covariates..................................................................186
Statistical Analyses........................................................186
Results.....................................................................186
Discussion..................................................................188
Convergence and Divergence with Qualitative Results.........................189
Implications..................................................................190
CHAPTER VI.......................................................................193
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CONCLUSION
193
Summary............................................................193
Social Constructionism and the Medical Model.......................195
Democratization of National Parks and Health.......................197
Recommendations to the NPS.........................................198
Future Work........................................................200
LIST OF REFERENCES.....................................................201
Appendix A: Interview Guides...........................................209
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List of Figures
Figure 1: NPS Centennial Graphic.......................................................5
Figure 2: Conceptual Model............................................................18
Figure 3: Geography KLGO including town and Chilkoot trail portions (National Park Service,
2016.............................................................................23
Figure 4: KLGO within the region, Skagway connected the inside passage and Dawson City,
Yukon via the Yukon River (National Park Service, 2016).........................27
Figure 5: Ethical Approval from KLGO Superintendent..................................32
Figure 6: Aim 2 Conceptual Model......................................................92
Figure 7: NPS SEM Survey Goals.......................................................179
Figure 8: Conceptual Model...........................................................194
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List of Tables
Table 1: Overview of Aim 1......................................................40
Table 2: Overview of Aim 2......................................................44
Table 3: Overview of Aim 3......................................................47
Table 4: Dependent Variable.....................................................50
Table 5: Covariates.............................................................50
Table 6: Engagement Constructs.................................................182
Table 7: Demographics..........................................................185
Table 8: Linear Regression Models..............................................188
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List of Photos
Photo 1: Author and her family.......................
Photo 3: Mascot Saloon, 1976 and 2016................
Photo 4: Photos for Photo Elicitation Method.........
Photo 4: Photo One, Skagway..........................
Photo 5: People by Smuggler's Cove...................
Photo 6: Walking Across Chilkoot Bridge..............
Photo 7: Long Hill...................................
Photo 9: Pantheon Saloon.............................
Photo 10: Park Ranger Flat Hat.......................
Figure 11: Conceptual Model, Focus on Aim 3..........
Photo 12: Visitor's Center...........................
Photo 13: Jeff Smith's Parlor........................
Photo 14: Mascot Saloon..............................
Photo 15: Ranger and Visitors at the Visitor Center Desk Photo 16: Ranger Led Walking Tour....................
.........................vii
..........................14
..........................43
..........................99
........................102
........................110
.........................113
........................116
.........................136
Error! Bookmark not defined.
.........................143
.........................146
.........................148
.........................156
.........................159
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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
National Park Service
I first began to think of this research project as it stands in the summer season of 2015, my fourth season as a ranger at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO). However, the true origins of this project reach much further back for me. As a third-generation park ranger, I have a deep connection with the National Park Service. I strongly support the NPS mission of building a legacy for the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. Yet as a public health scholar, I saw many missed opportunities of supporting population health through narrow definitions of how the agency and others view “health in parks.” Through this research, I expand and explore the many domains in which engaging with the public lands can improve the health of populations, especially marginalized groups.
Termed “America’s Best Idea” by documentarian Ken Burns, the National Park Service serves as a uniquely American invention, and institution (Burns, Bums, & Coyote, 2009). Billed as the American version of European cathedrals, National Parks captured the spirit and ideals of America and manifested them into a physical place. Central to the idea of National Parks is how America views nature:
The idea of nature has played a central role in U.S. politics, religion, and culture. Nature is a powerful symbol that recurs in many of the stories Americans tell about themselves and their country, stories of the feared wilderness or the challenging frontier; of bountiful agricultural land or treacherous mountains and deserts. Nature is the site of religious experience of God and of demonic temptations and dangers. It is the New World and the Promised Land, as well as the untamed wilderness full of ‘wild beasts and wild men.’ Nature, imagined in these many ways, has been a central image around which important issues, dreams, and violence have gathered in US American history. (Ross-Bryant, 2012)
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The National Parks are not only protected land, they are symbolic of the United States itself. Protected areas of land have a legacy in Europe where elites had a strong influence over ideal beautiful landscapes (Suckall, Fraser, Cooper, & Quinn, 2009). The United States adopted perceptions of beauty as a democratic use of ideal landscapes along with the creation of the first two national parks (Hot Springs National Park and Yellowstone National Park). Still, this shift occurred within broader ideological changes driven by transcendentalist thought that influenced the perception of nature (Cronon, 1996). This emphasis on natural areas coincided with the emergence of public health as a field; a reaction to the ill effects of the industrial revolution (Ray, 2009). The Progressive Era’s historical moment gave rise to the idea of “wilderness” and “nature”: as a pristine landscape of retreat, a “safety valve” for the United States’ democracy to replace the “closed” frontier, and as a place where humans could escape the stresses of modernity and industrialization (Ray, 269 - 271, 2009). This historical context influenced the dualism of nature/purity and city/impurity, which I hypothesize, underlies many thoughts about how health is produced in nature.
Oftentimes wilderness study within public health circles causes some raised eyebrows. However, the Progressive Era “was characterized by more bodies in tighter spaces, creating a new appreciation for public hygiene programs, but also a new appreciation for wide open spaces and wilderness” (Ray, 269 - 271, 2009). Thus, a similar historical period influenced modern public health strategies, as well as cordoned off wilderness as an escape from the ills of population density. Population health and wilderness ideas have an intricately interwoven history.
Progressive Era politics have a legacy in the adventure sports of mountain climbing and, arguably, of risk. Adventure sports provide, “the ‘consummate image of courage and skill,' they
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also offer transcendence and purifications. Adventure cultures locate the site of moral purity and connection to nature in the suffering body” (Braun, 2003; Ray, 2009). The United States government democratized space for the enjoyment of all citizens, instead of only the landed elite, a defining element of the National Park Service. Many of the ideological values credited to public health, which is the democratization of health for populations and not for the wealthy few, also underlie public lands. This democratization of land (and health) that has had global implications for protected areas with organizations that model the NPS around the world (Mitchell, 2011).
Pilgrimages to National Parks do not happen in an ideological vacuum, and one potential consequence is the production of health through spiritual experience or adventure purification. The literature has yet truly to link these ideas of how society constructs nature with how visitors conceive of health. Instead, most health literatures define health and nature as independent, unrelated ideas. Connecting the social construction of health and nature to current thought surrounding how health is produced informs who is thought to experience health and who is not, which has implications in who is allowed to experience health in the outdoors. Through obscuring the cultural work it takes to view nature or health, we cannot really see who is healthy in these areas or not. This historical discourse tells and influences how society constructs nature and health today.
The year in which I conducted the field research, 2016, was the 100-year anniversary of the Organic Act, the legislation that created the NPS. It was a celebration; in honor of the anniversary, there were sweeping celebrations at individual parks, robust national media campaigns and sizeable corporate sponsorships of the park service. Visitation increased by 5% from January - September 2015
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(Mather, 2017.) There were stamps, coins, IMAX movies, and all rangers received new special badges. While the NPS generally is aware of its historical roots, the years leading up to 2016 were a time of reflection and then reimagining of what the park service is and what the future holds. The NPS took the centennial year to reimagine its identity and focus for “the next 100 years.” The four subgoals for the next century, the NPS aims to:
1. Develop and nurture lifelong connections between the public and parks - especially through young people - through a continuum of engaging recreational, educational, volunteer, and work experiences.
2. Connect urban communities to parks, trails, waterways, and community green spaces that give people access to fun outdoor experiences close to home.
3. Expand the use of parks as places for healthy outdoor recreation that contributes to peoples’ physical, mental, and social well-being.
4. Welcome and engage diverse communities through culturally relevant park stories and experiences that are accessible to all. (National Park Service, 2015, p. 6)
I engage with these goals through this dissertation. While goal three is explicit in its promotion of health, this research will also touch on goal four. While at first glance, goal three seems to conceive of health in a comprehensive, holistic sense, this frame places health within discrete domains of biomedical science. The consequence is an unnecessarily narrow conception of how people experience health in parks, often boiled down to the emphasis on physical health with the casual mention of mental health benefits. In addition, these health benefits have generally been applied to an increasingly narrow definition of who is receiving
4


health benefits - mainly through reinforcing a cultural divide between visitors who access the backcountry, and those who visit by car (Louter & Cronon, 2010).
«
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Figure 1: NPS Centennial
Specific Aims
Throughout the past years, my conversations with higher-level park managers, other rangers, federal representatives of the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement, and park
visitors have convinced me that the idea of "health in parks" is much more complicated than it
appears on the surface, or in the biomedical literature. Parks are much more than just the
location where physical activity takes place, which is often the standard interpretation of health
in parks.
I explore these tensions between a biomedical interpretation and a more comprehensive
and holistic view of well-being through an ethnographic case study of a small national park in
Southeast Alaska. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska, commonly characterized
as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural (Kollin, 2001), captures the imagination as the
“last frontier.” The notion of natural, or the social construction of these places, influences the
ways in which people expect to experience them when visiting. And, by extension, these ideas of
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5


nature play directly into tensions of land use, whether for preservation, conservation or resource extraction. In parallel fashion, interacting with nature is widely viewed as healthy. Although a socially constructed concept, health too superimposes preconceived notions onto engagement with nature. With the explicit goal of “creating healthy outdoor recreation” opportunities and as places where many people seek to experience nature, United States National Parks act as a focal point where complex interpretations of the health-nature nexus play out.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) is a historical park with over 20 buildings and a 33-mile backcountry trail (the Chilkoot Trail) at the site of a major cruise ship port. The cultural divide (backcountry versus car access) of visitor use, which appears in many parks, is at an extreme in this one with its two primary populations of visitors. These populations are people attempting the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail (backcountry) and cruise ship tourists (car access). It is easy to dichotomize visitor groups by activity; I hypothesize there is a continuum of park engagement that is experienced across many social groups.
The social context in which health is produced in KLGO is essential. The representations, expectations, and assumptions that shape the way park employees and managers discuss the issue of health in parks are intimately linked to their everyday representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged). How people talk about health in parks is as illuminating as what they say, particularly about engagement. I came to appreciate that this type of language, or what Michel Foucault would call discourse, was framing the entire conversation about health in parks. I explore the frame of how discussing health within the park reproduces the concepts of nature and heath, which are rooted in historical and power dynamics. Thus, I explore both how
6


visitors conceive of their health concerning park engagement, as well as how park employees’ assumptions about how visitors perceive health in the park.
This investigation of park use does more than describe a set of activities by tourists as related to health. Instead, I utilize a discourse analysis perspective to explore the hidden relations of power and grapple with the more in-depth social meanings through which visitors engage with the park as well as how they produce health. I explore how individual identity, as well as social position, influences this social construction. As such, I examine larger demographic stories and engage with concepts, such as age, ethnicity, and gender. I engage with the social meanings and representations on which NPS personnel draw to talk about how visitors produce health in parks.
The goal of this dissertation is to explore how the social construction of "nature" and "health" each play a role in the ordering of what, and by extension, who is healthy or unhealthy in KLGO. As such, the overarching research question is: how does the social construction of nature and health influence how park users experience and perceive health benefits associated with engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park?
Examining the framing of health concerning National Parks is a vital first step to gain insights as to whom is framed as engaging with the parks in a healthy way to truly consider whom is left out of this frame. It is only with this knowledge that we can understand the breadth and complexity of the health benefits visitors receive when engaging with a National Park. In turn, this can inform innovative outreach activities by National Parks and rangers that facilitate a broader range of engagement with parks. Bringing awareness to the perceived benefits people experience at National Parks may shed light on the multiple ways in which a social environment produces health. As such, these are the aims of the project:
7


Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits.
Aim 3: To understand the discourses and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
I pursued this study’s aims through an in-depth ethnographic case study in the summer of 2016 at KLGO in Skagway, Alaska. Through an ethnographic approach, I explore some of the theoretical and contextual factors that much of the current literature neglects, which enables me to address the research aims in a novel, in-depth way. As ethnography commonly incorporates additional data sources, I use a variety of methods and techniques to inform this study including semi-structured interviews, a photo elicitation method, a survey administered by the social science unit of NPS in August 2016, and participant observation.
In addition, my extended period in the field and experience as a National Park Service Interpretive Ranger lends a unique perspective. While my position poses some research challenges, discussed in detail in Chapter 2,1 did have access to the "insider" knowledge and discourse created in social spaces that are usually difficult to access. In this case, that knowledge includes conversations that rangers have “behind closed doors.”
Theoretical Frameworks
The two broad theoretical frames I draw from to look at the issue of "nature" and "health" are Foucauldian discourse analysis and place-based landscape theory. Both frames provide productive lenses through which to examine how the relationship of nature and health
8


frames the perception of health and wellbeing. Discourse analysis gives structure to address aims one and three while the place-based landscape theory informs aim 2.
Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
In common parlance, discourse refers to language generally. However, I take a position of analyzing discourse from a more theoretically grounded sense (Wooffitt, 2005). The use of the word discourse in the social sciences, and in particular psychology, have proliferated in the last several decades (Wooffitt, 2005), therefore I firmly situate this dissertation within a Foucauldian perspective. While much of the Foucauldian view is rooted in the works of Michel Foucault, it also stems from the work of Stuart Hall, as well as others (Hickcox, 2012). Hall defines discourse as a way:
[to] provide a language for talking about - i.e., a way of representing - a particular kind of knowledge about a topic. When statements about a topic are made within a particular discourse, the discourse makes it possible to construct the topic in a certain way. (Hall, 1992, p. 201)
Said another way, discourse is the vocabulary a person uses that reflects his or her
socially constructed reality; hence discourses are representative of collective knowledge. The
language people use are reflections of the frames through which they view their world. This
approach to discourse analysis is to examine frames, or the “underlying structures of belief,
perception, and appreciation” (Rein & Schon, 1996). Examining the language visitors and
rangers use to talk about health and nature can expose the frames that form both ideas.
Health and nature can be viewed as sociocultural products, examining their social and
cultural representations as well as the symbolic meanings that surround them (Lupton, Albrecht,
Fitzpatrick, & Scrimshaw, 2000). This insight has major implications, as the frames that order
the way people see the world and influences how people behave. How people talk about health in
parks is as illuminating as what they say, particularly about engagement.
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However, these discourses are not benign. From linguist Van Dijk’s perspective, using discourse analysis reveals “dimensions of power abuse and the injustice and inequality that result from it” (Dijk, 252 1993). Using discourse analysis reveals the hidden relations of power and uncovers the agents who wield that power. Different disciplines and different theorists within those disciplines have conceived of power relations. For Marx, the underlying structures of society - largely economic - created social realities (Dijk, 1993). For Marx, power is a resource in limited supply, that translates into both material realities and ideas (Sherman, 2015). While this view has many implications and effects, for the purposes of this study, Foucault extended these ideas of power to provide insight into ways in which power is deployed outside the specific domain of the State.
The Foucauldian conception of power is concerned with how languages are framed, how power is deployed, resisted and conceptualized (Sherman, 2015). From a Foucauldian perspective, "those who produce the discourse also have the power to make it true - i.e., to enforce its validity, its scientific status" (Hall, 18 - 34, 1992). The implication of this is that institutions that may seem neutral can be unmasked for the types of power that they are deploying. Through Foucault’s idea of “discursive formation,” discourse is viewed not only as a set of theoretical rules, but also as the ways in which power influence knowledge, which then influences people’s behavior. Therefore, it is important to examine the discourse of those in power. In this case the locations of power, the biomedical literature and park management, construct health.
Until this point, the biomedical discourse has been the most relevant and most cited perspective to examine the nature-health nexus. I arguethat the biomedical perspective informs much of the social construction of health and nature, and as such it is essential to understand
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the impact and power of the biomedical frame. However, I take a more comprehensive interpretation of wellness and argue that this discourse leaves out multiple epistemologies. Consequently I am concerned with how power is deployed, resisted and conceptualized (Diaz-Bone et al., 2007; Foucault, 1990).
Rangers’ and park managers’ views are important to examine because of the symbolic, cultural, and economic power NPS employees hold in this context. As such, they are representative of the “professional and institutional structures where interaction takes place” (Brown, 1995). I focus attention on Foucault’s concept of gaze, or location of and use of discursive formation of power (Foucault, 1994, 1995; Turner, 1997). The veins in which power relationships are expressed influence what is, and is not, deemed to be healthy in this context. Ultimately, the goal of this dissertation is to examine the taken for granted "facts" of health in parks to see what or who is missing from the discussion. Discourse analysis is particularly useful for examining how people view health and nature.
Landscape Framework
Historically in the United States, wilderness or nature was a “waste” or something to be dominated (Cronon, 1996). Beginning in the early part of the 19th century, however, that view changed dramatically. A wealthy influential group called the transcendentalists started to associate “wilderness” with the sublime, and introduced a more comprehensive cultural orientation of “taming the frontier” that sought to live in harmony with nature opposed to conquering (Cronon, 1996). Both our construction of nature and National Parks and, I argue, our definition of what makes nature healthy reflect these cultural legacies. How we view nature colors how we see people in nature, which then affects what is healthy in nature.
However, we cannot view health in nature without understanding how it is located in the land itself, or place. The theoretical grounding of place guides examination of the symbolic
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environment at KLGO and solidly within the landscape literature. Landscape, or the Landschaft idea in German, refers to a piece of land at its governing body. The British ideal of landscape relating to land visible from one viewpoint is a tool to examine the synthesis of land, representations of land, and the social powers governing them (Hickcox, 2007; Olwig, 1996).
The landscape creates a space in which to unite both social and the material worlds. Within the social and material literatures, there are two distinct approaches to studying landscape; first as iconographic, symbolic and interpretive lens or the “duplicity of landscapes” (Daniels, 1989; Daniels & Cosgrove, 1988; Duncan, 2004) and, second, the material realities of landscapes that affect and are affected by social relations (Cosgrove, 2003; Mitchell, 2002; Olwig, 1996). In particular, the idea of the “duplicity of landscapes” provides some analytical insight, as it captures the idea that the “natural” status of places like Alaska hides the social construction of nature (Daniels, 1989). Instead of viewing the ideas, discourses and general work it takes to view mountains, glaciers and fjords as majestic or sublime - they just are. A mountain is just a mountain, instead of a representation of the sublime wilderness that has centuries of thought and philosophies laid upon it. Thus, the landscape hides the facts of the historical legacies that helped shape perceptions of the landscape. Embedded within landscape are the idea that the power relations - such as who has access to which areas - are hidden. Instead, power relations naturalize themselves. Power relations become so obvious, so simple, so natural, that they are just accepted. However, in this analysis, I do not blindly accept, I use visitor and ranger discourses to uncover the accepted truths and call them into question.
Within the landscape frame, Alaska, then, is “not naturally given, but rather are socially constituted entities whose meanings shift as a result of specific social practices, concepts such as the Last Frontier must be investigated for the ideologies they encode and the cultural work
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they perform” (Kollin, 2001). As KLGO represents several frames, including Alaska, the NPS, and nature broadly, I use this theoretical lens to unpack the “cultural work” of the supposedly pure idea of Alaska and then reveal whom each area socially allows.
In addition, I must consider the material realities of the landscape to analyze the symbolism of the landscapes (Duncan, 2004). The material landscapes are the physical mountains, the actual fjord and the ice and debris that make up the glaciers. The fact that there are not houses, extensive lighting or other “amendments” to the landscape attests to the conservation policies that govern Alaska’s land use. For example, when a visitor or a ranger looks at Mount Harding and sees a pristine wilderness, the legislation preventing buildings on the mountain are invisible. Instead, this landscape reifies the distinction between nature and city, wilderness and civilization (Photo 1).
Photo 2: Mount Harding and Broadway
Another example, which I fully explore in Chapter 4, is a historic saloon in Skagway. Today it reads as if “time has stood still” yet it hides the knowledge, policies, and monetary investment it has taken to restore it to Gold Rush era colors and appearance. Photo 2 shows
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what the Mascot looked like in 1976, several years before the park service acquired it, then what it looks like today after restoration to Gold Rush era colors and signage. The material saloon reflects the ideology of the town as a historic mining town. Similarly, duplicitously, the framing of landscape as entirely material also obfuscates the social relationships behind the creation of who does and who does not belong there. These two theoretical approaches - the material and symbolic representations of landscape - are reflected in the methods through which I examine the discourse surrounding health and nature as well as the materially-grounded discourses assessed through photo elicitation, which I will discuss further in the methods section.
Photo 2: Mascot Saloon, 1976 and 2016
Embedded within landscape literatures, the concept of place can be defined as the “social creations,” and “different places differ because people have made them to do so”
(Johnston, 1991). Within this view, the idea of place stems more from “the product of interrelations, as constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the global to the intimately tiny” (Massey, 2013). Through this orientation to place, I can examine how the
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interactions of social groups relates to place and influence the relationship between parks and health.
While my primary line of inquiry is to examine the complicated relationship of nature and health. Understanding ideas that relate to national parks and biomedical concepts of health are necessary to complete this. I hypothesized that the designation of KLGO as an NPS site imparts more than federal dollars to preserve the history of the gold rush. The status of KLGO as a park site connects the physical place with the historical and cultural roots of the NPS. The status - and the symbols - of the NPS designate this an area of national cultural and historical importance. Additionally, the connection of Alaska broadly and a cruise ship port individually may play an essential role in the construction of nature and health in this context. For example, when someone is hiking in Skagway, they are hiking in Alaska, which carries the symbolic weight of Alaskan discourses. These concepts will be further explored in Chapter 4.
It is vital to understand place in the context of how threads of meaning-making were historically viewed through Foucault's concept of archaeology or genealogy (Foucault, 1994,
1995). Foucault’s idea of archaeology provides a framework to uncover the historical roots of ideas about how we view nature today. A similar process happened in the construction of “health” over the past century. Sarah Nettleton argues,
Today health and health care are identified with more than hospitals and medical bureaucracies; health matters are to be found in a whole array of agencies, institutions, and settings. Health maintenance involves the consumption of a range of goods and services, which are increasing; marketed for their health-giving properties, such as food, exercise machines, and fitness clubs. Health is something which lies within the control of the individual. (Nettleton, 1997, p. 208)
By purchasing such health-related products, people accept individual responsibility for their
health, cutting off ideas of collective trends and influences of health practices, as such, health
becomes situated, at least socially, at the individual level. Thus, it is vital to include individual
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agency in this analysis, in both perceptions of health, as well as its production. The question of agency is an important concept to explore, especially when extending this argument beyond Alaskan tourists. Linda Nash argues, “The body, like the natural environment, cannot be taken simply as a biological given. People experience their bodies differently in different historical moments, according to the languages and practices available to them” (Nash, 2007). Therefore, this project must examine the language, or discourse used to describe health and experiences concerning nature.
A romantic ethic - the movement that emphasized inspiration, subjectivity and individualism - has a legacy in contemporary society where tourists still seek out the ideals romanticism including “solitude, privacy, and a personal and semi-spiritual relationship with the object [in this case the park]” (Ross-Bryant, 2012). In what Ross-Bryant calls a “pilgrimage” to National Parks reproduces the semi-spiritual relationship. This is where, she claims, the United States can explore narratives and rituals and seek refuge from the imperfect world of everyday life (Ross-Bryant, 2012). The material landscape of the Chilkoot Trail, for example, is set up to provide backpackers an escape from urban existences. Yet on the surface, the trail appears remote and rustic, but it is the duplicity of landscape that hides the work to create the trail’s amenities. The trail’s campsites, bear boxes, toilets and ranger protection all provide a structure through which visitors can reenact the ideals of romantic poets. To reach the goals of the symbolic landscape they alter the physical landscape.
Conceptual Model
In order to understand the way I conceptualize the relationships between visitors (including cruise ship passengers, backpackers and individual travelers) and rangers relate to KLGO and each other, I created this model. For this conceptual model, the cruise ship and hiking boots represent a continuum of visitor engagement with the park represented as a Sitka
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Spruce tree. This visitor continuum is representative of how visitors engage with the park, and how they perceive their health within that engagement. The green arrow is representative of the park context, including the physical geography as well as the historical and structural legacy of National Parks. The park ranger hat is representative of the discourse of power (including the biomedical model) about how visitors engage with the park. The binoculars explore how people in power view this visitor continuum. The arrow connecting the ranger hat to the tree represents the history of how the individual ranger engages with the park; however, it is gray showing that it is somewhat less applicable to the primary park visitor/engagement relationship. The blue boxes and arrows represent the proposed relationship of power that park managers have in creating the discourse surrounding park visitors. These perspectives influence the relationship between visitors and park engagement. The goal of the model is to graphically represent the relationships between the park, visitors and the NPS structure, which then influence how the social construction of nature and health influence the perception of health in this context.
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Park Context
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Figure 2: Conceptual Model
Literature Review
Views of Parks and Health, Focus on Public Health Perspective
The current biomedical literature focuses on three domains in the interface of parks and
health including physical, mental and social/spiritual health. It is telling, as these discrete
domains reflect a pluralistic way of viewing health. Physical health includes benefits such as
burning calories through exercise. The mental health hypotheses focus on the ideas of attention
restoration and stress reduction. Spiritual health focuses on peak experiences where one relates
to the flow of nature. I will expand on each of these views in the upcoming section.
I take a decidedly constructionist view, it is vitally important to understand how the
biomedical perspective views the intersection of health and nature in parks. However, I take the
position of considering facts as "distinguished from transient theories as something definite,
permanent, and independent of subjective interpretation" (Fleck, 1936). Thus, I take the
position that scientific facts are greatly influenced by their historical context, and are, therefore,
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socially constructed (Kuhn, 1976). It is not to say that scientific facts do not exist or have relevance; instead, it is essential to examine the streams of reasoning and the arguments reflected in this scientific argument. Whether the scientific facts are true are less critical to this inquiry; instead, it is essential to think about what the facts may be missing.
Analyzing the interviews in conjunction with this literature provides insight into how participants are looking at the relationship. By examining how the public health perspective engages with the relationship of health and nature allows me to find the areas through which visitors experience health not represented through the biomedical perspective.
The Outdoors and Physical Health
Outdoor environments facilitating physical fitness and therefore possibly affecting many health outcomes center on much of this work. Several studies have demonstrated that participants in outdoor exercise are more likely to enjoy and continue to exercise outdoors (Stanis, Oftedal, & Schneider, 2014; Thompson Coon et al., 2011). Outdoor exercise has been hypothesized to include mental and social benefits. To date, the potential for the health benefit of outdoor recreation has been widely cited, but health effects beyond mental health have been limited.
The Outdoors and Mental Health
Many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. Instead of only viewing mental health through an illness perspective these researchers argue that many people can benefit from outdoor engagement (Pretty, 2004a).
Other proposed mechanisms are the restoration of over-concentration (Hartig, Mitchell, De Vries, & Frumkin, 2014; Parry-Jones, 1990). This mechanism, called attention restoration theory, primarily focuses on the cognition and attention of children (Taylor & Kuo, 2009;
Taylor, Kuo, & Sullivan, 2001; Wells, 2000) This mechanism has been found to be a buffer for
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life stress with rural children (Wells, 2000) and the ideal place for a study break on campus, attention restoration (Felsten, 2009). This line of literature is ripe for potential interventions allowing for attention restoration in healthy children and those with diagnosed attention disorders (Kuo & Faber Taylor, 2004; Taylor & Kuo, 2009; Taylor et al., 2001).
Borne out of the therapeutic literature, many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. This required a shift to view that everyone has mental health needs not just the mentally ill and that many can benefit from outdoor engagement (Pretty, 2004a). Current theories borrow from the biophilia literature to suggest something innate in the stress relief posed by natural environments (Ulrich, 1984; Wells, 2000).
While the association of mental health and natural environments is somewhat more holistic than the physical health literature, the literature still tends to neglect context and history. The associations and the feelings of stress relief and concentration are quite grounded in cultural context with a long and complex history of human/environment interactions.
The Outdoors and Social and Spiritual Health
Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is
social and spiritual health. First discussed in psychology, social scientists began to see a
mechanism that created increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can undoubtedly provide a
connection with the social group with a reawakening of emotions and identity (Mitchell Jr &
others, 1983). Social cohesion is brought up in the physical and mental health literatures (Bodin
& Hartig, 2003; Felsten, 2009; Stanis et al., 2014).
As for the psychological literature, these spiritual health theories are defined as “dramatic peak experience, transcendent moments” (McDonald, Wearing, & Ponting, 2009; Russell et al., 2013; Williams & Harvey, 2001). Qualitative inquiry has described the feeling as "a moment of extreme happiness, lightness, and freedom, a sense of harmony with the whole
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world, moments which are totally absorbing and which feel important (Williams & Harvey, 2001). The literature speaks to how physical hardship can play a role in profound experiences (Fredrickson & Anderson, 1999; Kaplan, 2001; Mitchell Jr & others, 1983; Williams &
Harvey, 2001). In many ways, the extreme experience of wilderness creates feelings that have aspects of religious experience (Ross-Bryant, 2012). Included in the religious experience is the almost ritualistic physical deprivation of camping and backpacking, including eating different foods, sleeping in tents and encountering physical exhaustion.
The biomedical epistemology, which many perceive to be ahistorical and atheoretical, connects to these broader discourses of health and nature. Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is social and spiritual health. First talked about with psychologists, social scientists began to see a mechanism with increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can certainly provide a connection with the social group with reawakening of emotions and identity (Mitchell Jr & others, 1983). Social cohesion is brought up in the physical and mental health literatures as well (Bodin & Hartig, 2003; Felsten, 2009; Stanis et al., 2014).
Implications and Further Work
Programmatic Implications
This work will produce novel information that can directly improve programming in National Parks, interpretation and guidance given by rangers, and even marketing and recruitment materials. By encouraging more inclusive views of park engagement and comprehensive health benefits, NPS can ultimately enrich park visitor engagement and experiences and reach more diverse audiences. Exploring the complexity of health-nature relationships inherently seeks to expand the definition of who can participate and receive health benefits from the natural environment beyond the gendered, racialized, able-bodied, and ideal
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of an outdoor enthusiast. The most far-reaching impact of this project will be to provide the groundwork for exploring wide-reaching intervention techniques and strategies for those who do not fit the socially-constructed “norm” for healthy outdoor engagement.
Disciplinary Implications
The public health literatures are starting to get at ideas of how health is produced in nature. However, to make the research broadly applicable, public health deemphasizes the specific histories, complexities and nuances of the lands and environments. The midlevel health behavior change theories have no way to account for the histories of these places, treating health in nature as disembodied. Future implications of this research could integrate the idea of place into public health literatures.
Few studies, particularly in a National Park setting, have engaged a comprehensive view of health as a platform for exploring human-environmental interactions incorporating power dynamics embedded in socially-constructed views of nature and health. This research will further a theoretical understanding of what factors influence a comprehensive perception of health and engagement with nature using an interdisciplinary social science perspective drawing on geography, anthropology, and health and behavioral science.
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CHAPTER 2
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Research Setting
Location, Population, History
Located at the end of the longest deepest fjord in North America, the Lynn Canal, Skagway is a small port town in the Southeast panhandle of Alaska. It sits at the mouth of a glacier-carved valley leading into the interior of Canada and boasts wildlife, mountains, and ocean views that attract visitors from all over the world. With the deep-water port provided by the ljord in combination with the natural beauty and resources, it is unsurprising that Skagway’s history is intimately connected to its geography.
Figure 3: Geography KLGO including town and Chilkoot trail portions (National Park Service, 2016
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Tourism is the primary economic engine of Skagway, where a “boom and bust” cycle of employment results in a seasonal economy. According to the 2017 census, the year-round population of Skagway was 1,027, but this number roughly doubles each summer with about
2.000 seasonal workers (“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts,”). Similarly, unemployment rates fluctuate from 23.7% in January to 4.5% in July of 2017 (“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts,” ; National Park Service, 2016).
Because of the natural beauty and deep port, Skagway is a major cruise ship destination in Alaska. In 2015, approximately 800,000 cruise ship passengers docked in the port from May to September (Skagway Municipal Council, 2015). In addition to cruise ship passengers, another
125.000 visitors arrived by road or by the state ferry system in 2015 (Skagway Municipal Council, 2015). While most cruise ship passengers engage in leisurely activities during the 8 to 15 hours they are in port, many non-cruise ship tourists stay for several days. These visitors recreate on the surrounding waterways or hiking trails and stay in area campgrounds or in local hotels. Skagway’s most well-known wilderness trail, the Chilkoot Trail, is a grueling 33-mile long backpacking trail that attracts 3,300 backcountry hikers each year (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2006). Tourism is vital to the economy of Skagway, and the purpose of the quantitative study, examined in detail below, was to understand the economic impact of tourism. However, the primary natural and historical attractions of Skagway are intricately entangled in the history of Klondike Gold Rush.
Klondike Gold Rush
Prospectors began exploring the northern frontier looking for gold several decades before the gold rush (Berton, 2011; Highet, 2010; National Park Service, 2009; National Park Service, 2016). When gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek, later renamed Bonanza Creek, in August of 1896, this set off a chain of events leading to the creation of Skagway in its current iteration
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(Berton, 2003, 2011). By the 1880s, the rush of people heading north to search for gold took over the valley’s transportation corridor. While many routes served to find gold, the most frequently used ones were through the towns of Dyea and Skagway on the Chilkoot and White Pass trails respectively.
Several factors led to the rush of humanity to the Klondike, including economic push factors and media involvement (Berton, 2003, 2011). The panic of 1893 and the resulting economic depression left many destitute (Berton, 2003, 2011). Combined with the “closing” of the frontier and the beginning of mass media marketing in earnest, the call of the Klondike was heard globally (Berton, 2003, 2011; Gray, 2011).
Approximately 100,000 people set out for the Klondike via the route through the Lynn Canal, although specific numbers are unknown due to the lack of reliable census data (Berton, 2003; National Park Service, 2009). Most people setting out to look for gold, or stampeders, arrived in Skagway or Dyea by ship. They would then travel overland, via the White Pass Trail or the Chilkoot Trail, into Canada and then travel by the Yukon River into the area known as the Klondike (Berton, 2003, 2011; Gray, 2011). In modem times, the history of the area is preserved by Klondike Gold Rush United States National Historical Park, which is comprised of many units managed both by the National Park Service and Parks Canada (National Park Service, 2009).
The NPS unit based in Skagway consists of three entities: buildings within the town of Skagway, the natural areas that are the “ghost town” of historic Dyea, and the Chilkoot Trail.
The NPS owns and manages (and sometimes leases) many buildings within the historic town of Skagway. The National Park Service operates a historic district in which buildings deemed historically significant have additional protection from development.
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The Chilkoot Trail, historically used primarily by the Tlingit Alaska Natives, was flooded with people during the gold rush. The journey was arduous, so much so that the Canadian government mandated travelers to bring enough goods and supplies to be self-sufficient for an entire year. Designated as a historic trail by the state of Alaska in 1961, it became a National Historic Landmark on June 16, 1978 (National Park Service, 2009).
The first congressional bill to establish the park was introduced in 1973 and was eventually signed into law under Public Law 94-323 on June 30, 1976 (National Park Service, 2009). The park includes 13,191 acres and includes the three units of Skagway, Dyea, and the Chilkoot Trail (National Park Service, 2009). The stated purpose of the park is to “preserve in public ownership for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, the historic structures, trails, artifacts and landscapes and stories associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898” (National Park Service, 2009).
Activities at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
The NPS at KLGO offers many attractions including museums, visitor centers,
interpretive programs and hiking and backpacking trails. The more city-oriented attractions
(museums and visitor center) are located in Skagway. The hiking and backpacking trails are
located nine miles away in the historic town-site of Dyea. The park offers interpretive programs
in both locations. A barrier for many visitors to get to Dyea is the fact that the road is unpaved.
Visitors without a car can access the site through car rental, bus tours, bicycle or a pay shuttle.
As Dyea is the trailhead for the historic Chilkoot Trail, the physical presence of visitors in Dyea
is indicative that they are most likely backpackers or independent (or non-cruise ship associated)
tourists.
Current estimates suggest nearly 4,000 backpackers follow the route on the historic Chilkoot trail each year, making it a unique place of both outdoor performance and participation
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in historical narrative of the United States. There is widely circulated classic photo of a line of people climbing up snow covered mountains, which actually took place approximately 13 miles into the Chilkoot Trail (National Park Service, 2009). In modern times, visitors reenact the historical migration of the stampeders by hiking the 33-mile trail. Although a vigorous journey, there are campsites located along the length of the trail at regular intervals. Visitors must register with the NPS before beginning the Chilkoot trail partially for safety and because the trail crosses international borders at mile 16 with Canada. Many visitors hike the trail to connect with this history, and for some it is “the search for moral, physical, and even national purity” (Ray, 2009). I explore hiker motivations more fully in later section of this dissertation.
Figure 4: KLGO within the region, Skagway connected the inside passage and Dawson City, Yukon via the Yukon River (National Park Service, 2016).
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Tourism in Alaska
In the summer season (May to September) of 2014, Alaska received approximately 1.66 million out of state visitors (McDowell Group, 2014). The majority of these visitors, 58%, were cruise ship passengers (McDowell Group, 2014). While most research on cruise ships is limited to economic analysis (Brida & Zapata, 2009; Dennett, Cameron, Bamford, & Jenkins, 2013; N. Douglas & Douglas, 1999; Larsen, Wolff, Mamburg, & 0gaard, 2013) and environmental impact studies (Brida & Zapata, 2009; N. Douglas & Douglas, 1999; Terry, 2011), there is a nascent literature surrounding the social impacts of cruise ship tourism including sociological, anthropological and geographical perspectives (Brida & Zapata, 2009; Dennett et al., 2013; Gibson, 2008; Wood, 2000). While this study was not situated on cruise ships, it explores many of the cultural, economic and health implications of this type of tourism.
Ethnography
Ethnography, or the systematic approach to learning about the social and cultural life of communities, was the most appropriate method for my research question: how does the social construction of nature and health influence how park users experience and perceive health benefits associated with engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park? The bulk of this research question is concerned with the perception of health and park engagement. As such it is essential that I employed methods that are centered on participants themselves. As an approach, ethnography emphasizes and builds upon the perspectives of people in the research setting, that both captures individual perceptions of health and nature and analyzes the systems and structures that connect them. An ethnographic approach is well suited to assess the interrelations and to capture “that human behavior and the ways in which people construct and make meaning of their worlds and their lives are highly variable and locally specific”
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(LeCompte, 2010). For the methods section of this dissertation, I describe how each of these methods fits together to address each specific aim.
Aim 1: To examine the discourse of perceived health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park;
Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits;
Aim 3: To understand the discourses and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
A large part of ethnography is researcher involvement. My primary identity in Skagway in the past, as well as partially for the summer season of my field research (May - August 2016), was as an interpretive park ranger. As a third-generation park ranger, within this role I have a deep passion and commitment to the mission of the National Park Service, and I had entre and experience with KLGO as a park, Skagway the town, and the Alaskan context. To address the research questions of this project, I relied on several foundational methods of anthropology, including participant-observation, interviews, surveys, and a photo-elicitation method. Though classic participant-observation was challenging (Gille & Riain, 2002); I used it to the extent possible throughout the research period. It was challenging in that I was firmly entrenched within my ranger identity. While conducting insider anthropology - in that I was living most of the week both as a ranger and a researcher -1 was acutely aware of my different identities. There were both strengths and challenges to my prior history with the NPS. The major strength was that I had insider access to a highly coveted group, who is notoriously challenging to conduct research with - the NPS. For NPS sponsored research, researchers must ask questions from a selective list of pre-approved questions or the researchers must have congressional approval to
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submit new questions. As I only had permission to research as an outsider, and not represent myself as aNPS employee, I was exempt from confining my questions the pool of known questions. I will discuss the representation nuances more in the ethics subsection.
Not only was I conducting research with other NPS rangers, to some extent I was engaging in autoethnography. While some may question the objectivity for persons with high levels of involvement or prior lived experience (Gupta & Ferguson, 1997) much of the anthropological literature rejects this idea of objectivity to begin with. Instead, we are searching to understand the lived experience of people outside, and sometimes inside, our own society. Research Assistant
Vitally important to the success of this research project was the fortunate circumstance of my research assistant, Lindsay, who was an undergraduate in a course I taught at the University of Colorado Denver. When I was first conceptualizing this project in the summer season of 2015 at KLGO, the park offered to subsidize my research project through funding a student intern to assist me. After securing additional funding, Lindsay conducted some of her own research about the food environment of Skagway in the summer of 2016. Lindsay was instrumental in helping me navigate my role as both a researcher and a ranger, and our numerous, daily conversations helped me process and keep my two roles and two identities (mostly) straight. As a newcomer to Skagway, she initially had more social detachment in which to conduct observations. I benefited greatly from her observations, not only about the town itself but also on the roles and culture of the NPS. While she did not conduct interviews, she was present at most of them, and helped to take notes and triangulate many of my observations when conducting the research. In conducting the interviews - including several backpacking trips up the Chilkoot - we quickly discovered we made a good team. Together, we came up with alternate strategies to interview cruise ship passengers (we found that people were more likely to talk in the afternoon, after sightseeing),
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and backpackers were important to reach at mealtimes. She was invaluable in moving this research forward.
My Role
My social position as a park ranger both helped and hindered me in collecting data with my co-workers. I was explicitly clear when I was collecting data with co-workers and followed a strict ongoing consenting process (Gupta & Ferguson, 1997). Adler and Adler would describe my role as “a complete member researcher,” or someone who participates in all aspects of life as those he/she is studying. I did have some trouble in managing my two social roles. I explored this in my extensive field notes (Adler & Adler, 1987). Unexpectedly for me, I had the most trouble managing my perceptions, feelings and interpretations of visitors from my two identities - both ranger and researcher. As a ranger, I acted as both an authority and a caretaker to visitors. My uniform and position in the park signaled me as someone willing and ready to help visitors, and as discussed more fully in Chapter 5, the sheer volume of visitors can be overwhelming. I felt conflict with this position as a researcher, in which my goal was to explore and understand their experiences as visitors. A single interaction with a visitor as a ranger could provide both insight into how visitors are approaching the park and feelings of annoyance if they asked about my personal life. As the field season drew on, I started envisioning literal hats to represent my effective identities. Imagining two hats helped me to separate my identities and more fully inhabit each role as I was representing it.
One potential challenge of this position that I imagined before going into the field, was the recruitment scenario. A risk of the research was that I would talk to visitors as a ranger and then try to recruit them later from my identity of graduate student, creating a conflict of interest. However, the NPS uniform is imbued with so many symbols that it would be difficult for visitors to distinguish me as an individual rather than a ranger. In truth, I had several cases where I talked
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at length to visitors while in uniform, but they did not recognize me later that very day when I was out of uniform (such as at the supermarket or on the hiking trail). I was correct in anticipating that visitors would not see me in the two roles. The sheer turnover of visitors and the fact that I only collected data on days that I was out of uniform, meant that I never had “bleed over” in my two identities, from the perspective of the visitors. All “bleed over” issues were in my experience as a ranger/researcher.
1. Although you are a National Park Service employee, you will not
be conducting research during your duty time and/or in your official capacity as a National Park Service ranger.
2. I have been briefed on your research project and have approved it at the park level.
3. You will not use the research results for any financial gain.
4. You do not claim to represent the position of the National Park Service during your research or in your final written products.
Figure 5: Ethical Approval from KLGO Superintendent
Another challenge comes from what the literature calls “indigenous research” (Bernard, 2011). This is the challenge of conducting research in the researcher’s own community where ethnographers may share certain identity markers or demographics with participants that lead them to make assumptions about shared values and experiences. In fact, much of the field of anthropology, from which the ethnographic approach was born, is predicated on the idea of the researcher as “other.” Perhaps for obvious reasons, this line is potentially blurred in my own research. Hence for much of my data collection, I presented my alternate identity of graduate


student. This served many purposes. First I aimed to dissociate myself from the federal government, which had the risk of coloring how participants perceive me and my research. Secondly, I adopted the orientation of “learner” or “explorer” to assist participants in explaining cultural phenomena. This orientation assisted in rapport building with participants. However, despite my efforts, I did still encounter some problems with my ranger and researcher identities when interviewing participants. For example, when analyzing interviews, I noticed that my ranger role started infiltrating my research persona towards the end of the field season. Participants would say something relevant to my ideas of my job as an interpreter (such as a question of indigenous history), I found that I would often interrupt or provide unsolicited advice or historical context to my interviews. The effect of this was that in inhabiting my ranger identity somewhat limited my ability to actively listen and immerse myself in my interviewee’s story. A similar issue I found was that when I would disclose my ranger identity (with the requisite qualifiers from the park service, figure 3), the disclosure altered the interaction somewhat. For example, when interviewing the uncle and niece hiking the Chilkoot, after learning of my ranger status, the uncle wanted know if some behavior he observed was against park rules. As per my agreement with the park, and since it was outside the duties of my interpretive ranger job to begin with, I recommended he talk to the nearest trail ranger. I gave him additional information about how to contact the park. After that interview, I tried to limit my disclosures of working with the park.
I found that I could quickly connect with backpackers and fellow rangers because of my general demographic characteristics as a relatively younger woman, and what Erving Goffman calls an “identity kit” (1959). In Goffman’s description, an “identity kit” consists of how we present ourselves, including clothing, hairstyles, and dental work.” For me, this includes my
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dress and my experience as a backpacker (a role I already adopt in my everyday life). One role I did not fully consider before data collection was my status as a white woman. This status, I suspect, opened an unexpected dialogue with a police officer from Tennessee, whom I quote frequently in Chapter 3 in my discussion about race. Had I been a woman of color, I doubt he would have disclosed the same thoughts on race in Alaska.
One anticipated challenge of my social position was my ability (or lack thereof) to
connect with the older cruise ship populations. However, my extroverted nature and prior
experience both professionally as a ranger and personally, as an only child who preferred the
company of adults, contributed to my rapport-skills. My plan on entering the field was to adopt
the position of “learner,” as frequently visitors seem happy to talk to me at length about their
lives and families which I used to build rapport and introduce my own research.
Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Aim 1 was achieved through three methods: 1) overall methodological approach, 2) semi-
structured interviews, 3) observations.
Overall Methodological Approach:
The goal of any ethnographic approach is not to have one method act as an afterthought or additional add-on without relevance to the research aims and question. Therefore, I approached research aim 1 with complementary methods, both qualitative and quantitative that informed analysis as well as contributed to the research question. I approached each collection tool through a distinctly discursive frame. While traditionally considered to only be a qualitative approach, discourse analysis can be applied to examining quantitative and mixed methods approaches (Antaki, Billig, Edwards, & Potter, 2003; Hall, 1992; Wooffitt, 2005). I treat the domains in the quantitative study as part of the discourse or part of “an interrelated set of texts,
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and the practices of their production, dissemination, and reception, that brings an object into being” (Phillips & Hardy, 2002). In the first wave of qualitative analysis, discussed in depth in the following section, I examine the link between the language used to talk about the park and the “values and meanings of engagement.” I use the qualitative analysis surrounding the “values and meanings of engagement” to inform the analysis of engagement in the quantitative data. Methods.
I conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore individual perceptions of health within the context of outdoor engagement. I purposively sampled 5 different groups: 1) the day hikers, 2) the townfolk and 3) the novice overnight backpackers, 4) the experienced overnight backpackers, and 5) KLGO staff. The day hikers were cruise ship passengers who were hiking on the trails close to town in Dyea. The townfolk were cruise ship passengers who had spent their day in Skagway. To sample the overnight backpackers, my research assistant and I hiked to the ranger cabin 12 miles up the Chilkoot Trail and talked to backpackers as they reached camp. From there, I purposively sampled hikers who are both experienced and inexperienced backpackers.
Participants
The population of interest for the study was adults over the age of 18 who were currently visiting or employed by KLGO. I conducted 12-15 interviews per social group, including cruise ship passengers, Chilkoot hikers, and NPS rangers, or until I reached thematic saturation. While I divided the visitor population in these distinct groups, I aimed for a continuum of different types of park engagement within each group. This continuum included novice backpackers, and cruise ship passengers who are hiking. Many of the interviews were group interviews, as people tend to travel in groups, either of families or friends. One group on the Chilkoot were together
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through paying a guide to accompany them. As independent travelers were not in my original sample plan, I tended to interview independent travelers as I came across them
A related, but unanticipated challenge was the difficulty of finding visitors with the inclination or time to speak with me. Unfortunately, for me, many younger cruise ship passengers were out doing activities during the time I was interviewing in Skagway, I tended to sample older cruise ship passengers. Cruise ship passengers tended to have less time to be interviewed than rangers, independent travelers, or backpackers. Most likely this was because of their limited time in port (Skagway). To address this, I interviewed more cruise ship passengers compared with my other populations. In addition, my schedule was designed such that on the highest visitation days - Monday and Tuesday -1 was out of uniform and could conduct quite a few interviews in a short period. However, having my off days fixed meant that I only visited with passengers from the cruise lines who docked in Skagway on those days. Each cruise line has different days of docking, for example Carnival cruises only came to Skagway on Fridays in 2016. Hence, I missed some cruise ship passenger variety. Should I have the opportunity to extend this research I would sample cruise ship passengers on each day of the week.
All interviews lasted between 18 and 65 minutes, and were audio recorded with the participant’s consent. While interviews were eventually transcribed, I hand wrote in-situ notes to accompany the transcriptions.
In-depth Interview Topics.
These interviews sought to understand the complexities of the discourse that influence how visitors perceive health, nature, and engagement with the park (Appendix 1).
Demographic Information: This was important to contextualize participant experiences within their broader social identities. The literature suggests that a person’s social situation may
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influence how they view the relationship between health and nature, hence this was an important theme.
Alaska Specific Information: Elicit narratives about how they chose to visit Alaska, and what is special about Alaska. In my experience, this is an easy topic to broach with tourists as they tend to talk about their trips.
Tourism Style and Preference. I asked about his/her experience traveling. This line of questioning elicited cultural group preferences. I asked about activities he/she had and planned to participate in. While these are broad domains, I worked in each interview to refine my questions and how I approached each topic. One strategy that was helpful was to explore the “life history” of the interviewees’ trip to Alaska (Bryant & Goodman, 2004). In other words, how interviewees chose to visit Alaska, the experiences on their trip, and activities they had participated in and planned to participate in.
Deeper meanings associated with engaging with the park. This included questions about what makes this place special, or how their trip has affected them personally.
Perceptions of Health: This line of questions aimed to elicit how the participant conceives of health broadly and how health effects (or does not effect) his or her participation in outdoor activities. There were questions about how the participant feels when on vacation in Alaska.
Analysis.
I approached the analysis of the semi-structured interviews by several avenues. First, within one day of conducting each interview, I discussed the interview with the research assistant and created a written summary of the interview and its main ideas. Second, I employed memoing, a process in which I wrote about thoughts or ideas about the themes that emerged in the interview (Ulin, Robinson, & Tolley, 2012). In this way interviewing process was an iterative process (Ulin et al., 2012).
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I audio-recorded interviews and then I transcribed them. The transcription process was lengthy, but facilitated an intimate knowledge of my data. I used both an inductive and deductive approach to analyzing the qualitative data. For the deductive portion, I used a priori defined domains from my research question and theoretical framework to create a codebook with which to analyze the data. I then incorporated these codes into Dedoose Qualitative Analytic Software.
For the inductive portion, I coded several interviews to see if there were emergent themes that are different than the previously written codebook. I analyzed the data by social group with special attention to demographics such as gender, age, education, and income. I used in vivo codes, or specialized terms that “serve[d] as symbolic markers of participants’ speech and meanings” (Angrosino et al., 2000), to be able to deploy discourse analysis. For example, some participants repeatedly used the word “renewal” when they described their physical and mental status in Alaska, hence “renewal” was one of my in vivo codes.
I drew on the theoretical methods of Gay Becker who pioneered narrative theory as a method of analysis (1999). Narrative theory suggests that people pull from various cultural themes and motifs to organize their thoughts, which is visible through metaphor and storytelling about their lives (Becker, 1994, 1998; Becker & Beyene, 1999). These narratives are illustrative of broader cultural themes that may not be otherwise apparent. This is particularly useful in unpacking how people discuss (and view) the intersection of health and nature. Storytelling and metaphor use, or narrative making, is the mechanism that illuminates how historical, social, and cultural influences are reproduced in how people view the health benefits of engaging with nature.
Drawing from narrative theory, I read each transcript looking for repetition of specific words, language, or general thought patterns (Becker, 1994, 1998). This helped me identify
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patterns of thought and larger cultural narratives that may explain or at least contextualize how health is perceived in a National Park outdoor setting. For example, when I asked participants why they thought this specific area of Skagway Alaska was healthy, clean air was a consistent answer, hence I treated clean air as a cultural metaphor in my analysis.
For certain codes, such as active and passive engagement discussed heavily in Chapters 3 and 5,1 created a data matrix. This allowed for easy contrasting between certain categories.
Using this example, active and passive visitor characteristics placed next to each other facilitated analysis of this important explanatory framework (Miles & Huberman, 1994). I then used the codebook to create a hierarchy of codes into an analytic concept.
Observations.
Observations were both structured and unstructured. In general, observation data supplements the interview transcripts and provide corroboration for interview data. The purpose of including observation is to view the social context of visitor engagement and not to explicitly observe participants whom I interviewed. Instead, I recorded how visitors engaged with the park at key locations including the visitor center, museums, day hiking trails and on the Chilkoot trail. I noted relevant conversations or interactions with visitors and then expanded on these observations when I was working as a ranger. This is the task of “immersing yourself in a culture and learning to remove yourself every day from that immersion so you can intellectualize what you have seen and heard, put it into perspective, and write about it convincingly” (Bernard, 2011). This process describes part of the process I was going through while being both ranger and researcher.
Field notes consisted of observations of the physical environment, the setting and context (such as which building, what time of day) and then a description of the participants (Bernard, 2011). Once I began to see more relevance for certain observed behaviors, I created a structured
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observation checklist. As part of the record keeping of participant observation, my research assistant and I kept detailed field notes. These differed from the structured observations and included physical location, counts of people observed, a portrayal of behavior in certain contexts, and descriptions of activities being observed (Kawulich, 2005)
Table 1: Overview of Aim 1
Overview Aim 1
Research Aim To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Theoretical Foundation Social Construction of Nature and Health; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Propositions Cruise ship tourists and backpackers are both likely report feelings of engagement and renewal Both are likely to mention scenery, and wilderness Backpackers more likely to report physical activity and endurance as a reason to engage with the park
Data Sources 1) semi-structured interviews, 2) observations
Analysis 1) Dedoose
Analysis
For the analysis of observations, I qualitatively coded by incident because the unit of interest was the recorded event rather than the exact wording which would highlight me as the investigator. These data were entered Dedoose and coded for thematic patterns. While I did not explicitly cite the structured observations very frequently, they provided context to the in-depth interviews.
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Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits.
Semi-structured interviews.
The questions that addressed aim 2 were embedded in the interviews discussed for aim 1. Thus many of the methods and orientation from aim 1 were applicable to this aim as well. However, the theoretical foundation of this line of questioning stems from ideas of the social construction of nature and health as well as theories of place. Mention of KLGO, Alaska, the NPS and the Arctic will be of interest.
Participants: The participants interviewed for this aim will be the same participants interviewed for aim 1. As with aim 1, every effort was made to interview people from a wide variety of user groups.
Topics: The portion of the interviews sought to understand the complexities of the symbolic landscape and how this influences perceptions of health.
Symbolism with Place: To examine socially constructed relationships to place, specifically this area of Alaska, questions such as “How did you choose to visit Alaska?” This will help elucidate relationships associated with health and place. In John Eyle’s chapter on qualitative methods linking sense of place and health he finds “the use of qualitative methods... helped align place studies with the cultural turn in the social sciences and humanities” (2008). He goes on to state “these [qualitative] methods singly or in combination enable an explication of the complexities of people, places and health” (Eyles, 2008). As with the other aims, as I interview people I further refined questions in order to elicit rich data without leading participants.
Analysis: As with aim 1,1 employed the methods of a priori coding, memoing and in vivo coding. For this aim, I paid special attention to how people discussed KLGO and Alaska. Several of the a priori codes were about the relationship of the NPS site to perceived ideas of health, scenery, and wilderness.
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Photo Elicitation Method
Methods: One way to understand visitors’ interpretation of the symbolic environment is to utilize photographs to assess the “qualitative schemata or filters people have in the minds when evaluating an environment” (van Marwijk, Elands, & Lengkeek, 2007, p. 61- 63,). Using purely visual information is important to use when taking the stance of examining the socially constructed views of an environment, in this case KLGO. The theoretical stance of examining the social level of the environment, instead of focusing solely on the individual can be examined through multiple perspectives of the same photo. It allowed me to examine themes and areas in which groups of people converge or diverge from one another. While a limitation is that the photograph will not adequately estimate the direct experience with the landscapes represented, I accounted for this by asking participants about the landscape while they were in Alaska (Jacobsen, 2007).
Analysis: When interviewing participants, I numbered the photos to keep the relevant photos distinct during analysis. I treated the responses to the photos as qualitative data, and coded each participant’s response per the number of the photo. For example, photo number 1 depicted a hiker. To analyze the reactions to the hiker, I grouped all responses to photo 1 in a single category and then inductively coded the themes that emerged from each group for each photo. Analyzing the data by photo allowed me to find patterns and themes in how different groups (ranger, hiker, backpacker, independent travelers) perceived the same representations of physical environments.
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Photo 3: Photos for Photo Elicitation
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Table 2: Overview of Aim 2
Overview Aim 2
Research Aim To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits
Theoretical Foundation Theories of place and social construction of nature and health
Propositions - Alaska as the “last frontier” and a special place to visit, which is symbolic - The national park as a place of importance will most likely carry special weight - Alaska and the North are different and more “wild” as the last frontier
Data Sources 1) Semi-structured interviews 2) photo method
Analysis Dedoose
Aim 3: To understand the social meanings and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Aim 3 will be achieved through two methods: 1) semi-structured interviews, 2) observations, 3) NPS-sponsored survey.
Semi-structured interviews.
Methods: For this aim, I interviewed 17 employees of KLGO. For this aim, I explored howNPS employees discussed and explained visitor behavior. I followed many of the same procedures as for aims 1 and 2.
Participants: Employees of the park were the participants. These employees came from different the divisions of park management (n=3), park interpreters (n=10), and backcountry rangers (n=2). As these participants are embedded with the park service, I treated this group as speaking for “those in power,” as the park service has the ability to shape the narrative about
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how people engage with parks. Interpretive park rangers were most intimately involved in interacting with visitors and the public. The role of this position was to:
Facilitate visitor understanding of park resources; facilitate visitor enjoyment of the park and its resources and induce visitor behavior consistent with resource protection and gain friendly compliance with the laws and rules for safe use of the park; and encourage visitors to develop a sense of stewardship for park resources. (National Park Service, 2015)
A responsibility of this position was to staff the visitor center desk where visitors ask
questions about the surrounding area, the park, activities and general orientation.
I interviewed backcountry rangers as they have the most interaction with Chilkoot hikers.
Backcountry rangers complete many activities as part of their job including interpreting the park,
ensuring the safety of visitors, and some maintenance of the trail. These rangers were particularly
vital to discuss the variation of visitors who hike the Chilkoot.
In addition, I interviewed NPS employees who did not have as much direct involvement
with visitors on a day-to-day basis, but were instrumental in shaping NPS discourse. I focused
mostly on park leadership, including the park superintendent, and the chiefs of facilities,
resources, and interpretation (the three major departments of the NPS). Sampling allowed for
multiple perspectives of the people in power in this context about the issues of health in parks.
Topics: The purpose of these interviews is to explore perceptions that NPS employees have
about visitors in relation to health.
History of association with the NPS: To establish the employee’s connection to the NPS, I asked about their histories with the NPS. For example, many rangers have dedicated their lives to the mission of the NPS, while for others, the mission may not drive their work, such as a park historian who was interested in the Gold Rush more than the park. This was important interpreting their perceptions of visitors through how they themselves view the NPS.
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Personal Relationship to Nature and Health: The light grey arrow in the conceptual model represents the ranger’s personal relationship to nature and health. While not relevant enough to have an aim devoted to it, the employee’s personal relationship to nature and health influenced their perceptions of visitors’ health, which I discuss in depth in Chapter 5.
General Opinions of KLGO: I asked rangers to compare KLGO as a site to other parks where rangers have worked. I did this not to explore the other parks, but to analyze how rangers understood KLGO to be different than a typical park. This was important when examining their perception of KLGO’s symbolic environment.
Visitor Social Groups: The crux of this aim was to examine how employees think about visitor groups. I asked this directly, and explored through talking about how different groups interact with the park.
Analysis: The analysis of the semi-structured, in-depth interviews was similar to aims 1 and 2. A priori codes such as “active” versus “passive” engagement were the first line of inquiry. After that I used the in vivo codes and narrative analysis.
Observations
Methods: Observations were particularly important to address this aim. While the interviews captured socially desirable ways of discussing visitors, observations allow for exploration into behavior. I accessed this by asking rangers to describe stereotypes of different visitors. This was particularly telling in exploring behavior both behind closed doors and when interacting with the public. The social space that the employees share that is not accessible to the public (or the interpretive work room) was an excellent place to capture the representations of visitors through stories. Observation data in the break room captured subtle movements or eye rolls that may be
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communicative when talking about visitors. Furthermore, observations were fruitful when observing how other employees interact with visitors.
Analysis: The analysis of the observations was like used for aim 1. However, I paid special attention to the connection or disconnection of how employees talk about visitors versus how they interact with visitors. From personal experience, there is a feeling of being “on stage” when in uniform and exploring how employees perform was fruitful in addressing aim 3 (Passaro, 1997).
Table 3: Overview of Aim 3
Overview Aim 3
Research Aim To understand the discourse and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Theoretical Foundation Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Propositions Likely to characterize cruise ship tourists as passively engaged and hikers as actively engaged Possibly express desire to more actively engage cruise ship tourists Characterize a major health goal for backpackers is injury prevention
Data Sources 1) Semi-structured interviews 2) observations
Analysis Dedoose
This process involved analyzing the quantitative data in such a way to model an engagement measure, and as a tool itself as it is a survey developed by a government contractor for the NPS. I then use quantitative methods, discussed in depth following the qualitative section, to examine the relationship between reasons for visiting the park and the engagement measure. However, I treated these measures as reflections of the park management frame through which power is produced. I then examined the broader themes and stories from both analyses to determine if there were “convergence, differences, or some combination” (Passaro,
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1997). This complex analyses ultimately contributes to the wider conversation on if there are ways in which the current frames could expand or be elucidated in ways that are not being captured by the current literature.
NPS Sponsored Survey
To triangulate, support and supplement the in-depth interviews and observational data, I used data collected as part of survey administered by the NPS. As part of an attempt for survey instruments to be systematically applicable across parks, the social science research unit of the NPS implemented a survey at a variety of NPS units in the summer of 2016. KLGO was selected as one of the study sites and these data were collected over a period of two weeks in August 2016. The participant pool were recreational visitors: aged 18 and older who were visiting the NPS unit during a single sampling period. The cross-sectional design included multiple choice, short answer and some text fields. The participants were systematically sampled in areas within KLGO. Research assistants handed out a total of 870 surveys and 411 people completed surveys, with a 49% response rate.
Surveys are best used to sample a population so that inferences can be made about demographic information and characteristics, attitudes and behaviors of these populations (Babbie, 1990). While I used the survey data to help conceptualize how people responded regarding their importance to visit KLGO, I used it as a primary source document to examine how NPS researchers conceptualized visitors engagement. The questions reflect the NPS researchers’ approach and conceptualization of health and nature. Using the survey as a primary document and insight, I further examined the survey construction in conjunction with the larger themes that emerged from the qualitative data.
I used the data provided by the survey to conduct a statistical analysis and to evaluate my proposed relationships of health and nature. Using the “importance for visiting” measure into
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four domains, I examined if the measure was associated with demographic variables, including age, race, income, education, gender and ability status. These demographic variables roughly complimented qualitative data collected about visitor identities. I discuss the variables at length in the next section. The survey was informative in terms of how it complimented the qualitative results.
Primary Dependent Variable: The primary dependent variable for the quantitative analysis was, “How important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip” (see Table 1). The options provided roughly map both on to the biomedical literature. These include options such as “to get physical exercise” (physical health), “to spend time with friends and family” (sociocultural health), “to relax” or “to experience solitude” (stress relief), and “to view nature/scenery” (nature experience) with multiple response welcome {check all that apply). These categories reflect the current social construction of how nature and health are thought about in relation to each other. Through linear regressions, I examined the relatedness of each reason for visiting the park. This served the purpose to, at least on the surface, examine how related each of the question’s domains were to one another and the demographic variables. Ultimately, I designed the analysis of the quantitative survey to reflect my hypothesis the biomedical domains of physical, social, and stress relief in parks may not be the only way to conceptualize health in parks.
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Table 4: Dependent Variable
Dependent Variable Categories (5 point Likert)
How important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip? Please mark ( •) one for each row. (5 points Likert scale)
To visit a National Park Service site NPS Engagement
To get physical exercise Biomedical Health
To spend time with friends/family Social Health
To learn more about American history and culture Social Health
To relax Stress Narrative
To experience solitude Stress Narrative
To hear the sounds of nature/quiet Nature Experience/Stress Narrative
To view wildlife or natural scenery Nature Experience
To be outdoors Nature Experience
Controlled Variables: The covariates of interest were largely situated within transportation and demographic variables. I selected these variables to control in the models as they are informative about many of social identities that may influence how the relationship is perceived, and are likely to vary in predictable ways with the main independent variable. The transportation variable was particularly interesting to explore as whether or not people arrived by cruise ship was a distinguishing factor. Domains such as gender, age and ability status were important to analyze as this had a large effect on the implications of this work.
Table 5: Covariates
Covariates
Transportation Please indicate all the forms of transportation you personally used to travel from your home to KLGO, on this trip.
Race What is the race of each member of your personal group on this trip to KLGO?
Education What is the highest level of formal education completed by each member of your personal group on this trip to KLGO?
Income Which category best represents your annual household income?
Ability Status Did anyone in your personal group have a physical condition that made it difficult to access or participate in park activities or services, during your visit to Klondike Gold Rush NHP?
Demographics What is your gender? Age?
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Analysis: For the analysis of the quantitative portion of this aim, I employed inductive measurement models. The goal of the quantitative analysis was to respond to the qualitative inquiry, hence the model built responds to the qualitative data. The models link the independent variables and covariates discussed previously to the two dependent or outcome variables.
From there, the model that best fits the relationship elucidated the relationship between social factors and the reasons for visiting the park. As discussed, covariates of age, ability status, income, education were examined for association with the health and park engagement domains. The overall goal of this portion of the aim is to provide broader contextual information and to engage with the qualitative portion of the aim.
Synthesis
I analyzed the qualitative and quantitative data together, as is customary with an ethnographic approach I used these alternative forms of data to triangulate the other findings from interviews and survey data. As triangulation is useful in order to approach consensus_used various kinds of data and analytical techniques by analyzing convergence and divergence from the qualitative data (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Ethical Considerations and Protection of Human Subjects
I submitted approval for the project from the Colorado Multi Institutional Review Board
and received approval under project number 16-0880. As the project was not funded by the federal government, federal approval was not necessary for data collection. I have written approval from federal representatives of the ethical process to confirm assumption. By stipulation, I had to have an on-going consent process with participants whom I had relationships with as co-workers.
I had written permission from the superintendent of KLGO, granting me permission to collect data while I was not representing the park or the National Park Service, Figure 1-3. Thus,
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my findings are not representative the views of the National Park Service. I explicitly stated this to participants when they inquired about my research in Skagway.
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CHAPTER III
NATURE AS A HE AT/ITT DISCOURSE
Introduction
This chapter begins a story of people who love National Parks, love nature and - to a person - believe that interacting with nature is a healthy activity. It’s a story of people; some who find God, others who challenge themselves, who make new friends and solidify old relationships in the out-of-doors. It’s the story of people who look entirely different on the outside and arrived at a location by drastically different means. Many of the participants in this study would have vastly different states of “health” if we were to assess their biomedical metrics. In this chapter, I analyze and discuss the discourses of nature and health in visitors of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. I will explore the explanatory framework of engagement as well as how this concept is deployed explicitly in the discourses of health and nature, thus addressing Aim 1.
Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Biomedical definitions of health did emerge from the in-depth interviews, with discussions of practices, such as physical activity and diet. However, this definition was not the most salient frame used when discussing “health” and “nature.” Instead, participants used “engagement with nature” as a heuristic for describing the relationship between “health and nature.” While many participants spoke of visitors who were engaged (active engagement) and those who were not engaged (passive engagement), upon closer examination, this categorization
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is much more nuanced. It has a strong legacy in how public lands are viewed historically in the US, and such continues to mask populations who fall outside of idealized park visitors.
“Out There” or “Behind a Window”: Health and Park Engagement
Initially, I conceptualized interviewing a continuum of visitors based on their
transportation method to the park, mainly by cruise ship, backpacking or as an independent traveler. However, what emerged was that, all visitors, whether on a continuum or no, used a remarkably similar framework to discuss how health is produced in parks. These discourses describe the difference between how people are thought to experience health in parks. Therefore, many similar discourses will be deployed again in Chapter 5, which addresses how rangers view visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. This chapter engages with Aim 1, “to examine the discourse of perceived health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.” The groups all share similar ideologies, even if they are expressed and modified in different ways - each visitor group has nuances with how they engage in the park. Therefore, for this chapter, I will focus on visitor engagement with the park.
Park Context
Figure 7: Aim 1 Conceptual Model
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The discourses all center on idea engagement with the park, so I will examine park engagement first. At first blush, this engagement looked as if it were a binary, or an idea of active engagement or passive engagement. Many people seemed to conceptualize active or passive engagement in this way. However, looking beyond their simple definitions of active or passive, there is quite some complexity. Instead of a binary, I conceptualize this engagement as a continuum of engagement; from people who are wholly immersed within the park to people who are observing nature but from "behind glass" whether that is a train, car or cruise boat. These discourses are in no way an ontological given. However, it does have discursive power when describing relationships to health and nature by visitors. I focus on the types of perceived health benefits that visitors receive by engaging with the park. Visitors categorized these perceived health benefits into narratives about how engagement with KLGO reduces stress, helps mental health, physical activity and social and spiritual health. I will analyze the discourses of these frames to understand how they construct these perceived health benefits. I will analyze these discourses first through the visitor-described heuristic of active and passive engagement, then the socially constructed domains of health (mental, physical and social/spiritual), and finally how these health domains are effected by the role of identities in health narratives.
Active Engagement
First, I will explore the historical origins of how people categorize interactions with KLGO, as active or passive engagement. The symbolic meanings, and therefore health discourses, of engaging with protected areas, have a direct lineage to the discourse of Olmsted, Thoreau, and Muir. The active and passive discourse serves as a moral differentiation to define an idealized active visitor, in contrast with the passive visitor who is violating the historical way of engaging with the park. The effect of these constructions is the representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged).
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For this section, I will first analyze the historical origins of this active/passive binary to understand how, when (and to postulate why) these constructions are deployed.
It is a very particular way of engaging with the area, most clearly defined as the contemplative faculty (Sax 1980). Olmsted, Thoreau, and Muir were part of the transcendentalist movement, believing that experiencing nature purifies the soul and offer an opportunity for self-fulfillment not provided in modern society (Tarlock 1981). The Organic Act of 1916 is the legacy of this view with a dual mission of both preserving lands as well as providing for the enjoyment and inspiration for future generations (National Park Service 2015). Essentially this gives the park service a dual mission; both serving the interests of the visitors and preserving the landscape, history or resource that gave it the congressional designation. The preservation argument, in the Organic Act it is "this and future generations" part, is known as a preservationist attitude to engagement with National Parks. Through the balancing commercial tourism interests and the religious discourse of Muir through engagement with nature, we can see the legacy of this attitude (Pretty 2004a). Sax extends this argument into the attitudes and intentions of park visitors mattering more than the actual activity they are doing.
The views associated with an activity may be more important than either the activity itself or its setting. To the extent that we infuse the parks with symbolic meaning by the way in which we use them, the symbolism attached to particular uses itself becomes a critical factor in the meaning that parks have for us. (Sax 1980, p. 33)
The crucial element in the meaning-making of parks - attitudes associated with activity - became
the more salient factor when asking participants about how health is produced in parks. Physical
activity, while necessary to most participants, wasn't the most striking factor. Instead, it was their
intention, their reasons behind doing what they are doing (and perceived reasons of other people)
that seemed to matter most when discussing whether someone was healthy in parks.
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This idea of intention or attitude has been described as engaging the "contemplative faculty" by Sax, as religious inspiration by Muir, and as "sucking the marrow out all the life" by Thoreau (Muir 2011; Thoreau 1845; Sax 1980). While these ideas have subtle differences, the common idea is that by practicing awareness in nature or fully engaging with nature, there are spiritual, moral and physical rewards. Visitors primarily deployed moral discourses to describe visitor groups. For most, this involved juxtaposing an unhealthy (and not ideal) visitor to the park with a healthy (and ideal) visitor. These discourses explicitly define what is allowed and what isn’t from a moral viewpoint - they help enforce and reinforce cultural norms. One cruise ship visitor I interviewed organized a cruise for runners. He hypothesized that the runners are healthier than average cruise ship passengers. However, his definition of healthy was not the number of burned calories or the physical fitness aspect, it was how attached or engaged they feel with nature:
They get to experience through that kind of stuff is the beauty of the landscape, and I think they feel better about it and they feel more attached to Alaska or any place to relate because they have experienced it close up. If you are looking at it from a bus window maybe doesn't matter that much to you. CS.13
This quote is interesting in many ways. First, it does not match what every other visitor group, including cruise ship passengers, say about cruise ship passengers - that as a group, they are the most disengaged. Many participants can identify the negative stereotypes of cruise ship passengers, but few claim this identity. By declaring a runner status, he is choosing to distance himself from a negative passive cruise ship passenger stereotype but claiming a more active, engaged identity. Secondly, this is an argument less based on health discourses and more in moral discourses - that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Thirdly, the cruise ship passenger is mirroring the discourse of the park employees, which I will more fully discuss in
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Chapter 5. While fully immersed park employees in the history and the discourse of American Wilderness, this frame has extended to visitor populations as well.
As a discourse, it is what Foucault would define as a “technique of power” (Foucault,
1990). I will discuss this framing and the structures that underlie them further in Chapter 5, but for the purposes for this chapter, I focus on how power is deployed to construct who is allowed in what place. The action of the active/passive engagement discourse is to promote a form of an idealized visitor, in contrast with the visitors violating the historical model way of engaging with the environment.
This discourse is enacted through the metaphor of looking at nature “through a glass or window” is one that many participants used, both employees and visitors. Within the frame of nature engagement, being “out there” or experiencing things first hand is seen as critical.
Visitors’ discourse of personally - and physically - experiencing nature, usually through hiking or other activities, is highly essential to the definition of being actively engaged. The active discourse is reflective of the power of biomedical discourse, and ranger discourses that privileges physical activity as a definition of health in nature. I will further explore these discourses in Chapter 5.
Prioritizing directly experiencing of nature is especially true for backpackers. One backpacker spoke of his mother-in-law, who had recently been on a cruise to Alaska and had picked up an informational DVD about the Klondike Gold Rush. He, and his hiking leisure companions, see a substantial difference in learning about the Chilkoot versus experiencing it firsthand.
Participant 1: They'll [cruise ship passengers] be knowledgeable about it, but they won't get to
experience it. We get to experience it.
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Participant 2: But I don't think I'm as knowledgeable as a lot of people cause I'd rather come out and just do it.
Participant 1: Yeah I think this is interesting, especially because it's a Historical Park. There is a desire to get out, actually in, the woods and experience in the woods other than the history part like the DVD BK.1
The hikers acknowledge that the cruise ship passengers may be more intellectually engaged with the history but in no way, are they “getting out” into nature and the wilderness. The “getting out” and physically interacting with the resource is the essential ingredient in this mix. Privileging physical engagement is different from many of the NPS employees’ view of including intellectual engagement in the same category as physical engagement, which I will further discuss in following sections.
The idea of “getting out” is defined as the opposite of looking at nature “behind glass” -usually a car window, but in the case of KLGO, it is also referring to a cruise ship, bus or the passenger train. There is a long history of the integration of these vehicles in National Parks. Beginning the influence of the railroad lobby in the creation of the National Park Service to capture tourism dollars for the US that had previously been going to Europe (National Park Service, 2015). While the preservation discourse of people like John Muir allowed Americans to associate wilderness with religious imagery, it was the aligning of these interests with the economic backing of the railroads that tipped Congress into creating the NPS (Drenning, 2013; National Park Service, 2015). The accessibility of parks then came under scrutiny as the idea of wilderness as an area without humans developed (Leopold, 2013; Louter & Cronon, 2010)
The “behind glass” dynamic continues to play out in KLGO with similar discourse around the cruise ship, buses, and railroads. In this case, the White Pass and Yukon railroad takes up to 500,000 passengers the White Pass per season. It provides an opportunity for visitors to go further into the interior of Alaska, and briefly into Canada (both British Columbia and the Yukon
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Territory). According to the interviews, this train ride in the same category as other passive modes of transportation (including buses and the cruise ships). In this case, visitors’ intention to be passive - evidenced through these modes of transportation - that constructs them as unhealthy.
As a counterexample to this active/passive construction of transportation, I interviewed two organizers of a running-centered cruise and several running cruisers. A running-centered cruise provides insight into the nuance of intention: the cruise runners are on a passive mode of transportation, but intend to actively engage with the park. The select group on the cruise has organized runs at each port, programming targeted at improving running techniques, and exclusive seating arrangements. One of the organizers deploys the active/passive discourse, but also exempts himself (and the running cruisers) because of their active intention:
Well, the typical cruise ship passenger is not the least bit interested in getting out or early in the morning and going for a run. We had a run briefing at 7 am yesterday, and we were off the ship at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. The average and I don't mean this to be in a negative sense, but the average cruise passenger they might go on a bus they might get driven around there looking at everything through a window. Some of them are going on a train today and the through a window everything for then it sort of outside of their own experience. Runners [are doing it] for what we're doing it's inside of them. I mean Juneau was not a beautiful day and, you know, it was raining. So, our people were wet and cold and tired, but that's what they wanted. They weren't sitting warm and safe on a bus; they wanted to be out there experiencing it for themselves... they want to experience their lives by themselves for themselves. CS.13
The effect of differentiating himself and his clients from other cruise ship passengers is to create
belonging in the morally and culturally “superior” active group. He does this through deploying
a contrast of “experiencing for themselves” versus “looking at a window.”, as others would
describe an organized cruise in a similar frame. He is leading an organized, regimented and
curated experience for cruise ship passengers. The nuance that he, and other participants from the
running cruise whom I interviewed, is that they are more actively engaging in their environments
through physically interacting with their environments and experiencing the elements. They are
working quite hard to distance themselves from the amoral characterization of “lazy” cruise
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passenger. Their intent to actively engage with the park - in their minds - groups them with the superior, fit, backpacking group.
Another exciting element of this quote is the idea that the runners are “experiencing it for themselves” or actively engaging with the park and therefore creating health. The word “experiences" mirror discourses of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency that was essential to the American westward expansion project of the 18th and 19th centuries (Ray 2009). The rugged individualism then was mirrored in the identity-producing projects of outdoor recreation privileges self-sufficiency and self-reliance (Senda-Cook, 2012). The individualized view masks the flows of political-economic and historical forces. Instead of conquering the land for its exploitation, outdoor enthusiasts are pitting themselves against nature to prove themselves, yet still use conquering discourses. As Sax describes,
Engagement with nature provides an opportunity for detachment from the submissiveness, conformity, and mass behavior that dog us in our daily lives; it offers a chance to express distinctiveness and to explore our deeper longings. (1980, p. 42)
The challenge of running or hiking or backpacking in nature is a way to enact and tap into a
deeper meaning of yourself concerning broader society. Regardless if running or backpacking is
a favorite activity, it is the process of pitting yourself against nature - with just the right amount
of risk - that enacts this individuality (Burns, Watson, and Paterson 2013; Braun 2003). An
solitary mountain climber, backpacker or kayaker is at the height of socially constructed health
in nature.
The tension between the individual and collective is one frequently seen in public lands; as people are seeking an individualized wilderness experience while also advocating for access to all (Louter & Cronon, 2010; Senda-Cook, 2012). People then go further “out” to seek solitary experiences, which is then reinforcing the individual discourses of conquering the backcountry.
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The individual/collective discourse is frequently deployed in advocating for more public lands, especially within the discourse of the park service (further explored in Chapter 5).
The active discourse has echoes of rituals and activities required by individuals to produce health. Instead of looking at health, or active engagement with nature, at a cultural or societal level, it is in the realm of the individual.
Health maintenance involves the consumption of a range of goods and services, which are increasing; marketed for their health-giving properties, such as food, and fitness clubs. Health is something which lies within the control of the individual. (Nettleton 1997, p. 208)
The discourse is that doing the things that producing health requires a lot of individual work or
effort. The ideas that 1) health can be produced or are within an individual’s control and 2)
health can be produced through hard work underlie these statements. First, we can link personal
attributes about a person from only knowing their health status. Second, these themes construct
health statuses that are "allowed" in that they were beyond the control of the individual - such as
disability or advanced age. The dynamic of health statuses that aren't allowed - such as obesity -
that are perceived to be within the individual's control. A dynamic of trying to understand the
culpability of the individual before using their health status as an exclusionary status.
Passive Engagement
Often when describing a healthy visitor, an active visitor, participants used the comparison to define the opposite visitor, a passive one. The discussion of active and passive engagement is an authorized discourse about the difference that hides the disdain for consumptive tourism. Arguably all tourism is consumptive, but visitors both on the ship and off constructed cruise ship tourism as representative of a type of passive or lazy way to experience a new place. Thus the very act of being on a cruise ship is constructed as passive, and therefore unhealthy. Participants describe this conception of engagement as being “blissfully unaware,” “oblivious” and “uninterested.” There is a long history within the National Park context of
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snubbing “typical tourists” dating back to Edward Abbey’s disdain of the ubiquitous park question; “Where’s the john?” (Sax, 1980). It is this view of casual visitors as being victimized by “submissiveness, conformity, and mass behavior that dog us in our daily lives” (Sax, 1980).
The active/passive binary is so pervasive in this context it often goes unnoticed by those deploying the binary. For example, when asked if they would like to attend a ranger-led program, two backpackers said of cruise ship passengers:
Participantl: It [guided tours] fits their lifestyle. I can't judge for them that's just not what I like. I can't put judgment on them. So, getting up and getting around not quite the same thing but it's good.
Participant 2: For me, I'd rather dig in and investigate. Snoop around a figure it out. And find it out on my own and say ok I've done that before but I'd like to explore a little bit more. I don't know, but if I find something interesting I'll go find somebody that I can then ask BK.9
In this quote, the backpackers are making a distinction between their more individualized
approach to learning about the park compared to the "lifestyle" choice that the cruise ship
passengers make by attending the tour. The fact that it takes more "work" to figure things out on
their own, or snoop around and figure it out, are influencing their - unspoken - superior way of
interacting with the park. Providing opportunities for engagement, through planned experiences,
is an essential tenant of the NPS. In fact, touring National Parks from motorized vehicles was
crucial to the increased popularity during the Progressive Era. It wasn't until the backlash of the
wilderness idea of the 1960s that people began questioning interacting with nature through a car.
Arriving by car is then extended to say something about the visitor:
The kind of encounter that routinely takes place in the modern motorized vehicle, or in the managed, prepackaged resort, is calculated to diminish such intensity of experience. The margin of error permitted is great enough to neutralize the importance of what we know. If we roar off in the wrong direction, we can easily roar back again, for none of our energy is expended. It isn’t important to pay close attention to the weather; we are insulated from it. We need not notice a small spring; we are not at the margin where water counts. The opportunity for intensity of experience is drained away. (Sax 1980, p. 31)
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The essential ingredients - motorized vehicle and managed, prepacked resort - are crucial to cruise ship tourism. Indeed, cruise ship tourism provides unparalleled access to previously remote and inaccessible areas.
Thus, cruise ship passengers are constructed as passive. This passive discourse coalesced into a shorthand of “typical cruise ship passenger.” Even the identity, “passenger” is passive, being carried places. While there could be active cruise ship passengers - defined as their mental or physical engagement with the park - no one I interviewed talked about passive backpackers or independent travelers. The idea of a “typical cruise ship passenger” came up again and again in interviews and participant observation. An interesting concept, as many cruise ship passengers who travel to Alaska each season, it nonetheless had salience with many groups of people. The idea of a "herd" of tourists was condensed from group travel. By placing them within a "pack mentality," they deployed a metaphor of prey animals who are following a leader passively. A middle-aged couple who were on their first cruise used this metaphor. This couple had previously traveled to Alaska in their 20s to backpack and found themselves reluctantly accepting the identity of cruise ship passenger. In this way, they perceive themselves as more aligned with the ideas of active engagement with parks.
Interviewer: So, what does it feel like to be one [cruise ship passenger] then?
Interviewee 1: Pretty much what we expected.
Interviewer: Which is?
Interviewee 2: Part of a pack. A pack mentality
Interviewee 1: You are herded, and you are taken care of, and if you want to spend money, you have different things to do to. To spend money, the excursions. There are actually pretty good ones if you pick them reasonably carefully.
Interviewee 2: And you're on a very strict tight schedule. We just don't do schedules usually when we travel we have no agenda we just go.
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Interviewee 1: The irony of that is that I think many people don't believe that about what we just said about cruise ships. I think they [other cruise ship passengers] think they have a lot of freedom to do things they feel like doing pretty much anytime. CS.3
It's clear from this quote that the couple doesn't see themselves as a party to the cruise ship
passivity that they've applied to others. When I first approached them to be interviewed, they
were unaware that they were in a National Park - an essential component of passive visitors per
many rangers. This perception or view of passivity is fluid and contextual but involves judging
other visitors to the park.
Health Narratives
These ways of engaging with the park - active and passive - provide scaffolding to create perceptions of what is healthy in the outdoor context. Again, I will be treating health as socially constructed through a discourse lens, examining the streams of reasoning and arguments that reflect scientific works of literature. Most importantly I will be exploring areas through which visitors' experience health that may extend or not be represented by the biomedical perspective. Before the qualitative work, I hypothesized three domains of health from a visitor's perspective; physical, mental and spiritual. These themes did emerge; also, participants viewed health in nature through a stress narrative lens, social health, and intellectual health.
Stress Narrative
In current biomedical literatures, everything from bursitis, dementia, heart disease to skin disorders has been linked in one way or another to stress (Loriol, 2016; van den Berg, 2007;
Wells & Evans, 2003; Wetzel et al., 2011). The stress narrative also falls neatly within the individualized nature of viewing health, as well as considering health through a modernized, mechanized way of living (Loriol 2016). Under the stress narrative, the onus of the health condition falls on the individual as well as the way to treat the disorder (Loriol 2016). Also, the
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discourse is about "escaping" the things that are causing stress and therefore ill health. The stress discourse fits into the nature-as-an-anecdote-to-society argument.
This discourse of stress and escaping stress was frequently deployed in the context of interacting with nature. The construction of nature as stress relief - like many others - has historical origins. In this case, John Muir was adopting the discourse of stress relief;
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn (Muir, 2011).
This quote has its origins in a distinct historical moment at the height of industrialization.
Wilderness is constructed as an antidote to the bustle as people are becoming more bound to
machines and urban areas. Aldo Leopold, the originator of the word wilderness and an influential
voice of environmentalism in the 20th century, had this to say.
Parks are overcrowded hospitals trying to cope with an epidemic of esthetic rickets; the remedy lies not in hospitals, but in daily dietaries. The vast bulk of land beauty and land life, dispersed as it is over a thousand hills, continues to waste away under the same forces as are undermining land utility. (Leopold 2013, p. 47)
The stress and escape narratives are also closely related to the idea of nature or wilderness as outside or different that cities or society (Cronon, 1996). The narrative of escaping stress through engagement with wilderness is one that is well represented in the literature. Many of the cruise ship passengers I interviewed said similar things. Of interest were the participants in the running cruise whom I interviewed. By standards, they wouldn’t fit the passive model of engagement because they were physically active, yet they were still being “herded” on the cruise ship. One woman, who organized the cruise for her parents and her boyfriend, had this to say about the cruise being healthy.
Sara: Doing this and being here you consider that to be healthy?
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Interviewee 1: Yes.
Interviewee 3: I think it's good for the health relationships.
Interviewee 4: Relaxing, it's good mentally, on the ship they take care of you, so you're not under pressure.
Interviewee 3: You don't have that day-to-day work stress stuff.
Sara: Yes, how does that compare to your normal day, being here?
Interviewee 1: Stress-free.
Sara: Is that healthy?
Together 1,2,3: Oooh yes!
Interviewee 1: Part of being on the ship is being taken care of, so, you can relax and have less stress. I work at a newspaper it's a whole lot less stressful. I'm kind of laughing because anything is better than crappy work right now. And I'm like yes, it's really bad, isn't it? I become really vindictive when I work 50 hours per week because they have stupid ideas that they decide to change. CS.15
In every way, this type of engagement could be considered "passive" from the binary explored in the first part of this chapter. The very act of "being taken care of' is passive, or infantilizing. The perception of health coupled with the natural element of the cruise seems to be working together. Another family from New Jersey on a cruise had this to say.
Mother: I think we chose the cruise because we wanted to have the element of luxury along with some more rustic elements of Alaska and we thought our children would enjoy the cruise element. Can do some super fine dining and pampered a little bit as well as your hiking and fishing and zip lining.
Sara: So like, adventure and luxury together?
Father: Yeah.
Mother: Good combo. CS.13
In this line of thinking it's the combination of the comforts of the cruise ship, the element of being taken care of and the "rustic" elements of nature that are working together to create a perception of health. This thought is both informed by as well as goes against the more in-depth
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history of how people conceive of health in this environment. From a health perspective, escaping the stress of cities is the push factor into the wilderness while the seeking of mental calm or health in the wilderness is the pull factor.
Mental Health and Engagement
Many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. In this view, everyone has mental health needs, not just the mentally ill, and that many can benefit from outdoor engagement (Pretty 2004b). Other proposed mechanisms are the restoration of over-concentration (Parry-Jones 1990; Hartig et al. 2014). This mechanism, called attention restoration theory, primarily focuses on the cognition and attention of children (Wells 2000; Taylor, Kuo, and Sullivan 2001; Taylor and Kuo 2009) This mechanism has been found to be a buffer for life stress with rural children (Wells 2000) and the ideal place for a study break on campus, attention restoration (Felsten 2009).
Few participants spoke about attention restoration explicitly, but many did talk about how being outside felt good mentally. One group, who were on the last leg of their Alaskan hiking trip, said.
Participant 2: Getting out of the urban environment that we live in, it's just so peaceful and relaxing for sure.
Participant 1: I've been backpacking for three months every day, more on the trail I'm really thinking, I’m going to struggle to go back and sit in my desk, I get used to these views in the simplicity of life and backpacking. If s just great BK.7
The group deployed the nature/urban binary here. Similarly, to stress relief, gaining mental
health from new rhythms and outside of routines is critical. Many participants mentioned an
increase in mental health from “escaping” technology.
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Definitely. Just disconnecting from everything. You don't get that in the lower 48.1 hope we don't get phone service in Skagway or in Bennett I don't want to use my phone until I'm back to Juneau. BK.17
The debate on whether to allow cell towers are going strong within the National Park Service and the idea of disconnection is one of the stronger arguments to keep cell towers out. The debate on technology also falls within this nature/artificial binary, as well as within in the attention restoration theories of mental health. The idea of "contemplative faculty" discussed by Sax (1980) in which the natural scenery inspires the attention to be aroused and the mind occupied. Adjacent to meditation, this quality can best be described as profoundly connecting with nature.
The archaeology professor, traveling solo, had this to say about Glacier Bay National Park, which is very close to KLGO.
It was weird that way at Glacier Bay. Because you can't really get out there in any other way. It was frustrating, a little bit. You can't really get genuinely into that Park unless you're a kayaker. And all the kayakers are 20 to 35-year-olds, and I'm not going kayaking anytime soon. I do associate with that it's good to get out see things and let your mind wander. IT.l
She is apparently talking about this idea of a wandering mind, but also mixed in with it is her
exclusion due to her age. It is an excellent example of how her social or physical identity will
then color her interpretation of health in nature.
This quote mirrored a lot of the discourse in the active/passive engagement piece.
Backpackers placed a higher value on “being out there” and experiencing on producing health.
Some people experience this when they’re in parks and actively learning and truly engaging. The other thing I notice from traveling in the past, when you just sit there and listen to a guy talk, it doesn’t really get in there. When you hike this trail, and you see this stuff, and you talk about it and experience it it’s always going to be really understand. BK.15
A group of backpackers who had relatives who had recently been to Skagway on a cruise echoed
this. They found that although they were less intellectually engaged in the park, they were
healthier because of experience.
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Participant 1: They'll [cruise ship passengers] be knowledgeable about it, but they won't get to experience it we get to experience it
Participant 2: But I don't think I'm as knowledgeable as a lot of people cuz I'd rather come out and just do it. BK.1
This judgment of physical health over mental health indeed mirrors the arguments that promote health in parks. For many, health is synonymous with physical health in this context.
Physical Engagement
Much of this work has been centered on outdoor environments facilitating physical fitness and therefore possibly affecting many health outcomes. Several studies have demonstrated that participants in outdoor exercise are more likely to enjoy and continue to exercise outdoors (Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider 2014; Thompson Coon et al. 2011). This has been hypothesized to include mental and social effects. To date, the potential for the health benefit of outdoor recreation has been widely cited, but health effects beyond psychological health have been limited.
The discourse of physical health is also used when talking about direct engagement with the park. Edward Abbey famously compared automobiles (or cruise ships) as wheelchairs to get people outside.
How to pry the tourists out of their automobiles, out of the back-breaking upholstered mechanized wheelchairs and onto their feet, onto the strange warmth and solidity of Mother Earth Again (Abbey 1990, p. 49).
Along with explicitly excluding people with disabilities from the outdoor discourse, Abbey privileges engaging with the environment physically as the only correct way to connect, which has a legacy in outdoor discourses.
This view adds another layer to the assessment of physical health in the outdoors.
Included in the physical experience is the almost ritualistic physical deprivation of camping and
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backpacking, including eating different foods, sleeping in tents, and encountering physical exhaustion. This blurs the line between physical and spiritual health, but Ray makes a point in that it is historically defined; people are putting themselves through tough situations to “correct moral atrophy.” A backpacker noted this.
It’s always; I find it always kind of difficult to have a mental image of the glamour of the Chilkoot trail in your head, and then you get out there and kind of doing the nitty-gritty work of going up and down BK.3
This quote shows the tension between the symbolic power of the Chilkoot and the lived experience of hiking it. Physical engagement seemed to matter the most when talking about engagement. For example, the participants on the running cruise perceived themselves as more genuinely engaging with the park because of the physical activity involved. Even with stereotypes about cruise ship passengers being less engaged, the runners I interviewed found that the physical activity connected them more deeply to the park.
I think we get more out of it, this town, because of doing The Amazing Race. Because they had us going to certain places they had us doing things that we may not have seen if we just did it as a cruise. Because most of them [other cruise ship passengers] are just staying on certain streets where we came through side streets with a map to go places. Plus, we can walk places and learn a bit more about it. It's much nicer than we first started out. CS.9
Ultimately, this moral argument of preferred park engagement has shades of the moral project of
advocating for health practices such as dieting or exercising. It also has a rich history within
biomedical perspectives where exercise is the panacea to most health conditions (Ball, Bauman,
Leslie, & Owen, 2001; Bodin & Hartig, 2003; Network, 2006; Pretty, Peacock, Sellens, &
Griffin, 2005; Vartanian & Novak, 2011). Secondarily to the physical health piece are people
talking about social and spiritual health.
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Social and Spiritual Health
Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is social and spiritual health. First talked about with psychologists, social scientists began to see a mechanism with increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can undoubtedly provide a connection with the social group with a reawakening of emotions and identity (Mitchell Jr and others 1983). Social cohesion is also brought up in the physical and mental health literatures (Bodin and Hartig 2003; Felsten 2009; Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider 2014). This idea was echoed as well, primarily by backpackers. My research assistant, Lindsay, and I ran across a group of two Mothers with their kids hiking the Chilkoot. They had realized that they packed the wrong fuel for the stove they brought and had to rely on the kindness of strangers:
Participant 2: That connections to people are just as important as connection to nature. We have yet to see that; I think that's really special.
Participant 1: We take it for granted.
Participant 2: I think we really do, you think you're really self-sufficient hiking the trail you don't need to talk to anyone. That's where we are in the world. No one talks to their neighbor. Very few people will talk to your neighbors. Countries don't talk to other countries.
Participant 1: I think it says a lot and when you are in need, you realize that importance but also who is willing to reach out. It says so much about our world. I think the only purpose of our world is connections and disconnection.BK.5
In their view, it was connecting with others through hiking that was healthier than the calories burned. Both women had previously hiked the Chilkoot, and one had even run it in under 12 hours, yet they privileged the social connections. Another backpacker contrasted their trail experience with their perception of the cruise ship.
Participant 1: We're more individualized here than we are in most places. Cruise ships like that, those people are wandering around aimlessly. Not focused on anybody else's needs but their own. It gets frustrating at times that they're unaware of what's around them.
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Participant 2: We're on a trail and you know you're in the wilderness and you have limited resources and limited ability to be rescued. You can be a group of three, but if there's five or ten other people, everyone around you is looking after you. Not just yourself. That's what I like about it, so I think that's different. Go to Disneyland or the cruise, whatever it is; people will walk around like they don't care. Indifferent. BK.9
In this way, they're talking about a sort of camaraderie that exists in the trail environments. It
bears repeating that the trail experience itself is highly managed. Backpackers must get permits,
only 50 people are let over the pass per day, and all must camp in designated campgrounds. It is
a highly controlled backcountry experience that ultimately facilitates these types of connections.
As for the psychological literature, these spiritual health theories are defined as “dramatic
peak experience, transcendent moments” (McDonald, Wearing, and Ponting 2009; Williams and
Harvey 2001; Russell et al. 2013). Qualitative inquiry has described the feeling as “a moment of
extreme happiness, lightness, and freedom, a sense of harmony with the whole world, moments
which are totally absorbing and which feel important (Williams and Harvey 2001). The literature
also speaks to how physical hardship can play a role in profound experiences (Mitchell Jr and
others 1983; Kaplan 2001; Fredrickson and Anderson 1999; Williams and Harvey 2001). In
many ways, the extreme experience of wilderness creates feelings that have aspects of religious
experience (Ross-Bryant 2012). This religious rhetoirc is rooted in the legacy of Muir and
transcendental views of nature, not as wilderness, but as sublime nature (Ross-Bryant 2012; Muir
2011; Drenning 2013). John Muir, primarily, was good at mixing religious discourse when
describing the outdoors and has a lasting legacy on the way we view spirituality and nature
(DeLuca and Demo 2001; Muir 2011; Drenning 2013).
Many participants brought up a spiritual motivation in coming to nature. Interestingly
these discourses came up for both cruise ship and backpacking visitors. From this view, the
religious component was not directly tied to the physical exertion. One cruise ship passenger
said.
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Participant: Peaceful. Very peaceful. Relaxing. One of God's beautiful creations.
Sara: Would you mind telling me a little bit more about that?
Participant: I don't know what else to say about that [laughing],
Sara: Do you think it has a direct connection to God?
Participant: Oh yeah. I think he put us on this Earth and for not to see the beauty in the things like we do. Not to be inside, on our tablets or our phones, you know, video games. Stuff like that. He wants us out and nature. And that's what it is here; it's beautiful. I love it.
Sara: do you feel connected?
Participant: Oh, yeah. I'm a very religious person. We go to church all the time. CS.2 This participant linked her connection to God through nature and against technology. An absorbing layer of the natural/unnatural binary. A similar discourse is repeated by the police officer from Memphis who had a lot to say about race;
We stay connected to God all the time, but here will make you even more connected. That they're still beauty here in this world. There's so much death and destruction and meanness and wars and other things going on. Then you get up here that makes you forget about all that stuff CS.4
Another group explicitly labeled themselves and talked about their relationship to God and nature.
Participant 3: Nature always brings out the spiritual.
Participant 1: We're what you would call conservative Evangelical Christians, and this helps us feel very close to God and see in his creation, it's just great.
Sara: So, you feel closer to God?
Participant 2: But it's not like, for me, it's not like I'll still smoke the weird mushroom and now I'm having this experience where I can see through the three dimensions and now I see God. It's more of like when you haven't seen an old friend in a long time, and then you see them and you and have moments and your conversation where if s just quiet. You're just being with that person, and that is just as good as having a full-on conversation. There's something just about being with them being in our world with technology, it's easy to just get distracted, and you can't just be with God. BK.7
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This participant also found God to be more connected with nature than with technology. Also, interesting that he chose to invoke drugs as a spiritual path equal to engaging with nature; although this also has a long history in the outdoors (Drenning 2013). Others boiled down the spiritual connection to a feeling.
Participant 1: And you just can't stop looking at them [glaciers].
Participant 3: Yeah you like that are almost inspiring to me. You know it just kind of gets me
going like, I just feel good.
Participant 1: Yeah.
Participant 3: Yeah so it definitely affects my health.
Participant 2: More to this Earth, right? Someone had to build those glaciers. Make those
glaciers. It's so big if s just more than man can do, it’s bigger than myself yeah. CS.17
This family, from New Jersey, would be considered by many to be the ultimately passively engaged group. Here they are talking about a more profound spiritual engagement with nature, through their cruise ship window, no less. It may even be considered engaging the contemplative faculties. There is no way to know this through casual observation or without asking the question explicitly. Missing them as engaged visitors is one of the many implications of viewing health and nature in this way.
Identities
The identities examined here - race, gender, age, physical ability - are a skeleton in which the active and passive engagement judgment are overlaid. These all work together to define what is healthy in this context. While I will examine each identity as a separate entity, these identities intersect in a myriad of ways, compounding perceptions and ideas. So, while I treat them as different discursive frames, they are all interrelated. I will then first discuss these identities, and then a discussion of how these identities influence the perceptions of health benefits in nature. I will not be analyzing these identities as entities within themselves. Instead, I view the identities -
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racialized, gendered, etc. - as a discourse. A set of statements about the identities that presented as biological, medical, but above all, socially constructed. Understanding these identities as a discourse and part of the social construction of difference through the identities than serve to reiterate social norms.
Body Size
Weight loss and obesity prevention is a multibillion-dollar industry. As the scientific evidence surrounding the health implications of obesity are being called into question as well as the failure of many interventions to change weight status, there is a shift to examining the social realities of living, working and playing with a fat body1. This is especially true for leisure contexts and specifically about outdoor recreation involvement. In this section, I explore the social realities of deciding who is functionally "allowed" - much less healthy - in the outdoor social space through examining fat discourse.
Body size came up in several discussions about health in nature, especially within the context of hiking the Chilkoot trail. Fat discourse mirrored the active/passive engagement discourse in that fat people were constructed as not belonging on the trail, and certainly not as healthy in nature. A group of older Canadian men - who were primarily composed of retired physicians - hiking the Chilkoot differentiated themselves from cruise ship passengers, the group had this to say:
Participant 2: There’s people that are really really wide [fat], and they're just on the cruise ship to eat, and then they get in town, and they're just eating on the Main Street going up and down [laughter].
Participant 3: He's a known politically correct man [sarcasm].
11 deliberately use the word “fat” here in that “obesity” is a highly medicalized term. My decision to use the word “fat” is that it connotes the social consequences of having a large body.
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Participant 2: Hey I was just in a town north of Norway skiing, and we saw bearded seals. They have whiskers, like big whiskers. They look like a dog, their face and so there's a head like this and then their body it's about three and a quarter meters wide and about this big [giant] [laughter] who does this remind you of?
Participant 1: I was wondering where you were going with this [laughter].
Participant 2: It's the whole cruise ship demographic, mustaches and fat BK.1 There are many ideas within this quote, especially because these men - physicians and outdoorsmen - represent the intersection of outdoor culture and biomedicine. Underlying their fat discourse is the idea that people have complete control over their bodies and body size, regardless of public health literature demonstrating a population explosion of obesity. Someone with a fat body cannot intend to be actively engaged with the park and therefore cannot be considered healthy in this context. The dynamic of populations who are "deserving" (thin) versus "undeserving" (fat) of special accommodations due to their physical health. Age and ability status frequently came up as exceptions to the passive classification of visitors, as statuses that are out of control of the individual; and which I will explore next. Regarding moral discourses, being fat was talked about as firmly within the power of the individual and therefore worthy of derision. Thus, hiking with a fat body can literally exclude someone from specific social spaces and become a topic of conversation.
The humor of the group hiking together reflects the social acceptability of blatant anti-fat bias - comparing fat cruise ship passengers to fat seals. Other social statuses, including medical ones, wouldn’t be socially acceptable to comment on. Even so, the backpacker is somewhat violating a social norm by telling this “joke”- his companion is uncomfortable with it and remarks how politically correct he is.
Another park visitor, whom I talked to when I was in my ranger capacity and therefore not recording, said this of cruise ship passengers, “I heard that a cruise ship passenger eats as
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much as a grizzly bear preparing for winter, is this true?” Both comments are specific to this "natural" environment, comparing humans to animal counterparts who are perceived as being fat.
The evidence of anti-fat bias, but it goes deeper in thinking that obese or overweight visitors may not be eligible or even worthy to experience health benefits within this context.
Even fellow cruise ship passengers had this attitude. One man I interviewed, who would most likely be classified as obese himself, said this of other cruisers:
Someone that’s waiting until it’s time to eat another meal. And they save the deck chairs around the pool, even if the weather isn’t right. The cruise ships have so much going for them, though. I mean, I’m 74, and I don’t have to get up and walk and walk and walk it can be tiring, it can be aches and pains. And the cruise ship does the walking for you until you get to a place like here. They have the buses, so you don’t have to do a whole lot, just go where you’re going to go. It’s really nice. CS.ll
It is interesting that he categorized cruise ship passengers as primarily interested in food, but then didn't extend the same derision concerning physical accessibility. From the outside, this visitor may be deemed passively engaged, but he also may be seen as an exception due to his age. This goes back to the idea of free will and individuals being responsible for their health. While someone, in this view, cannot control their age they do influence their body size. In this way being overweight is an "unforgivable" barrier to park engagement while being older is not. The discourse is remarkably different when talking about age and ability compared with obesity discourse.
Age and Ability
Interestingly, in discussions about visitor engagement, the noted exception to the disdain of passive visitors are older or physically disabled. This theme appeared again and again, among cruise ship passengers, rangers, independent travelers and Chilkoot hikers, add more here, including a specific argument statement for this section.
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The nuance between obesity (not acceptable) and age (acceptable) was also part of the discourse of the retired Canadian physician backpackers from above. One of the backpackers, not the man who told the joke relayed above, said:
On a cruise ship, there's quite a variety on a cruise ship from people that say, you know, that have a horrible genetic medical disability and they're only way of having holiday. To people who are pretty fit, and who are going out with relatives, you know, elderly relatives to be part of a family group. BK.1
He medically exempts people from the moral discourse with “horrible genetic medical disability” as well as people going with elderly family members. Within the moral discourse of health those who have perceived control over their condition - obesity - are stigmatized whereas those who are regarded not to have power - aging or medical disorder - are excepted from the stigma. Their perception of health affects the places in which they are allowed.
Often visitors used vivid imagery to illustrate the discrepancy of active and passive engagement, while highlighting the tension between desired activities and bodily experiencing the aging process. In the case of age and ability - it is the lack of control, or the intent to engage actively - that exempts them from the moral framing as lazy. Aging and ability are the two statuses that give visitors a “pass” to be passive, and they are not constructed as inherently unhealthy. One woman, I met while I was on duty as a ranger, at the visitor center information desk ("the desk") told me of her first visit to Skagway with her now-deceased husband. They hiked the trail in 1972, both teachers on their summer break. She showed me her souvenir gold nugget necklace that he purchased for their anniversary. When I asked how she was enjoying her return trip, she said she was grateful for the cruise ship as it "hauled her broken body" to places she enjoyed as a younger woman, which struck me, first as very emotionally charged and then as very telling. It fits neatly, if jarringly, into the discourse of the cruise ship as a blessing for those with disabilities, or age-related restrictions, to experience Alaska. The word choice is also
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interesting. The woman used the metaphor as a "broken body," firmly putting her body in the center of the discourse. The same group of Canadian backpackers referenced earlier said:
Participant 1: So, some cruise ship passengers will use their ages “oh I don't go out anymore.” Participant 2: They use that to describe that why they are on the ship.
Participant 1: And that's great because they're still coming out here and doing stuff. And that's where I can see being on a cruise ship when the body doesn't work anymore. Maybe, they believe that their body can't do it but at least they're going out and doing some of the scenic stuff, it's really good, it keeps the mind sharp. BK.1
In this case, the metaphor is “the body doesn’t work anymore” to describe age. The body-as-
machine metaphor is underlying both quotes, as something that works or doesn’t, or something
that is breakable. In this quote, the physicians are differentiating between mental and physical
health. Their very physical status prevents them from accessing environments in standard scripts,
so the cruise is a way to get them there. The implication of this is that other people, without these
socially proscribed explanatory narratives, should be doing the work to get with the environment
in a way that is normal. This body-as-machine metaphor - that food is like fuel, and health
activities are regular “tune-ups” reflects dominant thinking in Newtonian medicine. These
language constructs reinforce the idea of separate domains of health. Instead, what if these
domains are working together? If health processes are happening outside of the discrete realms
of mental, physical and spiritual health?
The relatives of young, fit cruise ship passengers often come up in this narrative as well.
The only way to pardon a young, healthy, able-bodied person on a cruise ship is that they are there supporting their less able friends or relatives. A physically able body is as much a “natural” part of environments as to be taken for granted in the literature.
To the extent that engaging in adventure culture has become a reflection of environmental sensibility, bodies that do not fit this model are deemed unenvironmental. Extending
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Progressive Era links between the body, social hygiene, and the wilderness encounter, contemporary culture equates physical fitness with environmental correctness. (Ray 2009, p. 259 - 260)
Ray argues that the discourse of wilderness explorers as physically fit as a matter of course. The ideal “environmental” body is one that doesn’t take as many resources (therefore not obese), one that actively engages with the outdoors (physically fit) and able-bodied (not requiring accommodations and young). This perception and construction of an environmental body is reflected in adventure culture and who is allowed to be called environmental. Those with bodies that don't fit this model are unenvironmental, unwelcome in outdoor contexts, and therefore unhealthy. The line of thinking that predisposes the idea that the solitary retreat into nature is the primary way to "truly" engage with wilderness. In fact, the group of Canadian hikers found the challenge of the trail to be motivating to hike, "probably a combination of both the history and it's a challenge it's not wheelchair accessible" BK.1 He explicitly calls out nature that can be "wheelchair accessible" as not challenging and therefore not worthy. These men, all self-described as in their mid to late 60s were also out hiking the trail. They were using the trail to motivate their physical fitness for the rest of the year. So, their view of age is a bit different; as they believed firmly that they were controlling or reacting to the aging process. The group talked about encountering younger people on their various trips and the advice they give them for staying out doing outdoor adventures:
Respondent 6: It's also just staying fit to do it cause you can't just walk here and do it.
Respondent 5: Yeah you can't just walk out here and just do this. You have to stay fit, to begin with, to be able to do it.
Respondent 6: I think it's a mentality people who want to do this kind of stuff you're going to be fit, they're fit kind of people.
Respondent 5: Yeah but I don't feel quite as fit as I wanted to be [laughter]
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Respondent 6: You wait in four days time [the time it takes to hike the trail],.. We go biking three days a week for 2 hours three days a week [to prepare], so we're doing other things besides this. But this is the iconic trip to do and if you have to do it... You know the group is great. But it's really the camaraderie that helps you, but it's really just getting you out the door that's the best part of the group.. .You know you want to stay fit so that you can do it at that level, and eventually, you might not be able to do it BK.1.
While they certainly acknowledge that aging is a process, they are also explicitly saying by
staying fit and going on adventures they are staving off the process. So, this colors their previous
view that cruise ship passengers aren’t as fit, and are aging more quickly. Their view of cruise
ships is that they are the place to go when all other options are off the table.
The solitary pursuit of adventure and risk in the outdoors is closely linked with hiking
the Chilkoot trail. The discourse of the Chilkoot hiker as young and physically fit is the taken for
the granted state, or the unmarked state, as people will notice when an older adult is hiking2. One
man in his sixties talked about being envious of hikers that passed him going up the trail well
into their seventies and eighties. The other idea is that the trail is a physical challenge that must
be met with a whole body.
Gender
The concept of gender, like the other identities I’m exploring, can be viewed through a lens of performance (Butler 2011). Interestingly, gender only came up as a subject only about women and the Chilkoot; participants discussed the gender composition of who is hiking and who is maintaining the trail. For this section, I will focus on the Chilkoot hikers, and then explore the gender relationship of park rangers in Chapter 5.1 expected there to be more discussion of gender as wilderness was strongly associated with masculinity historically.
2 The idea of marked/unmarked is used in linguistics and social sciences delineates a difference in the common parlance (unmarked) and difference (marked) (Scotton, 1983). The classic example is the difference between a nurse and a male nurse.
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Wilderness parks were a response to a perceived ‘crisis of masculinity’ at the turn of the century; the appeal of the aesthetics of a sublime, mountaintop transcendence could only be appealing (or accessible) to men in such a context” (Ray 2009, p. 31).
This idea of performing masculinity through engaging with nature is especially true of the time
of the Klondike Gold Rush - men were pushed to the frontier to react to the "feminizing" effects
of society (Ray 2009). The physical landscapes provided a place for men to become more manly,
where women were prohibited. The historical event of the gold rush was a specific period of time
in which “outdoors adventures emerged as a way of reinvigorating U.S. men by allowing them to
test their strength and endurance against the challenges of the wilderness” (Pursell, Hogan, &
others, 2009). The event itself is interwoven with perceptions of gender. While participants didn't
explicitly reference the relationship of gender and the Klondike Gold Rush, there is a legacy of a
man's place in nature by the way participants talked about hiking.
One woman I interviewed remarked of another woman who hiked the Chilkoot by
herself; “I would have been very interested in what motivated her to do it by herself. I mean, I
travel by myself, but it's not survival. I'm not sure if I could survive by myself.” NPS.3 This is
notable in that she views travel and hiking the trail as the difference between fun and survival.
Also, remarkable is that women in groups aren't noteworthy, it's the solo woman who is
deserving of remarks. Groups of women seemed to be viewed as entirely safe, in fact the trail
ranger found groups of older women to be the safest of any demographic (discussed more fully
in Chapter 5). Women in groups can be overcome most backcountry adversary, but a woman by
herself is seen at risk to the elements. Still, the discussion is centered around women's safety in
the backcountry. It is less about the safety of men; it's whether a woman can be alone or not. As
safety is part of the construction of health, a woman alone may not be seen as healthy in the
outdoors.
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The other significant theme that emerged was that several hikers noticed that most the trail rangers and wardens in the summer of 2016 were women. One man, in his late sixties, hiking with his niece said.
Participant 2 (niece): Hiking and we've seen three rangers and all three rangers have been women. We've never seen that many women and there was a lot more women hikers.
Sara: What do you think about that?
Participant 2: Oh, I think it's great. There was one group kind of on the same pace as us. They were a group of eight women whose husbands were all out fishing or something together. So, they're just all decided to hike while their husbands were fishing. So, I think it's great that women are doing this.
Participant 1 (uncle): There was one woman in that group of eight who was maybe a little bit older and definitely a little bit heavier than everybody else. She just sucked it up though and kept chugging along. I think it's great that women are becoming more empowered but I am curious as to is that something unique to this trail or unique to Canada? Because we certainly didn't see this many women and the Grand Canyon on either of the previous hikes, the big ones BK.6
This thought is interesting for several reasons, and I will discuss the implications of the park service observation more fully in Chapter 5. Interestingly, the group of women hiking weren’t out because of their own impetus, but because their husbands were fishing. There is an underlying congratulatory discourse that make it clear that the uncle and niece did not expect women on the trail. The uncle also remarked on one of the women hiking as being overweight.
Her body is more easily commented upon because she was a woman, and because she was hiking. She also didn't fit the norm for being in the backcountry. However, she probably would haven't been noticed in the context of a cruise ship. In this way, through silence from many, many participants when asked about cruise ship passengers, this was a non-issue. Therefore, I conclude that women are entirely expected and unremarkable on cruise ships. Cruise ship tourism, or passive engagement, is the expected norm for women through these discourses.
When women were actively engaging with the park - through hiking the trail - they were worthy
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Full Text

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THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF NATURE AND HEALTH; PERCEIVED HEALTH BENEFITS OF ENGAGING WITH KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK by SARA NEWMAN B.A., University of Denver, 2008 M.S.P.H., Johns Hopkins University , 201 1 A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Health and Behavioral Sciences Program 2018

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ii © 2018 SARA NEWMAN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii This thesis for the Doctor of Philo sophy degree by Sara Newman has been approved for the Health and Behavioral Sciences Program by Jean Scandlyn, Chair Deborah Thomas, Advisor Abby Hickox Patrick Kreuger Date: June 22, 2018

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iv Newman, Sara (Ph.D., Health and Behavioral Sciences Pro gram ) The Social Construction of Heath and Nature: Perceived Health Benefits of Visitors Engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Thesis directed by Associate Professor Deborah Thomas ABSTRACT Parks are more than the location where physic al activity takes place; as such we must advance our understanding of the many ways park engagement influences the perception of health. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska is commonly characterized as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural ( Kollin, 2001) . The social construction of these places influences the ways in which people expect to experience them when visiting. In parallel fashion, interacting with nat ure is widely viewed as healthy. Health, also a socially constructed conc ept, so too superimposes preconceived notions onto engagement with nature. With the explicit goal of "creating healthy outdoor recreation" opportunities and as places where many people seek to experience nature, U.S. National Parks act as a focal point wh ere complex interpretations of the health nature nexus play out. Yet tensions remain on what constitutes health in parks. I explore these tensions , through an ethnographic case study of Klondike Gold Rush N ational Historical Park (KLGO) to examine how thes e discourses affect the perceived health of representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged). Exploring health nature relationships expand s the definition of who can participate a nd receive health benefits from the natural environment beyond the gendered, racialized, able bodied, ideal of an outdoor enthusiast. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Deborah Thomas

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v ACKNOWLEDGEME NTS I have always liked to tell students that Public Health is a team sport no one accomplishes anything individually and that is certainly true for this dissertation. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of many people and institutions. Fir st, I would like to express my thanks to the many visitors that let me barge into their vacations and ask them questions about what they thought of Alaska. I would like to thank the rangers and administration of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park for allowing me to interview them while off the clock and for the endless patience as I talked about my project. To my ranger friends who heard countless iterations of this and offered suggestions and support, I thank you. A special thanks to Superintenden t Mike Tranel, who both fostered ideas about this research as well as allowed access to Klondike Gold Rush's facilities and institutions. In addition, he supported my research through funding my assistant, Lindsay Adams, who was my constant fieldwork compa nion. Lindsay is a brilliant social researcher who helped me make sense of the culture and nuances of both the park service and visitor experiences. This research is as much hers as it is mine. The views expressed in this dissertation are my own and do not reflect those of the National Park Service. A very special thank you to my committee and academic advisors, Deborah Thomas, Jean Scandlyn, Abby Hickox, and Patrick Krueger, whose insightful comments and conversations helped me improve this dissertation t remendously. Deb and Jean, as my co Chairs have heard countless versions of this project. I am eternally grateful for Deb's academic and professional mentorship and I credit her in guiding me through the darkest days of my academic future. I owe to her my development as a writer and as a scholar through her thoughtful evaluations and encouragement. Jean's unwavering support, intellectual space, and encouragement not to mention her hiking the Chilkoot trail with me were invaluable. I could not have asked for better co Chairs. For Abby, a special thank you for introducing me to the field of human geography and helping me shift my worldview each time we met. Patrick has been a steady presence from the start of this project and I thank him for helping me sha pe it into a solid dissertation. I would also like to thank the Health and Behavioral Sciences Department, where I have found a home for the past six years. Abby Fitch, especially, was a source of support and humor. It was through this department that I d iscovered my love of instructing undergraduate public health students and shaped my future career. To my fellow doctoral students in the program, thank you for your constant support and encouragement. You are a group of brilliant and inspirational research ers who have helped me think critically and supported me through this process, not to mention the brainstorming, edits and endless hours of side by side work. I owe a special thank you to Sarah Brewer, Rachel Norton, Karen Hampanda, Stephanie Chamberlin, a nd Ryan O'Connoll. To my superb cohort, Melanie Tran, Shane Sheridan and Dayna Matthew, I feel privileged to be your peer. I would also like to acknowledge funding from the University of Colorado Denver Health and Behavioral Sciences Department that helped me conduct and analyze this research. I would like to thank my friends and co workers at the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes and Delivery Sciences. You have expanded my mind and my research and I thank you for the flexibility to work at AC CORDS while completing this dissertation. To Juliana

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vi Barnard, your mentorship, counsel and intellectual curiosity have greatly inspired me. To my work partner, Sophia Arabadjis, thank you so much for your friendship and your incredibly insightful edits and comments of this dissertation. I will work with you anytime, anywhere. Thank you to Laura Helmkamp who patiently helped me work through the quantitative portion of this project. Sarah Brewer is the exact friend you want in a crisis and I am grateful for a ll her help. Finally, I thank my friends and my family. Even for those who do not know exactly what it is I do; they have kept me going with their constant support, companionship, sometimes needed distraction, and always with encouragement. Beth Davidson , thank you for the miles hiked to come up with this project. Sarah Fazekas always reminds me how far I have come and helps provide me with the strength to continue onward. Carol Ann Fisher has been in the trenches with me daily yet never seems to tire of being my cheerleader, best friend, and soul sister. Myntha Anthym inspires me daily as a researcher, social justice warrior, and embodies the exact mix of fun, laughter, and intellectual stimulation. To the Carrolls, I thank you for your hearty welcome int o the family at the exact moment that I need ed to devote too much of my time to this dissertation. Above all, thank you for your son and brother, Andrew Carroll. Without his unquestioning support, edits, and care even when he had no idea what sort of st ate he could find me in from one day to the next, I could not have completed this dissertation. I cannot wait to be married to this man. To my family, especially my parents, thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. Without your support, I co uld never have pursued this dream. I have deep thanks for teaching me to love our National Parks and my legacy with the parks. For my grandfather, Robert Dunkeson (Yellowstone National Park), father, Thomas Newman (Grand Teton National Park), mother, Patri cia Newman (Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon National Park), and Aunt and Uncle, Cindy and Wayne Nielsen (Grand Teton National Park, Glacier National Park, Death Valley National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Arches National Park, and Great Ba sin National Park to name a few) thank you for being the source of this connection. I wish my Aunt Cindy could have seen this project, I think of her frequently and her career dedication to the parks. To me, and many, the National Park Service has great s ymbolic meaning. The parks are some of the places where I saw my parents love for each other and I found love there as well. Certainly, the parks are not perfect, but I believe the idea behind them is radical and noble, and I am committed to making them in clusive for all. Okay, Andy, let's go earn some more junior ranger badges!

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vii Photo 1 : Author and her family

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viii TABLE OF CONTENTS ! CHAPTER I ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 1 National Park Service ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 1 Specific Aims ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 5 Aim 1: ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 Aim 2: ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 Aim 3: ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 Theoretical Frameworks ................................ ................................ ................................ . 8 Foucauldian Discourse Analysis ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 Landscape Framework ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 11 Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 16 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 18 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 18 Views of Parks and Health, Focus on Public Health Perspectiv e ............. 18 The Outdoors and Physical Health ................................ ................................ ... 19 The Outdoors and Mental Health ................................ ................................ ...... 19 The Outdoors and Social and Spiritual Health ................................ .............. 20 Implications and Further Work ................................ ................................ ................ 21 Programmatic Implications ................................ ................................ ....................... 21 Disciplinary Implications ................................ ................................ .......................... 22 CHAPTER 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 23 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS ................................ ................................ ..... 23

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ix Research Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 23 Location, Population, History ................................ ................................ ............ 23 Klondike Gold Rush ................................ ................................ ................................ . 24 Activities at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park ....................... 26 Tourism in Alaska ................................ ................................ ................................ 28 Ethnography ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 28 Research Assistant ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 30 My Role ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 31 Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 34 Overall Methodological Approach: ................................ ................................ .......... 34 Methods. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 35 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 35 In depth Interview Topics. ................................ ................................ ........................ 36 Analysis. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 37 Observations. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 39 A nalysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 40 Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 41 Semi structured interviews. ................................ ................................ ...................... 41

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x Aim 3: To understand the social meanings and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park emplo yees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park ................................ ................................ ............................... 44 Semi structured interviews. ................................ ................................ ...................... 44 NPS Sponsored Survey ................................ ................................ ............................. 48 Synthesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 51 Ethical Considerations and Protection of Human Subjects ................................ .......... 51 CHAPTER III ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 53 NATURE AS A HEALTH DISCOURSE ................................ ................................ ..... 53 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 53 "Out There" or "Behind a Window": Health and Park Engagement ............................ 54 Active Engagement ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 55 Passive Engagement ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 62 Health Narratives ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 65 Stress Narrative ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 65 Mental Health and Engagemen t ................................ ................................ ................ 68 Physical Engagement ................................ ................................ ................................ 70 Social and Spiritual Health ................................ ................................ ....................... 72 Ident ities ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 75 Body Size ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 76 Age and Ability ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 82 Race and Ethnicity ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 85

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xi Exclusion and Implications ................................ ................................ ........................... 90 CHAPTER IV ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 91 LANDSCAPE, HEALTH, AND PLACE ................................ ................................ ...... 91 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 91 Photo Elicitation Method ................................ ................................ .............................. 93 Alaska ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 94 Alaska as Beautiful and Scenic ................................ ................................ ................. 96 Alaska as Natural ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 106 Alaska as Adventure ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 109 Alaska and Crowding ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 115 History and H istorical Connection ................................ ................................ .............. 118 Purity and Fresh Air ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 121 Authenticity ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 126 Conclusion and Implications ................................ ................................ ....................... 133 CHAPTER V ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 135 RANGER AND NATIONAL PARK PERSPECTIVES ................................ ........... 135 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 135 Theoretical Perspective ................................ ................................ ............................... 137 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 139 National Park Status ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 139 Photo Three, Visitor's Center ................................ ................................ ................. 143 Photo Four, Jeff Smith's Parlor ................................ ................................ .............. 146 Photo Ten, Row of Historic Buildings, Including the Mascot Saloon .................... 148

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xii Ranger Identity and Place within the Park ................................ ................................ .. 151 Photo Six, Visitor Center Desk ................................ ................................ ............... 156 Photo Five, Ranger Led Walking Tour ................................ ................................ ... 159 Active and Pas sive Discourse, and Constructions of Health ................................ ...... 161 Stress Narratives and Mental Health ................................ ................................ ....... 164 Physical Health ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 167 Social and Spiritual Health ................................ ................................ ..................... 168 Identities ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 171 Body Size ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 171 Age and Ability ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 173 Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 175 Race and Ethnicity ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 176 NPS Visitor Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 178 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 180 Measures ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 180 Dependent Variables. ................................ ................................ .............................. 180 Covariates ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 186 Statistical Analyses ................................ ................................ ................................ . 186 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 186 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 188 Convergence and Divergence with Qualitative Results ................................ .......... 189 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 190 CHAPTER VI ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 193

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xiii CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 193 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 193 Social Constructionism and the Medical Model ................................ ..................... 195 Democratization of National Parks and Health ................................ ..................... 197 Recommendations to the NPS ................................ ................................ ................ 198 Future Work ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 200 LIST OF REFERENCE S ................................ ................................ ............................. 201 Appendix A: Interview Guides ................................ ................................ ....................... 209

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xiv List of Figures Figure 1: NPS Centennial Graphic ................................ ................................ ................................ . 5 ! Figu re 2: Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 18 ! Figure 3: Geography KLGO including town and Chilkoot trail portions (National Park Service, 2016 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 23 ! Figure 4: KLGO within the region, Skagway connected the inside passage and Dawson City, Yukon via the Yukon River (National Park Service, 2016). ................................ ................ 27 ! Figure 5: Ethical Approval from KLGO Superintendent ................................ ............................. 32 ! Figure 6: Aim 2 Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ .............................. 92 ! Figure 7: NPS SEM Survey Goals ................................ ................................ .............................. 179 ! Figure 8: Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 194 !

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xv List of Tables Table 1: Overview of Aim 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 40 ! Table 2: Overview of Aim 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 44 ! Table 3: Overview of Aim 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 47 ! Table 4: Dependent Variable ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 50 ! Table 5: Covariates ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 50 ! Table 6: Engagement Constructs ................................ ................................ ................................ 182 ! Table 7: Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 185 ! Table 8: Linear Regression Models ................................ ................................ ............................ 188 !

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xvi List of Photos Photo 1: Author and her family ................................ ................................ ................................ .... vii ! Photo 3: Mascot Saloon, 1976 and 2016 ................................ ................................ ...................... 14 ! Photo 4: Photos for Photo Elicitation Method ................................ ................................ .............. 43 ! Photo 4: Photo One, Skagway ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 99 ! Photo 5: People by Smuggler's Cove ................................ ................................ .......................... 102 ! Photo 6: Walking Across Chilkoot Bridge ................................ ................................ ................. 110 ! Photo 7: Long Hill ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 113 ! Photo 9: Pantheon Saloon ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 116 ! Photo 10: Park Ranger Flat Hat ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 136 ! Figure 11: Conceptual Model, Focus on Aim 3 ............................. Error! Bookmark not defined. ! Photo 12: Visitor's Center ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 143 ! Photo 13: Jeff Smith's Parlor ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 146 ! Photo 1 4: Mascot Saloon ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 148 ! Photo 15: Ranger and Visitors at the Visitor Center Desk ................................ ......................... 156 ! Photo 16: Ranger Led Walking Tour ................................ ................................ .......................... 159 !

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION National Park Service I first began to think of this research project as it stands in the summer season of 2015, my fourth season as a ranger at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO). However, the true origins of this project reach much further back for me . As a third generation park ranger, I have a deep connection with the National Park Service. I strongly support the NPS mission of building a legacy for the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. Yet as a public health scholar, I saw many missed opportunities of supporting population health through narrow definitions of how the agency and others view "health in p arks." Through this research, I expand and explore the many domains in which engaging with the public lands can improve the h ealth of populations, especially marginalized groups. Termed "America's Best Idea" by documentarian Ken Burns, the National Park Service serves as a uniquely American invention, and institution (Burns, Burns, & Coyote, 2009) . Billed as the American version of European cat hedrals, National Parks captured the spirit and ideals of America and manifested them into a physical place. Central to the idea of National Parks is how America views nature: The idea of nature has played a central role in U.S. politics, religion, and cu lture. Nature is a powerful symbol that recurs in many of the stories Americans tell about themselves and their country, stories of the feared wilderness or the challenging frontier; of bountiful agricultural land or treacherous mountains and deserts. Natu re is the site of religious experience of God and of demonic temptations and dangers. It is the New World and the Promised Land, as well as the untamed wilderness full of Ôwild beasts and wild men.' Nature, imagined in these many ways, has been a central i mage around which important issues, dreams, and violence have gathered in US American history. (Ross Bryant, 2012)

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2 The National Parks are not only protected land, they are symbolic of the United States itself. Protected areas of land have a legacy in Europe where elites had a strong influence over ideal beautiful landscapes (Suckall, Fraser, Cooper, & Quinn, 2009) . The United States adopted perceptions of beauty as a democratic use of ideal landscapes along with the creation of the first two national parks (Hot Springs National Park and Yellowstone National Park). Still, this shift occurred within broader i deological changes driven by transcendentalist thought that influenced the perception of nature (Cronon, 1996) . This emphasis on natural areas coincided with the emergence of public health as a field; a reaction to the ill effects of the industrial revolution (Ray, 2009) . The Progressive Era 's historical moment gave rise to the idea of "wilderness" and "nature" : as a pr istine landscape of retreat, a "safety valve" for the United States' d emocracy to replace the "closed" frontier, and as a place where humans could escape the stresses of modernity and industrialization (Ray, 269 271, 2009) . This historical context influenced the dualism of nature/purity and city/impurity, which I hypothesize, underlies many thoughts about how health is produced in nature. Oftentimes wilderness study within public health circles causes some raised eyebrows. However, the Progressive Era "was characterized by more bodies in tighter spaces, creating a new appreciation for public hygiene programs, but also a new appreciation for wide open spaces and wilder ness" (Ray , 269 271 , 2009) . Thus, a similar historical period influenced modern public health strategies, as well as cordoned off wilderness as an escape from the ills of pop ulation density. Population health and wilderness ideas have an intricately interwoven history. Progressive Era politics have a legacy in the adventure sports of mountain climbing and, arguably, of risk. Adventure sports provide, "the Ôconsummate image of courage and skill,' they

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3 also offer transcendence and purifications. Adventure cultures locate the site of moral purity and connection to nature in the suffering body" (Braun, 2003; Ray, 2009) . The United States government democratized space for the enjoyment of all citizens, instead of only the landed elite, a defining element of the National Park Service. Many of the ideological values credited to public health, whic h is the democratization of health for populations and not for the wealthy few , also underlie public lands . This democratization of land (and health) that has had global implications for protected areas with organizations that model the NPS around the worl d (Mitchell, 2011) . Pilgrimages to National Parks do not happen in an ideological vacuum, and one potential consequence is the production of health through spiritual experience or adventure purification. The literature has yet truly to link these ideas of how society constru cts nature with how visitors conceive of health. Instead, most health literatures define health and nature as independent, unrelated ideas. Connecting the social construction of health and nature to current thought surrounding how health is produced inform s who is thought to experience health and who is not, which has implications in who is allowed to experience health in the outdoors. Through obscuring the cultural work it takes to view nature or health, we cannot really see who is healthy in these areas o r not. This historical discourse tells and influences how society constructs nature and health today. The year in which I conducted the field research, 2016, was the 100 year anniversary of the Organic Act, the legislation that created the NPS. It was a celebration; in honor of the anniversary, there were sweeping celebrations at individual parks, robust national media campaigns and sizeable corporate sponsorships of the park service. Visitation increased by 5% from January September 2015

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4 (Mather, 2017.) There were stamps, coins, IMAX movies, and all rangers received new special badges. While the NPS generally is aware of its h istorical roots, the years leading up to 2016 were a time of reflection and then reimagining of what the park service is and what the future holds. The NPS took the centennial year to reimagine its identity and focus for "the next 100 years." The four subg oals for the next century, the NPS aims to: 1. ! Develop and nurture lifelong connections between the public and parks especially through young people through a continuum of engaging recreational, educational, volunteer, and work experiences. 2. ! Connect urba n communities to parks, trails, waterways, and community green spaces that give people access to fun outdoor experiences close to home. 3. ! Expand the use of parks as places for healthy outdoor recreation that contributes to peoples' physical, mental, and soc ial well being. 4. ! Welcome and engage diverse communities through culturally relevant park stories and experiences that are accessible to all. (National Park Service, 2015, p. 6) I engage with these goals through this dissertation. While goal three is explicit in its prom otion of health, this research will also touch on goal four. While at first glance, goal three seems to conceive of health in a comprehensive, holistic sense, this frame places health within discrete domains of biomedical science. The consequence is an unn ecessarily narrow conception of how people experience health in parks, often boiled down to the emphasis on physical health with the casual mention of mental health benefits. In addition, these health benefits have generally been applied to an increasingl y narrow definition of who is receiving

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5 health benefits mainly through reinforcing a cultural divide between visitors who access the backcountry, and those who visit by car (Louter & Cronon, 2010) . Specific Aims Throughout the past years, my conversations with higher level park managers, other rangers, federal representatives of the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement, and park visitors have convinced me that the idea of "health in parks" is much more complicated than it appears on the surface, or in the biomedical literature. Parks are much more than just the location where physical activity takes place, which is often the standard interpretation of health in parks. I explore th ese tensions between a biomedical interpretation and a more comprehensive and holistic view of well being through an ethnographic case study of a small national park in Southeast Alaska. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska, commonly char acterized as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural (Kollin, 2001) , captures the imagination as the "last frontier." The notion of natural, or the social construction of these places, influences the ways in which people expect to exp erience them when visiting. And, by extension, these ideas of Figure 1 : NPS Centennial Graphic

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6 nature play directly into tensions of land use, whether for preservation, conservation or resource extraction. In parallel fashion, interacting with nat ure is widely viewed as healthy. A lthough a socially constructed concept, health too superimposes preconceived notions onto engagement with nature. With the explicit goal of "creating healthy outdoor recreation" opportunities and as places where many people seek to experience nature, United States National Parks act as a focal point where complex interpretations of the health nature nexus play out. ! Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) is a historical park with over 20 buildings and a 33 mile backcountry trail (the Chilkoot Trail) at the site of a major cruise ship port. The cultural divide (backcountry versus car access) of visitor use, which appears in many parks, is at an extreme in this one with its two primary populations of visitors. These populations are people attempting the 33 mile Chilkoot Trail (backcountry) and cruise ship tourists (car access). It is easy to dichoto mize visitor groups by activity; I hypothesize there is a continuum of park engagement that is experienced across many social groups. The social context in whic h health is produced in KLGO is essential. The representations, expectations, and assumptions that shape the way park employees and managers discuss the issue of health in parks are intimately linked to their everyday representations of cruise ship tourist s (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged). How people talk about health in parks is as illuminating as what they say, particularly about engagement. I came to appreciate that this type of language, or what Mich el Foucault would call discourse, was framing the entire conversatio n about health in parks. I explore the frame of how discussing health within the park reproduces the concepts of nature and heath, which are rooted in historical and power dynamics. Thus, I explore both how

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7 visitors conceive of their health concerning park engagement, as well as how park employees' assumptions about how visitors perceive health in the park. This investigation of park use does more than describe a set of activities by touri sts as related to health. Instead, I utilize a discourse analysis perspective to explore the hidden relations of power and grapple with the more in depth social meanings through which visitors engage with the park as well as how they produce health. I expl ore how individual identity, as well as social position, influences this social construction. As such, I examine larger demographic stories and engage with concepts, such as age, ethnicity, and gender. I engage with the social meanings and representations on which NPS personnel draw to talk about how visitors produce health in parks. The goal of this dissertation is to explore how the social construction of "nature" and "health" each play a role in the ordering of what, and by extension, who is healthy or unhealthy in KLGO. As such, the overarching research question is: how does the social construction of nature and health influence how park users experience and perceive health benefits associated with engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Pa rk? Examining the framing of health concerning National Parks is a vital first step to gain insights as to whom is framed as engaging with the parks in a healthy way to truly consider who m is left out of this frame. It is only with this knowledge that we c an understand the breadth and complexity of the health benefits visitors receive when engaging with a National Park. In turn, this can inform innovative outreach activities by National Parks and rangers that facilitate a broader range of engagement with p arks. Bringing awareness to the perceived benefits people experience at National Parks may shed light on the multiple ways in which a social environment produces health. As such, these are the aims of the project:

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8 Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits. Aim 3: To understand the discourses and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. I pursued this study's a ims through an in depth ethnographic case study in the summer of 2016 at KLGO in Skagway, Alaska. Through an ethnographic approach, I explore some of the theoretical and contextual factors that much of the current literature neglects, which enable s me to a ddress the research aims in a novel, in depth way. As ethnography commonly incorporates additional data sources, I use a variety of methods and techniques to inform this study including semi structured interviews, a photo elicitation method, a survey admi nistered by the social science unit of NPS in August 2016, and participant observation. In addition, my extended period in the field and experience as a National Park Service Interpretive Ranger lends a unique perspective. While my position poses some re search challenges, discussed in detail in Chapter 2, I did have access to the "insider" knowledge and discourse created in social spaces that are usually difficult to access. In this case, that knowledge includes conversations that rangers have "behind clo sed doors." Theoretical Frameworks The two broad theoretical frames I draw from to look at the issue of "nature " and "health" are Foucauldian discourse analysis and place based landscape theory. Both frames provide productive lenses through which to exami ne how the relationship of nature and health

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9 frames the perception of health and well being. Discourse analysis give s structure to address aims one and three while the place based landscape theory inform s aim 2. Foucauldian Discourse Analysis In common pa rlance, discourse refers to language generally. However, I take a position of analyzing discourse from a more theoretically grounded sense (Wooffitt, 2005) . The use of the word discourse in the social sciences, and in particular psychology, have proliferated in the last several decades (Wooffitt, 2005) , therefore I firmly situate this dissertation within a Foucauldian perspective. While much of the Foucauldian view is rooted in the works of Michel Foucault, it also stems from the work of Stuart H all, as well as others (Hickcox, 2012) . Hall defines discourse as a way: [to] provide a la nguage for talking about Ð i.e., a way of representing Ð a particular kind of knowledge about a topic. When statements about a topic are made within a particular discourse, the discourse makes it possible to construct the topic in a certain way. (Hall, 1992, p. 201) Said another way, d iscourse is the vocabulary a person uses that reflects his or her socially constructed reality; hence discourses are representative of collective knowledge. The language people use are reflections of the frames through which they view their world. This app roach to discourse analysis is to examine frames, or the "underlying structures of belief, perception, and appreciation" (Rein & Schšn, 1996) . Examining the language visitors and rangers use to talk about health and nature can expose the frames that form both ideas. Health and nature can be viewed as sociocultural products, ex amining their social and cultural representations as well as the symbolic meanings that surround them (Lupton, Albrecht, Fitzpatrick, & Scrimshaw, 2000) . This insigh t has major implications, as the frames that order the way people see the world and influences how people behave. How people talk about health in parks is as illuminating as what they say , particularly about engagement.

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10 However, these discourses are not be nign. From linguist Van Dijk's perspective, using discourse analysis reveals "dimensions of power abuse and the injustice and inequality that result from it" (Dijk, 252 1993) . Using discourse analysis reveals the hidden relations of power and uncovers the agents who wield that power. Different disciplines and different theorists within th ose disciplines have conceived of power relations. For Marx, the underlying structures of society largely economic created social realities (Dijk, 1993) . For Marx, power is a resource in limited supply, that translates into both material realities and ideas (Sherman, 2015) . While this view has many implications and effects, for the pur poses of this study, Foucault extended these ideas of power to provide insight into ways in which power is deployed outside the specific domain of the State. The Foucauldian conception of power is concerned with how languages are framed, how power is deployed, resisted and conceptualized (Sherman, 2015) . From a Foucauldian perspective, "those who produce the discourse also have the power to make it true Ð i.e., to enforce its validity, its scientific status" (Hall, 18 34, 1992) . The implication of this is that institutions that may seem neutral can b e unmasked for the types of power that they are deploying. Through Foucault's idea of "discursive formation," discourse is viewed not only as a set of theoretical rules, but also as the ways in which power influence knowledge, which then influences people' s behavior. Therefore, it is important to examine the discourse of those in power. In this case the locations of power, the biomedical literature and park management, construct health. ! Until this point, the biomedical discourse has been the most relevant and most cited perspective to examine the nature health nexus. I arguethat the biomedical perspective informs much of the social construction of health and nature, and as such it is essential to understand

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11 the impact and power of the biomedical frame. Howe ver, I take a more comprehensive interpretation of wellness and argue that this discourse leaves out multiple epistemologies. Consequently I am concerned with how power is deployed, resisted and conceptualized (Diaz Bone et al., 2007; Foucault, 1990) . Rangers' and park managers' views are important to examine because of the symbolic, cultural , and economic power NPS employees hold in this context. As such, they are represent ative of the "professional and institutional structures where interaction takes place" (Brown, 1995) . I focus attention on Foucault's concept of gaze, or location of and use of discursive formation of power (Foucault, 1994, 1995; Turner, 1997) . The veins in which power relationships are expressed influence what is, and is not, deemed to be healthy in this context. Ultimately, the goal of this dissertatio n is to examine the taken for granted "facts" of health in parks to see what or who is missing from the discussion. Discourse analysis is particularly useful for examining how people view health and nature. Landscape Framework Historically in the United States, wilderness or nature was a "waste" or something to be dominated (Cronon, 1996) . Beginning in the early part of the 19th century, however, that view changed dramatically. A wealthy inf luential group called the transcendentalists started to associate "wilderness" with the sublime, and introduced a more comprehensive cultural orientation of "taming the frontier" that sought to live in harmony with nature opposed to conquering (Cronon, 1996) . Both our construction of nature and National Parks and, I argue, our definition of what makes nature healthy reflect these cultural legacies. How we view nature colors how we see people in nature, which then affects what is healthy in nature. However, we cannot view health in nature without understanding how it is located in the land itself, or place. The theoretical grounding of place guides examination of the symbolic

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12 environment at KL GO and solidly within the landscape literature. Landscape, or the Landschaft idea in German, refers to a piece of land at its governing body. The British ideal of landscape relating to land visible from one viewpoint is a tool to examine the synthesis of l and, representations of land, and the social powers governing them (Hickcox, 2007; Olwig, 1996) . The landscape creates a space in which to unite both social and the material worlds. Within the social and material literatures, there are t wo distinct approaches to studying landscape; first as iconographic, symbolic and interpretive lens or the "duplicity of landscapes" (Daniels, 1989; Daniels & Cosgrove, 1988; Duncan, 2004) and, second, the material realities of landscapes that affect and a re affected by social relations (Cosgrove, 2003; Mitchell, 2002; Olwig, 1996). In particular, the idea of the "duplicity of landscapes" provides some analytical insight, as it captures the idea that the "natural" status of places like Alaska hides the soci al construction of nature (Daniels, 1989) . Instead of viewing the ideas, discourses and general work it takes to view mountains, glaciers and fjords as majestic or sublime they just are . A mountain is just a mountain, instead of a representation of the subl ime wilderness that has centuries of thought and philosophies laid upon it. Thus, the landscape hides the facts of the historical legacies that helped shape perceptions of the landscape. Embedded within landscape are the idea that the power relations suc h as who has access to which areas are hidden. Instead, power relations naturalize themselves. Power relations become so obvious, so simple, so natural, that they are just accepted. However, in this analysis, I do not blindly accept, I use visitor and ra nger discourses to uncover the accepted truths and call them into question. Within the landscape frame, Alaska, then, is "not naturally given, but rather are socially constituted entities whose meanings shift as a result of specific social practices, conc epts such as the Last Frontier must be investigated for the ideologies they encode and the cultural work

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13 they perform" (Kollin, 2001) . As KLGO represents several frames, including Alaska, the NPS, and nature broadly, I use this theoretica l lens to unpack the "cultural work" of the supposedly pure idea of Alaska and then reveal whom each area socially allows. In addition, I must consider the material realities of the landscape to analyze the symbolism of the landscapes (Duncan, 2004) . The material landscapes are the physical mountains, the actual fjord and the ice and debris that make up the glaciers. The fact that there are not houses, extensive lighting or other "amendments" to the landscape attests to the conservation policies that govern Alaska's land use. For example, when a visitor or a ranger looks at Mount Harding and sees a pristine wilderness, the legislation preventing buildings on the mountain are invisible. Instead, this landscape reifies the dis tinction between nature and city, wilderness and civilization (Photo 1). Another example, which I fully explore in Chapter 4, is a historic saloon in Skagway. Today it reads as if "time has stood still" yet it hides the knowledge, policies, and monetary investment it has taken to restore it to Gold Rush era colors and appearance. Photo 2 shows Photo 2 : Mount Harding and Broadway

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14 what the Mascot looked like in 1976, several years before the park service acquired it, then what it looks like today after restoration to Gold Rush era colors and signage. The material saloon reflects the ideology of the town as a historic mining town. Similarly, duplicitously, the framing of landscape as entirely material also obfuscates the social relationships behind the creation of who does and who does not belo ng there. These two theoretical approaches the material and symbolic representations of landscape are reflected in the methods through which I examine the discourse surrounding health and nature as well as the materially grounded discourses assessed through photo elicitation, which I will discuss further in the methods section. Embedded within landscape literatures, the concept of place can be defined as the "social c reations," and "different places differ because people have made them to do so" (Johnston, 1991) . Within this view, the idea of place stems more from "the product of interrelations, as constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the glob al to the intimately tiny" (Massey, 2013) . Through this orientation to place, I can examine how the Photo 2 : Mascot Saloon, 1976 and 2016

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15 interactions of social groups relates to place and influence the relationship between parks and health. While my primary line of inquiry is to examine the complicated relationship of nature and health. Understanding ideas that relate to national parks and biomedical concepts of health are necessary to complete this. I hypothesize d that the designat ion of KLGO as an NPS site imparts more than federal dollars to preserve the history of the gold rush. The status of KLGO as a park site connects the physical place with the historical and cultural roots of the NPS. The status and the symbols of the NP S designate this an area of national cultural and historical importance. Additionally, the connection of Alaska broadly and a cruise ship port individually may play an essential role in the construction of nature and health in this context. For example, wh en someone is hiking in Skagway, they are hiking in Alaska, which carries the symbolic weight of Alaskan discourses. These concepts will be further explored in Chapter 4. It is vital to understand place in the context of how threads of meaning making were historically viewed through Foucault's concept of archaeology or genealogy (Foucault, 1994, 1995) . Foucault's idea of archaeology provides a framework to uncover the historical roots of ideas about how we view nature today. A similar process happened in the construction of "health" over the past century. Sarah Nettleton argues , Today health and health care are identified with more than hospitals and medical bureaucracies; health matters are to be found in a whole array of agencies, i nstitutions, and settings. Health maintenance involves the consumption of a range of goods and services, which are increasing; marketed for their health giving properties, such as food, exercise machines, and fitness clubs. Health is something which lies w ithin the control of the individual. (Nettleton, 1997, p. 208) By purchasing such health related products, people accept individual responsibility for their health, cutting off ideas of collective trends and in fluences of health practices, a s such, health becomes situated, at least socially, at the individual level. Thus, it is vital to include individual

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16 agency in this analysis, in both perceptions of health, as well as its production. The question of agency is an important concept to explore, especially when extending this argument beyond Alaskan tourists. Linda Nash argues, "The body, like the natural environment, cannot be taken simply as a biological given. People experience their bodies differently in different historical moments, according to the languages and practices available to them" (Nash, 2007) . Therefore, this project must examine the language, or discourse used to describe health and experiences concer ning nature. A romantic ethic the movement that emphasized inspiration, subjectivity and individualism has a legacy in contemporary society where tourists still seek out the ideals romanticism including "solitude, privacy, and a personal and semi s piritual relationship with the object [in this case the park]" (Ross Bryant, 2012) . In what Ross Bryant calls a "pilgrimage" to National Parks reproduces the semi spiritual relationship. Th is is where, she claims, the United States can explore narratives and rituals and seek refuge from the imperfect world of everyday life (Ross Bryant, 2012) . The material landscape of the Chi lkoot Trail, for example, is set up to provide backpackers an escape from urban existences. Yet on the surface, the trail appears remote and rustic, but it is the duplicity of landscape that hides the work to create the trail's amenities. The trail's camps ites, bear boxes, toilets and ranger protection all provide a structure through which visitors can reenact the ideals of romantic poets. To reach the goals of the symbolic landscape they alter the physical landscape. Conceptual Model In order to understan d the way I conceptualize the relationships between visitors (including cruise ship passengers, backpackers and individual travelers) and rangers relate to KLGO and each other, I created this model. For this conceptual model, the cruise ship and hiking boo ts represent a continuum of visitor engagement with the park represented as a Sitka

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17 Spruce tree. This visitor continuum is representative of how visitors engage with the park, and how they pe rceive their health within that engagement. The green arrow is re presentative of the park context, including the physical geography as well as the historical and structural legacy of National Parks. The park ranger hat is representative of the discourse of power (including the biomedical model) about how visitors engage with the park. The binoculars explore how people in power view this visitor continuum. The arrow connecting the ranger hat to the tree represents the history of how the individual ranger engages with the park; however, it is gray showing that it is somewh at less applicable to the primary park visitor/engagement relationship. The blue boxes and arrows represent the proposed relationship of power that park managers have in creating the discourse surrounding park visitors. These perspectives influence the rel ationship between visitors and park engagement. The goal of the model is to graphically represent the relationships between the park, visitors and the NPS structure, which then influence how the social construction of nature and health influence the percep tion of health in this context.

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18 Literature Review Views of Parks and Health, Focus on Public Health Perspective The current biomedical literature focuses on three domains in the interface of parks and health including physical, mental and social/spiri tual health. It is telling, as these discrete domains reflect a pluralistic way of viewing health. Physical health includes benefits such as burning calories through exercise. The mental health hypotheses focus on the ideas of attention restoration and st ress reduction. Spiritual health focuses on peak experiences where one relates to the flow of nature. I will expand on each of these views in the upcoming section. I take a decidedly constructionist view, it is vitally important to understand how the biom edical perspective views the intersection of health and nature in parks. However, I take the position of considering facts as "distinguished from transient theories as something definite, permanent, and independent of subjective interpretation" (Fleck, 1936) . Thus, I take the position that scientific facts are greatly influenced by their historical context, and are, therefore, Figure 2 : Conceptual Model

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19 socially constructed (Kuhn, 1976) . It is not to say that scientific facts do not exist or ha ve relevance; instead, it is essential to examine the streams of reasoning and the arguments reflected in this scientific argument. Whether the scientific facts are true are less critical to this inquiry; instead, it is essential to think about what the fa cts may be missing. Analyzing the interviews in conjunction with this literature provides insight into how participants are looking at the relationship. By examining how the public health perspective engages with the relationship of health and nature al lows me to find the areas through which visitors experience health not represented through the biomedical perspective. The Outdoors and Physical Health Outdoor environments facilitating physical fitness and therefore possibly affecting many health outcome s center on much of this work. Several studies have demonstrated that participants in outdoor exercise are more likely to enjoy and continue to exercise outdoors (Stanis, Oftedal, & Schnei der, 2014; Thompson Coon et al., 2011) . Outdoor exercise has been hypothesized to include mental and social benefits . To date, the potential for the health benefit of outdoor recreation has been widely cited, but health effects beyond mental health have b een limited. The Outdoors and Mental Health Many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. Instead of only viewing mental health through an illness perspective these researchers argue that many people can b enefit from outdoor engagement (Pretty, 2004a) . Oth er proposed mechanisms are the restoration of over concentration (Hartig, Mitchell, De Vries, & Frumkin, 2014; Parry " Jones, 1990) . This mechanism, called attention restoration theory, primarily focuses on the cognition and attention of children (Taylor & Kuo, 2009; Taylor, Kuo, & Sullivan, 2001; Wells, 2000) This mechanism has been found to be a buffer for

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20 life stress with rural children (Wells, 2000) and the ideal place for a study break on campus, attention restoration (Felste n, 2009) . This line of literature is ripe for potential interventions allowing for attention restoration in healthy children and those with diagnosed attention disorders (Kuo & Faber Taylor, 2004; Taylor & Kuo, 2009; Taylor et al., 2001) . Borne out of the therap eutic literature, many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. This required a shift to view that everyone has mental health needs not just the mentally ill and that many can benefit from outdoor engagemen t (Pretty, 2004a) . Current theories borrow from the biophilia literature to suggest something innate in the stress relief posed by natural environments (Ulrich, 1984; Wells, 2000) . While the association of mental health and natural environments is somewhat more holistic than the physical health literatu re, the literature still tends to neglect context and history. The associations and the feelings of stress relief and concentration are quite grounded in cultural context with a long and complex history of human/environment interactions. The Outdoors and Social and Spiritual Health Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is social and spiritual health. First discussed in psychology, social scientists began to see a mechanism that created increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can undoubtedly provide a connection with the social group with a reawakening of emotions and identity (M itchell Jr & others, 1983) . Social cohesion is brought up in the physical and mental health literatures (Bodin & Hartig, 2003; Felsten, 2009; Stanis et al., 2014) . As for the psychological literature, these spiritual health theories are defined as "dramatic peak experience, transcendent moments" (McDonald, Wearing, & Ponting, 2009; Russell et al., 2013; Williams & Harvey, 2001) . Qualitative inquiry has described the feeling as "a moment of extreme happiness, lightness, and freedom, a sense of harmony with the whole

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21 world, moments which are totally absorbing and which feel important (Williams & Harvey, 2001) . The literature speaks to how physical hardship can play a role in profound experiences (Fredricks on & Anderson, 1999; Kaplan, 2001; Mitchell Jr & others, 1983; Williams & Harvey, 2001) . In many ways, the extreme experience of wilderness creates feelings that have aspects of religious experience (Ross Bryant, 2012) . Included in the religious experience is the almost ritualistic physical deprivation of camping and backpacking, including eating different foods, sleeping in tents and encountering physical exhaustion. The biomedical epistem ology, which many perceive to be ahistorical and atheoretical, connects to these broader discourses of health and nature. Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is social and spiritual health. First talked about wi th psychologists, social scientists began to see a mechanism with increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can certainly provide a connection with the social group with reawakening of emotions and identity (Mitchell Jr & others, 1983) . Social cohesion is brought up in the physical and mental health literatures as well (Bodin & Hartig, 2003; Felsten, 2009; Stanis et al., 2014) . Implications and Further Work Programmatic Implications This work will produce novel information that can directly improve programming in National Parks, interpretation and guidance given by rangers, and even marketing and recruitment materials. By encouraging more inclusive views of park engagement and comprehensive he alth benefits, NPS can ultimately enrich park visitor engagement and experiences and reach more diverse audiences. Exploring the complexity of health nature relationships inherently seeks to expand the definition of who can participate and receive health b enefits from the natural environment beyond the gendered, racialized, able bodied, and ideal

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22 of an outdoor enthusiast. The most far reaching impact of this project will be to provide the groundwork for exploring wide reaching intervention techniques and st rategies for those who do not fit the socially constructed "norm" for healthy outdoor engagement. Disciplinary Implications The public health literatures are starting to get at ideas of how health is produced in nature. However, t o make the research broa dly applicable, public health deemphasizes the specific histories, complexities and nuances of the lands and environments. The midlevel health behavior change theories have no way to account for the histories of these places, treating health in nature as d isembodied. Future implications of this research could integrate the idea of place into public health literatures. Few studies, particularly in a National Park setting, have engaged a comprehensive view of health as a platform for exploring human environm ental interactions incorporating power dynamics embedded in socially constructed views of nature and health. This research will further a theoretical understanding of what factors influence a comprehensive perception of health and engagement with nature us ing an interdisciplinary social science perspective drawing on geography, anthropology, an d health and behavioral science.

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23 C HAPTER 2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Research Setting Location, Population, History Located at the end of the longest de epest fjord in North America, the Lynn Canal, Skagway is a small port town in the Southeast panhandle of Alaska. It sits at the mouth of a glacier carved valley leading into the interior of Canada and boasts wildlife, mountains, and ocean views that attrac t visitors from all over the world. With the deep water port provided by the fjord in combination with the natural beauty and resources, it is unsurprising that Skagway's history is intimately connected to its geography. Figure 3 : Geography KLGO including town and Chilkoot trail portions (National Park Service, 2016

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24 T ourism is the primary economic e ngine of Skagway, where a "boom and bust" cycle of employment results in a seasonal economy. According to the 2017 census, the year round population of Skagway was 1,027, but this number roughly doubles each summer with about 2,000 seasonal workers ("U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts,") . Similarly, unemployment rates fluctuate from 23.7% in January to 4.5% in July of 2017 ("U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts," ; National Park Service, 2016) . Because of the natural beauty and deep port, Skagway is a major cruise ship destination in Alaska. In 2015, approximately 800,00 0 cruise ship passengers docked in the port from May to September (Skagway Municipal Council, 2015) . In addition to cruise ship passengers, another 125,000 visitors arrived by road or by the state ferry system in 2015 (Skagway Municipal Council, 2015) . While most cruise ship passengers engage in leisurely activities during the 8 to 15 hours they are in port, many non cruise ship tourists stay for several days. These visitors recreate on the surrounding waterways or hiking trails and stay in area campgrounds or in local hotels. Skagway's most well known wilderness trail, the Chilkoot Trail, is a grueling 33 mile long backpacking trail that attracts 3,300 backcountry hikers each year (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2006) . Tourism is vital to the economy of Skagway, and the purpose of the quantitative study, examined in detail below, was to understand the economic impact of tourism. However, the primary natural and historical attractions of Skagway are intricately entangled in the history of Klondike Gold Rush. Klondike Gold Rush Prospectors began exploring the northern frontier looking for gold several decades before th e gold rush (Berton, 2011; Highet, 2010; National Park Service, 2009; National Park Service, 2016) . When gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek, later renamed Bonanza Creek, in August of 1896, this set off a chain of even ts leading to the creation of Skagway in its current iteration

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25 (Berton, 2003, 2011) . By the 1880s, the rush of people heading nor th to search for gold took over the valley's transportation corridor. While many routes served to find gold, the most frequently used ones were through the towns of Dyea and Skagway on the Chilkoot and White Pass trails respectively. Several factors led t o the rush of humanity to the Klondike, including economic push factors and media involvement (Berton, 2003, 2011) . The panic of 1893 and the resulting economic depression left many destitute (Berton, 2003, 2011) . Combined with the "closing" of the frontier and the beginning of mass media marketing in earnest, the call of the Klondike was heard globally (Bert on, 2003, 2011; Gray, 2011) . Approximately 100,000 people set out for the Klondike via the route through the Lynn Canal, although specific numbers are unknown due to the lack of reliable census data (Berton, 2003; National Park Service, 2009) . Most people setting out to look for gold, or stampeders, arrived in Skagway or Dyea by ship. They would then travel overland, via the White Pass Trail or the Chilkoot Trail, into Canada and then travel by the Yukon River into the area known as the Klondike (Berton, 2003, 2011; Gray, 2011) . In modern tim es, the history of the area is preserved by Klondike Gold Rush United States National Historical Park, which is comprised of many units managed both by the National Park Service and Parks Canada (National Park Service, 2009) . The NPS unit based in Skagway consists of three entities: buildings within the town of Skagway, the natural areas that are the "ghost town" of historic Dyea, and the Chilkoot Trail. The N PS owns and manages (and sometimes leases) many buildings within the historic town of Skagway. The National Park Service operates a historic district in which buildings deemed historically significant have additional protection from development.

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26 The Chilk oot Trail, historically used primarily by the Tlingit Alaska Natives, was flooded with people during the gold rush. The journey was arduous, so much so that the Canadian government mandated travelers to bring enough goods and supplies to be self sufficient for an entire year. Designated as a historic trail by the state of Alaska in 1961, it became a National Historic Landmark on June 16, 1978 (National Park Serv ice, 2009) . The first congressional bill to establish the park was introduced in 1973 and was eventually signed into law under Public Law 94 323 on June 30, 1976 (National Park Service, 2009) . The park includes 13,191 acres and includes the three units of Skagway, Dyea, and the Chilkoot Trail (National Park Service , 2009) . The stated purpose of the park is to "preserve in public ownership for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, the historic structures, trails, artifacts and landscapes and stories associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898" (National Park Service, 2009) . Activities at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park The NPS at KLGO offers many attractions including museums, v isitor centers, interpretive programs and hiking and backpacking trails. The more city oriented attractions (museums and visitor center) are located in Skagway. The hiking and backpacking trails are located nine miles away in the historic town site of Dyea . The park offers interpretive programs in both locations. A barrier for many visitors to get to Dyea is the fact that the road is unpaved. Visitors without a car can access the site through car rental, bus tours, bicycle or a pay shuttle. As Dyea is the trailhead for the historic Chilkoot Trail, the physical presence of visitors in Dyea is indicative that they are most likely backpackers or independent (or non cruise ship associated) tourists. Current estimates suggest nearly 4,000 backpackers follow the route on the historic Chilkoot trail each year, making it a unique place of both outdoor performance and participation

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27 in historical narrative of the United States. There is widely circulated classic photo of a line of people climbing up snow covered moun tains, which actually took place approximately 13 miles into the Chilkoot Trail (National Park Service, 2009) . In modern times, visitors reenact the historica l migration of the stampeders by hiking the 33 mile trail. Although a vigorous journey, there are campsites located along the length of the trail at regular intervals. Visitors must register with the NPS before beginning the Chilkoot trail partially for s afety and because the trail crosses international borders at mile 16 with Canada. Many visitors hike the trail to connect with this history, and for some it is "the search for moral, physical, and even national purity" (Ray, 2009) . I explore hiker motivations more fully in later section of this dissertation. Figure 4 : KLGO within the region, Skagway connected the inside passage and Dawson City, Yukon via the Yukon River (National Park Service, 2016).

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28 Tourism in Alaska In the summer season (May to September) of 2014, Alaska received approximately 1.66 million out of s tate visitors (McDowell Group, 2014) . The majority of these visitors, 58%, were cruise ship passengers (McDowell Group, 2014) . While most research on cruise ships is limited to economic analysis (Brida & Zapata, 2009; Dennett, Cameron, Bamford, & Jenkins, 2013; N. Douglas & Douglas, 1999; Larsen, Wolff, Marnburg, & ¯gaard, 2013) and environmental impact studies (Brida & Zapata, 2009; N. Douglas & Douglas, 1999; Terry, 201 1) , there is a nascent literature surrounding the social impacts of cruise ship tourism including sociological, anthropological and geographical perspectives (Brida & Zapata, 2009; Dennett et al., 2013; Gibson, 2008; Wood, 2000) . While this study was not situated on cruise ships, it explo res many of the cultural, economic and health implications of this type of tourism. Ethnography Ethnography, or the systematic approach to learning about the social and cultural life of communities, was the most appropriate method for my research question : how does the social construction of nature and health influence how park users experience and perceive health benefits associated with engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park? The bulk of this research question is concerned with the per ception of health and park engagement. As such it is essential that I employed methods that are centered on participants themselves. As an approach, ethnography emphasizes and builds upon the perspectives of people in the research setting, that both captur es individual perceptions of health and nature and analyzes the systems and structures that connect them. An ethnogra phic approach is well suited to assess the interrelations and to capture "that human behavior and the ways in which people construct and ma ke meaning of their worlds and their lives are highly variable and locally specific"

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29 (LeCompte, 2010). For the methods section of this dissertation, I describe how each of these methods fits together to address each specific aim. Aim 1: To examine the dis course of perceived health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park ; Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their percei ved health benefits ; Aim 3: To understand the discourses and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park . A large part of ethnography is researcher involvement. My primary identity in Skagway in the past, as well as partially for the summer season of my field research (May August 2016), was as an interpretive park ranger. As a third generation park ranger, within this role I have a deep passion and commitment t o the mission of the Nation al Park Service, and I had entr ÂŽ and experience with KLGO as a park, Skagway the town, and the Alaskan context. To address the research questions of this project, I relied on several foundational methods of anthropology, in cludin g participant observation , interviews, surveys, and a photo elicitation method. Though classic participant observation was challenging (Gille & Riain, 2002) ; I used it to the extent possible throughout the research period. It was challenging in that I was firmly entrenched within my ranger identity. Whi le conducting insider anthropology in that I was living most of the week both as a ranger and a researcher I was acutely aware of my different identities. There were both strengths and challenges to my prior history with the NPS. The major strength was that I had insider access to a highly coveted group, who is notoriously challenging to conduct research with the NPS. For NPS sponsored research, researchers must ask questions from a selective list of pre approved questions or the researchers must have congressional approval to

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30 submit new questions. As I only had permission to research as an outsider, and not represent myself as a NPS employee, I was exempt from confining my questions the pool of known questions. I will discuss the representation nuance s more in the ethics subsection. Not only was I conducting rese arch with other NPS rangers, to some extent I was engaging in autoethnography . While some may question the objectivity for persons with high levels of involvement or prior lived experience (Gupta & Ferguson, 1997) much of the anthropological literature rejects this idea of objectivity to begin with. Instead, we are searching to understand the lived experience of people out side , and sometimes in side , our own society. Research Assistant Vitally important to the success of this research project was the fortunate circumstance of my research assistant, Lindsay, who was an undergraduate in a cou rse I taught at the University of Colorado Denver. When I was first conceptualizing this project in the summer season of 2015 at KLGO, the park offered to subsidize my research project through funding a student intern to assist me . A fter securing additiona l funding, Lindsay conducted some of her own research about the food environment of Skagway in the summer of 2016. Lindsay was instrumental in helping me navigate my role as both a researcher and a ranger, and our numerous, daily conversations helped me pr ocess and keep my two roles and two identities (mostly) straight. As a newcomer to Skagway, she initially had more social detachment in which to conduct observations. I benefited greatly from her observations, not only about the town itself but also on the roles and culture of the NPS. While she did not conduct interviews, she was present at most of them, and helped to take notes and triangulate many of my observations when conducting the research. In conducting the interviews including several backpackin g trips up the Chilkoot we quickly discovered we made a good team. Together, we came up with alternate strategies to interview cruise ship passengers (we found that people were more likely to talk in the afternoon, after sightseeing),

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31 and backpackers wer e important to reach at mealtimes. She was invaluable in moving this research forward. My Role My social position as a park ranger both helped and hindered me in collecting data with my co workers. I was explicitly clear when I was collecting data w ith co workers and followed a strict ongoing consenting process (Gupta & Ferguson, 1997) . Adler and Adler would describe my role as "a complete member researcher ," or someone who participates in all aspects of life as those he/she is studying. I did have some trouble in managing my two social roles. I explored this in my extensive field notes (Adler & Adler, 1987) . Unexpectedly for me, I had the most trouble managing my perceptions, feelings and interpretations of visitors from my two identities both ranger and researcher. As a ranger, I acted as both an authority and a caretaker to visitors. My uniform and position in the park signaled me as someone willing and ready to help visitors, and as discussed more fully in Chapter 5, the sheer volume of visitors can b e overwhelming. I felt conflict with this position as a resear cher, in which my goal was to explore and understand their experiences as visitors. A single interaction with a visitor as a ranger could provide both insight into how visitors are approaching the park and feelings of annoyance if they asked about my perso nal life. As the field season drew on, I started envisioning literal hats to represent my effective identities. Imagining two hats helped me to separate my identities and more fully inhabit each role as I was representing it. One potential challenge of t his position that I imagined before going into the field, was the recruitment scenario. A risk of the research was that I would talk to visitors as a ranger and then try to recruit them later from my identity of graduate student, creating a conflict of int erest. However, the NPS uniform is imbued with so many symbols that it would be difficult for visitors to distinguish me as an individual rather than a ranger. In truth, I had several cases where I talked

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32 at length to visitors while in uniform, but they di d not recognize me later that very day when I was out of uniform (such as at the supermarket or on the hiking trail). I was correct in anticipating that visitors would not see me in the two roles. The sheer turnover of visitors and the fact that I only c ollected data on days that I was out of uniform, meant that I never had "bleed over" in my two identities, from the perspective of the visitors. All "bleed over" issues were in my experience as a ranger/researcher. Another challenge comes from what the literature calls "indigenous research" (Bernard, 2011) . Thi s is the challenge of conducting research in the researcher's own co mmunity where ethnographers may share certain identity markers or demographics with participants that lead them to make assumptions about shared values and experiences. In fact, much of th e field of anthropology, from which the ethnographic approach was born, is predicated on the idea of the researcher as "other ." Perhaps for obvious reasons, this line is potentially blurred in my own research. Hence for much of my data collection, I presen ted my alternate identity of graduate 1. Although you are a National Park Service employee, y ou will not be conducting research during your duty time and/or in your official capacity as a National Park Service ranger. 2. I have been briefed on your research project and have approved it at the park level. 3. You will not use the research results fo r any financial gain. 4. You do not claim to represent the position of the National Park Service during your research or in your final written products. Figure 5 : Ethical Approval from KLGO Superintendent

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33 student. This served many purposes. First I aimed to dissociate myself from the federal government, which had the risk of coloring how participants perceive me and my research. Secondly, I adopted the orientation of " learner" or "explorer" to assist participants in explaining cultural phenomena. This orientation assisted in rapport building with participants. However, despite my efforts, I did still encounter some problems with my ranger and researcher identities when interviewing participants. For example, when analyzing interviews, I noticed that my ranger role started infiltrating my research persona towards the end of the field season. Participants would say something relevant to my ideas of my job as an interpret er (such as a question of indigenous history), I found that I would often interrupt or provide unsolicited advice or historical context to my interviews. The effect of this was that in inhabiting my ranger identity somewhat limited my ability to actively l isten and immerse myself in my interviewee's story. A similar issue I found was that when I would disclose my ranger identity (with the requisite qualifiers from the park service, figure 3), the disclosure altered the interaction somewhat. For example, whe n interviewing the uncle and niece hiking the Chilkoot, after learning of my ranger status, the uncle wanted know if some behavior he observed was against park rules. As per my agreement with the park, and since it was outside the duties of my interpretive ranger job to begin with, I recommended he talk to the nearest trail ranger. I gave him additional information about how to contact the park. After that interview, I tried to limit my disclosures of working with the park. I found that I could quickly con nect with backpackers and fellow rangers because of my general demographic characteristics as a relatively younger woman, and what Erving Goffman calls an "identity kit" (1959). In Goffman's description, an "identity kit" consists of how we present ourselv es, including clothing, hairstyles, and dental work . " For me, this includes my

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34 dress and my experience as a backpacker (a role I already adopt in my everyday life). One role I did not fully consider before data collection was my status as a white woman. Th is status, I suspect, opened an unexpected dialogue with a police officer from Tennessee, whom I quote frequently in Chapter 3 in my discussion about race. Had I been a woman of color, I doubt he would have disclosed the same thoughts on race in Alaska. O ne anticipated challenge of my social position was my ability (or lack thereof) to connect with the older cruise ship populations. However, my extroverted nature and prior experience both professionally as a ranger and personally , as an only child who pref erred the company of adults , contributed to my rapport skills. My plan on entering the field was to adopt the position of "learner , " as frequently visitors seem happy to talk to me at length about their lives and families which I used to build rapport and introduce my own research. Aim 1: To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Aim 1 was achieved through three methods: 1) over all methodological approach, 2) semi structured interviews, 3) observations. Overall Methodological Approach: The goal of any ethnographic approach is not to have one method act as an afterthought or additional add on without relevance to the research aim s and question. Therefore, I approach ed research aim 1 with complementary methods, both qualitative and quantitative that informed analysis as well as contributed to the research question. I approach ed each collection tool through a distinctly discursive f rame. While traditionally considered to only be a qualitative approach, discourse analysis can be applied to examining quantitative and mixed methods approaches (Antaki, Billig, Edwards, & Potter, 2003; Hall, 1992; Wooffitt, 2005) . I treat the domains in the quantitative study as part of the discourse or part of "an interrelated set of texts,

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35 and the practices of their production, dissemination, and reception, that brings an object into being" (Phillips & Hardy, 2002) . In the first wave of qualitati ve analysis, discussed in depth in the following section, I examine the link between the language used to talk about the park and the "values and meanings of engagement." I use the qualitative analysis surrounding the "values and meanings of engagement" t o inform the analysis of engagement in the quantitative data . Methods . I conducted in depth, semi structured interviews to explore individual perceptions of health within the context of outdoor en gagement. I purposively sampled 5 different groups: 1) the day hikers, 2) the townfolk and 3) the novice overnight backpackers, 4) the experience d overnight backpackers, and 5) KLGO staff. The day hikers were cruise ship passengers who were hiking on the trails close to town in Dyea . The townfolk were cruise ship passengers who had spent their day in Skagway. To sample the overnight backpackers, my research assistant and I hiked to the ranger cabin 12 miles up the Chilkoot Trail and talk ed to backpackers as they reach ed camp. From there, I purposively sampled hiker s who are both experienced and inexperienced backpackers. Participants The population of interest for the study was adults over the age of 18 who were currently visiting or employed by KLGO. I conducted 12 15 interviews per social group, including cruise ship passengers, Chilkoot hikers, and NPS rangers, or until I reached th ematic saturation. While I divided the visitor population in these distinct groups, I aimed for a continuum of different typ es of park engagement within each group. This continuum inc luded novice backpackers, and cruise ship passengers who are hiking. Many of the interviews were group interviews, as people tend to travel in groups, either of families or friends. One group on the Chilkoot were together

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36 through paying a guide to accompan y them . As independent travelers were not in my original sample plan, I tended to interview independent travelers as I came across them A related, but unanticipated challenge was the difficulty of finding visitors with the inclination or time to speak wit h me. Unfortunately, for me, many younger cruise ship passengers were out doing activities during the time I was interviewing in Skagway, I tended to sample older cruise ship passengers. Cruise ship passengers tended to have less time to be interviewed tha n rangers, independent travelers , or backpackers. Most likely this was because of their limited time in port (Skagway). To address this, I interviewed more cruise ship passengers compared with my other populations. In addition, my schedule was designed suc h that on the highest visitation days Monday and Tuesday I was out of uniform and could conduct quite a few interviews in a short period. However, having my off days fixed meant that I only visited with passengers from the cruise lines who docked in Sk agway on those days. Each cruise line has different days of docking, for example Carnival cruises only came to Skagway on Fridays in 2016. Hence, I missed some cruise ship passenger variety. Should I have the opportunity to extend this research I would sam ple cruise ship passengers on each day of the week. All interviews lasted between 18 and 65 minutes, and were audio recorded with the participant ' s consent. While interviews were eventually transcribed, I hand wrote in situ notes to accompany the transcri ptions. In depth Interview Topics. These interviews sought to understand the complexities of the discourse that influence how visitors perceive health, nature, and engagement with the park (Appendix 1) . Demographic Information: This was important to co ntextualize participant experiences within their broader social identities. The literature suggests that a person's so cial situation may

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37 influence how they view the relationship between health and nature, hence this was an important theme. Alaska Specific Information: Elicit narratives about how they chose to visit Alaska, and what is special about Alaska. In my experience, this is an easy topic to broach with tourists as they tend to talk about their trips. Tourism Style and Preference. I asked about his /her experience traveling. This line of questioning elicited cultural group preferences. I asked about activities he/she had and planned to participate in. While these are broad domains, I worked in each interview to refine my questions and how I approa ched each topic. One strategy that was helpful was to explore the "life history" of the interviewees ' trip to Alaska (Bryant & Goodman, 2004) . In other words, how interviewee s chose to visit Alaska, the experiences on their trip , and activities they had participated in and planned to participate in. Deeper meanings associated with engaging with the park. This included questions about what makes this place special, or how thei r trip has affected them personally. Perceptions of Health: This line of questions aimed to elicit how the participant conceives of health broadly and how health effects (or does not effect) his or her participation in outdoor activities. There were quest ions about how the participant feels when on vacation in Alaska. Analysis. I approached the analysis of the semi structured interviews by several avenues. First, within one day of conducting each interview, I discussed the interview with the research ass istant and created a written summary of the interview and its main ideas. Second, I employed memoing, a process in which I wrote about thoughts or ideas about the themes that emerged in the interview (Ul in, Robinson, & Tolley, 2012) . In this way interviewing process was an iterative process (Ulin et al., 2012) .

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38 I audio recorded interviews and then I transcribed them. The transcription process was lengthy, but facilitated an in timate knowledge of my data. I used both an inductive and deductive approach to analyzing the qualitative data. For the deductive portion, I used a priori defined domains from my research question and theoretical framework to create a codebook with which t o analyze the data. I then incorporated these codes into Dedoose Qualitative Analytic Software. For the inductive portion, I coded several interviews to see if there were emergent themes that are different than the previously written codebook. I analyzed the data by social group with special attention to demographics such as gender, age, education, and income. I used in vivo codes, or specialized terms that "serve[d] as symbolic markers of participants' speech and meanings" (Angrosino et al., 2000) , t o be able to deploy discourse analysis. For example, some participants repeatedly used the word "renewal" when they described their physical and mental status in Alaska, hence "renewal" was one of my in vivo codes. I drew on the theoretical methods of Gay Becker who pioneered narrative theory as a method of analysis (1999). Narrative theory suggests that people pull from various cultural themes and motifs to organize their thoughts, which is visible through metaphor and storytelling about their lives (Becker, 1994, 1998; Becker & Beyene, 1999) . These narratives are illustrative of broader cultural themes that may not be otherwise apparent. This is particularly useful in unpacking how people discuss (and view) the intersection of health and nature. Storytelling and metaphor use, o r narrative making, is the mechanism that illuminates how historical, social, and cultural influences are reproduced in how people view the health benefits of engaging with nature. Drawing from narrative theory, I read each transcript looking for repetiti on of specific words, language, or general thought patterns (Becker, 1994, 1998) . This helped me identify

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39 patterns of thought and larger cultural narratives that may explain or at least contextualize how health is perceived in a National Park outdoor setting. For example, when I asked participan ts why they thought this specific area of Skagway Alaska was healthy, clean air was a consistent answer, hence I treated clean air as a cultural metaphor in my analysis. For certain codes, such as active and passive engagement discussed heavily in Chapte rs 3 and 5, I created a data matrix. This allowed for easy contrasting between certain categories. Using this example, active and passive visitor characteristics placed next to each other facilitated analysis of this important explanatory framework (Miles & Huberman, 1994) . I then used the codebook to create a hierarchy o f codes into an analytic concept. Observations. Observations were both structured and unstructured. In general, observation data supplements the interview transcripts and provide corroboration for interview data. The purpose of including observation is to view the social context of visitor engagement and not to explicitly observe participants whom I interviewed. Instead, I recorded how visitors engaged with the park at key locations including the visitor center, museums, day hiking trails and on the Chilko ot trail. I noted relevant conversations or interactions with visitors and then expanded on these observations when I was working as a ranger. This is the task of "immersing yourself in a culture and learning to remove yourself every day from that immersio n so you can intellectualize what you have seen and heard, put it into perspective, and write about it convincingly" (Bernard, 2011) . This process describes part of the process I was going through while being both ranger and researcher. Field notes consisted of observations of the physical environment, the setti ng and context (such as which building, what time of day) and then a description of the participants (Bernard, 2011) . Once I began to see more relevance for certain observed behaviors, I created a structured

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40 observation checklist. As part of the record keeping of participant observation, my research assistant and I kept detailed field notes. These differed from the structured observations and included physical location, counts of people observed, a portrayal of behavior in certain contexts, and descriptions of activities being observed (Kawulich, 2005) Analysis For the analysis of observations, I qualitatively coded by incident because the unit of interest was the recorded event rather than the exact wording which would highlight me as the investigator. These data were entered Dedoose and coded for thematic patterns. While I did not explicitly cite the structured observations very frequently, they provided context to the in depth interviews. ! Overview Aim 1 Research Aim To examine the relationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klon dike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Theoretical Foundation Social Construction of Nature and Health; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis Propositions ! ! Cruise ship tourists and backpackers are both likely report feelings of engagement and renewal ! ! Both are likely to mention scenery, and wilderness ! ! Backpackers more likely to report physical activity and endurance as a reason to engage with the park Data Sources 1) semi structured interviews, 2) observations Analysis 1) Dedoose Table 1 : Overview of Aim 1

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41 Aim 2: To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits. Semi structured interviews. The questions that addressed aim 2 were embedded in the interviews discussed for aim 1. Thus many of the methods and orientation from aim 1 were applicable to this aim as well. However, the theoretical foundation of this line of questioning stems from ideas of the social construction of nature and health as well as theories of place. Mention of KLGO, Alaska, the NPS and the Arctic will b e of interest. Participants: The participants interviewed for this aim will be the same participants interviewed for aim 1. As with aim 1, every effort was made to interview people from a wide variety of user groups. Topics: The portion of the interviews sought to understand the complexities of the symbolic landscape and how this influences perceptions of health. Symbolism with Place: To examine socially constructed relationships to place, specifically this area of Alaska, questions such as "How did you choose to visit Alaska?" This will help elucidate relationships associated with health and place. In John Eyle's chapter on qualitative methods linking sense of place and health he finds "the use of qualitative methodsÉ helped align place studies with the cultural turn in the social sciences and humanities" (2008) . He goes on to state "these [qualitative] methods singly or in combination enable an explication of the c omplexities of people, places and health" (Eyles, 2008) . As with the other aims, as I interview people I further refined questions in order to elicit rich data without leading participan ts. Analysis: As with aim 1, I employed the methods of a priori coding, memoing and in vivo coding. For this aim, I paid special attention to how people discussed KLGO and Alaska. Several of the a priori codes were about the relationship of the NPS site t o perceived ideas of health, scenery, and wilderness.

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42 Photo Elicitation Method Methods: One way to understand visitors' interpretation of the symbolic environment is to utilize photographs to assess the "qualitative schemata or filters people have in the minds when evaluating an environment" (van Marwijk, Elands, & Lengkeek, 2007 , p. 61 63, ) . Using purely visual information is important to use when taking the stance of examining the socially constructed views of an environment, in this case KLGO. The theoretical stance of examining the social level of the enviro nment, instead of focusing solely on the individual can be examined through multiple perspectives of the same photo. It allowed me to examine themes and areas in which groups of people converge or diverge from one another. While a limitation is that the ph otograph will not adequately estimate the direct experience with the landscapes represented, I accounted for this by asking participants ab out the landscape while they were in Alaska (Jacobsen, 2007) . Analysis: When interviewing participants, I numbered the photos to keep the relevant photos distinct during analysis. I treated the responses to the photos as qualitative data, and coded each participant's response per the number of the photo. For example, photo number 1 depicted a hiker. To analyze the reactions to the hiker, I grouped all responses to photo 1 in a single category and then inductively coded the themes that emerged from each group for each photo. Analyzing the data by photo allowed me to find patterns and themes in how different groups (ranger, hiker, backpacker, independent travelers) percei ved the same representations of physical environments.

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43 Photo 3 : Photos for Photo Elicitation Method

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44 Overview Aim 2 Research Aim To explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits Theoretical Founda tion Theories of place and social construction of nature and health Propositions ! ! Alaska as the "last frontier" and a special place to visit, which is symbolic ! ! The national park as a place of importance will most likely carry special weight ! ! Alaska and the North are different and more "wild" as the last frontier Data Sources 1) Semi structured interviews 2) photo method Analysis Dedoose Aim 3: To understand the social meanings and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees belie ve visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Aim 3 will be achieved through two methods: 1) semi structured interviews, 2) observations, 3) NPS sponsored survey. Semi structured interviews. Methods: For this aim, I interviewed 1 7 employees of KLGO . For this aim, I explored how NPS employees discussed and explained visitor behavior. I followed many of the same procedures as for aims 1 and 2. Participants : Employees of the park were the participants. These employees came from diff erent the divisions of park management (n=3), park interpreters (n=10), and backcountry rangers (n=2). As these participants are embedded with the park service, I treated this group as speaking for "those in power , " as the park service has the ability to s hape the narrative about Table 2 : Overview of Aim 2

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45 how people engage with parks. Interpretive park rangers were most intimately involved in interacting with visitors and the public. The role of this position was to: Facilitate visitor understanding of park resources; facilitate vi sitor enjoyment of the park and its resources and induce visitor behavior consistent with resource protection and gain friendly compliance with the laws and rules for safe use of the park; and encourage visitors to develop a sense of stewardship for park r esources. (National Park Service , 2015) A responsibility of this position was to staff the visitor center desk where visitors ask questions about the surrounding area, the park, activities and general orientation. I interviewed backcountry rangers as they have the most interaction with Chilkoot hikers. Backcountry rangers complete many activities as part of their job including interpreting the park, ensuring the safety of visitors, and some maintenance of the trail. These rangers were particularly vital to discuss the variation of visit ors who hike the Chilkoot. In addition, I interviewed NPS employees who did not have as much direct involvement with visitors on a day to day basis, but were instrumental in shaping NPS discourse. I focused mostly on park leadership, including the park su perintendent, and the chiefs of facilities, resources , and interpretation (the three major departments of the NPS). S ampling allowed for multiple perspectives of the people in power in this context about the issues of health in parks. Topics: The purpose o f these interviews is to explore perceptions that NPS employees have about visitors in relation to health. History of association with the NPS: To establish the employee's connection to the NPS, I asked about their histories with the NPS. For example, ma ny rangers have dedicated their lives to the mission of the NPS, while for others, the mission may not drive their work, such as a park historian who was interested in the Gold Rush more than the park. This was important interpreting their perceptions of v isitors through how they themselves view the NPS.

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46 Personal Relationship to Nature and Health: The light grey arrow in the conceptual model represents the ranger's personal relationship to nature and health. While not relevant enough to have an aim devote d to it, the employee's personal relationship to nature and health influenced their perceptions of visitors' health, which I discuss in depth in Chapter 5. General Opinions of KLGO: I asked rangers to compare KLGO as a site to other parks where rangers ha ve worked. I did this not to explore the other parks, but to analyze how rangers understood KLGO to be different than a typical park. This was important when examining their perception of KLGO's symbolic environment. Visitor Social Groups: The crux of thi s aim was to examine how employees think about visitor groups. I asked this directly, and explored through talking about how different groups interact with the park. Analysis: The analysis of the semi structured, in depth i nterviews was similar to aims 1 and 2. A priori codes such as "active" versus "passive" engagement were the first line of inquiry. After that I used the in vivo codes and narrative analysis. Observations Methods: Observations were particularly important to address this aim. While the in terviews captured socially desirable ways of discussing visitors, observations allow for exploration into behavior. I accessed this by asking rangers to describe stereotypes of different visitors. This was particularly telling in exploring behavior both b ehind closed doors and when interacting with the public. The social space that the employees share that is not accessible to the public (or the interpretive work room) was an excellent place to capture the representations of visitors through stories. Obser vation data in the break room captured subtle movements or eye rolls that may be

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47 communicative when talking about visitors. Furthermore, observations were fruitful when observing how other employees interact with visitors. Analysis : The analysis of the ob servations was like used for aim 1. However, I paid special attention to the connection or disconnection of how employees talk about visitors versus how they interact with visitors. From personal experience, there is a feeling of being "on stage" when in u niform and exploring how employees perform was fruitful in addressing aim 3 (Passaro, 1997) . This process involved analyzing the quantitative data in such a way to model an engagement measure, and as a tool itself as it is a survey developed by a government contractor for the NPS. I then use quantitative methods, discussed in de pth following the qualitative section, to examine the relationship between reasons for visiting the park and the engagement measure. However, I treated these measures as reflections of the park management frame through which power is produced. I then exam ined the broader themes and stories from both analyses to determine if there were "convergence, differences, or some combination" (Passaro, Table 3 : Overview of Aim 3 Overview Aim 3 Research Aim To understand the discourse and val ues surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Theoretical Foundation Foucauldian Discourse Analysis Propositions ! ! Likely to characterize cruise ship tourists as passively engaged and hikers as actively engaged ! ! Possibly express desire to more actively engage cruise ship tourists ! ! Characterize a major health goal for backpackers is injury prevention Data Sources 1) Semi structured interviews 2) observations Ana lysis Dedoose

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48 1997) . This complex analyses ultimately contribu tes to the wider conversation on if there are ways in which the current frames could expand or be elucidated in ways that are not being captured by the current literature. NPS Sponsored Survey To triangulate, support and supplement the in depth interviews and observational data, I used data collected as part of survey administered by the NPS. As part of an attempt for survey instruments to be systematically applicable across parks, the social science research unit of the NPS implemented a survey at a varie ty of NPS units in the summer of 2016. KLGO was selected as one of the study sites and these data were colle cted over a period of two weeks in August 201 6. The participant pool were recreational visitors: aged 18 and older who were visiting the NPS unit d uring a single sampling period. The cross sectional design included multiple choice, short answer and some text fields. The participants were systematically sampled in areas within KLGO. Research assistants handed out a total of 870 surveys and 411 people completed surveys, with a 49% response rate. Surveys are best used to sample a population so that inferences can be made about demographic information and characteristics, attitudes and behaviors of these populations (Babbie, 1990) . While I use d the survey data to help conceptualize how people responded regarding their importance to visit KLGO, I used it as a primary source document to examine how NPS researchers conceptualized visitors engagement . The questions refle ct the NPS r esearcher s' appr oach and conceptualization of health and nature. Using the survey as a primary document and insight, I further examined the survey construction in conjunction with the larger themes that emerged from the qualitative data. I used the data provided by the s urvey to conduct a statistical analysis and to evaluate my proposed relationships of health and nature. Using the "importance for visiting" measure into

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49 four domains, I examined if the measure was associated with demographic variables, including age, race, income, education, gender and ability status. These demographic variables roughly complimented qualitative data collected about visitor identities. I discuss the variables at length in the next section. The survey was informative in terms of how it compli mented the qualitative results. Primary D ependent Variable: The primary d ependent variable for the quantitative analysis was, "How important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip" (see Table 1 ). The options provided rough ly map both on to the biomedical literature. These include options such as "to get physical exercise" (physical health), "to spend time with friends and family" (sociocultural health), "to relax" or "to experience solitude" (stress relief), and "to view na ture/scenery" (nature experience) with multiple response welcome ( check all that apply ). These categories reflect the current social construction of how nature and health are thought about in relation to each other. Through linear regressions, I examined t he relatedness of each reason for visiting the park. This served the purpose to, at least on the surface, examine how related each of the question's domains were to one another and the demographic variables. Ultimately, I designed the analysis of the quant itative survey to reflect my hypothesis the biomedical domains of physical, social, and stress relief in parks may not be the only way to conceptualize health in parks.

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50 Dependent Variable Categorie s (5 point Likert) How important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip? Please mark (_! )_ one for each row. (5 points Likert scale) To visit a National Park Service site NPS Engagement To get physical exercise Biomedi cal Health To spend time with friends/family Social Health To learn more about American history and culture Social Health To relax Stress Narrative To experience solitude Stress Narrative To hear the sounds of nature/quiet Nature Experience/Stress Na rrative To view wildlife or natural scenery Nature Experience To be outdoors Nature Experience Controlled Variables : The covariates of interest were largely situated within transportation and demographic va riables. I selected these variables to control in the models as they are informative about many of social identities that may influence how the relationship is perceived, and are likely to vary in predictable ways with the main independent variable. The t ransportation variable was particularly interesting to explore as whether or not people arrived by cruise ship was a distinguishing factor. Domains such as gender, age and ability status were important to analyze as this had a large effect on the implicati ons of this work. Covariates Transportation Please indicate all the forms of transportation you personally used to travel from your home to KLGO, on this trip. Race What is the race of each member of your personal group on this trip to KLGO? Educat ion What is the highest level of formal education completed by each member of your personal group on this trip to KLGO? Income Which category best represents your annual household income? Ability Status Did anyone in your personal group have a physical condition that made it difficult to access or participate in park activities or services, during your visit to Klondike Gold Rush NHP? Demographics What is your gender? Age? Table 4 : Dependent Variable Table 5 : Covariates

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51 Analysis: For the analysis of the quantitative portion of this aim, I emplo yed inductive measurement models. The goal of the quantitative analysis was to respond to the qualitative inquiry, hence the model built responds to the qualitative data. The models link the independent variables and covariates discussed previously to the two dependent or outcome variables. From there, the model that best fits the relationship elucidate d the relationship between social factors and the reasons for visiting the park. As discussed, covariates of age, ability status, income, education were ex amined for association with the health and park engagement domains. The overall goal of this portion of the aim is to provide broader contextual information and to engage with the qualitative portion of the aim. Synthesis I analyzed the qualitative and qu antitative data together, as is customary with an ethnographic approach I used these alternative forms of data to triangulate the other findings from interviews and survey data. As triangulation is useful in order to approach consensus used various kinds o f data and analytical techniques by analyzing convergence and divergence from the qualitative data (Miles & Huberman, 1994) . Ethical Considerations and Protection of Human Subjects I submitted approval for the project from the Colorado Multi Institutional Rev iew Board and received approval under project number 16 0880. As t he project was not funded by the federal government, federal approval was not necessary for data collection. I have written approval from federal representatives of the ethical process to confirm assumption. By stipulation, I had to have an on going consen t process with participants whom I had relationships with as co workers. I had written permission from the superintendent of KLGO, granting me permission to collect data while I was not representing the park or the National Park Service, Figure 1 3. Thus,

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52 my findings are not representative the views of the National Park Service. I explicitly stated this to participants when they inquired about my research in Skagway.

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53 CHAPTER III NATURE AS A HEALTH DISCOURSE Introduction This chapt er begins a story of people who love National Parks, love nature and to a person believe that interacting with nature is a healthy activity. It's a story of people; some who find God, others who challenge themselves, who make new friends and solidify o ld relationships in the out of doors. It's the story of people who look entirely different on the outside and arrived at a location by drastically different means. Many of the participants in this study would have vastly different states of "health" if we were to assess their biomedical metrics. In this chapter, I analyze and discuss the discourses of nature and health in visitors of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. I will explore the explanatory framework of engagement as well as how this conc ept is deployed explicitly in the discourses of health and nature, thus addressing Aim 1. Biomedical definitions of health did emerge from the in depth interviews, with discussions of practices, such as physical activity and diet. However, this definition was not the most salient frame used when discussing "health" and "nature." Instead, participants used "engagement with nature" as a heuristic for describing the relationship between "health and nature." While many participants spoke of visitors who were e ngaged (active engagement) and those who were not engaged (passive engagement), upon closer examination, this categorization Aim 1: To examine the r elationship between discourse and the experience and perception of health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

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54 is much more nuanced. It has a strong legacy in how public lands are viewed historically in the US, and such continues to mask popu lations who fall outside of idealized park visitors. "Out There" or "Behind a Window": Health and Park Engagement Initially, I conceptualized interviewing a continuum of visitors based on their transportation method to the park, mainly by cruise ship, backpacking or as an independent traveler. However, what emerged was that, all visitors, whether on a continuum or no, used a remarkably similar framework to discuss how health is produced in parks. These discourses describe the difference between how peop le are thought to experience health in parks. Therefore, many similar discourses will be deployed again in Chapter 5, which addresses how rangers view visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park . This chapter engages with Aim 1, "to examine the discourse of perceived health benefits of visitors engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park." The groups all share similar ideologies, even if they are expressed and modified in different ways each visitor group has nuances w ith how they engage in the park. Therefore, for this chapter, I will focus on visitor engagement with the park. Figure 7 : Aim 1 Conceptual Model

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55 The discourses all center on idea engagement with the park, so I will examine park engagement first. At first blush, this engagement looked as i f it were a binary, or an idea of active engagement or passive engagement. Many people seemed to conceptualize active or passive engagement in this way. However, looking beyond their simple definitions of active or passive, there is quite some complexity. Instead of a binary, I conceptualize this engagement as a continuum of engagement; from people who are wholly immersed within the park to people who are observing nature but from "behind glass" whether that is a train, car or cruise boat. These discourses are in no way an ontological given. However, it does have discursive power when describing relationships to health and nature by visitors. I focus on the types of perceived health benefits that visitors receive by engaging with the park. Visitors categoriz ed these perceived health benefits into narratives about how engagement with KLGO reduces stress, helps mental health, physical activity and social and spiritual health. I will analyze the discourses of these frames to understand how they construct these p erceived health benefits. I will analyze these discourses first through the visitor described heuristic of active and passive engagement, then the socially constructed domains of health (mental, physical and social/spiritual), and finally how these health domains are effected by the role of identities in health narratives. Active Engagement First, I will explore the historical origins of how people categorize interactions with KLGO, as active or passive engagement. The symbolic meanings, and therefore hea lth discourses, of engaging with protected areas, have a direct lineage to the discourse of Olmsted, Thoreau, and Muir. The active and passive discourse serves as a moral differentiation to define an idealized active visitor, in contrast with the passive v isitor who is violating the historical way of engaging with the park. The effect of these constructions is the representations of cruise ship tourists (lazy, unhealthy, passively engaged) and backpackers (fit, healthy, actively engaged).

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56 For this section, I will first analyze the historical origins of this active/passive binary to understand how, when (and to postulate why) these constructions are deployed. It is a very particular way of engaging with the area, most clearly defined as the contemplative fac ulty (Sax 1980). Olmsted, Thoreau, and Muir were part of the transcendentalist movement, believing that experiencing nature purifies the soul and offer an opportunity for self fulfillment not provided in modern society (Tarlock 1981). The Organic Act of 1 916 is the legacy of this view with a dual mission of both preserving lands as well as providing for the enjoyment and inspiration for future generations (National Park Service 2015). Essentially this gives the park service a dual mission; both serving the interests of the visitors and preserving the landscape, history or resource that gave it the congressional designation. The preservation argument, in the Organic Act it is "this and future generations" part, is known as a preservationist attitude to engag ement with National Parks. Through the balancing commercial tourism interests and the religious discourse of Muir through engagement with nature, we can see the legacy of this attitude (Pretty 2004a). Sax extends this argument into the attitudes and inten tions of park visitors mattering more than the actual activity they are doing. The views associated with an activity may be more important than either the activity itself or its setting. To the extent that we infuse the parks with symbolic meaning by the way in which we use them, the symbolism attached to particular uses itself becomes a critical factor in the meaning that parks have for us. (Sax 1980 , p. 33) The crucial element in the meaning making of parks attitudes associated with activity became the more salient factor when asking participants about how health is produced in parks. Physical activity, while necessary to most participants, wasn't the most striking factor. Instead, it was their intention, their reasons behind doing what they are doin g (and perceived reasons of other people) that seemed to matter most when discussing whether someone was healthy in parks.

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57 This idea of intention or attitude has been described as engaging the "contemplative faculty" by Sax, as religious inspiration by Mui r, and as "sucking the marrow out all the life" by Thoreau (Muir 2011; Thoreau 1845; Sax 1980). While these ideas have subtle differences, the common idea is that by practicing awareness in nature or fully engaging with nature, there are spiritual, moral a nd physical rewards. Visitors primarily deployed moral discourses to describe visitor groups. For most, this involved juxtaposing an unhealthy (and not ideal) visitor to the park with a healthy (and ideal) visitor. These discourses explicitly define what i s allowed and what isn't from a moral viewpoint they help enforce and reinforce cultural norms. One cruise ship visitor I interviewed organized a cruise for runners. He hypothesized that the runners are healthier than average cruise ship passengers. Howe ver, his definition of healthy was not the number of burned calories or the physical fitness aspect, it was how attached or engaged they feel with nature: They get to experience through that kind of stuff is the beauty of the landscape, and I think they fe el better about it and they feel more attached to Alaska or any place to relate because they have experienced it close up. If you are looking at it from a bus window maybe doesn't matter that much to you. CS.13 This quote is interesting in many ways. First , it does not match what every other visitor group, including cruise ship passengers, say about cruise ship passengers that as a group, they are the most disengaged. Many participants can identify the negative stereotypes of cruise ship passengers, but f ew claim this identity. By declaring a runner status, he is choosing to distance himself from a negative passive cruise ship passenger stereotype but claiming a more active, engaged identity. Secondly, this is an argument less based on health discourses an d more in moral discourses that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Thirdly, the cruise ship passenger is mirroring the discourse of the park employees, which I will more fully discuss in

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58 Chapter 5. While fully immersed park employees in the h istory and the discourse of American Wilderness, this frame has extended to visitor populations as well. As a discourse, it is what Foucault would define as a "technique of power" (Foucault, 1990) . I will discuss this framing and the structures that underlie them further in Chapter 5, but for the purposes for this chapter, I focus on how power is deployed to construct who is allowed in what pl ace. The action of the active/passive engagement discourse is to promote a form of an idealized visitor, in contrast with the visitors violating the historical model way of engaging with the environment. This discourse is enacted through the metaphor of looking at nature "through a glass or window" is one that many participants used, both employees and visitors. Within the frame of nature engagement, being "out there" or experiencing things first hand is seen as critical. Visitors' discourse of personally and physically experiencing nature, usually through hiking or other activities, is highly essential to the definition of being actively engaged. The active discourse is reflective of the power of biomedical discourse, and ranger discourses that priv ileges physical activity as a definition of health in nature. I will further explore these discourses in Chapter 5. Prioritizing directly experiencing of nature is especially true for backpackers. One backpacker spoke of his mother in law, who had recent ly been on a cruise to Alaska and had picked up an informational DVD about the Klondike Gold Rush. He, and his hiking leisure companions, see a substantial difference in learning about the Chilkoot versus experiencing it firsthand . Participant 1: They'll [cruise ship passengers] be knowledgeable about it, but they won't get to experience it. We get to experience it.

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59 Participant 2: But I don't think I'm as knowledgeable as a lot of people cause I'd rather come out and just do it. Participant 1: Yeah I thi nk this is interesting, especially because it's a Historical Park. There is a desire to get out, actually in, the woods and experie nce in the woods other than the history part like the DVD BK.1 The hikers acknowledge that the cruise ship passengers ma y be more intellectually engaged with the history but in no way, are they "getting out" into nature and the wilderness. The "getting out" and physically interacting with the resource is the essential ingredient in this mix. Privileging physical engagement is different from many of the NPS employees' view of including intellectual engagement in the same category as physical engagement, which I will further discuss in following sections. The idea of "getting out" is defined as the opposite of looking at natu re "behind glass" usually a car window, but in the case of KLGO, it is also referring to a cruise ship, bus or the passenger train. There is a long history of the integration of these vehicles in National Parks. Beginning the influence of the railroad lo bby in the creation of the National Park Service to capture tourism dollars for the US that had previously been going to Europe (National Park Service, 2015) . While the preservation discourse of people like John Muir allowed Americans to associate wilderness with religious imagery, it was the aligning of these interests with the economic backing of the railroads that tipped Congress into creating the NPS (Drenning, 2013; National Park Servic e, 2015) . The accessibility of parks then came under scrutiny as the idea of wilderness as an area without humans developed (Leopold, 2013; Louter & Cronon, 2010) The "behind glass" dynamic continues to play out in KLGO with similar discourse around the cruise ship, buses, and railroads. In this case, the White Pass and Yu kon railroad takes up to 500,000 passengers the White Pass per season. It provides an opportunity for visitors to go further into the interior of Alaska, and briefly into Canada (both British Columbia and the Yukon

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60 Territory). According to the interviews, this train ride in the same category as other passive modes of transportation (including buses and the cruise ships). In this case, visitors' intention to be passive evidenced through these modes of transportation that constructs them as unhealthy. As a counterexample to this active/passive construction of transportation, I interviewed two organizers of a running centered cruise and several running cruisers. A running centered cruise provides insight into the nuance of intention: the cruise runners are on a passive mode of transportation, but intend to actively engage with the park. The select group on the cruise has organized runs at each port, programming targeted at improving running techniques, and exclusive seating arrangements. One of the organize rs deploys the active/passive discourse, but also exempts himself (and the running cruisers) because of their active intention: Well, the typical cruise ship passenger is not the least bit interested in getting out or early in the morning and going for a run. We had a run briefing at 7 am yesterday, and we were off the ship at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. The average and I don't mean this to be in a negative sense, but the average cruise passenger they might go on a bus they might get driven around there loo king at everything through a window. Some of them are going on a train today and the through a window everything for then it sort of outside of their own experience. Runners [are doing it] for what we're doing it's inside of them. I mean Juneau was not a b eautiful day and, you know, it was raining. So, our people were wet and cold and tired, but that's what they wanted. They weren't sitting warm and safe on a bus; they wanted to be out there experiencing it for themselvesÉ they want to experience their live s by themselves for themselves. CS.13 The effect of differentiating himself and his clients from other cruise ship passengers is to create belonging in the morally and culturally "superior" active group. He does this through deploying a contrast of "experi encing for themselves" versus "looking at a window.", as others would describe an organized cruise in a similar frame. He is leading an organized, regimented and curated experience for cruise ship passengers. The nuance that he, and other participants from the running cruise whom I interviewed, is that they are more actively engaging in their environments through physically interacting with their environments and experiencing the elements. They are working quite hard to distance themselves from the amoral c haracterization of "lazy" cruise

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61 passenger. Their intent to actively engage with the park in their minds groups them with the superior, fit, backpacking group. Another exciting element of this quote is the idea that the runners are "experiencing it f or themselves" or actively engaging with the park and therefore creating health. The word "experiences" mirror discourses of rugged individualism and self sufficiency that was essential to the American westward expansion project of the 18th and 19th centur ies (Ray 2009). The rugged individualism then was mirrored in the identity producing projects of outdoor recreation privileges self sufficiency and self reliance (Senda Cook, 2012) . The individualized view masks the flows of political economic and historical forces. Instead of conquering the land for its exploitation, outdoor enthusiasts are pitting themselves against nature to prove themselves, yet still use conquering discourses. As Sax describes, Engagem ent with nature provides an opportunity for detachment from the submissiveness, conformity, and mass behavior that dog us in our daily lives; it offers a chance to express distinctiveness and to explore our deeper longings. (1980 , p. 42) The challenge of r unning or hiking or backpacking in nature is a way to enact and tap into a deeper meaning of yourself concerning broader society. Regardless if running or backpacking is a favorite activity, it is the process of pitting yourself against nature with just the right amount of risk that enacts this individuality (Burns, Watson, and Paterson 2013; Braun 2003). An solitary mountain climber, backpacker or kayaker is at the height of socially constructed health in nature. The tension between the individual and collective is one frequently seen in public lands; as people are seeking an individualized wilderness experience while also advocating for access to all (Louter & Cronon, 2010; Senda Cook, 2012) . People then go further "out" to seek solitary experiences, which is then reinforcing the individual discourses of conquering the backcountry.

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62 The individual/collective discourse is frequently deployed in advocating for more public lands, especially within the discourse of the park service (further explored in Chapter 5). The active discourse has echoes of rituals and activities required by individuals to produce health. Instead of looking at health, or active engagement with nature, at a cultural or societal level, it is in the realm of the individual. Health maintenance involves the consumption of a range of goods and services, which are increasing; marketed for their health gi ving properties, such as food, and fitness clubs. Health is something which lies within the control of the individual. (Nettleton 1997 , p. 208) The discourse is that doing the things that producing health requires a lot of individual work or effort. The i deas that 1) health can be produced or are within an individual's control and 2) health can be produced through hard work underlie these statements. First, we can link personal attributes about a person from only knowing their health status. Second, these themes construct health statuses that are "allowed" in that they were beyond the control of the individual such as disability or advanced age. The dynamic of health statuses that aren't allowed such as obesity that are perceived to be within the indi vidual's control. A dynamic of trying to understand the culpability of the individual before using their health status as an exclusionary status. Passive Engagement Often when describing a healthy visitor, an active visitor, participants used the compa rison to define the opposite visitor, a passive one. The discussion of active and passive engagement is an authorized discourse about the difference that hides the disdain for consumptive tourism. Arguably all tourism is consumptive, but visitors both on the ship and off constructed cruise ship tourism as representative of a type of passive or lazy way to experience a new place. Thus the very act of being on a cruise ship is constructed as passive, and therefore unhealthy. Participants describe this concep tion of engagement as being "blissfully unaware," "oblivious" and "uninterested." There is a long history within the National Park context of

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63 snubbing "typical tourists" dating back to Edward Abbey's disdain of the ubiquitous park question; "Where's the jo hn?" (Sax, 1980) . It is this view of casual visitors as being victimized by "submissiveness, conformity, and mass behavior that dog us in our daily lives" (Sax, 1980) . The active/passive binary is so pervasive in this context it often goes unnoticed by those deploying the binary. For example, when asked if they would like to attend a ranger led program, two backpackers said of cruise shi p passengers: Participant1: It [guided tours] fits their lifestyle. I can't judge for them that's just not what I like. I can't put judgment on them. So, getting up and getting around not quite the same thing but it's good. Participant 2: For me, I'd r ather dig in and investigate. Snoop around a figure it out. And find it out on my own and say ok I've done that before but I'd like to explore a little bit more. I don't know, but if I find something interesting I'll go find somebody that I can then ask BK .9 In this quote, the backpackers are making a distinction between their more individualized approach to learning about the park compared to the "lifestyle" choice that the cruise ship passengers make by attending the tour. The fact that it takes more "wor k" to figure things out on their own, or snoop around and figure it out, are influencing their unspoken superior way of interacting with the park. Providing opportunities for engagement, through planned experiences, is an essential tenant of the NPS. I n fact, touring National Parks from motorized vehicles was crucial to the increased popularity during the Progressive Era. It wasn't until the backlash of the wilderness idea of the 1960s that people began questioning interacting with nature through a car. Arriving by car is then extended to say something about the visitor: The kind of encounter that routinely takes place in the modern motorized vehicle, or in the managed, prepackaged resort, is calculated to diminish such intensity of experience. The marg in of error permitted is great enough to neutralize the importance of what we know. If we roar off in the wrong direction, we can easily roar back again, for none of our energy is expended. It isn't important to pay close attention to the weather; we are i nsulated from it. We need not notice a small spring; we are not at the margin where water counts. The opportunity for intensity of experience is drained away. ( Sax 1980, p. 31)

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64 The essential ingredients motorized vehicle and managed, prepacked resort are crucial to cruise ship tourism. Indeed, cruise ship tourism provides unparalleled access to previously remote and inaccessible areas. Thus, cruise ship passengers are constructed as passive. This passive discourse coalesced into a shorthand of "typical cruise ship passenger." Even the identity, "passenger" is passive, being carried places. While there could be active cruise ship passengers defined as their mental or physical engagement with the park no one I interviewed talked about passive backpack ers or independent travelers. The idea of a "typical cruise ship passenger" came up again and again in interviews and participant observation. An interesting concept, as many cruise ship passengers who travel to Alaska each season, it nonetheless had sali ence with many groups of people. The idea of a "herd" of tourists was condensed from group travel. By placing them within a "pack mentality," they deployed a metaphor of prey animals who are following a leader passively. A middle aged couple who were on th eir first cruise used this metaphor. This couple had previously traveled to Alaska in their 20s to backpack and found themselves reluctantly accepting the identity of cruise ship passenger. In this way, they perceive themselves as more aligned with the ide as of active engagement with parks. Interviewer: So, what does it feel like to be one [cruise ship passenger] then? Interviewee 1: Pretty much what we expected. Interviewer: Which is? Interviewee 2: Part of a pack. A pack mentality Interviewee 1: Y ou are herded, and you are taken care of, and if you want to spend money, you have different things to do to. To spend money, the excursions. There are actually pretty good ones if you pick them reasonably carefully. Interviewee 2: And you're on a very strict tight schedule. We just don't do schedules usually when we travel we have no agenda we just go.

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65 Interviewee 1: The irony of that is that I think many people don't believe that about what we just said about cruise ships. I think they [other cruise ship passengers] think they have a lot of freedom to do things they feel like doing pretty much anytime. CS.3 It's clear from this quote that the couple doesn't see themselves as a party to the cruise ship passivity that they've applied to others. When I first approached them to be interviewed, they were unaware that they were in a National Park an essential component of passive visitors per many rangers. This perception or view of passivity is fluid and contextual but involves judging other visitors to the park. Health Narratives These ways of engaging with the park active and passive provide scaffolding to create perceptions of what is healthy in the outdoor context. Again, I will be treating health as socially constructed through a discourse lens, examining the streams of reasoning and arguments that reflect scientific works of literature. Most importantly I will be exploring areas through which visitors' experience health that may extend or not be represented by the biomedical perspective. Before the qualitative work, I hypothesized three domains of health from a visitor's perspective; physical, mental and spiritual. These themes did emerge; also, participants viewed health in nature through a stress narrative lens, social health, and intellectual health. Stress Narrative In current biomedical literatures, everything from bursitis, dementia, heart disease to skin disorders has been linked in one way or another to stress (Loriol, 2016; van den Berg, 2007; Wells & Evans, 2003; Wetzel et al., 2011) . The stress narrative also falls neatly within the individualized nature of viewing health, as well as considering health through a modernized, mechanized way of living (Loriol 2016). Under the stress narrative, the onus of the healt h condition falls on the individual as well as the way to treat the disorder (Loriol 2016). Also, the

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66 discourse is about "escaping" the things that are causing stress and therefore ill health. The stress discourse fits into the nature as an anecdote to soc iety argument. This discourse of stress and escaping stress was frequently deployed in the context of interacting with nature. The construction of nature as stress relief like many others has historical origins. In this case, John Muir was adopting the discourse of stress relief; Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn (Muir, 2011) . This quote has its origins in a distinct historical moment at the height of industrialization. Wilderness is constructed as an antidote to the bustle as people are becoming more bound to machines and urban areas. Aldo Leopold, the originator of the word wilderness and an in fluential voice of environmentalism in the 20th century, had this to say. Parks are overcrowded hospitals trying to cope with an epidemic of esthetic rickets; the remedy lies not in hospitals, but in daily dietaries. The vast bulk of land beauty and land l ife, dispersed as it is over a thousand hills, continues to waste away under the same forces as are undermining land utility. (Leopold 2013 , p. 47) The stress and escape narratives are also closely related to the idea of nature or wilderness as outside or different that cities or society (Cronon, 1996) . The narrative of escaping stress through engagement with wilderness is one that is well represented in the literature. Many of the cruise shi p passengers I interviewed said similar things. Of interest were the participants in the running cruise whom I interviewed. By standards, they wouldn't fit the passive model of engagement because they were physically active, yet they were still being "herd ed" on the cruise ship. One woman, who organized the cruise for her parents and her boyfriend, had this to say about the cruise being healthy. Sara: Doing this and being here you consider that to be healthy?

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67 Interviewee 1: Yes. Interviewee 3: I think i t's good for the health relationships. Interviewee 4: Relaxing, it's good mentally, on the ship they take care of you, so you're not under pressure. Interviewee 3: You don't have that day to day work stress stuff. Sara: Yes, how does that compare to y our normal day, being here? Interviewee 1: Stress free. Sara: Is that healthy? Together1,2,3: Oooh yes! Interviewee 1: Part of being on the ship is being taken care of, so, you can relax and have less stress. I work at a newspaper it's a whole lot less stressful. I'm kind of laughing because anything is better than crappy work right now. And I'm like yes, it's really bad, isn't it? I become really vindictive when I work 50 hours per week because they have stupid ideas that they decide to change. CS.15 In every way, this type of engagement could be considered "passive" from the binary explored in the first part of this chapter. The very act of "being taken care of" is passive, or infantilizing. The perception of health coupled with the natural element o f the cruise seems to be working together. Another family from New Jersey on a cruise had this to say. Mother: I think we chose the cruise because we wanted to have the element of luxury along with some more rustic elements of Alaska and we thought our ch ildren would enjoy the cruise element. Can do some super fine dining and pampered a little bit as well as your hiking and fishing and zip lining. Sara: So like, adventure and luxury together? Father: Yeah. Mother: Good combo. CS.13 In this line of thinki ng it's the combination of the comforts of the cruise ship, the element of being taken care of and the "rustic" elements of nature that are working together to create a perception of health. This thought is both informed by as well as goes against the more in depth

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68 history of how people conceive of health in this environment. From a health perspective, escaping the stress of cities is the push factor into the wilderness while the seeking of mental calm or health in the wilderness is the pull factor. Mental Health and Engagement Many researchers have linked the concepts of engagement with nature and mental health benefits. In this view, everyone has mental health needs, not just the mentally ill, and that many can benefit from outdoor engagement (Pretty 200 4b). Other proposed mechanisms are the restoration of over concentration (Parry " Jones 1990; Hartig et al. 2014). This mechanism, called attention restoration theory, primarily focuses on the cognition and attention of children (Wells 2000; Taylor, Kuo, and Sullivan 2001; Taylor and Kuo 2009) This mechanism has been found to be a buffer for life stress with rural children (Wells 2000) and the ideal place for a study break on campus, attention restoration (Felsten 2009). Few participants spoke about attenti on restoration explicitly, but many did talk about how being outside felt good mentally. One group, who were on the last leg of their Alaskan hiking trip, said. Participant 2: Getting out of the urban environment that we live in, it's just so peaceful an d relaxing for sure. Participant 1: I've been backpacking for three months every day, more on the trail I'm really thinking, I'm going to struggle to go back and sit in my desk, I get used to these views in the simplicity of life and backpacking. It's jus t great BK.7 The group deployed the nature/urban binary here. Similarly, to stress relief, gaining mental health from new rhythms and outside of routines is critical. Many participants mentioned an increase in mental health from "escaping" technology.

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69 Def initely. Just disconnecting from everything. You don't get that in the lower 48. I hope we don't get phone service in Skagway or in Bennett I don't want to use my phone until I'm back to Juneau. BK.17 The debate on whether to allow cell towers are going s trong within the National Park Service and the idea of disconnection is one of the stronger arguments to keep cell towers out. The debate on technology also falls within this nature/artificial binary, as well as within in the attention restoration theories of mental health. The idea of "contemplative faculty" discussed by Sax (1980) in which the natural scenery inspires the attention to be aroused and the mind occupied. Adjacent to meditation, this quality can best be described as profoundly connecting wit h nature. The archaeology professor, traveling solo, had this to say about Glacier Bay National Park, which is very close to KLGO. It was weird that way at Glacier Bay. Because you can't really get out there in any other way. It was frustrating, a little b it. You can't really get genuinely into that Park unless you're a kayaker. And all the kayakers are 20 to 35 year olds, and I'm not going kayaking anytime soon. I do associate with that it's good to get out see things and let your mind wander. IT.1 She i s apparently talking about this idea of a wandering mind, but also mixed in with it is her exclusion due to her age. It is an excellent example of how her social or physical identity will then color her interpretation of health in nature. This quote mirrored a lot of the discourse in the active/passive engagement piece. Backpackers placed a higher value on "being out there" and experiencing on producing health. Some people experience this when they're in parks and actively learning and truly engaging. The o ther thing I notice from traveling in the past, when you just sit there and listen to a guy talk, it doesn't really get in there. When you hike this trail, and you see this stuff, and you talk about it and experience it it's always going to be really under stand. BK.15 A group of backpackers who had relatives who had recently been to Skagway on a cruise echoed this. They found that although they were less intellectually engaged in the park, they were healthier because of experience.

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70 Participant 1: They'll [c ruise ship passengers] be knowledgeable about it, but they won't get to experience it we get to experience it Participant 2: But I don't think I'm as knowledgeable as a lot of people cuz I'd rather come out and just do it. BK.1 This judgment of physical h ealth over mental health indeed mirrors the arguments that promote health in parks. For many, health is synonymous with physical health in this context. Physical Engagement Much of this work has been centered on outdoor environments facilitating physical fitness and therefore possibly affecting many health outcomes. Several studies have demonstrated that participants in outdoor exercise are more likely to enjoy and continue to exercise outdoors (Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider 2014; Thompson Coon et al. 2 011). This has been hypothesized to include mental and social effects. To date, the potential for the health benefit of outdoor recreation has been widely cited, but health effects beyond psychological health have been limited. The discourse of physical he alth is also used when talking about direct engagement with the park. Edward Abbey famously compared automobiles (or cruise ships) as wheelchairs to get people outside. How to pry the tourists out of their automobiles, out of the back breaking upholstered mechanized wheelchairs and onto their feet, onto the strange warmth and solidity of Mother Earth Again (Abbey 1990 , p. 49 ). Along with explicitly excluding people with disabilities from the outdoor discourse, Abbey privileges engaging with the environmen t physically as the only correct way to connect, which has a legacy in outdoor discourses. This view adds another layer to the assessment of physical health in the outdoors. Included in the physical experience is the almost ritualistic physical deprivation of camping and

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71 backpacking, including eating different foods, sleeping in tents , and encountering physical exhaustion. This blurs the line between physical and spiritual health, but Ray makes a point in that it is historically defined; people are putting themselves through tough situations to "correct moral atrophy." A backpacker noted this. It's always; I find it always kind of difficult to have a mental image of the glamour of the Chilkoot trail in your head, and then you get out there and kind of doing the nitty gritty work of going up and down BK.3 This quote shows the tension between the symbolic power of the Chilkoot and the lived experience of hiking it. Physical engagement seemed to matter the most when talking about engagement. For example, the pa rticipants on the running cruise perceived themselves as more genuinely engaging with the park because of the physical activity involved. Even with stereotypes about cruise ship passengers being less engaged, the runners I interviewed found that the physic al activity connected them more deeply to the park. I think we get more out of it, this town, because of doing The Amazing Race. Because they had us going to certain places they had us doing things that we may not have seen if we just did it as a cruise. Because most of them [other cruise ship passengers] are just staying on certain streets where we came through side streets with a map to go places. Plus, we can walk places and learn a bit more about it. It's much nicer than we first started out. CS.9 Ulti mately, this moral argument of preferred park engagement has shades of the moral project of advocating for health practices such as dieting or exercising. It also has a rich history within biomedical perspectives where exercise is the panacea to most healt h conditions (Ball, Bauman, Leslie, & Owen, 2001; Bodin & Hartig, 2003; Network, 2006; Pretty, Peacock, Sellens, & Griffin, 2005; Vartanian & Novak, 2011) . Secondarily to the physical health piece are people ta lking about social and spiritual health.

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72 Social and Spiritual Health Another mechanism of the production of health through engagement in the outdoors is social and spiritual health. First talked about with psychologists, social scientists began to see a mechanism with increased social cohesion. Social cohesion can undoubtedly provide a connection with the social group with a reawakening of emotions and identity (Mitchell Jr and others 1983). Social cohesion is also brought up in the physical and mental he alth literatures (Bodin and Hartig 2003; Felsten 2009; Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider 2014). This idea was echoed as well, primarily by backpackers. My research assistant, Lindsay, and I ran across a group of two Mothers with their kids hiking the Chilkoot . They had realized that they packed the wrong fuel for the stove they brought and had to rely on the kindness of strangers: Participant 2: That connections to people are just as important as connection to nature. We have yet to see that; I think that's really special. Participant 1: We take it for granted. Participant 2: I think we really do, you think you're really self sufficient hiking the trail you don't need to talk to anyone. That's where we are in the world. No one talks to their neighbor. Very few people will talk to your neighbors. Countries don't talk to other countries. Participant 1: I think it says a lot and when you are in need, you realize that importance but also who is willing to reach out. It says so much about our world. I think the only purpose of our world is connections and disconnection.BK.5 In their view, it was connecting with others through hiking that was healthier than the calories burned. Both women had previously hiked the Chilkoot, and one had even run it in under 12 hour s, yet they privileged the social connections. Another backpacker contrasted their trail experience with their perception of the cruise ship. Participant 1: We're more individualized here than we are in most places. Cruise ships like that, those people a re wandering around aimlessly. Not focused on anybody else's needs but their own. It gets frustrating at times that they're unaware of what's around them.

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73 Participant 2: We're on a trail and you know you're in the wilderness and you have limited resource s and limited ability to be rescued. You can be a group of three, but if there's five or ten other people, everyone around you is looking after you. Not just yourself. That's what I like about it, so I think that's different. Go to Disneyland or the cruis e, whatever it is; people will walk around like they don't care. Indifferent. BK.9 In this way, they're talking about a sort of camaraderie that exists in the trail environments. It bears repeating that the trail experience itself is highly managed. Backpa ckers must get permits, only 50 people are let over the pass per day, and all must camp in designated campgrounds. It is a highly controlled backcountry experience that ultimately facilitates these types of connections. As for the psychological literature, these spiritual health theories are defined as "dramatic peak experience, transcendent moments" (McDonald, Wearing, and Ponting 2009; Williams and Harvey 2001; Russell et al. 2013). Qualitative inquiry has described the feeling as "a moment of extreme hap piness, lightness, and freedom, a sense of harmony with the whole world, moments which are totally absorbing and which feel important (Williams and Harvey 2001). The literature also speaks to how physical hardship can play a role in profound experiences (M itchell Jr and others 1983; Kaplan 2001; Fredrickson and Anderson 1999; Williams and Harvey 2001). In many ways, the extreme experience of wilderness creates feelings that have aspects of religious experience (Ross Bryant 2012). This religious rhetoirc is rooted in the legacy of Muir and transcendental views of nature, not as wilderness, but as sublime nature (Ross Bryant 2012; Muir 2011; Drenning 2013). John Muir, primarily, was good at mixing religious discourse when describing the outdoors and has a last ing legacy on the way we view spirituality and nature (DeLuca and Demo 2001; Muir 2011; Drenning 2013). Many participants brought up a spiritual motivation in coming to nature. Interestingly these discourses came up for both cruise ship and backpacking vi sitors. From this view, the religious component was not directly tied to the physical exertion. One cruise ship passenger said.

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74 Participant: Peaceful. Very peaceful. Relaxing. One of God's beautiful creations. Sara: Would you mind telling me a little bit more about that? Participant: I don't know what else to say about that [laughing]. Sara: Do you think it has a direct connection to God? Participant: Oh yeah. I think he put us on this Earth and for not to see the beauty in the things like we do. Not to be inside, on our tablets or our phones, you know, video games. Stuff like that. He wants us out and nature. And that's what it is here; it's beautiful. I love it. Sara: do you feel connected? Participant: Oh, yeah. I'm a very religious person. We go t o church all the time. CS.2 This participant linked her connection to God through nature and against technology. An absorbing layer of the natural/unnatural binary. A similar discourse is repeated by the police officer from Memphis who had a lot to say ab out race; We stay connected to God all the time, but here will make you even more connected. That they're still beauty here in this world. There's so much death and destruction and meanness and wars and other things going on. Then you get up here that ma kes you forget about all that stuff CS.4 Another group explicitly labeled themselves and talked about their relationship to God and nature. Participant 3: Nature always brings out the spiritual. Participant 1: We're what you would call conservative Evang elical Christians, and this helps us feel very close to God and see in his creation, it's just great. Sara: So, you feel closer to God? Participant 2: But it's not like, for me, it's not like I'll still smoke the weird mushroom and now I'm having this exp erience where I can see through the three dimensions and now I see God. It's more of like when you haven't seen an old friend in a long time, and then you see them and you and have moments and your conversation where it's just quiet. You're just being wit h that person, and that is just as good as having a full on conversation. There's something just about being with them being in our world with technology, it's easy to just get distracted, and you can't just be with God. BK.7

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75 This participant also found G od to be more connected with nature than with technology. Also, interesting that he chose to invoke drugs as a spiritual path equal to engaging with nature; although this also has a long history in the outdoors (Drenning 2013). Others boiled down the spiri tual connection to a feeling. Participant 1: And you just can't stop looking at them [glaciers]. Participant 3: Yeah you like that are almost inspiring to me. You know it just kind of gets me going like, I just feel good. Participant 1: Yeah. Participa nt 3: Yeah so it definitely affects my health. Participant 2: More to this Earth, right? Someone had to build those glaciers. Make those glaciers. It's so big it's just more than man can do, it's bigger than myself yeah. CS.17 This family, from New Jers ey, would be considered by many to be the ultimately passively engaged group. Here they are talking about a more profound spiritual engagement with nature, through their cruise ship window, no less. It may even be considered engaging the contemplative facu lties. There is no way to know this through casual observation or without asking the question explicitly. Missing them as engaged visitors is one of the many implications of viewing health and nature in this way. Identities The identities examined here race, gender, age, physical ability are a skeleton in which the active and passive engagement judgment are overlaid. These all work together to define what is healthy in this context. While I will examine each identity as a separate entity, these identit ies intersect in a myriad of ways, compounding perceptions and ideas. So, while I treat them as different discursive frames, they are all interrelated. I will then first discuss these identities, and then a discussion of how these identities influence the perceptions of health benefits in nature. I will not be analyzing these identities as entities within themselves. Instead, I view the identities

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76 racialized, gendered, etc. as a discourse. A set of statements about the identities that presented as biol ogical, medical, but above all, socially constructed. Understanding these identities as a discourse and part of the social construction of difference through the identities than serve to reiterate social norms. Body Size Weight loss and obesity prevention is a multibillion dollar industry. As the scientific evidence surrounding the health implications of obesity are being called into question as well as the failure of many interventions to change weight status, there is a shift to examining the social reali ties of living, working and playing with a fat body 1 . This is especially true for leisure contexts and specifically about outdoor recreation involvement. In this section, I explore the social realities of deciding who is functionally "allowed" much less healthy in the outdoor social space through examining fat discourse. Body size came up in several discussions about health in nature, especially within the context of hiking the Chilkoot trail. Fat discourse mirrored the active/passive engagement disco urse in that fat people were constructed as not belonging on the trail, and certainly not as healthy in nature. A group of older Canadian men who were primarily composed of retired physicians hiking the Chilkoot differentiated themselves from cruise sh ip passengers, the group had this to say: Participant 2: There's people that are really really wide [fat], and they're just on the cruise ship to eat, and then they get in town, and they're just eating on the Main Street going up and down [laughter]. Part icipant 3: He's a known politically correct man [sarcasm]. 1 I deliberately use t he word "fat" here in that "obesity" is a highly medicalized term. My decision to use the word "fat" is that it connotes the social consequences of having a large body.

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77 Participant 2: Hey I was just in a town north of Norway skiing, and we saw bearded seals. They have whiskers, like big whiskers. They look like a dog, their face and so there's a head like this a nd then their body it's about three and a quarter meters wide and about this big [giant] [laughter] who does this remind you of? Participant 1: I was wondering where you were going with this [laughter]. Participant 2: It's the whole cruise ship demographi c, mustaches and fat BK.1 There are many ideas within this quote, especially because these men physicians and outdoorsmen represent the intersection of outdoor culture and biomedicine. Underlying their fat discourse is the idea that people have comple te control over their bodies and body size, regardless of public health literature demonstrating a population explosion of obesity. Someone with a fat body cannot intend to be actively engaged with the park and therefore cannot be considered healthy in thi s context. The dynamic of populations who are "deserving" (thin) versus "undeserving" (fat) of special accommodations due to their physical health. Age and ability status frequently came up as exceptions to the passive classification of visitors, as statu ses that are out of control of the individual; and which I will explore next. Regarding moral discourses, being fat was talked about as firmly within the power of the individual and therefore worthy of derision. Thus, hiking with a fat body can literally e xclude someone from specific social spaces and become a topic of conversation. The humor of the group hiking together reflects the social acceptability of blatant anti fat bias comparing fat cruise ship passengers to fat seals. Other social statuses, i ncluding medical ones, wouldn't be socially acceptable to comment on. Even so, the backpacker is somewhat violating a social norm by telling this "joke" his companion is uncomfortable with it and remarks how politically correct he is. Another park visito r, whom I talked to when I was in my ranger capacity and therefore not recording, said this of cruise ship passengers, "I heard that a cruise ship passenger eats as

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78 much as a grizzly bear preparing for winter, is this true?" Both comments are specific to t his "natural" environment, comparing humans to animal counterparts who are perceived as being fat. The evidence of anti fat bias, but it goes deeper in thinking that obese or overweight visitors may not be eligible or even worthy to experience health benef its within this context. Even fellow cruise ship passengers had this attitude. One man I interviewed, who would most likely be classified as obese himself, said this of other cruisers: Someone that's waiting until it's time to eat another meal. And the y save the deck chairs around the pool, even if the weather isn't right. The cruise ships have so much going for them, though. I mean, I'm 74, and I don't have to get up and walk and walk and walk it can be tiring, it can be aches and pains. And the cruise ship does the walking for you until you get to a place like here. They have the buses, so you don't have to do a whole lot, just go where you're going to go. It's really nice. CS.11 It i s interesting that he categorized cruise ship passengers as primar ily interested in food, but then didn't extend the same derision concerning physical accessibility. From the outside, this visitor may be deemed passively engaged, but he also may be seen as an exception due to his age. This goes back to the idea of free w ill and individuals being responsible for their health. While someone, in this view, cannot control their age they do influence their body size. In this way being overweight is an "unforgivable" barrier to park engagement while being older is not. The disc ourse is remarkably different when talking about age and ability compared with obesity discourse. Age and Ability Interestingly, in discussions about visitor engagement, the noted exception to the disdain of passive visitors are older or physically disab led. This theme appeared again and again, among cruise ship passengers, rangers, independent travelers and Chilkoot hikers. add more here, including a specific argument statement for this section.

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79 The nuance between obesity (not acceptable) and age (accept able) was also part of the discourse of the retired Canadian physician backpackers from above. One of the backpackers, not the man who told the joke relayed above, said: On a cruise ship, there's quite a variety on a cruise ship from people that say, you know, that have a horrible genetic medical disability and they're only way of having holiday. To people who are pretty fit, and who are going out with relatives, you know, elderly relatives to be part of a family group. BK.1 He medically exempts people fro m the moral discourse with "horrible genetic medical disability" as well as people going with elderly family members. Within the moral discourse of health those who have perceived control over their condition obesity are stigmatized whereas those who a re regarded not to have power aging or medical disorder are excepted from the stigma. Their perception of health affects the places in which they are allowed. Often visitors used vivid imagery to illustrate the discrepancy of active and passive engagem ent, while highlighting the tension between desired activities and bodily experiencing the aging process. In the case of age and ability it is the lack of control, or the intent to engage actively that exempts them from the moral framing as lazy. Aging and ability are the two statuses that give visitors a "pass" to be passive, and they are not constructed as inherently unhealthy. One woman, I met while I was on duty as a ranger, at the visitor center information desk ("the desk") told me of her first vi sit to Skagway with her now deceased husband. They hiked the trail in 1972, both teachers on their summer break. She showed me her souvenir gold nugget necklace that he purchased for their anniversary. When I asked how she was enjoying her return trip, she said she was grateful for the cruise ship as it "hauled her broken body" to places she enjoyed as a younger woman, which struck me, first as very emotionally charged and then as very telling. It fits neatly, if jarringly, into the discourse of the cruise ship as a blessing for those with disabilities, or age related restrictions, to experience Alaska. The word choice is also

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80 interesting. The woman used the metaphor as a "broken body," firmly putting her body in the center of the discourse. The same group o f Canadian backpackers referenced earlier said: Participant 1: So, some cruise ship passengers will use their ages "oh I don't go out anymore." Participant 2: They use that to describe that why they are on the ship. Participant 1: And that's great because they're still coming out here and doing stuff. And that's where I can see being on a cruise ship when the body doesn't work anymore. Maybe, they believe that their body can't do it but at least they're going out and doing some of the scenic stuff, it's really good, it keeps the mind sharp. BK.1 In this case, the metaphor is "the body doesn't work anymore" to describe age. The body as machine metaphor is underlying both quotes, as something that works or doesn't, or something that is breakable. In this quote, the physicians are differentiating between mental and physical health. Their very physical status prevents them from accessing environments in standard scripts, so the cruise is a way to get them there. The implication of this is that other peo ple, without these socially proscribed explanatory narratives, should be doing the work to get with the environment in a way that is normal. This body as machine metaphor that food is like fuel, and health activities are regular "tune ups" reflects domin ant thinking in Newtonian medicine. These language constructs reinforce the idea of separate domains of health. Instead, what if these domains are working together? If health processes are happening outside of the discrete realms of mental, physical and sp iritual health? The relatives of young, fit cruise ship passengers often come up in this narrative as well. The only way to pardon a young, healthy, able bodied person on a cruise ship is that they are there supporting their less able friends or relativ es. A physically able body is as much a "natural" part of environments as to be taken for granted in the literature. To the extent that engaging in adventure culture has become a reflection of environmental sensibility, bodies that do not fit this model are deemed unenvironmental. Extending

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81 Progressive Era links between the body, social hygiene, and the wilderness encounter, contemporary culture equates physical fitness with environmental correctness. (Ray 2009 , p. 259 260 ) Ray argues that the discourse of wilderness explorers as physically fit as a matter of course. The ideal "environmental" body is one that doesn't take as many resources (therefore not obese), one that actively engages with the outdoors (physically fit) and able bodied (not requiring a ccommodations and young). This perception and construction of an environmental body is reflected in adventure culture and who is allowed to be called environmental. Those with bodies that don't fit this model are unenvironmental, unwelcome in outdoor cont exts, and therefore unhealthy. The line of thinking that predisposes the idea that the solitary retreat into nature is the primary way to "truly" engage with wilderness. In fact, the group of Canadian hikers found the challenge of the trail to be motivatin g to hike, "probably a combination of both the history and it's a challenge it's not wheelchair accessible" BK.1 He explicitly calls out nature that can be "wheelchair accessible" as not challenging and therefore not worthy. These men, all self described a s in their mid to late 60s were also out hiking the trail. They were using the trail to motivate their physical fitness for the rest of the year. So, their view of age is a bit different; as they believed firmly that they were controlling or reacting to th e aging process. The group talked about encountering younger people on their various trips and the advice they give them for staying out doing outdoor adventures: Respondent 6: It's also just staying fit to do it cause you can't just walk here and do it . Respondent 5: Yeah you can't just walk out here and just do this. You have to stay fit, to begin with, to be able to do it. Respondent 6: I think it's a mentality people who want to do this kind of stuff you're going to be fit, they're fit kind of pe ople. Respondent 5: Yeah but I don't feel quite as fit as I wanted to be [laughter]

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82 Respondent 6: You wait in four days time [the time it takes to hike the trail]É We go biking three days a week for 2 hours three days a week [to prepare], so we're doi ng other things besides this. But this is the iconic trip to do and if you have to do itÉYou know the group is great. But it's really the camaraderie that helps you, but it's really just getting you out the door that's the best part of the groupÉYou know y ou want to stay fit so that you can do it at that level, and eventually, you might not be able to do it BK.1. While they certainly acknowledge that aging is a process, they are also explicitly saying by staying fit and going on adventures they are staving off the process. So, this colors their previous view that cruise ship passengers aren't as fit, and are aging more quickly. Their view of cruise ships is that they are the place to go when all other options are off the table. The solitary pursuit of ad venture and risk in the outdoors is closely linked with hiking the Chilkoot trail. The discourse of the Chilkoot hiker as young and physically fit is the taken for the granted state, or the unmarked state, as people will notice when an older adult is hikin g 2 . One man in his sixties talked about being envious of hikers that passed him going up the trail well into their seventies and eighties. The other idea is that the trail is a physical challenge that must be met with a whole body. Gender The concept of g ender, like the other identities I'm exploring, can be viewed through a lens of performance (Butler 2011). Interestingly, gender only came up as a subject only about women and the Chilkoot; participants discussed the gender composition of who is hiking and who is maintaining the trail. For this section, I will focus on the Chilkoot hikers, and then explore the gender relationship of park rangers in Chapter 5. I expected there to be more discussion of gender as wilderness was strongly associated with masculi nity historically. 2 The idea of marked/unmarked is used in linguistics and social sciences delineates a difference in the common parlance (unmarked) and difference (marked) (Scotton, 1983) . The classic example is the difference between a nurse and a male nurse.

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83 Wilderness parks were a response to a perceived Ôcrisis of masculinity' at the turn of the century; the appeal of the aesthetics of a sublime, mountaintop transcendence could only be appealing (or accessible) to men in such a context" ( Ray 2009 , p. 31). This idea of performing masculinity through engaging with nature is especially true of the time of the Klondike Gold Rush men were pushed to the frontier to react to the "feminizing" effects of society (Ray 2009). The physical landscap es provided a place for men to become more manly, where women were prohibited. The historical event of the gold rush was a specific period of time in which "outdoors adventures emerged as a way of reinvigorating U.S. men by allowing them to test their stre ngth and endurance against the challenges of the wilderness" (Pursell, Hogan, & others, 2009) . The event itself is interwoven with perceptions of gender . While participants didn't explicitly reference the relationship of gender and the Klondike Gold Rush, there is a legacy of a man's place in nature by the way participants talked about hiking. One woman I interviewed remarked of another woman who hiked the Chilkoot by herself; "I would have been very interested in what motivated her to do it by herself. I mean, I travel by myself, but it's not survival. I'm not sure if I could survive by myself." NPS.3 This is notable in that she views travel and hiking the trail as the difference between fun and survival. Also, remarkable is that women in groups aren't noteworthy, it's the solo woman who is deserving of remarks. Groups of women seemed to be viewed as entirely safe, in fact the trail ranger found groups o f older women to be the safest of any demographic (discussed more fully in Chapter 5). Women in groups can be overcome most backcountry adversary, but a woman by herself is seen at risk to the elements. Still, the discussion is centered around women's saf ety in the backcountry. It is less about the safety of men; it's whether a woman can be alone or not. As safety is part of the construction of health, a woman alone may not be seen as healthy in the outdoors.

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84 The other significant theme that emerged w as that several hikers noticed that most the trail rangers and wardens in the summer of 2016 were women. One man, in his late sixties, hiking with his niece said. Participant 2 (niece): Hiking and we've seen three rangers and all three rangers have been women. We've never seen that many women and there was a lot more women hikers. Sara: What do you think about that? Participant 2: Oh, I think it's great. There was one group kind of on the same pace as us. They were a group of eight women whose husbands were all out fishing or something together. So, they're just all decided to hike while their husbands were fishing. So, I think it's great that women are doing this. Participant 1 (uncle): There was one woman in that group of eight who was maybe a little bit older and definitely a little bit heavier than everybody else. She just sucked it up though and kept chugging along. I think it's great that women are becoming more empowered but I am curious as to is that something unique to this trail or unique to Canada? Because we certainly didn't see this many women and the Grand Canyon on either of the previous hikes, the big ones BK.6 This thought is interesting for several reasons, and I will discuss the implications of the park service observation more ful ly in Chapter 5. Interestingly, the group of women hiking weren't out because of their own impetus, but because their husbands were fishing. There is an underlying congratulatory discourse that make it clear that the uncle and niece did not expect women on the trail. The uncle also remarked on one of the women hiking as being overweight. Her body is more easily commented upon because she was a woman, and because she was hiking. She also didn't fit the norm for being in the backcountry. However, she probabl y would haven't been noticed in the context of a cruise ship. In this way, through silence from many, many participants when asked about cruise ship passengers, this was a non issue. Therefore, I conclude that women are entirely expected and unremarkable o n cruise ships. Cruise ship tourism, or passive engagement, is the expected norm for women through these discourses. When women were actively engaging with the park through hiking the trail they were worthy

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85 of being commented on. As they are unexpected in backcountry places, they are more likely to be seen as healthy in nature. Race and Ethnicity Race came up in several distinct threads throughout the interviews. The first thread was the complex interrelated experience of Alaska Native groups; in Skagwa y and Dyea, this group is the Tlingit. Differing perspectives of Tlingit involvement, including the way they're talked about still in relation to the park, centered on the land, the trail and the advent of the tourist boom. The second thread was about tour ism in Skagway and implied and explicit belonging. These discourses of belonging affect who is allowed where in the park, which then influences who is perceived to be healthy in the park. If whole groups of people gender, race, or ability are disembodi ed from these landscapes, then they certainly cannot be receiving health benefits from engaging with nature. From the advent of the National Park idea, there has been troubling discourse and actions taken against indigenous groups already living in these areas (DeLuca & Demo, 2001; Finney, 2014; Hickcox, 2007; Jacoby, 2014; Spence, 2000) . Without indigenous people, it helped create a myth of "pristine wilderness," or one free of human involvement, that needed to be protected (Denevan 1992). The focus on wilderness in which the traditional environmental movement pretends there were no indigenous people in North America (DeLuca and Demo 2001) and ignores the history of their dispossessio n (Jacoby, 2014; Spence, 2000) . Wilderness is linked to whiteness, taking for granted that those who belong in the wilderness are white (DeLuca and Demo 2001). This is undoubtedly true for the Klondike Gold Rush. Many histories of the gold rush, including the museum exhibits at KLGO in 2016, start with the discovery of gold in 1896 (Berton 2003; Berton 2011). Most exhibits erase indigenous involvement before the gold rush.

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86 While there are many concerted efforts by the park service and interpreters to bring in Tlingit history, this seems not to be the norm (National Park Service 2016). While not part of my original purposive sampling strategy, I did interview one Tlingit man 3 about his perceptions of Skagway, tourism, and health. The man I interviewed had this to say about the history of the gold rush: But interesting, they had this big gold rush write up, it was all about the prospectors and everything and how they came here and traversed Chilkoot Pass and stuff like that. And they totally forgot about us. We were the people that guided them over the mountains and through you know to the lakes and to the gold fields. We were the ones, you know, the guides. And our family goes back to that era. And I know some of th e pictures you see big boxes like that on their backs, and yeah, that's what it is. It's rigged up for packing, but I got it so full, I can't, I could probably pack it for a ways. But we came over here years ago, a bunch of us locals. You know, indigenous people from the area. And the park service came up to us and said we totally forgot about you folks. Yeah, the indigenous people here, they totally forgot about us, write us up in them, because we used to pack over the pass for X amount of dollars, you know, and that was quite the trade that they had going on here. IT.2 He does speak about the Park Service's attempt to include Native packers in the gold rush discourse. Here he is talking specifically about the history of Tlingit dispossession from the l and, the park, and the story of the gold rush (Jacoby, 2014; Spence, 2000) . This is especially problematic as it continues to happen, especially with indigenous peoples (DeLuca and Demo 2001). Without being part of the story, indigenous people cannot be seen as healthy in the outdoors. Even if indigenous people are constructed as being "one with nature" through the Ecological Indian trope 4 , they are not seen as producing health through hiking or recreating like a white visitor would be (III, 2000) . 3 Apparently, this has the potential to be problematic as there is only one person speaking for an entire eth nicity; therefore, I want to acknowledge this limit. I also intend to further engage with the Traditional Council in Skagway. 4 The Ecological Indian trope is the idea that indigenous people live in complete harmony with the environment ( III, 2000) .

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87 Several participants brought up the interpretation of Alaska Natives role in the gold rush. One was a group of Canadian women backpacking on the Chilkoot. One of the women had previously worked in Carcross, in the Yukon territory whic h is a First Nations community; Participant 1: It was interesting to hear that it was originally a Native trail and for it to have, you know, not really any of their impact there or anything honoring them is on the trail. Participant 2: I found that part cool because I used to work in Carcross and I knew that there was a really close connection [to Alaska]. A lot of the Yukon communities are really close to the Alaskans, but I didn't really clue and that they would have gone over this particular path. Oh yeah, they would have just take the road that wasn't actually there beforeÉ Especially things in Skagway you hear so many different stories from so many different perspectives you go to one Ranger, and you hear something different than the other then if y ou were to go and unfortunately that this is a lot of people go it's on the train to Whitehorse or the Carcross you know what I mean it's you hear so many different stories and interpreted in so many different ways. BK.12 The discussions of Alaska Natives, while not wholly unproblematic, are being included in the tourist discourse. As these participants observed, as the indigenous stories are being excluded from the land, by omission stories of the gold rush are anti indigenous. Even in my experience as a r anger, these racist discourses still are continued, or erased from the discourse entirely. The focus on the white stampeders erases the Tlingit involvement, even with The other discourse around race in this sample was about the role of non White visitors . One man, whom I believe only talked to me so candidly as is because I am a White woman, spoke about his experience as a police officer in Memphis. When asked about Skagway, he remarked that he was surprised to be treated well in town. Sara: Are you peo ple watching? What do you think of the people? Participant: Everyone who walks by smiles at you. Most everybody, there's some people here who, those Japanese people they don't smile. Not picking on them. Most people walk by and [you] say hello to them, they gonna say hello back to you. Smile at you. Some people even going to stop and talk with you. Super friendly place. CS.6

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88 In this case, it's everyone that is friendly except a very explicit exclusion. He goes on to talk about his experience as the pol ice officer. Sara: What's it feel like to be out of uniform? Participant: It feels great. If you haven't noticed, or heard, around the country cop has a bulls eye on his back. Everyone wants to shoot a cop. Why that it happened that way I don't know. But that's the way it is. These boys in Memphis and I'm going to tell it like it is. These black boys in Memphis, from 18 to 25, they just killing each other number one murder in the country. 91 this year, and the year isn't over. And I think we've had several more that I've been away. I keep trying to figure out what's causing it and I do not know what is causing it, except for frustration. Black people think they have been screaming that they have been mistreated their whole life, that slavery wa s wrong. Something my grandparents did I didn't have anything to do with that. Sara: Have you seen different ethnicities on the trip? Participant: Yes, the black folks on the ship are friendly to me, they talk to me. I don't see hatred in their hearts. Sara: Is that different? Participant: Oh yes, is my district, we've got what I call White Trash. They run on all sorts. But black folks are in these prisons; we lock them up in the jail. It seems like everyone at some time for some reason, I think th ey are frustrated they can't get a job, they can't get a good education because they don't want to go to school. They see the drug lord over there; he's got a great big beautiful car he dresses real nice, she's got a pocket full of money. He's a dope dealer that's what they want to do so they're going to fall in line and his tracks which is a shame. Education is there for everybody, black and everyone else. The education there you just have to want it. Sara: What do you think would happen if someone came here? Participant: One of those 18 to 25? There would be theft going on. If they could figure out some way to go up that mountain and get $10 off that mountain, they would do it sure of it. Break into your house steal what you got, sold it for litt le or no money at all, just enough to get them two more. A lot is going on in this quote. The summer of 2016 was during a national conversation regarding the policing of Americans, which he mentions, and this conversation is rife with racialized discours es. He is framing Anti Black bias as a safety concern, which is not to discount his experience of consistently living under the threat of violence in his day to day life as a police

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89 officer. Viewed from a health frame, it makes sense that he would feel hea lthier in Alaska as he no longer is fearing for his life. A biomedical explanation would claim that he is experiencing relief from stress by engaging with the outdoors, even if he is passively engaging with nature by sitting on a park bench. However, it is his explicit exclusion of the poor, Black population whom he polices from this landscape that is particularly relevant to this discussion. He had previously talked about the beauty of the landscape and then excluded Black men as saying that they would " get $10 off that mountain," framing Black men as unrelenting capitalists. It is not to say that the discourse is not racist, calling on drug dealing tropes to referring to Black men as "boys." It is interesting, however, to see how he perceives the applica tion of his views to Skagway, that presumably would exclude non White people from experiencing the same health benefits from being outside. Unfortunately, I was only able to interview one Black family. Again, I would more purposively sample upon further r esearch opportunity. However, when asked about the racial makeup and experience, one Black woman said: No, this group has been more diverse than other in the past there's been a lot of African Americans and definitely a lot of Asians. And a lot of European s on board. It's a pretty diverse group, I've been cruising for years, and back when we first started, it was primarily a White population. But even then I didn't feel uncomfortable so no I've never been made to feel uncomfortable. CS.20 This woman's expe rience matches with the police officer from above, that racial tensions in the cruising place do not reflect the rest of the United States. While she did notice an increase in diversity, she also talks about how she has never felt "uncomfortable" which I s uspect is a coded word for feeling race based bias. Both she and the police officer are constructing this place, Alaska, as free from the racial tension they feel at home. Both could be seen as stress relief. However, the Tlingit man, who has an intimate c onnection with Skagway, feels as if he has been

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90 erased from the environment, left out of the frame. Without being in the frame, he cannot be experiencing health benefits. Exclusion and Implications As seen in this chapter, the social perceptions, discou rses, and ideas that shape the way people talk about the identities of park visitors are quite complex. This complexity is then reproduced in the form that health is constructed for these identities. The discourse goes far beyond cruise ship passengers as unhealthy and backpackers as healthy. Instead, there are identities such as race, gender, physical ability that influence how people frame health in parks. This framing means that people are inevitably left out the frame. The history and context influen ce the active/passive view of engagement, which privileges physical activity. Visitors' intention, their reasons behind doing what they are doing (and perceived reasons of other people) that seemed to matter most when discussing whether someone was healthy in parks. The shorthand to discuss this was through active or passive discourse, which has implications for public health. Specifically, instead of viewing passive engagement as a neutral way of engaging with nature, discourse can reframe passivity as exp eriencing a different type of health. This idea can be applied to promote health in a variety of contexts, including physical, intellectual, mental and social health. It also serves to align with the goals of the park service, and interpretation allowing f or deeper engagement with the resource. It also fills a significant gap in the way health promotion is currently being talked about it parks we must understand, celebrate and align with the history of the park context itself .

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91 CHAPTER IV LANDSCAPE, HEAL TH, AND PLACE Introduction What is it particularly about a mountain that makes it beautiful? That makes it scenic? Why must we suddenly turn off the road to capture a unique view, if not by a camera, then in our hearts? This chapter explores these i deas, as well as what is it particularly about the land the very rocks and dirt and plants and animals and buildings and water and ice that make up the park that evokes intense emotions, view it as special or react in a certain way? These very "things " that make up the park and the land itself are not without meaning and symbolism. These meanings and symbolisms different for groups of people, and historically grounded then, in turn, affect the land itself. In this chapter, I analyze the meanings an d symbolism that different groups of people read as healthy from landscapes. As in the previous chapter, I am less concerned with biomedical differences of health production in this landscape. Instead, I want to know what it is about this place that causes people to say that it is healthy, even when they are smoking a cigarette? Why do people view hiking here as inherently healthier compared with walking up flights of stairs in an office building? Why do people have religious experiences in nature? Through this chapter I address questions of this kind to explore the relationship of nature and health through the landscape literature lens. Aim 2 : How visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health. benefits.

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92 With the explicit goal of "creating healthy outdoor recreation" opportunities and as places where many people seek to e xperience nature, KLGO acts as a focal point where complex interpretations of the health nature nexus play out. Attracting over one million visitors per year, Alaska, commonly characterized as cold, remote, rugged and, above all, natural (Kollin, 2001), ca ptures the imagination as the "last frontier." The social construction of Alaskan tourist sites, including what is natural, influences how people expect to experience them when visiting. And, by extension, these ideas of nature play directly into tensions of land use, whether for preservation, conservation or resource extraction. In parallel fashion, interacting with nature is widely viewed as healthy, although also a socially constructed concept, and consequently, superimpose conceptions of health as well as preconceived notions of engagement with nature. This chapter explores how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits. I accomplish this through uniti ng cultural geography's tradition of studying landscape as both representational and material to argue that KLGO's seemingly effortless characterization as sublime wilderness, and thereby a health producing landscape is, in fact, historically and culturall y grounded. Placing the natural and built landscape at the center of this analysis allows Figure 6 : A im 2 Conceptual Model

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93 me to examine the discursive formations of health in this place. The discourse through which landscapes are produced, rewritten, and challenged are often folded back into the "natural" aspects of landscapes. The implication is that the physical landscape itself determines social actions. I challenge this perception through using two landscape lenses: the "duplicity of landscapes" (Daniels, 1989; Daniels & Cosgrove, 19 88; Duncan, 2004) and the material realities of landscapes that affect and are affected by social relations (Cosgrove, 2003; Mitchell, 2002; Olwig, 1996). I argue that the way the participants see the landscape Alaskan, National Park, and as a historical place influences the social construction of health in this landscape. I do this through the lenses that participants created, the perceived connection to purity and fresh air and discourses of authenticity. Additionally, through a photo elicitation meth od the discourse is grounded within the material landscape itself. Photo Elicitation Method This method, used to understand visitors' and rangers' deeply held beliefs about the environments surrounding KLGO, is grounded in the material landscape. The su bjects including buildings, people, and mountains within the photos are material realities. We know facts about it, such as Albert Reinert constructed it in 1901, that it is a former saloon, and that the owners moved from 6 th avenue to 3 rd (National Park Service, 2016) . Laid upon the building are labels and representations of it as a frontier saloon, the wild west, and many other ideas I will explore. Its material reality must also be presen t to construct this dialogue. To look behind the mask or facade, so to say, is to uncover the common sense ideas of a place, or to view the hidden social histories (Duncan, 2004) . This is to recognize the duplicity of lands cape, how it often hides the social relations that have created it and given it specific meanings. The idea here is to reveal deeply held beliefs about how landscapes produce or affect health. I will use landscape

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94 theory to conduct an analysis of the disco urses that shape how the perception of health benefits are mapped onto, obscured by, or read off both built and natural landscapes. Connecting this with the more in depth analysis of place, I argue that this is a useful frame to advance the theory of the r elationship between environments, culture and the perception of health. For this chapter I will analyze the Alaskan landscape with different constructs of Alaska as natural, adventure, and empty and the landscapes' connection to history, its constructi on as pure, and authentic. Alaska In Skagway, Alaska paraphernalia reigns the tourist shops, the Alaskan flag with its blue background and prominent dipper constellation pointing towards the North Star is ubiquitous, and frontier ideology is portrayed in many of the exhibits featuring the Klondike Gold Rush. Alaska cold, remote, rugged, and natural draws on landscape representations of the romantic views of nature. One of the most significant myths that continue is that Alaska is both "untrammeled" or "untouched" as reflected by the language of the Wilderness Act of 1964 which preserved 9.1 million acres of Alaskan land (DeLuca & Demo, 2001) . The construction of Alaska as untouched is a construction that erases Native involvement before the pro tective legislation (Kellert & Wilson, 1995) as well as t he decades of intensive management by land use agencies such as the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The characterization of Alaska as untrammeled, as well as rugged, extends to the people who live the re: Alaska calls to mind images of expansive, undeveloped land and abundant wilderness and wildlife. Beautiful and big, yet cold and scary, Alaska must be a place only for the bravest and the most rugged of souls. (Hogan & Pursell, 2008 , p. 6 3 ) The personification of landscape reflects the frontier rhetoric of Alaska. Fredrick Jackson Turner argued that the frontier was vital in shaping European American Identity. Around the same time as the Klondike Gold Rush itself, a moral panic at the "cl osing" of the American Frontier and

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95 subsequent "dandying" of American men drove men to seek their fortunes in the Klondike. Up until this point, Alaska had been dubbed "Seward's Folly" after the secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, who purchased Alaska for $7.2 million in 1867 (Kollin, 2001) . Until gold was discovered in the Yukon, the American public viewed this purchase and the land as a waste. With the discovery of gold in Canada no less American perceptions chan ged to view Alaska as an extension of the Western frontier. The "Euro American drive for continental control during the late nineteenth century, for instance, situated the Far North as a strategic frontier for national expansion" (Kellert & Wilson, 1995) . These views of Alaska as remote, rugged, and strategic front ier still influence the perceptions of the environment and health as people who engage with this landscape become rugged themselves. The construction of Alaska as rugged, untrammeled and wild contrasts with the perception of a cruise, especially because cruising became popular in the Caribbean. Many visitors described cognitive dissonance with the idea of going on a (hot and tropical) cruise to (cold and rugged) Alaska. There's a variation on this particular cruise. There's a lot of different nationalit ies. A lot of families, maybe some singles, but appeared to be mostly family oriented and probably just looking for the same adventures as anyone else has been. My observation curiosity I think when you come to Alaska, this is the first time on this type o f cruise I've mostly done the Caribbean, so even the idea a pack of warm gear to go on a cruise it's a very different mindset. I've really enjoyed this time. CS.20 In this case, the history of the cruise ship industry as a primarily warm weather activity c onflicts with the characterization of Alaska as cold. There is some massive cognitive dissonance associated with cruise ship tourism and the Arctic exploration. Even the cruise ships themselves, heavily decorated in tropical colors, with outdoor slides int o pools, ice cream machines, and ample deck chairs, seem to have taken a drastically wrong turn to end up in icy waters.

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96 Weather is also intimately connected to ideas of Alaska. When asked, one cruise ship passenger said: Sara: So, when you are thinking a bout Alaska what did you think of? Interviewee 1: This [gestures around on a warm sunny June day in Skagway]. Interviewee 2: Mountains and little towns. Chilly weather and glaciers. Interviewee 1: Stunningly beautiful, there is nothing that we have s een or been to that is quite like this CS.3 The implication of this is that even when the day they're talking about is (relatively) warm, the conception of cold or chilly Alaska is pervasive. Also, the word choice of stunningly beautiful calls to mind the sublime wilderness rhetoric of Muir both the religious rhetoric and the underpinning sense of fear about the place. Alaska as Beautiful and Scenic Included in this imagery is the uniqueness of Alaska, unlike any place they have seen before. Muir himself uses these constructions: To the lover of pure wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. No excursion that I know of may be made into any other American wilderness where so marvelous an abundance of noble, newborn scenery is so charmingly brought to view. (Muir, travels in Alaska) Alaska is therefore perceived as fundamentally more wild, more beautiful, more new, and more scenic, which intensifies the construction of it being unique. These constructions of Alaska as a place are intimately tied to people's experience of them. One of the runners on the running cruise (described in Chapter 3) distinguished running inside versus outside, and then in a beautiful place versus her neighborhood: Sara: Being outside Ð do you see that as healthy?

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97 Interviewee 1: Absolutely. To me, yeah. Being outside is Ð I couldn't run on the treadmill Ð if it was all indoors all the time. Even in the rain, I'd rather run in the rain. So, I'd love to be outside. Interviewee 2: Yeah, why not somewhere that's beautiful. Our neighborhood doesn't look like this. CS.12 She is constructing Alaska as different outdoors compared with the outdoors of her home. In this way, the beautiful scenery matters in creating her iconic experience. Cronon touches on the s eparateness of wilderness versus common spaces in his essay "The Trouble with Wilderness" (1996). In fact, both neighborhoods in suburban Virginia (where this couple was from), as well as rural Alaska, are outdoors. However, the social construction of Alas ka, as well as the material reality of the mountains, towns, and glaciers combine to influence her experience of running in Alaska as elevated. Sublime nature or scenic beauty of Alaska is constructed as part of the religious and spiritual aspect of Alask an wilderness. The scenery itself provides a context through which people can connect with each other, themselves and even their histories. For one woman, who was on a 4 week road trip with her boyfriend, decided to bring the ashes of her father to Alaska . Interviewee 1: Oh, totally. My spiritual well being, right? Ð Like, I'm going to cry. It feels awesome. YeahÉ [cries] I always wanted to take my dad to Alaska, and he died 13 years ago. So, I took his ashes. Sara : And where did you put the ashes? Interv iewee 1: Ward Lake. We went out to Ward Lake. There was a salmon corral. So there was a whole bunch of salmon coming in there. The deal was warm water with my dad. He always wanted to go in the warm water. So, I've been taking him to springs and stuff. But I was like, "Alright dad; the sun's on it. You're just going to have to deal. Don't be too mad." And then we were out Ð where were we? Were we out in Juneau? Where did we hike? Where did we hike when we were Ð no, it was when we were in Haines. It was whe n we were in Haines. We hiked out to look at Rainbow Glacier, to look over there. So I took his picture out, and I was kind of helping him face the glacier, and I was like, "Well dad, what do you think?" And a horsefly came a bit me, so I was like, "Okay, this is a no. He doesn't want to be here." [Laughs] So like those little kinds of things, right? Where you just have moments where you get to be quiet in the wildernessÉ And Alaska, it gets so quiet. I mean, in Crater Lake in Oregon it was beautifully quie t too. Like I'm really impressed with how lovely that is. And it really does make you feel

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9 8 like you're away from everything. And it's not like I've had super major epiphanies that I haven't been capable of having, but it's just been nice to just sit with t hem for a little while, you know? Sara: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Interviewee 1: So, we appreciated it. We want to come back. You're making me cry. Sara: Sorry. You have some tissues in there too. IT3.2 For this participant, engaging with Alaska and its scenery, beauty, and nature was where she chose to connect with her deceased father. Ultimately this created one of the more emotional interviews, where both the participant and I cried as I could see how significant this experience was for her and her relationshi p with her father. As this is such an emotionally laden activity and topic, it is significant that she chose Alaska to do it in. For her, Alaska represented the height of nature, the height of scenery and where she wanted to connect with her father in a wa y she had wanted to when he was alive. While not explicitly within discrete areas of health, she does mention mental and spiritual health that spreading her father's ashes was a profoundly spiritual and healing process. That she mentions silence and true wilderness in the quote says to me that she was seeking solitude and sublime nature for the symbolic act of spreading his ashes. Alaska as sublime nature, a place set apart from the rest, is essential to the construction of this experience (Drenning, 2013) . The construction of Alaska as true wilderness, or sublime nature, is necessary for the creation of the ritual activity of spreading ashes. The construction mixes with the lived reality of the landscape as pretty to create the experience and combination of emotions that she describes. Yeah, so I was in the Marine Corps. I did two combat deployments that were incredibly stressful, rela tively high casualties and injuries within the group I was in. The stuff I was doing was also high stress, just inherently, I was doing Ð clearing roadside bombs, doing combat patrols, clearing weapons caches Ð so high stress stuff. And then basically when that's over they kind of just dump you back into the United States, and it's so of like, "Well, here you go. Readjust." And without very much guidance I was a little bit of a lost puppy for a brief period of

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99 time and then one of the things that a family f riend said was just to go get out in nature: go camping, go somewhere where the natural beauty is the overwhelming thing and that that will only, without any added input from you being in an environment like that will help calm you down and sort of let you collect your thoughts, and I think that was really sound and solid advice and kind of pushed me in a much better direction than I probably would have gone otherwise NPS.6 For this ranger, "Anthony," it was his experience being immersed by nature that faci litated his healing. For "Anthony" being in nature calmed him down, or provided stress relief. This quote fits squarely within the stress relief discourses of Chapter 3. "Anthony" uses the foils of his high stress activities of being a Marine to contrast t he calming effect of nature. As being in nature can also be dangerous in Alaska there are frequently earthquakes, storms, and wildlife to consider he is deliberately constructing it as calming. The construction of Alaska as a scenic place is facilitati ng his feelings of health through stress relief. Photo One, Skagway Nature Scene This photo was taken off to the side of a bridge near the town of Skagway. It shows Mount Harding, its glacier, and in the foreground, some dandelions. To many, it may be just a beautiful photograph, but using landscape analysis, we can see the history of landscape paintings from the Photo 4 : Photo One, Skagway

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100 early production of the idea of Landschaft in German. This photo, seemingly just, there, has different meanings to different people. One of t he more amusing quotes is by a ranger who has spent many seasons in Skagway. When viewing this picture, he said: Dandelions. I like that photo 'cause it makes me think of dandelions because it makes me think of bears eating dandelions and getting drunk. B ut it's just a beautiful view of our mountains here that I think is one of my most iconic images of Skagway, the heart and Harding mountain with the glacier in the background. It's just picturesque. Words can't describe it. And it's a very, very beautiful town. NPS.10 Here he's connecting the possible presence of a bear with the natural landscape around him, which to me says that he is viewing this as an untouched "natural" area. Most dandelions grow in disturbed areas, and there is little evidence that bea rs can become intoxicated by eating them 5 . Still, these are all descriptions that are constructing an image of sublime nature, or the word the participant uses, picturesque. The very beauty of the landscape is part of the puzzle that constructs this area a s set apart or special. The grand, picturesque beauty of Alaska is constructed as sublime or beauty so magnificent that it produces awe. Participants construct the experience of awe within the realm of spiritual health, as explored in Chapter 3. The idea of scenery or sublime nature is reflected in this quote: "the wilderness that's peaceful. I guess I could be spiritual too maybe God but not sure, not necessarily God" BK.13 . Regardless if this backpacker is connecting the landscape to organized religion, she is relating it to spirituality and spiritual health. It's intimately connected to the characterization of these landscapes as peaceful or health producing. 5 The proportions are the problem; a grizzly bear would have to eat its body weight in dandelions to feel intoxicated.

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101 The feelings evoked by sublime nature, or awe, are so often talked about in common language t hat have lost some of their power. As Cronon describes awe and sublime, For the early romantic writers and artists who first began to celebrate it, the sublime was far from a pleasurable experienceÉ[he] experienced an emotion remarkably close to terrorÉ a religious experience, akin to that of the Old Testament prophets as they conversed with their wrathful God. (1996) Instead, many people talk about the peaceful and calming aspects of being in nature, ignoring the intense and distressing experiences. A cou ple traveling together from Texas on a cruise ship were struggling with the experience of this type of terrifying awe. In looking at the photo, their primary experience is how it's hard to take in the fact that it's of a real place: Participant 1: It was j ust amazing to me because it's real, the postcard. Like I said it almost looks fake. Like almost like it's been drawn or photoshop and when you see it in real life it's like wow it really is ten times more beautiful than the postcard. Participant 2: Yeah, when you were looking at a picture it is just like pretty, but when you see it in real life you're like in awe. Like majesty a little. Open, in ten times as big than it felt on the little postcard, CS.17 In this quote, the wife is experiencing dissociatio n from nature inspired awe. This is a well documented phenomenon in the psychological literature which they describe as an "intense aesthetic experience" including feelings of awe, connectedness, wonder and fascination (Cohen et al., 1986; Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, & Beaty, 2015) . The experience also has roots in how nature is constructed, as a place where these aesthetic experiences take place. The experience of awe, of majesty and openness are all corollaries of the spiritual health d iscussed in Chapter 3 and are rooted in the historical construction of nature. The cruise ship passengers are drawing heavily on narratives of authenticity. Much of this is related to the postcard idea itself. Postcards featuring landscapes are legacies o f the landscape paintings that were intimately involved in the production of the idea of the landscape itself

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102 (Olwig, 1996) . But the postcard is a representation of the landscape, not the landscape as a representation of the postc ard. Placing the postcard in an actual landscape as these participants knew they were of the surrounding area instead of a hypothetical Alaska is what I hypothesize brings about the cognitive dissonance. I would postulate that they are talking about th e feeling of being in the material landscape rather than referencing the photo itself. Photo Two, People by Smuggler's Cove The significant difference of photo two from photo one is this photo contains two people, in the lower right corner, framed by two blades of grass. The presence of humans came up with many of the people viewing the photo as the most salient discernable difference. The presence of humans provides a context to explore how participants view interacting with people in landscapes. This ph oto provides an opportunity to explore the idea of social health and solitude as constructions of health in nature (more thoroughly explored in Chapter 3). Interestingly, this photo evoked more language that relates to therapeutic landscapes, or landscape s that produce health, than photo one. One cruise ship passenger said of the photo; "Calm. Relaxing. Definitely solitude. Not a lot of stress" CS.20. This is interesting, as the cruise ship passengers saw solitude, when others saw two people being social. Stress relief is in nature Photo 5 : People by Smu ggler's Cove

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103 as well as a solitary, adventurous pursuit, as discussed in Chapter 3. Another cruise ship passenger said, "I like the people sitting there together enjoying the view that makes you feel good" CS.17. The idea or explanation of th e complex mechanism that produces health in scenic environments is distilled into the simple explanation that it just feels good but it also related to social health. However, not all people were more enamored with photo two compared with photo one. I h ypothesize that the people's presence in the photo allowed some people to see themselves in the landscape, while it hindered other's appreciation: With the people in it, there are people that to me also it doesn't evoke the same feeling I think without th e flowers more than ocean the ocean like setting. Having the people there, they really change it for me. A lot. It's not a serene place. I'm really simplistic about it, but it's true. I'd really like to be really alone. The flowers before [Photo One] it's like you can hide among them. You can be within them. There's not as much of a place to hide or to be withdrawn. You're there with everyone else NPS.17 The underlying thought of this quote is of crowding versus solitude, also with the idea if you are putti ng yourself in the place of the people in the photo or if you're viewing them as competition. For this ranger, only solitude in nature is going to produce health, whereas for the cruise ship passenger it is healthy to be with people. Embedded in this disco urse is the idea of crowding and solitude, as well as what makes up a positive health giving experience in nature. For this ranger, solitude produces health, which is connected to the individual level orientation connection to health as discussed in Chapte r 3. For one of the rangers, this photograph captures quintessential Alaska: That makes me think of Alaska because you have the beautiful mountains on a nice, sunny day, which I guess isn't typical Alaska. But Smuggler's Point is just a great spot. And g uests, I think, who go out there, they share that moment. And even us who live here, when we go out there, I think every time is unique. And you're truly happy to be out there, whether or not it's raining or beautiful day. NPS.10

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104 The weather, mentioned in the quote, is a fundamental part of the Alaskan experience, as it is constructed as part of what makes it the natural state (Kollin, 2001) . Embedded within this quote is also the idea of the social benefit of engaging with the park; that e xperiences with this type of scenery provide cohesion to relationships. Another ranger found this as well and connected it to Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods , or the idea of "nature deficit disorder" (Louv, 2008) : Smuggler's Cove also another beautiful place that looks like some people are having some time for themselves. This reminds me of nature deficit disorder, every c hild in the woods. Just being and the wild or natural place. Nature surrounding you, it's just healthy to sit there and the outdoors and be in the now. And actual surroundings we've done this I think we have where people belong. We're linked with that [nat ure] more than we think we are NPS.9. For this ranger, the photo of two people outside can fit within the argument of the book that children are spending less time in nature and are having adverse health effects because of it. Characterizing this trend in the medicalized disordered language gives the idea legitimacy and fits it into a health framework, and so it is applied to the photo. She also references the biophilia hypothesis on how humans are "linked" to nature more than we realize. Her quote is one of the more explicit connections of this landscape as a health producing place. Photo two provided insights into participants' understanding of health in nature as a solitary or social pursuit, of weather and medicalized discourses of health in nature. Ru gged Alaska These conceptions are also placed on the built landscapes of Alaska. Instead of viewing the towns and cities as half of the urban and nature binary, they are folded into the idea of Alaska's naturalness. In the quote from above, the interviewe e, a cruise ship passenger, mentions "little towns" in the same breath as mountains, glaciers, and cold weather. The inclusion of cities in these constructions makes the city itself more "natural" or "quaint," much like the historical inclusion of bucolic farmers and farmland in the landscape paintings of the 19 th century. The

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105 people and the buildings themselves become naturalized parts of the environment and the landscape, and both are constructed as rugged or natural. The idea of natural or rural is con structed as an anecdote to more substantial, busier cities. Escaping from busy, crowded and "disease ridden" cities to "healthy" nature has a legacy in the Progressive Era (Ray, 2009) . One couple from New York only knew of Alaska through the popular television show, "Northern Exposure." Sara: Can you tell me more about what you expected Alaska to be like and how this fits or doesn't? Interviewee 1: Like "Northern Exposure." Befo re we came that's all we'd seen was "Northern Exposure." Interviewee 2: We grew up in the city Ð we're from New York and New Jersey, so just living on top of people all the time. Pollution. Crime. And everything else. So, I guess it was something of fant asy because I've never been here. You know, you watch it in movies and so forth but I love it. CS.12 As a frequent subject of film, television, and favorite novels, Alaska is regularly implicated in seeming both rural and natural. This construction extends to the tourism industry which "regularly celebrates the isolation of Alaska as a selling point even as tourists are moving in air conditioned comfort to fairly remote locations" (Hogan & Pursell, 2008) . Even if parts of Alaska are no longer as rural as Wyoming or Montana, the discourse around the remoteness of Alaska is alive, as are the harshness and challenges of being in a cold, dark, isolated and wild place. These perceptions play into the construction of Alaska's residents as rugged them selves and as more connected to the land. One cruise ship passenger was confused seeing power lines. To me, all of Alaska should be a national park. It's more natural, you know than towns and cities. We were coming into Juneau, and we saw just as one moun tain along the shore and saw that there were power lines. And it's like, why do they have power lines out here? I didn't realize we were that close to Juneau. But they were no houses there, why did they have power lines out there? But I want electricity at my house. CS.6

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106 Again, the interviewee expresses cognitive dissonance with Alaska as a rugged frontier, but when evidence of "civilization" comes forth, it is confusing. The historical ideas of wilderness and frontier placed on this landscape that is conti nued with Alaska itself, to the point that urban areas become seen as incongruent with the landscape. These narratives of Alaska as rugged coalesce and extend into the narratives how people are engaging with the landscape. These narratives of purity, adv enture, and a challenge then influence the perceived health benefits for visitors. Purity, which I will discuss more fully in a later section, is intimately associated with Alaska. Waterways and glaciers are constructed as pure, which is seen in this quot e: What about Alaska? Well, it's a tremendous adventure. It's the last frontier and um, things are clean in Alaska. The water. The people, I haven't found any dirty people at all [laughter] CS.11 Many of the constructions of Alaska as an adventure, as t he last frontier are playing out in this quote. However, it is his construction of clean which is most interesting. Typically, nature is somewhat dirty with actual dirt, mud, insects, wild animals. However, this dirt in its correct place in nature is actually correct and therefore not unclean (M. Douglas, 2003) . It is his focus on w ater as clean. Again, I will discuss this more fully in analyzing purity discourses, but here we can see that it is intimately connected with the construction of Alaska itself. Alaska as Natural As an interpretive ranger, I began almost every tour askin g visitors about what they think about when they think of Alaska. The most frequent responses were about glaciers, mountains, trees, the weather, and above all else, wildlife. Alaska as a state is constructed as the height of nature (Kollin, 2001) , and those who engage with it are more natural themselves and therefore more healthy. Wildlife, as representations of nature, often relate to the experience. For example:

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107 Sara: Can you tell me more about adventure and frontier? Interviewee 1: Well , look at the wildlife Alaska has. They have the caribou and the elk and the deer, and I think the moose. And bear. I think a variety of bears. Every other wildlife that's around, other than those that are in the tropics. It's just a natural haven for them . The eagles. Nowhere else in the world do you see this many eagles. CS.11 The perception is that Alaska is a special place due to the diversity of animals. While there may be eagles in other places, it's the number of eagles that is impressive. By viewin g animals frequently by checking them off a list of Alaskan wildlife visitors can become more intimately connected with nature and wildlife. The connection to nature relates to the conquering nature trope discussed in the gender section of Chapter 3. T he cruise passenger who is a police officer in Tennessee talked about his unease about being in Alaskan nature without being armed: Interviewee: We're going backpacking today Sara: Really? Interviewee: To go off on our own I'll be perfectly honest wi th you I don't really want to go off the path, not armed. Because he's [the bear] there. They're not friendly bears. They are looking at me they're looking at a meal. I would have to have my pistol on my hip. Since we're not allowed to carry [on] those a irplanes and things I didn't bring it. CS.4 The participant is enacting his masculinity through this landscape through domination narratives. The argument behind the quote is that if he were allowed, he would be able to dominate the bears. As Alaskan narra tives focus on bears and bear attacks, this "feeds the popular idea that such attacks prove that Alaska is still wilderness to be feared rather than one that has been tamed" (Hogan & Pursell, 2008) . The maintenance of Alaska as a frontier ser ves to reify the characterization of people interacting with it as rugged and their activities as challenging and adventurous.

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108 The surrounding narrative challenge was most apparent among the Chilkoot hikers. Unlike the cruise ship visitor referenced abov e, this backpacker was talking about intimately experiencing nature. Yeah the challenge it does just have a great reward to it, it allows us to look back and say that was something special as opposed to I have to go back to my Instagram feed to remember A laska BK.3 Interestingly he places the memory of Alaska in juxtaposition with social media further separating them. The challenge and the embodied suffering on the trail are directly related to the idea of conquering the frontier days of the Gold Rush, a nd to the embodied experience of the trail. This embodied experience translates into the construction of hiking the trail as physical health. I will explore this historical connection in a later section. It is also related to the gendered idealism of hik ing the trail as discussed in previous sections. Hiking the trail serves to have an experience within nature and juxtaposing it with cities and city life highlight the difference. The creation of nature by differentiating it from the urban: [The trans cendentalists] saw nature as fundamentally apart from modern civilization and as an antidote to the ills of modernity. In other words, they put the human body in nature because they saw a need to regain a state of authenticity and purity they felt had been lost in urban industrial civilization, and in doing so, created ideas of nature that they imposed on real environments. (Drenning, 2013, p. 557) This quote talks about a continuation of nature urban binary and takes it to an end where it reinforces the very nature it is trying to construct. Sara: Is this at all connected to your experience of health? Participant: Menta lly, probably [laughter]. Participant 2: Oh my gosh yes getting out of the urban environment that we live in, it's just so peaceful and relaxing for sure

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109 Participant 1: I've been backpacking for three months every day, more on the trail I'm really thinki ng, I'm going to struggle to go back and sit in my desk [everyone agreeing]. I get used to these views, and in the simplicity of life and backpacking, it's just great. Participant 2: You walk, and you eat, and you sleep, those are what you have to do. Par ticipant 1: No car. No stress at work it's just you and nature basically. Participant 2: When we were leaving we were like yeah we have our most important things our water filter. Then we were leaving, and I thought well the most important thing we have is our passports and I just thought wow this sucks laughter]. I'm like well that's less fun BK.7 Much like in Chapter 3, the construction of wilderness as separate and distinct from cities provides relief from stress. This legacy of the shift from nature as something to be conquered to a health producing place is interwoven with the construction of nature to a discourse about stress relief, as discussed in Chapter 3. Also, the symbolism of Alaska is explicitly evoking nature and is aiding in this constru ction of relaxing nature as distinct from stressful cities. Alaska as Adventure Another part of the rhetoric of Alaska, also connected with the masculine pursuit of adventure, is the idea that solitary adventures are the preferred way of experiencing natu re. Individual level pursuit of adventure is connected to the individual level production of health and is embedded in Americans' individualist discourse. Part of the construction of the frontier is that people are performing the man against nature dualism . While partnerships are celebrated, for example, many of Robert Service's poems about the "Great North" involve explorations of partnerships; fundamentally people are seeking adventure alone. The adventure is reconstructed in the rhetoric around solitude and crowding. Many backpackers expected to be surrounded by more people and were pleasantly surprised at the feeling of being remote. I figured there would be some really remote locations would like fifty of our best friends, and that did happen, it feel s more remote to me than some busy hikes. I thought it was going to be more of a Mule Train and that I was going to feel like I was in a line of people, but really you do get spread out. It's just so big and beautiful, and there's just no one else around e xcept for us. BK.12

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110 The underlying assumptions of this quote are that it's better to feel alone and being alone facilitates feelings of being in the wilderness, which then produces health. The participant references "fifty of our best friends" because that is how many permits are allowed to cross the Chilkoot Pass per day. For many backpackers, this way of regulating how many people are on the trail is somewhat hidden, but this interviewee had a history in Canadian park management. The park service is delib erately trying to control the experience of the visitors to match their expectations of a solitary Alaska, as well as reduce the impact on the trail of so many hikers. Photo Seven, Crossing the Bridge This photo is of a woman, hiking across a suspension b ridge on the Chilkoot trail. For many, this image evoked feelings about fear, aging, and backpacking. Challenge and adversity are intertwined in the conquering natu re discourse, and are connected to the production of health through overcoming challenge. One cruise ship passenger said: Photo 6 : Photo 8, Walking Across Chilkoot Bridge

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111 Participant1: Beautiful but scary. Sara: Can you tell me more about scary? Participant: Well just look at that she could fall and kill herself I'm 65 years old, and I can never do that. But it looks like fun for her though . Sara: Was there a time when you would have wanted to do that? Participant: Oh yes when I was much younger. CS.13 Interestingly, the woman in the photograph is my former roommate and at the time of the photo, was 73, yet the participant didn't know thi s. The idea of age relates to the section on identity in Chapter 3 and how age affects the perception of what is and isn't possible in the outdoors. The cruise ship passenger is excluding herself from the narrative because of age, which was a common critiq ue of cruise ship passengers; which is reinforced by the strength and rugged narratives of the trail. One backpacker said, "we're going to conquer if you don't get an idea of the steepness though, I've never seen it I hope to see it" BK.1. Conquering uses gendered rhetoric seen in the section about masculinity and Alaska. Fear is also playing a role here. Many people identified that the woman in the photo is afraid of the bridge, but also how she "overcame" her fear to continue. A large part of the discours e of engaging with nature is overcoming adversary, and if that adversary is in Alaska, it is constructed as even more impressive, and therefore healthier. One of the rangers said: Just makes me think of the Chilkoot Trail, the adventure you're going on, th ese bridges you cross and the mountains you're going up and over. And a lot of people who go on it Ð I mean, this is the first time you experience anything like that. So, it's truly unique. You can tell she's looking kinda terrified, but also, she's lookin g like she's kinda having fun, too. And that's what a lotta the trail is. It's you pushing yourself and making the best of it. NPS.10 This experience follows the same pattern of overcoming something in service of purification or transcendence. It's in a lo t of the narrative about the trail.

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112 Another observation from this photo concerned the logistics of building the trail, and the material objects that allow people to interact with nature. Trails, while sometimes seeming natural, must have huge amounts of resources, manpower and logistics to build. Some other backpackers thought concerning function. One group said this: Participant 1: I like when I was going over that I thought this is a great use of my tax dollars, you know what I'm saying. I mean they ma intain the trail well I don't want it to be exactly like 1898 you know. On the other hand, it's both authentic and it safe and it makes it easy to say yeah that's something I can pay for. Participant 2: something like this shows really something you know somebody designed that I come from an engineering background so and look at that and I get inspired by something like that it's like ahh, somebody I mean I'm thinking about that helicopter that brought that down there. Participant 1: I think about those p oor sods who carrying all that stuff BK.3. This quote is evidence of the nostalgic and authentic narratives. In the same sentence, the participant contradicts himself about authenticity that it isn't like it's 1898. For this participant, that the bridge is safe is enough. But it is authentic enough for him to imagine what it would have been like for the stampeders, without having to experience it like "the poor sods carrying all that stuff." The material objects like this bridge allow for this experience , but it is not entirely in line with an 1898 experience where people would have had to cross the river themselves. He explicitly says that he doesn't need it to be like 1898, content to experience a simulacrum of the stampeder experience in exchange for his safety. Safety and risk have implications for how hiking the trail produces health, it is enough to experience the trail as it is today as that has enough risks associated with it. One of the backpackers was inspired by the bridge and the fact that th e materials had to be flown in. I suspect that many take for granted the hard work involved in creating and maintaining the trail. The steps, bridges, drainage areas and well marked trails fade, for some,

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113 into a naturalized landscape. This seemingly natura l landscape particularly becomes evident when contrasting the American side of the trail to the Canadian half. Different policies are reflected in the amount of trail work done on each half, as well as other functional details (for example, the NPS provide s toilet paper on the American side, Parks Canada doesn't offer it). The function of this is to hide this work by humans for the landscape to become naturalized, or a duplicitous landscape (Daniels, 1989) . These participants are actively looking past the natural ized trail into the work it takes for them to have access into the backcountry, and are both saying that it is worth the tradeoff. They can still experience of health in the Chilkoot without bodily risking injury or death and can get closer to that rugged, conquering experience. Photo Eight, Long Hill, Chilkoot Trail This is a photo of a woman backpacking the Chilkoot, approximately 11 miles from the 33 mile trail. She's recently finished climbing what is known as "long hill 6 " and is standing in the fog. She'll be approaching the golden staircase shortly, which is the famous part of the trail that includes the summit. This photo, for many, evoked thoughts about the rugged individual's pursuit 6 This hill truly is long (and a hill) and is the majority of the elevation gain on the hike. Photo 7 : Photo 8, Long Hill

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114 of adventure. One cruise ship passenger said, "She's out there . Same thing [as photo seven]. That they're wet and they're tired, but they're getting it done, and that's great" CS.8. This quote calls into focus the narrative of being impressive or doing a difficult feat for the admiration, cultural capital. This cruis e ship passenger says this of the trail: Participant: Adventure. Sara: Is that something you would want to do? Participant: I have ankle and knee issues and so probably not but I think it does look like fun the first thing on my mind was pain CS.20. Th is woman would fit into the age and ability narrative. It's not that she doesn't want to do the trail, it's that it would be difficult for her to do so. This photo also evokes ideas of Alaska and how it characterized as cold and remote. Southeast Alaska is a different beast than the interior, as reflected by this backpacker: That definitely reminds me of the first time I had to do the Chilkoot. It was raining the whole time, typical Southeast Alaska weather cloudy, rainy and wet. Enjoyable it doesn't look super steep at that part, not too bad, usual typical Alaska. BK.4 Underlying this statement is how wet and rainy it was, and most likely not as pleasant as other trips could be. Several rangers who had just completed the hike said this: Participant 2: C hallenging. Participant 1: Miserable. Participant 2: The weather is a huge challenge. Yeah, this case nature is not calming where you can sit and positively reflect and be calm. NPS.3 Adverse weather, even if it is part of the narrative of Alaska, is unp leasant nonetheless. It also flies in the face of the idea of nature as always calming, always a therapeutic landscape compared with photos 1 and 2. The discourse of stress relief cannot be applied to this type of nature experience, and is more in line wit h the conquering trope. Confronting nature is part of the

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115 construction of the rugged hiker, who is actively engaging with the landscape, and producing health by overcoming challenging. Weather and types of experience have a significant influence on what ki nd of health benefits someone describes as what is health producing. Alaska and Crowding The construction of Alaska as remote and natural is in direct contrast to perceptions of Skagway as incredibly crowded. One backpacker said of cruise ship passengers; "we way prefer this [Chilkoot] to the crowds at Disneyland, it can be fun, but we say no to the crowds on the cruise ship" BK.9 . The participant's idea of Skagway matches some of the characterizations of cruise ship passengers as herd animals or passive e xplorers. Many of the cruise ship passengers are from heavily urbanized areas and did not even consider a 10,000 person cruise ship day to be crowded. Participant 1: Even with an entire cruise ship, it felt empty. I can go to the mall down the street the re are just as many people around as there would be on a cruise ship. So, that's actually pretty normal. Sara: That's something I haven't understood Participant 1: There's no traffic [gesturing at Skagway] Participant 2: Yeah this seems like there's almo st no people around actually. It seems very, compared to where we're from [New Jersey]. Participant 1: You have three cruise ships in port right now, and this is like deserted to us. CS.9 This experience is relative to the person's expectations and their idea of what Alaska or wilderness would be. For many, especially those expecting the frontier or a more solitary experience on the trail, the busy streets of Skagway do not match with this. For others, it does. These histories and narratives of Alaska bei ng far away, remote, cold, other and natural influence how people experience health here. The rugged, big, natural uniqueness of Alaska obfuscates how we're seeing people experience health. This is the duplicity of the landscape

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116 (Daniels, 1989) . The connection between nature and health become both more extreme, more wild and remote leading to more extensive adventures and more significant stories. These stories then serve to delineate who can experience health benefits with engaging with the landscape, much lik e the moral discourse discussed in Chapter 3. While someone in an urban park could be doing low impact activities such as a walk, a leisurely bike ride, contemplation of nature these same activities in Alaska would seem incongruous with the histories and stories of these landscapes. Photo Nine, Pantheon Saloon The crowding of Skagway is evident in this photo, of a historic building, the Pantheon Saloon. It was also the site of a speakeasy in Skagway in the early 20 th century when prohibition came to A laska earlier than the rest of the United States. Currently, it serves as the junior ranger center, or children's activity area. It is also located on Broadway, the busiest street in Skagway, which came up for many participants. Photo 8 : Photo 9, Pantheon Saloon

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117 An independent traveler was saying how much she enjoys that Skagway is booming economically. She spoke of this photo: But you'd have these pictures with no people, and you'd go, "Wow. Nobody goes there." So, no. That is a good thing. Probably I would want maybe a few less people in the shot, but it shows that there are people here. IT.4 The quote is indicative of somewhat ambivalent feelings of people who live in Skagway and work with tourists. Although outside the scope of this work, I found that to be a prevailing sentiment t hat without the cruise ship industry there would be few jobs, the crowding is also unpleasant. Others see it as not reflecting what they thought Alaska would be: Participant 1: I like learning about history and going in. Participant 2: I'm from Montana, and you know all these little towns, and there's just not so many people, and I had never seen a cruise ship in my life. And I had no idea they were so big. When I saw Skagway, and there's so many people in that town just it was crazy. It was overwhelming for me. Participant 1: For me too. That kind of causes me angst having to walk places and ago and see all of those people. BK.11 For this group, backpackers, having this many people is less desirable. However, all the money that funds the restoration of the trail, the salaries of trail maintenance crews, trail rangers and trail improvements are directly related to the high rents the park charges in town due to increased retail traffic from cruise ship tourism. Backpackers are disdainful of crowds, seeing themselves as engaging with the park in a better way, but cruise ship tourism is also the origin of many of the amenities of the trail. The reality of the crowds contrasts with the construction of Alaska as an empty wilderness, thus depriving some of it o f its cultural capital. As backpackers

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118 and independent travelers have the means to escape the crowds, 7 it bolsters their ideas of superiority in experiencing Alaska. Thus the crowds delegitimize the Alaskan experience, constructing the cruise ship as a les s healthy experience. History and Historical Connection Part of the analysis of KLGO includes its status as a National Historical Park. Separate from designations of National Parks, Historical Parks are preserving part of America's historical and cultural roots. This designation, as well as its location in Alaska, influence ways in which people think about the land today and then influence how people feel about health in these areas. In the case of Alaska, the histories of the frontier and white frontier s ettlement are ignored in favor use of the extreme climate and distinctive landscapes. This construction provides a fertile stage for nostalgic references that may serve to tie various groups living in the state together (Pursell et al., 2009) . The historical nature of the Klondike Gold Rush is so interlaced with ideas of the frontier, of nature and wilderness, that it becomes difficult to separate the threads. In this location, how some people interact with the landscape, is viewed through a historical lens. The purpose of the designation of the park was to preserve the history, and for some visitors, this is also the main reason to visit the park. For some, it evokes a feeling of nostalgia or "an emotional yearning for times and places that can never be attained" (Pursell et al., 2009) . Others use the story of the Klondike as a metaphor for the s ettling of the American West or as a reminder of the colonial history of conquering. It is these multiplicities of ideas that are ripe for examining using a landscape lens. To many, histories of the frontier are obfuscated by the simple "realities" of a h istorical, Gold Rush Era town. One woman from Illinois, said of the town, " to me, it is pretty much 7 Even though the trail is r egulated to 50 people over the pass per day, the experience of hiking is usually of fewer people.

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119 exactly what it is, a Gold Rush town where time just stopped. Not in a bad way, it's charming; it's no doubt about it" CS.3 . I imagine by this answer; she t hought the question about what the town represented to her was a bit insane. Almost as if asking why the sky is blue, or if water is wet. The town is what it is a charming gold rush town is also the very essence of the "duplicity" of the landscape (Daniels, 1989) as it hides the hard legislative work it took to have the area designated as a historical site; the millions of dollars, years of experts and continuing maintenance for it to look like a place that is old. The town of Skagway seems much different th an it did in the 1970s when the park was first created. In its reconstruction, renovation, and preservation, it is evoking simplistic narratives of the frontier while obscuring the multi million dollar modern contemporary site. Regarding how the percepti ons of KLGO are connected to health, one person talked about the designation of it as a historical park as a barrier to producing health. As it wasn't much of a "nature park" it wasn't producing the same types of health benefits: And I'm not thinking abou t National Historical Parks. Because it's a different kind of thing. That's not, those parks where you get out in natureÉ This is more of an educational park. You know, when I go to a park, I do the visitor center thing. Historical parks are where you're s pending a lot of time reading. It's a different kind of thing. And here again I have bear phobia, but just the amount of time I could do hikes around here, which aren't always part of the park. But I didn't go out to Dyea, either. The time and logistics t hing, mostly, so it might be a little bit different there. But yeah National Historical Parks are a lot of reading and staring at buildings. It's a different kind of thing. IT.1 This participant did mention Dyea, and by extension, the Chilkoot, as exempt f rom the "intellectualizing" of historic parks, which is interesting as theoretically at least, the trail is similarly historic as the buildings. It gives us a glimpse into how people are thinking about historical engagement, and in this case, the history o f nature trumps the history of the town. Again, reinforcing urban/nature dualisms.

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120 This connection to history was a motivation for many people to hike the Chilkoot. While certainly not all, many people were hiking the trail for other reasons, the reason th e Chilkoot is designated as a historic site is to preserve the land stampeders used to get to the Yukon. One backpacker put it this way: The thing I love about this trail is to think about what did the people in 1898. How were they thinking? They were ste pping here too, with all of their thousand pounds of stuff. And here all I have, it feels like a hundred pounds but probably isn't. It always puts it into perspective for me, going hats off to them. I'm doing it in honor of them because they paved this tra il for us and I'm grateful BK.5. In this quote, the backpacker is evoking a particular type of nostalgia for the hard work and the perseverance of the trail. The backpackers may be engaging more intensely with bodily involvement but still may not be closer to the actual events but to the story of the struggle of man against nature. These narratives help people reenact a period of history and stories that are associated with it and with Alaska and with the conquering of the frontier, intersecting with narrat ives of Alaska, masculinity and physical transcendence. The narrative embraced by the park service and one that is in the promotional and educational materials represented in this quote. It obscures many of the other historical tensions and ideas of the c ontested land of Southeast Alaska. The Chilkoot is in an area that historically was controlled by the Tlingit group who lived in Dyea, then claimed by Russia 8 , annexed by the US and then an attempt for Canada to claim access to the ocean (Berton, 2003) . Yeah, they've really let on that it just wasn't the prospectors that came up here and discovered the gold. It was the indigenous people that discovered it. And led them to the first claim, yeah. And it took them a while to acknowledge it in Western society that they were actually, and still, there's pap erwork out there that states that we still own the Chilkoot trail. But very interestingly 8 Russia certainly had a colony in Alaska the headquarters were in Sitka and there is no evidence of Russians in Skagway.

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121 enough, the Yukon comes in, and they put this big border in between which split all the families and relatives apart that we were unable to traverse back and forth be cause of some, they divided the indigenous peoples that way. Even on the Haines [Alaska] side, it's called, you go through a little strip of land, it's called British Columbia. British Columbia. You know? And the border was built for them, not for us. But there, they had succeeded in splitting the people, we're still trying to reconnect with everybody up in the interior, and that's what I do now. I bring people together that were apart for 50 years, they never knew who their relatives were, and I connected them back together. I do a lot of work over across the border. IT.2 While the narrative of the park service has changed in the recent decade, the historical view was that indigenous people become part of the landscape become part of the package to be conqu ered (Kollin, 2001) . The contested land between Alaska and Canada takes up a lot of the story, and so as we consider ingenious perspectives, it becomes clear how much this is missing from the mainstream experience of backpackers. The view of KLGO as a historic park seems to come up frequently when talking about the buildings and then asking specifically about it on the trail. The meanings of nostalgia and historical involvement are constructing a history which reinforces a narrative about the people who live and interact with it. This narrative is of the rugged frontier individual, conquering nature, and thereby producing health by engaging with this nature. How people view this landscape as producing health also has origins of observing na ture as separate or purer than it's the dirty, the congested antithesis of a city, as discussed in the stress narrative section in Chapter 3. Purity and Fresh Air The discourses of purity, cleanliness, and pollution are all inscribed upon the landscape of wilderness at KLGO. Although they are a different discourse from different times, they coalesce onto the same area and obscure the social work that creates these ideas. As they have various meanings depending on social locations, the effect is that this l andscape is one that produces health. The historical context of KLGO at the end of the 19 th century is also one which has a legacy in the thoughts about how health is produced in nature. As Mitman describes,

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122 With expanding industrialization, escalating im migration, and the closing of the frontier, American came to regard nature, not as a place a part of themselves, but as a place apart from the decadence and decay of urban landscapes and the human b odies that inhabited them (2005, p. 195). Also, the chang ing conceptions of health and illness influenced by the adoption of germ theory helped reinforce the divide of humans and nature, city, and country; which helped to invite the tensions of nature/purity/health versus city/impurity/ill health, which I hypoth esize underlies many thoughts about how health is produced in nature. These ideas of how place produces health and well being are reflected in how visitors and employees of KLGO talk about health. As part of the fieldwork, I interviewed several members of a specialized running cruise to Alaska. Among discussions of why it's better to run in Alaska in the summer than the Caribbean the other cruise ship choice was the salient idea of fresh air impacting exercise. This conversation is with a couple who wer e participating in the running cruise: Sara: Being outside Ð do you see that as healthy? Interviewee 1: Absolutely. To me, yeah. Being outside is Ð I couldn't run on the treadmill Ð if it was all indoors all the time. Even in the rain, I'd rather run in the rain. So, I'd love to be outside. Interviewee 2: Yeah, why not somewhere that's beautiful. Our neighborhood doesn't look like this. Interviewee 1: And the air is clean. But in Anchorage there was fires, and it still smelled clear. It still smelled c leaner; you can just breath the air, it ' s clean. CS.12 In this quote, there are a couple of ideas underlying the conception of health in nature. The first, which I previously discussed, is the idea of beauty and scenery or sublime wilderness as a healt h producing agent. The second is this idea the idea of clean air. Regardless of actual pollutants, the runner even mentions forest fires in Anchorage. Nevertheless, she views the wild Alaskan air as purer than her air at home. While it does confirm evidenc e in the public health

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123 literature, that people are more likely to enjoy exercising outdoors than at home, outdoor exercise has a deeper history (Bodin & Hartig, 2003) . There is a long history in American environmentalism of usi ng air as a health producing agent. In the continental US, it was one of the primary drivers of the settling of Colorado in the late 19 th century (Hickcox, 2007) . Dry air was a way to produce health, especially in patients with tuberculosis. Mainly related to health spas and s anatoriums, fresh air has a history of constructing health as well as specific landscapes the more natural or wild, the better produce health (Hickcox, 2007) . The construction of rural air as clean is also related to the construction of Alaska as separate from and an antidote to the more polluted, busier, crowded cities. With health scares and pollution indices, air quality becomes something to be feared and to create vigilance against. So being in a constructed "natural" place can bring about ideas of wholesome and pure and a bove all health producing elements of nature (M. Douglas, 2003) . There are echoes o f this in the way these participants are talking about health production in nature as well as the scientific literatures that promote therapeutic landscapes. A different take on the idea of pure air came from a fascinating interaction with a cruise ship passenger. As I interviewed her, she pulled out a cigarette and started smoking. She had previously mentioned that she suffers from several lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which I knew from a public health view is created a nd exacerbated by cigarette smoking 9 . So, when I asked her about health in Alaska, and she brought up clean air, I assumed it was from the perspective that air in nature would provide her with some relief. Instead, she viewed health from the perspective of the environment: 9 Some people continue smoking after diagnosis as quitting may not reduce symptoms adequately to justify quitting.

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124 Oh yes. Definitely, it's keeping the air cleaner. And, yes I'm sitting here with a cigarette, but you want to look in here and see how many cigarettes I have I put the cigarette butt out. Unless I find an ashtray, I will carry it with me goes in my pocket right here and then I throw them away on the streets. That [littering] makes me angry we only have one [earth], and we need to preserve it. CS.6 In this case, the participant wasn't calling on the more in depth history of health producti on in the wilderness. She was drawing on later environmental movements in the 20 th century, conflating environmental health and refraining from littering. Only one other person looked at the question of health from the perspective of the environment. The other participant who was concerned with the health of the environment was a Tlingit man. I did find it interesting that he was one of the few to bring up the pollution contribution of cruise ships to pollution as well as one of the only to view health fr om a more holistic view of both environmental and human health. Okay. Now, very interesting. If you look around you, you look into the air, everywhere, you see a haze from the ships. Yeah. You know what the main component is, of a byproduct of the exhaust emissions of the cruise ships? Sulfur dioxide. Yeah. Do you know what happens when you mix sulfur with rain, right? Acid rain. Yeah. So, what happens is, here's a math equation. All of the cruise ships that ply from Seattle to Alaska, how many tons of fue l are they burning, and changing them to emissions? And it has to sink down or land on the side of the mountain and coasts, the creeks and water and the rain washes it off. So, your pH level goes up in the creek if you're keeping track of that. It's bein g dumped in the ocean, just the exhaust. Sulfur dioxide. So, you figure the amount of fuel that all the ships burned, and the emissions, the ton of emissions, it would be in the tons, scattered between here and Seattle, you'd have a big chunk of sulfur dio xide that led to that. And that's what we think is causing this red algae bloom between here and Seattle. It's because of this chemically balanced ocean that all of a sudden is just tons of sulfur dumped into it, and it has a reaction maybe with the marine life in itself. It's really interesting to think that way. IT.2 Certainly, there are connections to be made with the myth of the "Ecological Indian," or the idea that indigenous peoples are closer to the environment through their more "primitive" connecti on to the land. Aldo Leopold was also one to link human health and land health. He said in a famous passage from A Sand County Almanac :

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125 The most important characteristic of an organism is that capacity for internal self renewal known as health. There are t wo organisms whose processes of self renewal have been subjected to human interference and control. One of these is man himself (man and public health). The other is land (agricultural and conservation) (Mitman, 2005) . Thus, the two, human and environm ental health are not mutually exclusive but they are in the way that most people construct them. The result of this is that human health and environmental health are seen as separate. Health rhetoric in environments extends from the idea of fresh air and escape from pollutants to moral purity through engaging with environments. As wild or natural places were being constructed as good air, they were also billed as places to produce health by strengthening weak constitutions. People such as Thoreau and Theod ore Roosevelt suffered from tuberculosis and asthma respectively and sought engagement with nature to both ameliorate their health conditions as well as their moral characters. This way of thinking can be seen in adventure skills and moral purity in "the Ô consummate image of courage and skill, transcendence and purifications. Adventure cultures locates the site of moral purity and connection to nature in the suffering body" (R ay, 2009) . A group hiking the Chilkoot who identified themselves as conservative evangelical Christians exemplified this idea. A teenage boy with the group said this of his experience on the Chilkoot; I find it's kind of like your reset. Almost in a sens e for your body and you kind of like almost like dismantle your engine to clean it out. Methodically strip down your body of everything that you don't really need. Kind of, you almost like, purge it in a sense of like all the crap you're eating or just sit ting all day and stuff. And even though it's just hurting and stuff like that after those three days your body's building up from the ground to make a better building as opposed to having a crappy building that you're trying to add on BK. 3 This quote has some relevance to masculine discourses as discussed previously, "purification of self through nature which reaffirms qualities as a man" (Hogan & Pursell, 2008) . It is also

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126 connected to a purity rhetoric. Instead of constructing nature as dir ty and full of animals and bugs, it the process of engaging with nature that creates health through a "cleaning out." The strength of the pure narrative is especially evident in this quote which mixes purity ideas with the body as machine metaphor. It also further deploys the nature versus industry metaphor that through natural involvement, the industrial body is cleaned out. That only the antithesis of industry, nature, can do this cleaning. Nature "occupies a landscape more distant and pure from places where humans toiled and lived" (Mitman, 2005) . This idea becomes interwoven into the way people talk of the landscape, and once taken for granted, become reified and naturalized (Daniels, 1989) . They become seemingly dictated by nature, when in fact, it's s ocial processes that create the idea of health giving properties to this landscape. Authenticity Authenticity has a rich history within academia, especially the social sciences applied to the outdoors (K nudsen, Rickly, & Vidon, 2016; Lau, 2010; Rickly & Vidon, 2017; Senda Cook, 2012; Vidon, 2017) . In common parlance, authentic could mean being faithful to an original or an original itself. However, taking a social constructivist view, I am less concerned with any material authenticity and more about how authenticit y is described by participants. As the backcountry (Chilkoot) is constructed as more natural than the front country (Skagway), the people engaging with these areas are also constructed as more n atural than one another. Ultimately these distinctions play out in moral discourses which have the effect of invalidating "inauthentic" ways of engaging with KLGO. For participants, these definitions are deployed to define who (backpackers) and what is (ph ysical engagement) healthy in these areas. One view of authenticity within landscape literature stems from alienation and the idea that in the industrialized era we are separated from nature and engaging with it brings us closer

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127 to authentic histories (Vidon, 2017) . Said another way, the search for authenticity within tourism "represents, among other things, an attempt to negotiate the paradox of modernity, to repair mode rnity's polarizing and paralyzing dualisms, to absolve the anxiety and ambivalence of the modern experience, and to recover a sense of one's self in the modern world" (Minca & Oakes, 2006) . As a socially constructed myth, authenticity is produced through discourses that valorize certain qualities and assign or attribute them to cultural objects and symbols as a means of creating distinction. Importantly, these discourses influence moral representations of the "correct" way of engaging with the environment, at least per backpackers and ra ngers. As cruise ship passengers are seeing an "inauthentic" Alaska, their experiences become invalidated through struggle over the definition of an "authentic" Alaska. Thus, the authenticity of a natural Alaska is contested through moral discourses that e xtend from the landscape to the people engaging with the lands cape; people who engage with a natural Alaska are more natural themselves. Within this context, the idea of authenticity takes on several distinct threads. The first is related to Alaska speci fically by its nature, and its beauty. The next is through the history associated with the area, including the town itself. Interwoven among these threads is the idea that authenticity is a juxtaposition against what cruise s hip passengers are experienci ng: their association with the cruise ship industry is what gives rise to the inauthentic. Presenting the idea of nature/authentic and cruise ship/inauthentic dichotomy. Authenticity is also part of a moral discourse seen in the previous chapter with the a ctive/passive discourse: Like a badge of honor, authenticity connotes legitimacy and social value, but like honor itself, authenticity is also a social construct with moral overtones, rather than an objective and value free appraisal. Given its socially c onstructed and thus elusive nature, authenticity itself can never be authentic, but must always be performed, staged, fabricated, crafted, or otherwise imagined. The performance of authenticity always requires close conformity to the expectations set by th e context in which it is situated. (Minca & Oakes, 2006 , p. 181 )

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128 Alaska itself, as explored previously, continues t o be constructed as a frontier and as natural, which extends to the idea of authenticity where there are "contradictions between the argument that Alaska is more authentic because it is here that the frontier lives on and the fact that all the trappin gs (if not the congestion and overabundance) of consumer capitalism are available" (Hogan & Pursell, 2008) . Alaska is therefore just natural "enough", not quite wilderness without running water, grocery stores or restaurants, but more natural than other crowded places. This contradiction reveals the und erlying argument that Alaska therefore nature is constructed as pure, pristine, and untouched but also inhabitable (Vidon, 2017) . In the case of Skagway, the cruise ship with its city like size, municipal level amenities such as restaurants and grocery stores and clinic a stand in for these trappings of consumer capitalism. Instead of towns in Alask a be ing free of the congested and overabundant capitalism, the cities come to them in the form of gigantic cruise ships. One ranger captured these ideas when talking about the jarring difference between the cruise ship and the surrounding area: And so yeah, Ð and all you need to do is look around and have a 360¡ view in Skagway, Alaska. Humans can't really improve upon this. You can put these tremendous 3000 passenger cruise ships in this environment, and they can be dwarfed by the overwhelming scenery, not just the topography and the mountains rising right up out of the water, and just the scale of it all. Sara: Do you think cruise ship passengers get at that? Interviewee: Do they get that? It's an interesting juxtaposition because you have these complet e artificial environments inside these cruise ships that are juxtaposed with this magnificent natural scenery. And I don't know; there's a potential for some pretty interesting studies of how that dynamic works because you have, all these cruise ships hav e these entertainment, all of this entertainment infrastructure. Some of which is completely Ð well, most of which is completely inwardly focused, whether it's a video arcade or the theater where they have the nightly shows or the various bars and even the dining rooms, a lot of it is very inwardly focused. It's not like Ð it strikes me that only a small percentage of it is Ð the dining room on the Alaska State Ferry where you are sitting there windows surround you, and you can look out, and you are part o f that natural scene. But on cruise ships, a lot of what they provide completely separates you from that. So how do people think about or how do they experience going on the hike and float and being out in nature for most of the day and being in a very a rtificial environment while sailing down one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. It would be interesting to know if

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129 people somehow start to pay more attention after having been out on the ground are out in nature in Skagway. Those people who made it out to Dyea and those people who stay in the congested center of town versus those who really experience nature. Do they have a different attitude to start spending more time outdoors looking outside on the cruise ship as they sail away? I don't know. NPS.4 Several ideas are going on in this quote. The first is the "congestion and overabundance of consumer capitalism" as manifested on the ship. The ranger talks about "entertainment infrastructure" that is "inwardly focused," which he constructs as bein g opposite to the more outwardly focused, or natural, Alaska State Ferry. The bars, dining rooms, video arcades and theaters as inwardly focused are also components of the consumerist view of the cruise ship. While an in depth analysis of consumerism of Al askan tourism is outside of the purview of this analysis, however, it is relevant concerning the perception of being opposite of nature. The participant constructs the cruise ship as a "complete artificial environment" as the opposite of the authentic n ature. I, myself, have had this experience walking on a cruise ship to give a presentation as a ranger. From my perspective, I went from rural , natural Alaska into a gilt theater, complete with red velvet, gold chandeliers and cable news blasting on a tele vision. Several cruise ships currently have shopping malls inside of them. They are run as if they are a city. But does this make them artificial? Interestingly, the Alaska State Ferry is also a large 10 ship, but as the State of Alaska subsidizes it, the amenities are less than a cruise ship, and there are Forest Service naturalists on board. Thus, it is more "natural" or in this case, "authentic" concerning Alaska, as seen in the way people talk about taking the ferry to Alaska (positively) opposed to cru ise ships (negatively). The narrative of active and passive engagement the separation of amenities and 10 The Ferry "Malaspina," frequently used in Skagway is 408 feet ( http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/flee t/malaspina.shtml) , the average length of a cruise ship is 952 ( http://traveltips.usatoday.com/sizes carnival cruise ships 17588.html ).

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130 distraction is deployed here as well. The narrative of staring out the window of an Alaskan State Ferry just as much of separation by the glass as a cruise ship is constructed as being "part of that natural scene." However, this is a taken for granted distinction between the two ships. Therefore, the type of object separating the person from nature seems to matter in the difference of active or pa ssive. Comparing the ferry with the cruise ship leads to an idea that it isn't the ship itself, but the idea of the ship. The cruise ship has more of an economic capital impact in Alaska, whereas among this group at least the Alaska Marine Highway ship has abundant social capital. 11 The cruise ship becomes artificial (or inauthentic) and the fe rry is natural (or authentic) even if they are functionally quite similar. The other theme in this quote is how the scale of the scenery of Alaska competes with whatever adverse effect of the inauthentic cruise ship. The implication is that the cruise ship would be "dwarfed" by anywhere less beautiful, but as this is extraordinary Alaska the beauty wins out in this battle. The ranger also hypothesizes that people who spend time in nature while in port in Skagway are more likely to see it outside of their windo ws when they leave. "Congested" Skagway becomes a stand in for the consumer capitalism, and engagement with it is seen as leading to positive moral attributes or spending more time "outwardly" focused on nature compared with their current "inward" focus on the ship. This moral discourse is benefiting the symbolically powerful nature and outdoors, while invalidating the economically powerful cruise ship. In l ine with commodifying nature, one family said of a tour they were about to take in Skagway, " we just wanted to see some nature, and they guarantee it. They have rescued animals 11 Unfortunately, it does not have much economic capital, the Alaska Marine Highway is facing economic hardship as oil revenues are starting to decrease in all of Alaska.

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131 that they have there, so you get to see bears, moose." CS.17 My first reaction was to wonder how rescued bears and moose were the same things as "nature." To me, they were more representative of zoos or theme parks, and the goal of viewing wildlife in National Parks is that they are wild and not being managed. For the cruise ship pas sengers, " nature " or the rescued animals , similarly to the way Neil Smith conceives of it, is less about the trees, water and environments and more about how capitalism commodifies it (Smith, 2010) . Here, in this participant's perspective, they are experiencing their definition of authentic nature. In examining it, bears and moose in a zoo are just as "real" as bears and moose in the wild. It is they symbolic capital as either captive or wild that is different. Several passengers shared the perception of cruise ships orchestrating experience s. However, like the quote above, not everyone was distressed by this. The family quoted above; upon further questioning, we're glad to be "guaranteed" seeing wildlife. They had traveled from New Jersey and wanted to see certain animals. Other cruise ship passengers, including a couple from Illinois who had previously backpacked in Alaska, said this: There is an attempt to give people exactly [what] the cruise ship thinks they want to be based on its experience. It's very formulaic and in the end quite pred ictable. So, whether or not that is authentic or not is in the eye of the beholder. If you view the casino, then there is an authentic casino on the cruise ship. That's not in the same category of authenticity that I'm talking about. A lot of orchestrated authenticity might be a slightly different time than spontaneity. The opportunity based things rather than making sure it's going to be there. Making sure it's all going to happen. You don't know when the opportunity is going to come up if it comes up, and you can't grab it, then they have boxed you in. CS.3 For this couple, the planned, "orchestrated" version of the cruise ship was a turnoff. Their perception of authenticity in this quote is time based, or spontaneity based. They were speaking of the spont aneity of their other travels in comparison to the regimented idea of the cruise ship, which apparently has a docking and a departing schedule. From another view, both types of

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132 travel are rooted in the consumption of experience and the consumerist ideologi es they are trying to place themselves in opposition to. The tension between consumerism and wilderness, and the inauthentic/authentic is also seen in the rhetoric of backpackers when talking about the town. Oh, I've been on a cruise ship before. You go on there you eat too much, then you trudge around town buy some useless trinkets that you don't need. Yeah, I will drink some beer and buy some stuff and spend big dollarsÉ yeah, I think that's the difference, they're not going to experience the real Skag way BK. 9, For this participant, the "real Skagway" was not the commercial area of town or the boardwalk and main center of historic Skagway. Another participant talked of the town of Skagway in this way, first experiencing it as a cruise ship passenger an d then as a backpacker. Yeah, it was really interesting because this time I went to the laundromat, and I had never been past a little tourist area before. I was like oh so this is where all the people live, and it's actually a little town a true city ins tead of just the touristy bit. But also we had done quite a bit of research and looked quite a bit at the history of the town and the area and so actually going and looking at it through different eyes this time instead of saying "hurry, let's go get our s ouvenirs. " BK.6 This quote reflects my experience with the town. In looking at Skagway, Broadway is a street full of historic Gold Rush era false front and "postcard perfect" representations of a frontier town. The backpacker is correct in there is anothe r view of Skagway. Roads that parallel Broadway have less colorful, less historic buildings and tend to be less crowded. Within the rhythm of the schedule of an interpretive ranger, many rangers use these less crowded streets to get to locations quickly an d avoid being stopped by tourists asking questions. It evokes, in my mind, a "front stage" and "backstage" idea of the town. Both stages are real in a sense they are actual buildings, and many of them were constructed in similar eras. The colorfully restor ed buildings (which NPS workers have painstakingly restored to Gold Rush era colors) are perceived as both more and less authentic than their more neutral neighbors. The structures are

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133 evoking in some visitors the feeling of nostalgia and that time hasn't stopped as mentioned in the historical section. Also, they evoke feelings of Disney world. The duplicity of this built landscape is that it both hides and displays the work to get it to 1898 looks. The construction of this frontier era town serves as a contrast to the backpacking trail, yet the National Park Service equally manages both. Somehow the trail, with its million dollar improvements, steel bear boxes at every camp, waste management areas at each camp, and intensive ranger and warden presence is still seen as quintessentially natural. To be seen as unaffected by humans, the trail ironically requires intensive management from humans. With both places, conceivably inauthentic, the question arises as to why the designation is deploye d differently for each location? The difference is power over the symbolism of the place which rangers have in spades, discussed more fully in Chapter 5. The spectrum of visitor engagement from those arriving by ferry, backpacking, or off the cruise ship have intric ate nuances that effect their perceived authenticity. The effect is that the trail while objectively does promote more calories burned when compared with the cruise ship is also the healthier place symbolically because of its perceived authenticity. C onclusion and Implications The purpose of this chapter was to address the second aim, "to explore how visitors interpret the symbolic environment at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and how this influences their perceived health benefits." Thro ugh analyzing overlapping identities, historical and current ideas about landscape, as well as themes about Alaska, the connection to National Parks, the link to history/ historical park, notions of purity and fresh air, and authenticity the story of the en vironment is complex . These narratives influence the ways both the material and the symbolic landscape s are described and constructed.

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134 The implication of these constructed environmental discourses is that the people who are engaging with the environments are seen to have the qualities of the landscape themselves. People who engage with a natural environment are more natural themselves. These discourses extend into thoughts about how health is produced in nature nature as pure or authentic are seen as di rect avenues to human health. This finding has implications for understanding how people view health in parks, and Alaska, as well as potential strategies for health promotion in parks.

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135 CHAPTER V RANGER AND NATIONAL PARK PERSPECTIVES Introduction The mission of the National Park Service is to "preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations" (National Park Service, 2015) . It is the job of every N PS employee whether ranger or maintenance worker or ecologist to support and uphold this mission. The NPS ranger with the recognizable flat brimmed hat is metonymic for the NPS (Photo 1). Complete with symbols, such as the hat and uniform, it recalls t he military history of the park service. Prior to rangers, the United States Army protected the parks, and the paramilitaristic organization of the park service today echoes these original protectors. Within all the positions for the park service, interpre tive rangers provide the public face for the NPS mission. The interpretive ranger's job description is to: Facilitate visitor understanding of park resources; facilitate visitor enjoyment of the park and its resources and induce visitor behavior consisten t with resource protection and gain friendly compliance with the laws and rules for safe use of the park; and encourage visitors to develop a sense of stewardship for park resources. (National Park Service, 2015)

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136 Said another way, interpretive rangers provide the symbolic meaning making of the park. Their job is to channel or embody the mission of the park service's dual mission; to preserve unimpaired and facilitate education, inspiration and enjoyment. The job of an interpretive ranger is essentially symbolic to win the hearts and mi nds of the American public, to take political action to preserve the parks' lands, and to enjoy doing so. It is a tall order. The tools of interpretation include wayside panels, visitor information pamphlets, museums, signs, movies, and interpretive progra ms. The foundational text of interpretation, Interpreting Our Heritage by Freeman Tilden, lays out several principles for interpretation. These include; "Information must relate to the experience of the individual, interpretation is revelation based on inf ormation, interpretation is not instruction, but provocation" (Tilden, 1967) . These principles or guides are the mechanisms through which interpretive rangers create meaning. I will be examining these mechanisms and the ranger's representations of the park through usi ng Foucauldian discourse analysis. The ranger's ordinary discourse is what Foucault calls a "technique of power", in this case, representing the park (Diaz Bone et al., 2007; Foucault, 1988) . The discourse analysis of the rangers uncovers the symbolic power of the group in creating social norms and beliefs. The social norms and beliefs create the frames that order who is perceived to be healthy in the parks, which can then either consciously or subconsciously alter Photo 9 : Park Ranger Flat Hat

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137 interpretation of the park or suggestions of activities. Whether individual park employees alig n or not with this discourse is indicative of the power of this discourse, since they would not resist against less entrenched discourses. This chapter focuses on understanding the discourses and values surrounding how park employees, as collective represe ntatives of the NPS structure, perceive health benefits based on the visitor experience in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park . Theoretical Perspective Examining what Foucault calls a "discursive practice," aids in revealing the hidden relations o f power and in discovering who is using that power. Until this point, the biomedical discourse has been the most relevant and most cited perspective to examine the nature health nexus. I argue that this discourse leaves out multiple epistemologies, mostly in that the biomedical idea of how health is produced in nature is a taken for granted truth. Instead, when I view health and nature as social constructions, I can trace the histories and the powerful influences that create these truths. While the biomedic al position is still incredibly important, it leaves out the expertise of rangers and park managers who hold symbolic, cultural and economic power in the context of understanding how visitors interact with NPS sites. Park rangers form the "professional and institutional structures where interaction [between visitor and the park] takes place" (Brown, 1995) . Later in this chapter, I will analyze one of the tools the NPS uses to do this a survey aimed and understanding how visitors spend money when they visit park sites. It is vitally importa nt to understand the ways they create these structures to create meaning. In Foucault's idea of "discursive formation", discourse is viewed not only as a set of theoretical rules, but also as the ways in which power influence knowledge, which then influe nces people's behavior. Interpretive park rangers deploy specific discourses to create, alter and influence visitor perceptions of the park. The interpretive ranger's "discursive formation" of

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138 the park are the foundations of their job, and their social pos ition within the park. Thus, rangers are another source of power or, as Foucault would claim, influence on how visitors behave and interact with the park (T urner, 1997) . I focus attention on Foucault's concept of gaze, or how visitors perceive a ranger's thoughts about visitors, internalizing them and then changing their behavior (Foucault, 1994, 1995; Turner, 1997) . While typically rangers are experts on the park they represent, their discourse has power to create meanings of how each visitor is interacting with the park. For example, park rangers guide visitors to various activities based on the questions the visitors ask, as well as assumptions based on their relationship to nature and physical fitness. The rangers will adapt park discourse to the individual visitor. The power of a ranger's discourse is expressed through their influence of who is, and who is not, deemed to be healthy in this context. Figure 7 : Conceptual Model, Focus on Aim 3

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139 The park itself is a physical location so I will use the "duplicity of landscapes" (Daniels, 1989; Daniels & Cosgrove, 1 988; Duncan, 2004) and the material realities of landscapes that affect and are affected by social relations (Cosgrove, 2003; Mitchell, 2002; Olwig, 1996) to view the ways in which people especially rangers construct the landscape to deploy ideas about health and nature. As such, the goal of this chapter is to examine the discourses of and values surrounding perceived health benefits that park employees believe visitors experience in Klondike Gold Rush. Figure 5 1 demonstrates this. Methods For the fir st section of this chapter, I analyze the rangers' perceptions of themselves and relation to the park, next I analyze the park through a landscape lens and then how these positionalities contribute to ideas about park visitors. Several photos using the pho to elicitation method, as described in chapters 2 and 4, will inform this section. For an additional part of the chapter, I will analyze the survey conducted by a park partner in the summer of 2016. I will first look at the data as indicative of the visito r population, and then as a lens through which park service personnel understand their visitors. The quantitative section has detailed information about the methods of the statistical analysis. For this study, I interviewed 17 park employees from the int erpretation, administration and backcountry divisions. Although maintenance, resources and law enforcement employees have quite a bit of interaction with visitors, their express jobs are not implicated in the discourse creating positions of those I did int erview. National Park Status The designation of KLGO as a park service site in the 1970s did more than impart federal dollars to its preservation. It imparted the symbolic weight of the NPS as something worthy of preservation. As discussed in the previo us chapters, the creation of National Parks and the

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140 National Park Service were a crowning political and economic achievement within the historic preservation movement or at least that is how the park service today discusses, frames and characterizes it. The designation of park status grants federal dollars, expertise, legal protection, and critical to this analysis symbolic status to protected areas. They call to mind the deeper history of engaging and experiencing the "crown jewel parks" of Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon or Grand Teton. Visitors effortlessly characterize these parks, Yosemite especially, as sublime wilderness. These places and these narratives have a special history in the nation building and nature making role of National Parks in the United States. However, visitors must be aware of the NPS status at KLGO for the symbolic power to work. This is a tension that I have been acutely aware of, myself. As a first time ranger at the park in 2008, I remember feeling frustrated that not all visitors were aware that they were in a park and were not treating it with what I deemed to be adequate reverence deserved for these special places. This feeling was reflected in many of the interviews I had with park rangers and visitors in the park where there is a tension in understanding that this place is part of the NPS, what that means, and how that should or should not govern behavior in this place. Thus, the place of KGO is contested; Is it a cruise ship port? Is it a symbolic representation of all of Alaska? Is it a National Park? While I do not fully answer these questions, I explore why people ask these questions, and how the National Park status imparts symbolism to the landscape. Importantly for this analysis, I will be examining how the NPS designation influences perceptions of health in this place. Broadly, my in depth interviews echoed my experience as a ranger in which cruise ship passengers were unaware of the NPS designation while Chilkoot hikers and independent travelers were acute ly aware of the park status. This is one of these conversations:

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141 Sara: Did you know you were in a national park? Interviewee: Yes, I did. The cruise ship told us. Sara: Did it being a park change your opinion about the place? Interviewee: No, to me all of Alaska should be a National Park. It's more natural, you know than towns. CS.6 This interaction is interesting as she represents most cruise ship passengers who discover the park the day they are visiting Skagway. To her, it seems as if the place as par t of Alaska is more salient than being a National Park. Her idea that National Parks are natural, not historical reflects this. The same orientation was true of one of the rangers, named here "Sharon." "Sharon" had been living in Southeast Alaska for sever al years, working in several museum contexts before she got a job with KLGO. Her connection was to the town of Skagway, and the historical event of the Klondike Gold Rush. "Sharon" who lived in Skagway all year, even when she only had seasonal employment, was embedded in the town compared to the park. I found this orientation to be interesting in terms of how she approached her job as it was highly important for her to talk about the gold rush. When asked, she said that it did not bother her when visitors w ere unaware that KLGO is a park. That cruise ship passengers are generally unaware of KLGO as a park is a well known fact among rangers: You know I think this park is unique Ð maybe not unique but rare in that most of the people visiting this park, in par ticular, aren't aware that they're visiting a park. Most of the people visiting this park are not coming here with the intention of visiting the park: they kind of stumbling into it. But I think it creates a unique opportunity to try and convince people wh o otherwise have no idea that there's a resource here Ð that (A) there's a cool resource and (B) that they should utilize that resource. I think it's something that Ð for instance, if you were working at Yellowstone or something like that most of the peopl e that are showing up to those type of parks they know what's going on, they have a plan, their intent is to visit and use the resources of the park; whereas parks like this aren't necessarily exactly like that so it's unique Ð a unique opportunity to try and convince people that they should be using the resource. NPS.4

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142 In this case, "the resource," or the park, is an opportunity to connect unaware people with histories. He brings up the difference in the iconic park of Yellowstone versus the lesser known p ark of KLGO. Yellowstone is a "crown jewel" park and has higher prestige associated with everyone who works there. The "crown jewels" such as Yosemite, Acadia, the Grand Canyon, Zion, Denali, to name a few are the parks that are on United States' coins , on posters, and in documentaries. These parks become stand ins for American ideals of nature. The branding of the NPS through uniforms, signs, and brochures both supports this status and is an effect of the symbolic status. This status has importance beyond symbolism as it influences the way we think about people and behaviors in this specific place While the ranger quoted above sees cruise ship passengers as opportunities, another ranger sees backpackers as more closely aligned with ranger ideals: I think people that hike the Chilkoot trail are more; I could be wrong, are closer to the park service because they understand the value of nature and keeping it natural. And saving history and telling the stories versus cruise ship people. They would stop a ny place, not necessarily a National Park. But the Chilkoot trail you have to its part of the park. NPS.3 In this quote, the Chilkoot hikers, who must get a park service permit, attend a ranger orientation and abide by trail regulations, acutely defines aw areness of the park. This distinction will be highly evident in the different ways in which visitors react to a photo of a ranger in the upcoming photo elicitation section. The difference is that the Chilkoot is seen by rangers as a different type of park (Natural opposed to the Historical downtown Skagway) with different kinds of visitors, even if it is part of the same park. The underlying frustration of how visitors are aware or not of the park reveals how the Chilkoot unit fits more easily within the na rrative of the overall park service rather than the historical park unit. Rangers see Chilkoot hikers as more like "typical park visitors," and they fit more easily within park narratives and therefore the perception of health production within the park. B ecause the Chilkoot visitors fit within the history of engaging the

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143 sublime wilderness, rangers see them as physically healthier. They benefit from the regular rhetoric of nature/health discourses. I will further explore this tension between historical are as and nature areas in the next section. Photo Three, Visitor's Center This is a photo of the modern visitor's center housed in the historic train station built in 1897 (National Park Serv ice, 2016) . The visitor's center is usually the first point of contact for many visitors and rangers continually staff the visitor center's information area. The cruise ship passengers had mixed opinions about the purpose of the building and its authentic ity as a gold rush era building. Some were not interested in the building altogether. One cruise ship passenger said: That I don't care so much about. I mean, that's fine, but that's history. I'm more involved in nature. You know I would never go to somepl ace because that's where so and so was killed. Not my thing. CS.11 Photo 10 : Visitor's Center

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144 This visitor does not know if anyone famous died here or the original purpose of the building. She does construct the building as in opposition to the rest of the area, that it is not in na ture, thereby revealing that the purpose of her trip is to be in nature. Her drive to be in nature is consistent with ideas of Alaska as natural, and some National Parks, so KLGO as a historical park does not fit in her definition. Per some ranger discours es, this visitor may be valued over others because of her stated nature claim. Although rangers could characterize her as disengaged because she does not express interest in history of the park. The thoughts of backpackers about cruise ship passengers, thr ough the lens of photograph three, echo a similar idea: Interviewee 1: Very big [building], very touristy, made for tourists. Sara: Why do you think that? Interviewee 1: I think of Alaska as more of small town out in the wilderness, but usually downtown w here the cruise ships come in have a bigger town feelÉ I hate tourist season. Some of the tourists aren't very educated about where they're coming from to where they're coming to. Interviewee 2: They just get off the boat, what elevation are we at [mocking voice] Interviewee 1: it's really fun to make fun of them though because they don't know anything BK.6 The mocking tone is about the tourist question about the elevation in Skagway, which is at sea level, and the interviewees deploy it to deride clueless tourists 12 . It is interesting how this is a sentiment elicited by the visitor's center; that because the building is primarily serving cruise ship tourists, it no longer feels as if the visitor's center is part of Alaska. The construction of the town as hav ing a "bigger town feel" contradicts the solitary discourse of wilderness. Because of 12 In my experience, this was a typical question. As Southeast Alaska was made by glaciers, creating fjords, the inside passage is surrounded by two or three thousand foot mountains. While they are tech nically on the ocean, many cruise ship passengers mistake being at a higher elevation.

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145 the crowding and the influx of tourists, backpackers displace the visitor's center from the wilderness and solitary discourse of Alaska. Many tourists draw on these disc ourses about Alaska and representations of it as a frontier town. One cruise ship passenger said, "see, I like the look of this town. I just really like how it looks still gold rush and historical" CS.12. It is interesting that she said that it looks histo rical, not that it is historical, calling into question the importance of authenticity. In fact, this building was originally the railroad depot for the White Pass and Yukon Route, the train service that still operates today but as a tourist attraction. KL GO restored the Railroad Depot to have a similar appearance to itself in 1902. The construction of it to mimic the gold rush era facilitates the feeling of Skagway as a historic mining town, and not the cruise ship port and tourist destination it is today. A couple of backpackers called into question the authenticity of the building, "it's cookie cutter, it looks fake you know it's supposed to be something old, but it's not quite" BK.3. I contrast this with a ranger's pride in the building, "Well, that's w here the main thing about this building is the authenticity, this really highlights the ability of the National Parks Service to get it right when it comes to historic structures" NPS.4 . These are diametrically opposed views of the same building, showing t he difference that social positioning has on naming something as authentic. They represent differing views of authenticity the ranger is citing the years of work and dollars spent on restoring it to "original" standards, while the backpacker only sees it as being fake since it looks so new due to the renovations. Both are somewhat "correct" in that it is like new, but it is representative of the historic building. The effect of both views is to make it both more and less real, depending on the perspective . However, only the ranger's opinion backed by the authority of the government would carry weight in most discussions regarding

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146 what is and is not authentic. Rangers deploy the power of expertise, education, and controlling information and so they repr esent the building as an authentically restored historic structure. The opinions of the building reveal thoughts about how it is constructed as different from nature, how it is either an authentic or an inauthentic building, and how it influences perceptio ns of the town of Skagway. The building reinforces the idea of nature as a health producing area, whereas the built environment is not health producing. Photo Four, Jeff Smith's Parlor This ended up being a somewhat problematic photo because it is a newer "attraction" to KGLO, called Jefferson Smith's parlor. Jefferson Randolf Smith (or "Soapy" Smith) was an outlaw of Skagway and has been built up through narrative and myth to become representative of the Wild West's idea of an outlaw, complete with a dramatic shootout (Berton, 2003; National Park Service, 2016) . This is his original base of operation, but it is also a site of the creation of the myth using the museum of Martin Itjen an early tourism promoter of Skagway's (National Park Service, 2016) . The museum is one of Martin Itjen's discursive Photo 11 : Photo 4, Jeff Smith's Parlor

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147 formation of the Soapy Smith legend. This place has an integral part of the story of tourism in Skagway, yet from th e outside, it looks like a rundown building, the opposite of Alaskan or frontier. In addition to analyzing it from a historical lens, I look at the parlor as what people say about something that does not meet their expectations of Alaska. The summer season of 2016 was the first season it was open to the public. Only one of the visitors knew that it was both a historic building and a museum: Participant: Jeff Smith parlor oh yeah we went there that's Soapy Smith. Sara: What did you think of it? Participant : I wanted to go in but it was closed, and not lit well enough to see the bar inside I remember I could see a little bit and thought well is this it? Was it really like that? Really that small? BK. 7 Notably, even with a previous knowledge of Skagway's hi story, this participant was confused as to why the building is so small. The size of the building does not match with the gravity or the history of the place for this visitor. Even knowing the history, it does not represent Alaska or the myths of the front ier well. Other visitors found it to be uninviting or even scary. One backpacker said, "it doesn't look very inviting it looks deserted and like it might have a big dog [laughter]" BK.12. This thought shows how much the built landscape conflicts with the expectations of an Alaskan historic place: natural and clean. Another said, "it's kind of bare bones, and alone it doesn't have the neighborhood or anything it doesn't have much personality" BK.3. The quotes cited here are longer than what most people had to say about it, meaning they did not have a narrative to draw on. Often the participants would look at the photo and shake their heads; it was outside of the expectations of historic buildings in Alaska. A ranger, who was involved in the restoration, said this of Jeff Smith's Parlor said:

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148 Ranger: I know what it is and even if I didn't know what it was I would say run down and I know it was a million dollar restoration to make it look like that. It's a really boring building the outside is not reflected o n the inside it's so unique, weird inside. Everyone who comes in there and gets really excited and says whoa, I didn't know it was that big. I thought it was really small when I first saw it. From the outside, I would never guess that this was in hereÉit d oesn't stir deep emotions NPS.3 The fact that it does not stir deep emotions says that it does not particularly make sense within the landscape and, at least per many people, with Alaskan ideas. The discourses of fear about this building do not align with A laskan discourses of purity and nature, which reinforces ideas of a pure wilderness Alaska as a health producing place. Photo Ten, Row of Historic Buildings, Including the Mascot Saloon This is a photo of a block of historic buildings of the gold rush. The Mascot Saloon, the building on the far left, was the building mentioned in the beginning of this section. Currently, it is a reconstructed saloon from 1902. It started out on a different street, was run down in the post gold rush era, and then heavil y restored. The material building itself has gone through multiple iterations in many different time periods. When KLGO acquired it in 1976, at the creation of the park, they decided to restore it to 1902 era. The name Mascot reflects the gold rush era mea ning of the word as a lucky charm, something most stampeders would have wanted on their way to the gold fields (National Park Service, 2016) . Several mannequins are standing around the bar, and the re is old time saloon music playing on a loop. Photo 12 : Mascot Saloon

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149 For many the saloon itself is quintessential Wild West. A cruise ship passenger said, "that's interesting history. The Klondike gold rush. John Wayne did it, so why can't I? CS.11. It is purposeful that he c alled upon John Wayne who stared in a famous movie about the Nome gold rush, not the Klondike but his onscreen personality is synonymous with a rugged frontiersman and cowboy. Many visitors would lament the lack of swinging saloon doors until they unde rstood how impractical that would be in an Alaskan climate. A group of cruise ship passengers who were on the running cruise had this to say: Participant 1: That's where we are! [Interviewed them in the saloon]. Participant 3: I thought that was an actu al restaurant and bar, I didn't realize the time bartending with fake. Sara: What did you think when you went in? Participant 3: It was cool with a little bottles. Participant 2: I didn't pick up on that. Participant 1: It's a museum CS.9 This is a com mon conversation with visitors in the mascot, similar ones I rangering there. The building is on a block with functioning restaurants and shops; it takes a moment for people to catch up to the idea of it as a museum. This conversation calls to mind ideas o f authenticity. The above family conflated the photo with their immediate experience, whereas these cruise ship passengers talked about the photo as itself: Participant1: Cute little town, love the buildings. Participant 4: Little like country, western, G eneral Store. A western type photo that you see. Participant 1: Looks like a movie sets. Participant 3: It does. Participant 2: that's it!

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150 Sara: What does it feel like in a movie? Participant 1: Fun, it just makes you feel happy. Participant 4: it's e xciting! Participant 1: Happy because it's like you're on a movie set Participant 2: Cause it's real . CS.17 Again, with authenticity, it is important to understand that evokes Wild West frontier myths and ideology. Rangers have similar thoughts on authen ticity: Participant 2: Work beautifully restored. Participant 1: most people think that it's fake they think it was all built up just for them a tourist trap just for them and I'm like no its original buildings this is what it looked like. Participant 3 : A hay bale should be rolling down the road NPS.3 The hay bale is an interesting concept as Wild West towns are supposed to be rural. Perhaps this is why the crowding statements from earlier fly in the face of expectations. Another ranger, who has put e xtensive research into the Mascot, said this: The Mascot. I like the Mascot block. I like talking about the Mascot, mostly because I like food in general and how people interact with it. I really wish they would fix the spelling of his name in the window on the right because that's wrong. The I and the E are in the wrong order. That's like Reinert instead of Rienert. Karl [the park historican] says there's debate on how it's spelled, but I have yet to see it published in a historic newspaper or his signage that he bought from the promoters that had it spelled that way. I think someone just made a mistake in 1990 or whatever. This is one I would use if I was doing website work because the buildings all look in great shape NPS.15 Like many rangers, she focuse d on small details of authenticity, like the spelling of the proprietor's name. She is looking at the photo from a promotional lens, in that it represents the park in a way that is in line with the purpose of the park. The previous sections have explored ranger identity and the effects of the NPS designation both through in depth interviews and through photo elicitation. These analyses serve

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151 as a basis to understand how park employees are viewing visitors to the park, which in turn influences how they rela te health to the visitors. Ranger Identity and Place within the Park National Park Rangers part wholesome, part communing with nature, and part authority are intimately associated with the symbolism of National Parks. The strong ranger identity links them with the structure of the NPS, and oftentimes their discourse reflects the discourse of the NPS. Rangers have not always existed as we know them today. Instead, it was a group of men from the military including Buffalo soldiers who were dispatched to guard the newly created Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite State Park ( Albright, 1985; Cheever, 1996; Sharpe, 1982) . After the creation of the National Park Service in 1916 there was the recognition that military personnel were not trained for protecting natural areas and increasing visitation, original park managers recogni zed the need for stewards of the protected lands (Albright, 1985; Cheever, 1996 ; Sharpe, 1982) . At KLGO, like most NPS sites, employees who have "seasonal" status do most of the work. During the summertime there are about 20,000 rangers employed compared with about half that in the winter (Albright, 1985; Cheever, 1996; Sharpe, 1982) . Even with seasonal status, many rangers have a strong sense of identity e ven pride that goes along with rangering going beyond alignment with a job. The sense of a ranger's identity and pride creates stronger alignment with the NPS mission, and stronger reactions when visitors' ideas differ from the NPS. There are many types of NPS employees, but only interpretive rangers and law enforcement rangers have the title of ranger. Historically a park ranger would do the duties now divided up into modern park service division law enforcement (enforcing laws), resources (the "ologi sts" studying the scientists charged with studying the culture, biology, geology, etc. of the parks), maintenance (fixing and maintaining infrastructure of the parks) and interpretation

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152 (connecting visitors to the reasons the park was established). Oversee ing all divisions is what is termed administration. Today these jobs have created sharp delineations between divisions, with only backcountry rangers acting as historical rangers would have by combining all three traditional duties: law enforcement, mainte nance, and interpretation. There is a lot of cultural cache among specific visitor groups for being a National Park Ranger. One participant said it well when talking about cultural capital and being a ranger: When I tell people now that I'm a park ranger for the National Park Service, it's as if I've told people I'm a wizard and I shoot fireballs out of my eyes. Like the response that people give Ð so people will be like, "Oh, what do you do?" "I'm an accountant. What do you do?" "I'm a banker. What do you do?" "I manage a medical supply office. What do you do?" "I'm a park ranger for the National Park Service," and it's like the conversation stops and all of the sudden the lowest paid person in the room has suddenly become the most interesting person in th e room. NPS.6 As this participant observes, there is quite a bit of cultural capital in being a ranger but much less economic capital. The identity of being a ranger tied up with the uniform is that of authority in these places. There has been a lot of cultural work both in popular media (Smokey the Bear and Yogi Bear for example) and in branding of the park service for the ranger to be an ultimate authority. Employment in the park service is an intensely competitive process, which requires knowledge of intricate bureaucratic processes, loopholes, and insider knowledge. Many rangers have had dreams of working for the park service their whole lives, and are frequently told by visitors how lucky they are. The National Park Service evokes an active streak of nationalism and pride associated with being stewards of the park. The combination of intensive and difficult initiation with the symbolic power of being a ranger create the sense of alignment and pride with the NPS. The strong feelings that many rangers have identifying with the NPS link individual rangers to the structure and ideology of the NPS itself. Honestly, if I had to say one main reason I'm doing it is because I want to protect our National Parks. I'm not necessarily here because I went to educ ate other people about what to do, but the

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153 main reason is I want to protect our parks. I'm happy I'm where I'm at. I'm very lucky I'm grateful for where I'm at especially from where I came from. NPS.16 This ranger, "Katie," had an incredibly difficult chi ldhood in which her mother was imprisoned for opiate use, was removed from her mother's custody and was placed under care in the child protection system. After her maternal aunt found her in the system, she completed high school and enrolled in college, bu t with great difficulty. As she tells it, she was drifting through college aimlessly until a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park with her college boyfriend. Him [her boyfriend] and I just the two of us went on this beautiful hike. The hike we went on we thought was to Sky Pond, but later we found out that it was the lake right before Sky Pond. We got up there, and we sat down I felt so good, and I felt so healthy. And I could just breathe easy. And I was just stunned by the view that was there. And I lo ok down at the valley of which we just climbed up, and I look at all of this wilderness. And at that point, I had just started getting back to God and the relationship I had with God, that I had lost during my high school and my middle school years. So, fe eling very connected to God, I like to refer to it as my epiphany. I just very clearly felt like this is what I need to be doing with my life. The next question was how? How do I do this? How do I work in National Parks? I knew it was National Park spec ific for some reason. I didn't even question itÉ I did all the research and looked at what majors are offered at my school to be a park ranger, and I found one, it was parks recreation and tourism. The next semester I switched all of my classes. And I h ave been hot in pursuit of that passion ever since without a doubt in my mind. NPS.16 Katie uses language steeped in the romantic religious rhetoric coined by John Muir, and echoes religious conversion discourses. She speaks of deciding to try to work for the NPS as her personal conversion story. For her, devotion to God mixes with her devotion to the NPS. Having lived and worked with her for the season, she embodied this spirit. Through every day and every visitor interaction, she was incredibly personable and polite. Interestingly, she mentions her health tied up with this narrative, feeling quintessentially "good" translated as healthy to her. As Ross Bryant says, "the national park idea, presented as a fundamental contribution to American character, educ ation, and productivity, was a counterpoint to utilitarian conservation" (Ross Bryant, 2012) . As many rangers view themselves as the embodiment of this ideal, many take

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154 their roles quite seriously. The effect of this devotion to the mission of the park is their discourse reflects and deploys the power structure of the NPS. The NPS has the highest rate of both morbidity and mortality among federal employ ees, attributed for the intense loyalty employees feel for their jobs (Saxon, White, Eddy, Albert us, & Bassin, 2015) . The intense loyalty to the mission or the symbolism of the NPS means that employees literally sacrifice their bodies and their lives to it. The constant affirmation from the public, combined with the cultural capital, makes it a j ob of considerable symbolic weight. To be a park ranger is to inhabit an identity, it is far more than a job. For many, it is a calling, a vocation, a dream, and a goal. The culture of the park service creates a strong identity, so a ranger's discourses of ten reflect the broader NPS symbolism. Rangers are intimately tied to the spaces and places they have sworn to protect and educate, describing the designation of the site as an NPS site is relevant to the ways the rangers interact and possibly facilitate h ealth producing moments of visitors. This is not to say that all park rangers are equally committed or equally aligned to the NPS mission. While the National Park Service or even the employees of KLGO may not employ unilateral thought and action, they do have institutional forces working upon them to create alignment (P. M. Douglas, 1986) . Thus, the institution itself is not acting upon or thinking or con structing realities of the ideas of health and nature, but the individuals who make up the organization. Even individual ranger resistance to institutional norms is indicative of institutional power. There is a dark side to visitors viewing rangers as pub lic property. Female rangers, myself included, reported instances of gender discrimination from both the public and from within the park service. The gender discrimination ranged from treating a male ranger as an

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155 authority to outright catcalling and solici tation while on duty. This gender tension appears in how visitors will often ask rangers about their personal lives. Women tend to get more of what they perceive to be invasive personal questions. Gender, combined with the youth of seasonal rangers amplifi es this dynamic. One ranger said of the experience of being viewed as public property: Sometimes it's like they [cruise ship passengers] just wanna know everything about you. They wanna know everything there is to do. I feel like a lot of people haven't r esearched before they came to Skagway, which is frustrating. You feel like there's just no recognition that you're a human being. Just an assumption that you're there to tell them anything they want. Sometimes the questioning is just rapid fire, "This, thi s, this," and it's all personal questions about your life and, "Where do you go next? Where did you go to school? Where are you from? Do your parents do this?" Sometimes I'm like, "Where are these questions coming from?" NPS.8 The treatment of rangers as both the holders of knowledge and strange cultural artifacts adds to the mix of how rangers see their role in the ecosystem of tourism in Skagway. Other pressures of the job include the bureaucracy in management, housing issues, lower pay, and the financia l insecurity of seasonal employment. The sheer volume of visitors can be in a word overwhelming: Very overwhelming. You just feel like you're responsible for not just everyone's experience here, but their needs and their well being. Then also being in cont rol, dipping in accurate and thoughtful history, it's a lot more pressure than I thought it would be. Saying the same things over and over without being a dick is really hard. NPS.9 The sheer volume of visitors, which could reach up to 10,000 in town on a busy mid Weekday could try the patience of rangers who are committed intellectually and emotionally to the job. The tension between having a passion for the job, the challenging conditions, and the highs of being in a new place make for a very intense job experience. These contextual factors all influence the ways in which rangers view themselves and visitors to the park, and therefore how

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156 health could be produced. In the next two sections, I will utilize the photo elicitation technique to analyze two speci fic types of ranger and visitor interactions. The first is of a ranger interacting with a visitor at the visitor center desk. The second is a ranger led walking tour, the most frequent type of formal interpretive program offered at KLGO. Photo Six, Visito r Center Desk This photo is of an interpretive ranger providing information at the visitor's center desk. Although he wears the same uniform as rangers who check people into the Chilkoot, his job is solely to educate. This provides a lens into how peop le view rangers both as sources of information and as authority figures. One cruise ship passenger said, "this looks like maybe they're trying to get some information about something they're going to go do. He's more of a resource for them." CS.13. In thi s instance, the ranger is the source of knowledge about the place. The family from New Jersey had this to say: Photo 13 : Photo 6, Ranger and Visitors at the Visitor Center Desk

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157 Participant 1: this looks like an infomercial. It does, Ôcause you've got the like park ranger given the information, "come into the National P ark." Smokey and fire safety. Participant 2: He likes his job too. Participant 3: Yeah loves his job. Happy to help. Happy to educate people. Participant 1: I like his whole uniform thing you know. Participant 3: Of course you do. Participant 1: Lo oks really official, with the.... well, I mean look how official with that tie, not just a polo that says National Park Service. Participant 3: yeah, you take him very seriously. Participant 1: that's what I mean, that's interestingÉ she likes very clea n things, so like when you have a uniform that looks clean and pressed and organized and professional. CS.17 For this group, having the professional looking uniform was incredibly crucial to establishing authority, but he walks the line of being friendly. The family from New Jersey picks up on the goals and idealism of the National Park Service Interpretation providing information that supports the NPS mission. This ranger an older White man fits many of the stereotypes and understandings of who is th e ideal park ranger. This quote reveals this family's orientation to the structure of the park service; they are seeking information and the appearance of this ranger helps them trust him. The implication of this trust is that he is the voice of the park s ervice, which plays into the symbolic power of rangers in this context, and how ranger discourse reflects this power. A backpacking group had a different reaction: Participant 2: He looks like a nice guy. Participant 4: It's an interaction with authority. Sara: Authority, the park service is authority? How does that influence your experience? Participant 4: I mean you just know that he looks like somebody who like if he was frowning you would maybe have a different reaction. Maybe additional questions but this guy you might ask him an additional question because he is approachable.

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158 Participant 1: These people have been really nice but some National Park they want to let you know that they have the authority and I hope you don't have too much fun in this p ark they are the authority. BK.3 I hypothesize that the backpackers, with their permits and many rules of behavior in the backcountry, have more of an authoritative orientation to the park service in this location than the cruise ship passengers who are not having much interaction with the rule portion of the park. Interestingly, the visitor center's primary role in Skagway is to educate and inform about the town and the historic area. Few backpackers venture into the main visitor center, instead heading directly to the trail center where they pick up their permits to hike the Chilkoot. Most likely, the backpackers were referencing the required orientation for the trail where rangers inform the hikers of the rules and regulations of the trail. This intera ction contrasts with another backpacker who said, "Friendly helpful Ranger Éthe patrons look excited planning an adventure" BK.4. Most likely, these feelings represent ideas of the park service and the adventure associated with hiking the trail, yet still has an authoritarian orientation. It makes sense that this photo would capture a large range of opinions about federal protection, education, legislation, and regulations.

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159 Photo Five, Ranger Led Walking Tour This photo illustrates a ranger led walking tour, and is located behind the visitors' center in photo three. The dialog and descriptors of this photo highlight how many rangers approach their jobs as interpreters of the park, and many visitors' reaction to the walking tour. The ranger is leading an hour long walking tour of the town of Skagway, with the goal of creating an intellectual or emotional connection to the park. The walking tour is one of the most significant ways that rangers infuse the park with symbolic discourse. It is the venue where t hey create meaning of Skagway as a place and its relevance to the Klondike Gold Rush. Not everyone sees the walking tour as an educational opportunity. One cruise ship passenger said, "Yeah not so much [As in, not for me]. Someone's telling them what they should think is important" CS.13. This speaks to the symbolic power of park rangers controlling and shaping narratives. It is one version of how visitors view rangers. The passenger's quote speaks to the idea of independence and seeking one's own knowledg e when going to a new place. When looking at this photo, a group of backpackers talked about it from their perspective: Photo 14 : Photo 5, Ranger Led Walking Tour

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160 Participant 1: The mandatory part Participant 2: I think those are tourists are not doing the hike. Participant 1: They're being to ld what they're missing Participant 2: That's very typical from the cruise ship. Sara: What do you think it means to be a cruise ship person? Participant 1: 10 minute snippets of where you are and where you're shopping and then some food. Participant 3 : And stamp saying "I'm going to Alaska." Participant 2: A stamp in the passport BK.2 The backpackers are referring to a commemorative program in which visitors stamp a book or "passport" of the National Park Service. This is showing the ideas of the bac kpackers about what they perceive tourism to be. This idea of tourism is in direct conflict with the mission of the park service, which was to provide an intellectual or emotional connection to the park. The backpackers' perception is reflected in what one cruise ship passenger had to say, "this is a nice park ranger giving the tourist information about the city I don't want to call it touristy, but it's touristy" CS.3. Both quotes imply that the tourist part of the equation is bad or makes it less authenti c. From a ranger's perspective: This is a great photo. I've seen it before. But it's great showing the walking tour just because it's a great asset, free tour that we offer. But this picture gets me because I think there's a person in there who's just got a big Ôol yawn going. It's Ð that's what we get a lot of times on these walking tours. It's such a diverse crowd that you can't entertain everybody. So, I like that, because I think it does a great job summarizing what the whole interp experience is, the ranger standing in the sun taking the beating while everyone else is crowded in the shade. NPS.10 In this case, "interp" is short the interpretive division of the national park service. Many rangers mentioned that it was a good practice for visitors to be in the shade while talking, further exemplifying the disengagement of the tourist. Behind the idea of a walking tour is the goal of deeply connecting visitors to the park through emotion, intellect or experience. There is a

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161 disconnection from viewing the w alking tour as mandatory, compulsory or touristy by the backpackers and cruise ship passengers and the rangers' viewing it as a tool to for visitors to learn and become more connected to the park. This idea of providing a walking tour as education or facil itating connection is not the same as the cruise ship passenger and backpacker's perspective. The tour is the venue for the parks' symbolism to take root, or alternately, a venue to deploy their symbolic power, which in turn shapes how health could be prod uced at the park. Their thoughts provide a lens to view perceptions of power, and how the words of the park employees can influence visitors' perceptions of meanings attached to Skagway. Active and Passive Discourse, and Constructions of Health After exa mining how rangers represent and do not represent the park service, I now focus on how that representation is translated into the discursive power of categorizing park visitors. Interestingly the primary way rangers organized visitors was as visitors in Chapter 3 to view visitors as either actively or passively engaged. Often, this is a categorical variable, as in a visitor is either passive or active, and not a spectrum, and more often than not it was along the lines of if the visitor is a cruise ship passenger then the visitor was seen as passive. The term "engagement" has implications beyond the extent to which a visitor is excited or connected to the park. The words used to describe the passive, most cruise ship visitors, are highly coded and shroude d in social prohibition. Foucault demonstrates that the social prohibition on speech is one way through which power is produced and reproduced (Foucault, 1988) . Instead of outright condemning passive visitors for their true sins which I suspect is being on a cruise ship to begin with park employees will say things like: So, I think for the most part the cruise ship passengers are disengaged but also I understand why. They didn't necessarily book a cruise with the intention of visiting this particular park. So, I would say they 're disengaged but also overall relatively receptive to it once they find out about it. So, I think it's more of Ð they're disengaged because they don't know that the resource is available rather than they're disengaged because they're not interested in in teracting with the

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162 resource. But I would say that there is a percentage of them that are entirely uninterested in interacting with the national park and that's fine, that's acceptable. NPS.4 In this quote, from an administrative leader in the park, acknowl edges that there are visitors who are not interested in the park. The employee mentions the first visitor as passively engaged through not knowing that the resource, that is the park, exists which is a perfectly acceptable type of passivity as the visitor can then receive knowledge and become more actively engaged. The second type of visitor, one that is not interested in interacting with the park, is patently not okay within this worldview, even though he is saying that it is okay. When the purpose of the job or organization is to assist people engage the mission of the NPS is to facilitate an emotional or intellectual connection in addition to preservation people who are rejecting this could be a problem. However, as this ranger has been with the park service for over 20 years, I imagine not having everyone leave engaged is a reality of the job. The real tension lies in this contradiction and the very ideological nature of the mission of the park service. To succeed at being a park or a good steward of a park is for people to leave engaged. For some people to resist or to not be engaged, whatever the reason, is distressing for the employees. As the job of interpretive ranger has all sorts of strategies, tricks, and trainings to get people more engage d with the park, they must come up with explanations and ways of talking about when it does not work, when people are not engaged, when it is a failure. A disengaged visitor is not in line with the rhetoric of the National Park Service. However, excluding disengaged visitors is against the mission of the NPS, which states that parks are for all citizens of the United States. The passive discourse is serving multiple purposes. The first is that it provides an explanatory framework as to why efforts of the m useums, interpretive signs, and interpretive programs have not worked. It absolves the park and the staff of culpability in the spirit of "you cannot reach everyone." Secondly, passive discourse aids in alleviating the anxiety

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163 of violating the democratic i deals National Parks. The underlying idea is that all people could engage, but some choose not to. Without coded language, rangers would be condemning a large group of visitors, who per the official discourse of the National Park Service have equal rights to parklands and resources. This active and passive discourse appears in multiple contexts. One ranger neatly categorized cruise ship passengers into "types": One, is the retired kind of adventurer but doesn't want to go camping anymore or the long road trip days, so they go on a ship, and yet they can still visit. But they don't do kind of the mainstream things, which is kind of nice. Then you have the other passenger, who this is a grand adventure for them and it's maybe a cheaper way to bring their fam ily onboard or travel with their senior grandparent, which is also nice. Or the ignorant one, which has no idea where they are or what they're doing. They're just herded along like cattle. N PS.13 Included in this discourse of engagement is a moral tone t he first two types of visitors are nice, whereas the ignorant visitor is herded, which I discuss shortly. This ranger's perspective on cruise ship passengers incorporated many aspects of visitor's identity age, economics, and family but overall the cat egorization was as passive and therefore ignorant. Another park ranger articulated the ideas behind the passive discourse to articulate fully what she saw as a more comprehensive perception of cruise ship passengers within both the park and the town of Ska gway. Interviewee: There's a lot of that stereotyping going on in this town about cruise ship people. Sara: Yeah, what is the stereotype of the typical cruise ship passenger? Interviewee: I think the stereotype of a typical cruise ship passenger is that they are "sheeple" or cattle or whatever. And so, that means they don't like to make decisions. They like to be ferried from A to B; they stay on the bus. They don't really experience a place. They are rich, not necessarily White. But many may not spe ak English. What else [thinking]? They are oblivious. They are unaware that they're in the US and Skagway and a National Park. They don't know the history. They haven't done any research on this place before coming. They don't have common sense about bears . They spend a lot of money, which goes back to them being rich. NPS.5

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164 When describing cruise ship passengers, people deploy the herd animal metaphor. In this case, it is "sheeple," a portmanteau of sheep and people. Included are cattle or just the verb "h erd." This is an exciting play on the individual to the collective conception of engaging with the park. While rangers view the active participants as rugged individuals, regardless of the intensely social nature of their experience, passive participants a re more fully immersed in their social environments. Rangers perceive them as being less directive and more following an overall less intelligent, like a herd animal. The ranger from the quote above describes cruise ship passengers as being ferried places , deploying the "behind glass" metaphor, with having their bodies literally passively moved from one location to another. They are not "out there" engaging with landscapes, or "experiencing a place" in an authentic way. Not engaging with the park is more a physical engagement indictment, whereas the lack of knowledge and research is more within an intellectual domain. Worse per this ranger's quote than being unaware they see passive visitors as not being particularly interested in learning. This leads t o misconceptions about how to exist "properly" within this environment. There are shades of identities, such as race and class, associated with cruise ship passengers in the ranger's comments about speaking English and their wealth relative to the people i n Skagway. Rangers deploy the ideas of active and passive engagement to organize how they themselves are viewing visitors' health in Skagway. Stress Narratives and Mental Health Much like visitors, unilaterally, rangers saw engaging in the outdoors as men tally healthy and a way to escape stress. The biomedical literature differentiates these as two separate mechanisms (Alvarsson, Wiens, & Nilsson, 2010; Pretty, 2004b) , but range rs saw them as interrelated. Most of the rangers had personally experienced engaging with the outdoors as healthy, and rewarding. Rangers then used this personal connection with nature as a motivation

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165 to help others connect with it as well. One ranger, "An thony," who is a veteran, talked about how escaping to nature is a way to escape stress: And I've directed some other friends of mine in the military or even just friends of friends, people that know me that have some other friend or associate that's just getting out of the military and then asking sort of advice to give to them Ð and that's usually the thing that I will go to is to tell them to try and reconnect with the natural world. And as a more overarching thing that something like city life has a ten dency to be high stress in and of itself Ð sitting in traffic, cars honking horns, lots and lots of people all around you at the same time are all things that would sort of compound existing stressors that are already in your life, so getting away from tha t. Even if it's temporary, but I would recommend broadly just to move somewhere where there are less people, less overall things to stress you out. And mainly if you can to get out in parks Ð not even just National Parks but any kind of park, even if you l ive in the city, and you're just going to some Ð you're going to Central Park in the middle of Manhattan, like that's a viable alternative if you don't have something available that's bigger and more natural than that. NPS.6 Even the vivid imagery sittin g in traffic, cars honking horns, lots and lots of people Ð sits in sharp contrast with the calming effects of nature. This is evident in expectations of solitude in nature. Although recent high visitation in parks goes dramatically against what people exp ect. This is true of cruising to Alaska, a concept that I explored more in depth in Chapter 4, some people expected solitude, and instead, thousands of people from the cruise ship met them. The idea of seeking solitude was a construct in the quantitative s ection, explored later in this chapter. Mental health came up as a theme when rangers talked about visitors. Instead of viewing engagement with nature as producing mental health, one trail ranger found that hikers had to start with mental health to do well on the trail: But then I find sometimes those are the people that mentally break down at the pass. So, it's not physically demanding, but maybe mentally. Especially if the wind is howling and rain is pelting, and it's falling to the ground. It's a mental push for them and maybe some hikers, they never had to push that far mentally before, and physically, combined. So, I think we have those guys that aren't super prepared. NPS.18

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166 The physical challenge combined with the mental challenge makes this ranger see some backpackers as not being as prepared as others. This is a nuance that many "in town" rangers do not have for them it is more of a cruise ship passengers versus hiker mentality. "Anthony" found this to be the case as a difference between cruise s hip passengers and hikers: I think Ð again, on a broad generalization Ð but I think the hikers are probably experiencing the park in a Ð I don't want to say better way but in a way that I think facilitates that sort of spiritual and mental renewal. So, no matter who you are or how you do it I don't think you're going to get that thing without getting out into the natural side of the park or whatever wherever you're at. You're not going to get it walking around in the city, which is what most of the cruise s hip passengers are going to be doing Ð they're going to be in and around the city. Now they may get a little bit of it out on a bus tour or a train ride Ð I think you'll get a little bit of that Ð but I think one of the things that also comes with it, at l east in my own experience, is having to work for it. So, the biggest rewards generally require a significant amount of hard work Ð and again, obviously this is not just with experiencing parks, this kind of goes and carries over into regular life Ð if you work hard you're going to get a reward Ð but you know an example would be if you drive down a road you'll see the mountains all around you. If you spend the day climbing that mountain and you get to the top the experience that you're going to have is going to be vastly different than the person who drove around. NPS.6 This discourse of "working for it" is in line with the discourse of active and passive engagement, and embedded in larger discourses of work and earning. Interestingly, "Anthony" tries to soft en the moral discourse of a "better" way of experiencing the park by putting it in his own personal terms that he feels the most engaged by "working for it" while "getting out there." For him, the physical component is absolutely a component of the highe st type of engagement the reward. Whether this the case that physical engagement is vital to experiencing health in parks his feelings and perceptions are most likely influencing the way he is categorizing visitors and ultimately how he is interpreti ng to visitors. "Anthony's" discourse reveals that he prizes active visitors above passive ones. Unexpectedly, rangers deploy a very different tress narrative about cruise ship passengers that deviates from the standard active and passive discourse. Inste ad of viewing passive cruise

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167 ship passengers as not engaging with the park, they are "taking care of" or "indulging" escape stress. A high level park service employee said: And with the vacationing public, people say that people kind of leave their brain s at home and they get on these cruise ships and come to Alaska but maybe that should be allowed, that you get to part of the draw is people want to have the whole package, and everything is taking care of and just relax and enjoy it. And you have to unde rstand that some people are in a very different environment compared to what they are used to, that some people just want to relax and not think and make a lot of decisions and that's part of their vacation, and all of that is fine. NPS.4 Many rangers saw as cruisers "leaving their brains at home," but this NPS employee is trying to change the negative discourse into a positive one. By challenging the passive discourse, he is 1) acknowledging that active engagement is privileged and 2) reframing the use of the park. As he is a higher level park employee, his discourse may influence other employees. He has enough power and experience provide nuance to dominant discourses, including to some extent challenging them. He frames the visit as a trip or as an ad venture; he chooses the word "vacation" deliberately distancing the goal from interpretive goals of connecting visitors to parks. Physical Health Many of the same ideas about mental health are going on about physical health, with the difference perhaps e ven more pronounced. A supervisory ranger observed that Chilkoot hikers more often engage more physically and have more motivation to seek adventure in the park: I think your typical Chilkoot hiker is looking for a physical experience as well as a visual they're looking for an adventure. And they're looking to be challenged because the Chilkoot trail will challenge you all of the things that you can see and do along the trail. NPS.9 The challenge discourse is evident in this quote and relates to that idea of conquering nature. The physical, bodily experience of hiking the trail is evident in how rangers are viewing Chilkoot hikers and cruise ship passengers, as well as how each are interacting with their environments.

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168 One interpretive ranger saw a primary difference in the way cruise ship passengers and backpackers engage with their environments. Well, two totally different environments. So inherently the hikers of the Chilkoot Trail are going to be Ð as a broad generalization, they're going to be more phy sically fit than people that are on a cruise ship. Just based on the activities that they're engaged in. You know one group is going to be relatively sedentary, and eating kind of extravagant meals; the other group is going to be hiking on average 10 plus miles a day, eating relatively small kind of camp meals Ð so just based on that alone the hikers are significantly more active. NPS.10 The word "active" in this context is about being physically active perhaps not a coincidence when talking about active e ngagement. Even "in town" rangers, whose primary duty was to provide intellectual connections to the park through giving ranger programs, found that hiking the trail was the "best" way to form an attachment to the park: But I think the average visitor, if they make it into the movie or on a ranger program become really engaged with the story because of all those universal concepts we talked about, if people know about the Klondike Gold Rush it's usually the people going over the stairs. NPS.15 The privileg ing of Chilkoot hikers as having a more valuable experience is part of that moral discourse that those with active bodies are the ones experiencing the park in a fuller manner. The implication is that Chilkoot hikers are more deserving of and more enga ged being in the park compared with cruise ship passengers. Yet many of the discourses, while presumably supporting the idea of the fit hiker as the engaged hiker, have an underlying discourse of alternate forms of strength. For many, there seems to be a separate, indefinable emotional or social strength that is separate from one's physical strength. While a fit body is important for the trail, a fit mind is imperative. Social and Spiritual Health The privileging of hikers as healthy extends to social a nd spiritual health as well. An interpretive ranger said in his interview:

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169 I think hikers are more mindful. I think that there's a lot of planning for hikers and they have more of an appreciation of the town and more in depth conversations with people ab out different aspects of the town and people in it and history. Versus cruise ship people they don't have in depth conversations overall NPS.3 Even contributing to conversations, social health is supposedly better with Chilkoot hikers. Part of this, I susp ect, is as the ranger said about planning. Most hikers much thoroughly research the area and the historical event to get to Skagway, whereas cruise ship passengers tend to book a "trip to Alaska." The short interaction period between rangers and visitors c ould play into this idea. However, this is evidence of the pro hiker bias of rangers. Planning can be part of social health, but is not the sole defining factor. Peak moments, or moments of transcendence are common on the trail. Trail rangers from both t he United States and Canada sides of the pass observed hikers having religious or existential moments. The American trail ranger said: I think mental health is a big one out there. People are going out and talking to people a lot who are like, "I just nee ded a reset. I just needed to get out by myself into the woods for a few days," which is good. We also occasionally get people coming through that are just like Ð that Ð like kind of emotional breakdown type of thing Ð like on the stairs Ð there's a lot. N PS.1 While she characterized it as mental health, I argue there is a religious component to this narrative. Having hiked the trail on five separate occasions myself, with many different groups, I have witnessed (and experienced) the personal breakdowns of facing challenges on the trail. The Canadian warden gave an example of a man she helped on the trail: There was someone who came he was involved in policing a large city in the United States. And he had hypothermia, and his partner helped him out with tha t. We helped and then the next day they were ready to move on they started to go on, and she came back to me in the fog, and she came back to me and said he's slipped down and he won't get up. He had slipped on a bank, and he needed a lot of emotional supp ort to come up. He was down there, and when I got down there, he eventually said to me "I've been up against all these things my whole life like gun fights, and I've had a few trained on me." I've dealt with big emotional upheavals with people I've worked with. And there he is, and he said "but you know I'm going to die someday," and

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170 he's weeping like a baby. And the only thing you can do is hold him in your arms and get him out of the fog. NPS.2 There is something quite compelling about this story and othe rs like it. Interestingly, the warden doesn't explicitly say whether the police officer was physically fit, it is almost irrelevant in this story. Instead, his mental health and ability to react to big emotional changes is more important in this case. Emotional resilience, or grit, is more important in this case than his physical fitness. Given the police officer's emotional breakdown, the literature would define this as a peak experience. This moment ties together the religious history of sublime an d religious rhetoric. As discussed in Chapter 3, sublime nature was separate than wilderness. Sublime nature was a way to get closer to god using religious rhetoric compared with the wild, untamed, and frightening wilderness (DeLuca & Demo, 2001; Drenning, 2013; Th ompson, 1976) . The sublime nature discourse that brings in spirituality gives visitors and rangers the language and meanings to describe their nature experience in ways that are not appropriate in secular contexts. I cannot imagine someone talking about a religious experience they had with an agent from the Internal Revenue Service. This is not to say that Internal Revenue Service agents are not spiritually active, but the discourse supports spirituality in the national park context. The idea of active an d passive engagement and health provide additional scaffolding to overlay onto visitor identities such as obesity, race, gender, age, and physical ability. The idea of engagement, combined with visitor identity all influence who park employees are viewing as healthy in this context. While I will examine each identity as a separate entity, for rangers, these identities intersect in a myriad of ways, compounding perceptions and ideas.

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171 Identities Body Size Similarly, to how visitors' discussion of fat bodies was explored in Chapter 3, the moral discourse of fatness influences rangers. The morality of one's body, good/thin or bad/fat, extends to this outdoor context. One interpretive ranger described it this way, highlighting food behaviors: The hikers typica lly are in shape. And they understand what's needed on a daily basis for them hike X amount of miles. They knew the nutrients they need, the appropriate waters and drinks. Whereas cruise ship guests typically get off and they're looking for restaurants, or they've been eating multiple, multiple meals on the ship. So, they're usually larger, not quite as friendly, outgoing, 'cause they're not in the wilderness experiencing all this beauty. But they're more interested in just shopping and eating at the local establishments, whereas the hikers are there to get the ex perience of the backcountry. NPS.10 There are several ideas in this quote; one is that body size is an indicator of intelligence or experience. In this case, it is that a Chilkoot hiker must have sp ecialized knowledge in how to care for their bodies on the trail. While there is some of this in learning how to pack for a multi day hike, it is socially constructed that a thinner person may have this knowledge. A single hiking trip will be unlikely to a ffect the overall caloric balance of an individual. They immediately compare the hiker to a cruise ship passenger, where they conflate their larger body size and the friendliness of the group. As hikers supposedly have more mental health benefits from natu re, their social skills are better in interacting with rangers. Not only does this discount the possible mental health benefits of cruise ship passengers, or visitors who are fat, but also it shows the extent of fat bias into social behaviors. Age and phy sical status seem to interact with one another in these perceptions. A ranger commented: We do get a surprising number of people, I feel, when you say, "We've got a walking tour. It's only four blocks," that say, "I can't do that." They're never the peopl e that look like they're 80. It's someone that looks like they're in their late 40s or their 30s, and they're maybe a little heavier, or they're someone who doesn't engage in physical activity. NPS.15

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172 This observation, while far less overtly inflammat ory than other discussions of body size, is unusual in that the implication is that the physically unfit middle aged person may be less willing to be engaged with the park than an older individual. That in this case, their physical body size is more import ant than their age and that implication is that these visitors are lazy, or unworthy of being in the park. As someone who supposedly chose their health status, they are not included in the exempt categories of age or disability. The anti fat bias extends t o park rangers. One ranger, "Tara," classifies herself as fat. Over many conversations in the field season, she demonstrated humor and incisive observations about her treatment of her self classified "fat ranger." She described her experience in talking to visitors about hiking: So, when I came here, especially when you're a park ranger and you're wearing the uniform, people have an idea. They think of Park Rangers are like fit outdoorsy people, and then they see round me in the uniform, and it doesn' t meet their expectations. I'm at the Visitor Center desk, and people ask about a trail, and they're like "what is that like, Devil's Punchbowl?" [a particularly hard trail] and I say well yes I did that two weeks ago. They look at me like you did? Like, "how did you get up there?" So, in some ways for the Chilkoot, especially when people pass by, I'm like huffing and puffing up a hill, but I can do it. I might not be as fast or as good of shape as other people, but it's not impossible. I feel like I get t wo types of judgment other people who look at me with a snap judgment. Like, she can't be someone this size and do it. NPS.2 As "Tara" says, fat bias is very much a part of the "outdoorsy" perception and is unrelated to actual abilities and health benefits within the outdoors. I conducted this interview after hiking the trail with "Tara." While hiking with her, I observed others doing double takes or saying encouraging things. The articulation of the fit body as the hegemonic norm within wilderness engageme nt is expressed in visitor's expectations of a fit park ranger, and broader expectations of fit trail hikers. Yet "Tara" was hiking every trail available at KLGO, and demonstrated that being in physical shape is only one part of the toolkit needed to do lo nger, more challenging hikes. Having grit, and perseverance which "Tara" has in abundance is an essential part of this

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173 puzzle. That cruise ship passengers may or may not fit in these norms is indicative of their exclusion in larger "outdoorsy" narrativ es. Yet because grit or perseverance is less embodied than fat, it is not easy to make snap judgements about others in this context. The moral discourse of a fat body supersedes any positive emotional or mental health. Age and Ability Unlike obesity stat us, age and ability status are exempted categories when it comes to active and passive engagement. Like discussions of age and ability in Chapter 3, a ranger who had recently returned from her cruise said this: Yeah. I know we talk disparagingly about c ruise people, but when I went on a cruise, I did a ten day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. My friends got married. The reason they picked the cruise was that they had elderly grandparents who were not very mobile. They had a sister that had a two year old a nd another sister who was in a wheelchair. And the cruise ship was a way that we could all go and be together, and then people could do different levels of involvement. So, it is one of the advantages. I think we also have a lot of people that visit that a re Ð I mean national parks, in general, have an old average visitor, but they're older because the cruise ship will help them out so much. NPS.15 In this case, the underlying assumption is that cruising is terrible, or not worthwhile. The ranger explicitly talks about ranger discourse about cruise ship passengers "disparagingly." The unspoken narrative is that for everyone who does not have a "legitimate" (in this case, age or ability) reason then cruising is not an acceptable option. The unspoken underlyin g assumption is that these landscapes excluded older and disabled cruise ship passengers in the first place. The cruise ship changes from negative to positive when it is ferrying those without other options. Age was another topic that appeared when discus sing Chilkoot hikers. Unlike cruise ship passengers, trail hikers start out with some degree of legitimacy through their engagement with the park. However, age becomes more of a safety issue for many trail rangers: Yeah, you know we [trail rangers] try to touch base with the hikers Ð and I say we because all of us rangers do very similar things Ð put that out there Ð and just see Ð and you know you kind of good at identifying groups that you will be concerned with. And

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174 the groups that you're like I'm total ly okay with Ð like I love groups of women in their like 40s, 50s, 60s all hiking together because I know those groups are going to go as slow as they need to, they're going to stop and have snacks, they're going to support each other. It's kind of amazi ng, like when new rangers are out there they're like, "I was really worried about this group of older people. They had experience, but they didn't really know." And I'm like, "That's the group that's fine." They have their experience; they know when they n eed to turn around a lot of times. It's groups that don't have the experience or that are younger and want to be like, "Yeah, I'm going to do it as fast as I can," that don't recognize their limits. NPS. 1 In this quote, the trail ranger, "Megan" is talki ng challenge an unspoken dominant narrative of older adults being less safe than younger adults are. She mentions how new rangers are worried about older hikers. She reframes age as being an advantage because of the wisdom of borne out of experience . "Mega n" mentions gender in this quote, which I will explore in the next section. Being a woman is an advantage per "Megan" as they are more likely to go slowly, and the undercurrent is, less likely to be influenced by trail competition. As "Megan" points out, o lder women are compared with younger men in terms of who is producing health. In this case, the women have wisdom, strong social ties and experience listening to their bodies. Again, these more ephemeral and unobservable traits are not the focus yet they a re vital for producing health on the Chilkoot. In terms of age, another trail ranger, a Canadian warden, found that oftentimes people on the trail provides an avenue to begin grappling with their age: Some people that get injured, especially the older people, they get injured, or they find their bodies aren't working as well as they wanted to or expected them to. They're beginning to face something about that, and aging. There have been several cases for somebody got injured, and they're hiking with the ir partner. They suddenly feel they thought they were invulnerable and they've become vulnerable. They realize they're going to die. NPS.2 Through the process of hiking the trail, they begin to face their mortality. Instead of their younger body, with whic h they may have experience hiking, they must face the process of aging.

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175 An aging body most likely does not fit into their narrative of themselves as a hiker. The loss of this status, of being invulnerable, is quite distressing and reveals this narrative of belonging to the outdoors. Without the invulnerability of youth, there may not be a place for them out of doors, in the same way, there is for younger adults, at least in this view. Gender Gender came up in two contexts for rangers 1) in interpreting the history of the gold rush, which included sex work and 2) in the gender dynamics of NPS employees. While the interpretation and re interpretation of sex work in the Klondike is incredibly interesting and worthy of study in its own right it is outside th e scope of this inquiry. For this study, the gender dynamics of working for the park is quite interesting. Female rangers have been a mainstay of the NPS for quite some time, with many tracing histories back to the beginning of the NPS (Kaufman, 2006) . However, it was not until the 1970s that women wore the same size badge as men, much less had equal pay or equal acces s (Kaufman, 2006) . I have a clear memory of walking down the street in uniform and someone calling me a "Rangerette " a diminutive form of Ranger. While no rangers talked about the institutionalization of sexism, several brought up more subtle experiences of sexism. One ranger said: I Ð so one thing that several of us have noticed working at the VC desk is how a lot o f people gravitate toward the men, and sometimes I've had someone say to my face, ÔI'll just wait for him.' Yeah. So many times. I just want to be like, Ôwe have the same job.' NPS.10 The other significant theme that emerged was that several hikers noticed that most the trail rangers and wardens in the summer of 2016 were women. One man, in his late sixties, hiking with his niece said. Participant 1 (uncle): We did run into the trail crew at the Grand Canyon hike, and I made sure I shook their hands and sai d, you know, thank you very much. And I think it was all guys. In fact, that's another thing I don't know. If this trail is different than others, I'd say there are more women on this trail.

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176 Participant 2 (niece): Hiking and we've seen three rangers and all three rangers have been women. We've never seen that many women and there was a lot more women hikers. Sara: What do you think about that? Participant 2: Oh, I think it's great. There was one group kind of on the same pace as us. They were a group of eight women whose husbands were all out fishing or something together. So, they're just all decided to hike while their husbands were fishing. So, I think it's great that women are doing this. Participant 1: There was one woman in that group of eight who was maybe a little bit older and definitely a little bit heavier than everybody else. She just sucked it up though and kept chugging along. I think it's great that women are becoming more empowered but I am curious as to is that something unique to this t rail or unique to Canada? Because we certainly didn't see this many women and the Grand Canyon on either of the previous hikes, the big ones BK.6 This thought is interesting for several reasons. The first was the need for both to tell me how great they thi nk it is that women are hiking, even using the word "empower," meaning that they perceived their hiking as something out of the ordinary way of doing things. They noticed the women rangers and wardens. The uncle remarked on one of the women being overweigh t. He commented more easily on her body because she was a woman. She did not fit the norm for being in the backcountry. However, no one would have noticed her in the context of a cruise ship. In this way, through the silence from many, over weightiness was a non issue for many participants when asked about cruise ship passengers. Therefore, I conclude that women are entirely expected and unremarkable on cruise ships. Race and Ethnicity The summer season of 2016 was an int eresting time to do fieldwork, as the entire interpretive leadership was replaced with a new staff of rangers who are one generation younger than the leadership who retired . 2016 was the first season of a new chief of interpretation (the division head), a new supervisor, and almost an enti rely new interpretive staff. As it was my fifth season at the park, I had firsthand experience of the difference in management and orientations to interpretation. While previous individual rangers had brought in "alternative" narratives of non White people into KLGO, the season of 2016 marked a major change. Not only was mention of disempowered groups encouraged it was required. Instead of individual rangers fighting to

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177 challenge narratives, there was structural support to do so. The park service defined th e " disempowered groups " at KLGO as the Tlingit, Sex Workers, and Company L. The Tlingit man I interviewed said of this change: And the park service came up to us and said we totally forgot about you folks. Yeah, the indigenous people here, they totally fo rgot about us. Write us up in then, because we used to pack over the pass for X amount of dollars, you know, and that was quite the trade that they had going on here. IT.2 He does speak about the Park Service's attempt to include Native packers in the gold rush narrative. In addition, in the summer of 2016 KLGO received a grant to tell the stories of Company L, the all Black army regiment sent up to Skagway in 1898. The dynamic of an entirely White workforce being required to give programs on Company L is q uite interesting. From the perspective of a social justice oriented supervisory ranger: I still feel like I'm figuring out my job here and will probably feel that for at least the next year here. I feel that in my current capacity, what I'm working for is that equity based stewardship. Particularly making sure that the stories we tell are not as Eurocentric. It's been interesting to interpret company L this summerÉ I feel like as a white person my observation is that we equate our [White] getting more com fortable with a way to talk about Black history. That [way of interpreting] may not be a way that Black folks or other people of color would like their history discussed. We're at the stage where it's, you know, a chapter. It's just still written by White people. There used to not even be a chapter that was worth anything. So, how many chapters is good? What we need is the whole block, and we need it written by people of colorÉwe need to break away from the standard park ranger job description to truly do t his work and do the stories. I think we are working with some really outdated job descriptions. É I'm also very anxious to see if I can flip this park and to interpreting indigenous stories with more complexity in that the Tlingit's were hereÉ we talk for 10 minutes or speaking, and a past tense onlyÉthose are some ways I feel like I can't affect change on a cultural side. NPS.5 This ranger's hope to "flip the park" is quite telling she perceives she is going against a dominant institutional narrative. She talks about the people in power (White rangers) telling stories of those not in power and strategies to hire a more diverse workforce for the NPS. In addition, she talks about the use of the past tense with indigenous stories, a continued problem with Nati ve

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178 voices. However, not all rangers found the same enthusiasm with offering diverse perspectives. One ranger I talked to felt very uncomfortable interpreting Black history: I don't feel like I've been equipped to talk about it. Yeah. I feel uncomfortable with the assignment we are given and that it's forced on us. Also, that Ð I don't know Ð we weren't given any resources when we went into it. So, we were Ð some people I've heard have been like, "I'm just not gonna talk about race at all," which isn't fair to the story because race is an insanely huge factor. But then to be like, "I'm gonna comment and talk about this experience and views of African Americans or the Gold Rush. Who the heck am I to even say what it was like? NPS.8 This ranger observed that she does not have the knowledge or authority as a White person to talk about race. More to the point, this ranger did not feel adequately prepared, with language, with research or with training, to talk about race to the public. A different ranger who had a history of social activism found meaning in talking about Company L: It's the stories we tell about company L. There's individuals [Black visitors] who have been on our tour who identify with the source were telling. The fact that we're telling these st ories, that they're identifying with them. They're [visitors] are becoming empowered. For me that's health. I don't think health is eating. I think health is mental health. It's totally mental. Think about it. NPS.17 For this ranger, "Amy," health is about empowerment through storytelling. The 2016 season was "Amy's" first as a ranger, previously she had worked for an advocacy group fighting the park service over historic land use policies (not at KLGO), and so she was grappling with the change. Through our conversations, I saw how she was beginning to understand the power and the role of being a NPS representative. This quote reflects that knowledge in having competing narratives coming from the authority on the history. NPS Visitor Survey In the summer se ason of 2016, the NPS contracted through a company (Resource Systems Group, RSG) conducted a visitor survey. The purpose of the study is "to document and assess trends concerning national park visitation, the characteristics of national park visitors and non visitors, the impacts of park management on visitors' experiences, and the effectiveness of

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179 NPS educational and other engagement efforts" (Appendix 2 ). In addition, this survey has a special socioeconomic focus to assess "visitor and trip characteris tics, visitor spending in gateway communities, visitor perceptions of park experiences, visitor attitudes toward park management, and visitor satisfaction about park services and facilities" (Appendix 2 ). These are the stated purposes of the study from the NPS and RSG (the group administering the survey). In addition to these stated purposes of the study, I also view the questions of the study as indicative of how park service personnel are conceptualizing and understanding differences in visitor populatio ns. In conjunction with the in depth interviews, this survey adds to the ethnography by drawing on engagement and demographic questions to explore different types of park engagement that the literatures suggest improve health, and identify alignment a nd divergence between the survey and in depth qualitative responses. In order to better understand how rangers view active and passive engagement, in terms of quantitative methodology, this section will examine how demographic characteristics play into the dynamics of engagement. Additionally, I will examine these quantitative relationships and how they align with the qualitative results. Using data collected by the NPS in the summer of 2016, this section will explore different types of park engagement asso ciated with demographic measures. • Provide input into the park's planning processes • Assist with the conceptual design of interpretive and educational programs to match visitor interests and needs • Assess feedback about visitor facilities and services • Assess economic contributions of visitor spending to local businesses and governments in t he area Figure 8 : NPS SEM Survey Goals

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180 Methods The NPS SEM pilot survey was sponsored by the NPS and directed, cleaned and by RSG. The NPS SEM pilot survey was given in 20 different national parks, including KLGO , in the summer of 2016 to calibrate it for a se rvice wide survey. Participants over the age of 18 were recruited, and respondents reported ages from 20 years to 97 years old. The analyses for this study are limited to responses collected at KLGO . Participants were recruited by individual research assis tants at one of five sampling locations in KLGO, the Visitor's Center, the Mascot Saloon, the Moore House, the Chilkoot Trailhead, Dyea, and two cruise ship docking areas. Research assistants handed out a total of 870 surveys an d 411 people completed surve ys, a 49% response rate. Additional characteristics of the sample are presented in table 6 . Additional information, as well as photos of the location sites, can be found in Appendix 3 . Measures Dependent Variables. Dependent variables of interest were ca lculated from ten sub questions following the question; "how important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip?", with response options ranging from not important (=1) to very important (=5). There were a total of ten sub qu estions (lis ted in Table 6 ) assessing the importance visitors gave to different reasons for visiting KLGO on their trip. These questions map directly onto several literatures that link health in parks. For two reasons (NPS Engagement, Physical Engagement), a single measure was used. For the other three types of reasons (Social Engagement, Stress Relief, Engagement with Nature), I created three separate scales, by combining survey items through factor analysis, and then creating each construct to develop a t otal scale score. Physical Engagement. Another dependent measure is the self reported importance of "getting physical exercise" reason for visiting KLGO from not at all important (=1) to very important (=5). Engaging with

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181 the outdoors promotes exercise (Godbey, 2009; Pretty, 2004b; Stanis et al., 2014; T hompson, 1976) . People are more likely to exercise outside, and report having increased mental health benefits when they do so (Ball et al., 2001; Gladwell, Brown, Wood, Sandercock, & Barton, 2013; Prett y, 2004b) . In fact, research around health and well being in nature has catalyzed the Healthy Parks Healthy People initiatives (Armaitiene, Bertuzyte, & Vaskaitis, 2014; 2011) . Social Engagement. Social engagement is the self reported importance of " spending time with friends/f amily" and "learning more about American history and culture". The first item assesses the extent to which individuals are engaging with their more immediate social network, while the second measures engagement with shared cultural and societal histories a nd identities, a broader social network. These are both mechanisms that support engagement with the park (Abraham, Sommerhalder, & Abel, 2010; Coleman & Iso Ahola, 1993; Fleming, 2007; Pryor, Carpenter, & Townsend, 2005; Zukin, Keeter, Andolina, Jenkins, & Carpini, 2006) . Stress Relief through Nature. This construct can be measured by the following items: "to relax," "to experience solitude," and "to hear the sounds of nature/quiet". The proposed mecha nism of stress relief through engaging with nature is related to the idea of attention restoration theories (the idea that our brains are more suited to natural environments and can better restore in them), and has largely been explored through the psychol ogical literatures (Adevi & Grahn, 2011; Hartig, Kaiser, & Bowler, 2001; Nordh, Hartig, Hagerhall, & Fry, 2009) . Much of these literatures focus on "restoration" through solitude, and relaxation techniques. In addition to these restoration ideas, the idea of stress relief through the sounds of nature is an eme rging theme among the health in parks community. The idea is that mechanical, or city noise creates stressful

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182 environments, whereas natural areas facilitate restoration (Alvarsson et al., 2010; Annerstedt et al., 2013; Benfield, Taff, Newman, & Smyth, 2014; Gramann, 1999; Szeremeta & Zannin, 2009) . I also included the "sounds" measure in the next dependent variable as it is fundamentally part of visitors' experiences in nature. Engag ement with Nature. Using the following four items, I measure the extent to which visitors desire to engage with nature: "to hear the sounds of nature/quite", "to view wildlife or natural scenery," "to be outdoors" and "to view night sky/stars 13 " rated f rom at all important (=1) to very important (=5). These constructs follow the idea of nature as the primary reason for visiting parks, as well as the ideas behind the symbolism of Alaska. It is also reflective of what the NPS believes to be part of nature and th e social construction of nature. 13 Unfortunately for visitors answering a 5 to this question, August in Southeast Alaska still has very few dark hours. Dependent Variable Categories (5 point Likert) How important to you was each of the following reasons for visiting KLGO on this trip? Please mark (_ ! )_ one for each row. (5 points Likert scale) Measure Engagement Domain Alpha To visit a National Park Service site NPS Engagement n/a To get physical exercise Physical Health n/a To spend time with friends/family Social Health To learn more about American history and culture Social Health .32 To relax Stress Narrative To experience solitude Stress Narrative To hear the sounds of nature/quiet Nature Experience/Stress Narrative .75 To view wildlife or natural scenery Nature Experience To be outdoors Nature Experience To view night sky/stars Nature Experience .80 Table 6 : Engagement Constructs

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183 These measures are supported by ideas of nature itself producing health (Armaitiene et al., 2014; Demeritt, 2002; Pretty, 2004b) . While not making an explicit argument for how nature produ ces health, it does provide insight into the importance of engaging with nature. Since each scale had a different number of items, leading to a different range of total scale scores, I standardized the scores by normalizing and centering the total scale s cores for comparability between measures and then centered them to aid in interpretation (mean=0, variance=1). I tested the reliability of each scale using Cronbach's alpha (Goodwin, 1999) and factor analysis to test the a priori groupings to see if they factor in the same way, which demonstrated the reliability of the multi it em scales. Grouping the variables together is in congruence with the construct assumptions of each health doma in, which I discuss in the next section. Ultimately, only the Stress Narrative, and Nature Experience demonstrated construct validity. Social heal th, with an alpha of .32, did not meet the accepted level for construct validity (Goodwin, 1999) . Most likely the two measures, about spending time with friends and family and learning about American history were not measuring similar types of social activities. Social cohesion, as measured by spending time with friends and fami ly is not the same idea as intellectual curiosity, which was measured by learning about American history. The Stress Narrative measure did have construct validity as all three follow the mechanism of stress relief and attention restoration theory as discus sed above. Nature Experience also demonstrated construct validity with an alpha of .80 which indicates the measures of experiencing nature hang together well.

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1 84 NPS Park Engagement . One of the dependent measures of interest is the self reported importan ce of visiting "a National Park Service Site", which, in this case, is KLGO. This measure is of interest as a comparison to the qualitative results, especially from the ranger perspective, as many rangers talked about whether KLGO is symbolic as an NPS sit e or as part of Alaska, broadly. In terms of the research goals, this variable provides value in terms of thinking about engagement and the construction of Skagway as an NPS site, but does not link directly to ideas of what is healthy or not in this contex t.

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185 Cruise Ship Passengers. For the independent variable, I use d a dichotomous variable of mode of arrival to the KLGO park Ð cruise ship passengers vs. other mode of transit (plane, train, driving, boat, etc.), as reported by the respondents. Arriving by cruise ship was coded as 1 and other forms of transportation as 0. This dichotomy reflects the categorization used by both visitors and rangers during interviews, wherein visitors were described as either cruise ship passengers or backpackers. From an ethnographic perspective, the inclusion of mode of transportation on the survey instrument refl ects the importance that the park service gave to this topic. Characteristic 2016 n Age, years % Mean (SD, range) 59.2 (13.2, 20 97) Sex % n Male 44.4 173 Female 55.6 217 Race/Ethnicity( %) % n Asian, Hawaiian, Black, Native, Hispanic 6.1 25 White 93.9 34 9 Taking Cruise Ship,(%) 85.2 349 Ability, % 92.3 370 Education (%) % n Some high school 1.5 6 High school graduate or GED 6.1 24 Some college, business, or trade school 13.7 54 College, business, or trade school 33.3 131 Some graduate school 7.9 31 Master's, doctoral, or professional degree 37.4 147 Income in $ % n Less than $24,999 2.3 9 $25,000 $34,999 2.3 9 $35,000 $49,999 4.9 19 $50,000 $74,999 14.0 54 $75,000 $99,999 14.3 55 $100,000 $149,999 21.3 82 $150,000 $199,999 7.3 28 $200,000 or more 11.9 46 Table 7 : Demographics

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186 Covariates I use the multivariate modelling: age (continuous), sex (male, female), dummy variables for race and ethnicity, which I analyzed by combining non White ethnicities (Asian, Hawaiian, Black, Native and Hispanic). Ability status measured whether or not respondents had a "physical condition that made it difficult to access or participate in park activities or services." Statistical Analyses All analyses were conducted in Stata 12.0 (Co llege Station, TX). Multivariate linear regression analyses estimated whether those who arrived in Skagway by cruise ship reported different levels of importance for different types of engagement with the park (NPS Engagement, Physical Engagement, Social E ngagement Stress Relief, and Nature Engagement) compared to those who arrived via another mode of transit, when controlling for other socio demographic factors. Collinearity tests were conducted and residual scatterplots were generated to confirm the assum ptions of regression analysis. Multilevel regression analysis estimated whether self reported park engagement was associated with whether visitors arrived in Skagway by cruise ship, when controlling for other demographic variables. Accounting for these tim es of engagement is in congruence with testing the qualitative findings of park engagement, as well as theoretical assumptions. Results Table 6 presents alpha statistics for the dependent measures, discussed above. There were a total of ten sub question s (listed in Table 6) assessing the importance visitors gave to different reasons for visiting KLGO on their trip. These questions map directly onto several literatures that link health in parks. For two reasons (NPS Engagement, Physical Engagement), a sin gle measure was used. For the other three types of reasons (Social Engagement, Stress Relief, Engagement

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187 with Nature), I created three separate scales, by combining survey items through factor analysis, and then creating each construct to develop a total s cale score. Table 7 presents descriptions of the sample. Participants (N=411) were 44% male and 56% female, with a mean age of 59. Covariates in linear regression models included age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and income to control for individual le vel characteristics. Table 8 presents results from five linear regression models run to determine the association of each type of engagement with demographic factors explored in Table 7. Visitors who arrived at KLGO via cruise ship reported greater import ance of physical engagement and engagement with as reasons for their visit when compared to those who arrived at KLGO via other modes of transit, controlling for other characteristics. For physical engagement, cruise ship passengers reported an increase of engagement by .19 compared with non cruise ship passengers when adjusting for covariates. For NPS engagement, cruise ship passengers reported an increase of engagement by .12 compared with non cruise ship passengers when adjusting for covariates. As socia l engagement demonstrated low construct validity (.32) as well as insignificant results, this model is inconclusive. Among other reasons for visiting KLGO, there was no significant difference (alpha=.05) in the importance levels bet ween these two transit g roups. F(7,319) =1.13. Participants with higher income status reported significantly more importance for stress relief compared to those with lower income when adjusting for other factors. None of the other covariates in the models were significant predict ors of any reasons for engagement with KLGO at alpha =.05. Models explained between 1% and 5% of the variance in the importance given to different r easons for visiting KLGO.

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188 NPS Engagement Physical Engagement Social Engagement (invalid construct) Stress Relief Nature Engagement Constant (Type of Engagement) 3.5 3.2 0.24 0.68 0.24 Cruise Ship 0.07 0.19** 0.04 0.03 0.12* Gender 0.06 0.07 0.001 0.02 0.05 Age 0.09 0.03 0.05 0.07 0.001 Race/Ethnicity 0.04 0.06 0.001 0.05 0.04 Education 0.04 0.08 0.03 0.02 0.03 Income 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.13* 0.06 Ability Status 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.05 0.04 Model fit R 2 .02 .06 .006 .03 .02 F Statistic .34 2.75 .27 1.6 1.4 Note: *p<0.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001 Discussion This portion of the study examined the importance of different types of engagement (NPS Engagement, Physical Engagement, Social Engagement Stress Relief, and Nature Engagement) among a sample of 41 1 visitors to KLGO in the summer of 2016. This analysis provides some modest evidence that cruise ship passengers rate the importance of engaging with nature, and the importance of physical exercise more highly than their non cruise ship counterparts. Ther e was also a very modest association of high er income status and an increased importance of seeking stress relief in visiting the park. In addition, the observation is that there were no statistically significant differences between cruise ship passengers and people who did not arrive by cruise ship is important. Table 8 : Linear Regression Models

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189 However, as very little of the observed differences in all five types of engagement could be explained by the observed variables, there may be some significant limitations to these data. The first limitation may be the limited sample size. While large for the area and the time constraints, it may not be a large enough sample to show demonstrable differences of engagement. Or, there could also just be limited differences by demographics or cruise sh ip status on the importance of different types of engagement with the park. Another limitation is that 85% of the respondents were cruise ship passengers, so the sample is more heavily weighted to this group. In addition, as this analysis was a secondary use of this data after examining the socio economic impacts of the park, there may be some additional limitations. Had I had the time, resources and ability to design, conduct and analyze data such as these, I would have done several things differently. Fi rst, I would focus on cruise ship passengers, and backpackers, as well as ask park employee's opinions. I would also have included more explicit health measures such as self reported health status and height and weight. However, as the study was neither de signed nor conducted by me, the results are somewhat limited. In addition, the model analyzing Social Engagement was not compelling because the items did not hang together and the construct is not supported by literature. Convergence and Divergence with Q ualitative Results However, there is more to the story when analyzed in conjunction with the qualitative results from Chapter 5. As the quantitative tool, itself , was indicative of how rangers view visitors. T he survey instrument does demonstrate that th ese types of engagement (NPS Engagement, Physical Engagement, Social Engagement Stress Relief, and Nature Engagement) are important to the park service to measure, as are the demographic character istics. I also know

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190 that the park service is not as interest ed in other health measures, such as height, or weight, or self reported health, although they do include measures around accommodations for disabilities. The types of health the park service is interested in are firmly within the natural world , as fitting its mission statement . Als o, from the qualitative data, I know that rangers (as well as many visitors) group park visitors on demographic identities including body size, age and ability, ethnicity and disabilities. Arguably the largest factor rangers use to group people together is whether the visitors arrived by cruise. Therefore, the modest relationship of cruise ship passengers rating visiting the park and getting exercise higher is so interesting. If the rangers and visitor's stereotyping of cruise sh ip passengers were supported, the self reported engagement score would have been negative. Instead it was a modest positive relationship, going directly against the qualitative results. Th e finding of cruise ship passengers as reporting higher levels of p hysical and park engagement reveals the stereotypes imbedded in the active and passive discourses from past constructs of people receiving health benefits through "working for it." This construct has roots in the Progressive Era, in the construction of nat ure as well as the construction of health in nature (Cronon, 1996; DeLuca & Demo, 2001; Ray, 2009) . In addition, there are also structural roots within the park service itself that privilege hikers and those who are intensely engaging with the park. However, the discourse of hikers as the healthiest in parks and the implicatio ns of this discourse does not have to continue. Implications As with Chapter 3, the social perceptions, and discourses rangers use to discuss their relationship to the park, as well as their perception of visitor's relationship to the park is quite comp lex. These ideas also construct the image and imagery of being a national park ranger, and

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191 rangers demonstrate their jobs as a source of identity and pride. When asked about the perception of visitors' health in parks, rangers underlie their observations b y categorizing visitors as either actively or passively engaged. The implication of this discourse is that it privileges hikers (and others who did not arrive by cruise) as the healthiest in this context. Yet even when examining the discourse of rangers, I begin to see examples of this dichotomy breaking down. The fittest hiker is not necessarily the healthiest. The healthiest are the unexpected and not always physically fit: the group of women who will take frequent breaks, the larger ranger who knows her limits but can have mental fortitude to push herself . The unhealthiest can be physically fit people without the mental and social health; the police officer who abruptly must face his past traumas in the face of the trail . The stereotype of hikers as being more engaged with the park is directly opposite from the modest statistical results from the NPS SEM survey conducted in 2016. The simple framework of hikers as actively engaged and backpackers as passively engaged is not supported by either the quantitat ive or qualitative findings. While it may be the explanatory framework for many rangers, it is not supported by their own discourse nor the statistical findings of the SEM survey. However, when we understand the deeper goals of the NPS, as well as the job s of many of the rangers, the tension arises. How does an institution both attempt to engage an audience, while also acknowledging that not everyone will, in fact, engage? In many cases, broader moral discourses around things like body size, age, and abili ty start to creep in as explanatory frameworks as to why certain people are no t connected with the park in ideal fashions. While certainly some visitors will not engage the reality of such high visitation rates perhaps the ranger who identified the nar row scope of the stories being told is on to something. Perhaps there

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192 are discourses within the park that can help engage these "unreachable" people. Then we can truly broaden our view of what it means, and how it looks, to be healthy in nature.

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193 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION As with most research, this dissertation has personal origins for me. While I had grown up immersed in National Parks and the outdoors, when I was ten years old, my family moved from Illinois to Colorado, I suddenly felt unwelcome in the intense outdoor culture of Colorado. This meant that I still went on hikes, still camped, and still did the things that from the outside looked outdoorsy but considered myself not outdoorsy enough. It was not until my first season at KLGO that I realized that the engaging with the outdoors is more about how much I could connect with the landscape and not the number of miles hiked, or elevation gained. This deeply personal realization led me to consider others. If I, a third generation rang er, felt uncomfortable in these outdoor contexts how is someone with limited family history to feel? Or someone without the positive associations that I have with the park service? What should the people who fall outside the norms of a normal hiker feel? T hese thoughts were in the back of my head as I began to contemplate the intersection of public health and public lands as well as review the literature. I had a hunch that there was more to the story of how health is produced in parks than the narrow frame of the biomedical literature . Summary

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194 Through this dissertation, I have explored the ways in which the social construction of nature and health influence how park visitors experience and perceive health benefits while engaging with KLGO. I did this f irst by exploring the theoretical foundations of this ethnography by examining Foucauldian discourse analysis and the duplicity and material realities of landscapes . In Chapter 3, I examined the relationship between discourse and perceptions of their own h ealth that visit ors had while engaging with KLGO . I found that visitors group themselves into passive and active engagement within the parks. Visitor demographics such as body size, gender, age and ability and race and ethnicity influence these approaches to engagement. In Chapter 4, I explored how visitors interpret the symbolic environment of KLGO and how it influenced perceived health benefits. I found that Alaska, especially, had rich symbolism attached to it with ideas about nature, solitude, purity, a nd authenticity. These ideas of Alaska then influenced how people read health from the landscape. In Chapter 5, I explored the discursive power of NPS employees and their beliefs of visitors experiencing health in KLGO. I found that NPS employees use simil ar discourses as visitors to group people into active and passive engagement and similar visitor demographics influence this perception. I found quantitatively that cruise ship visitors in a statistically significant manner rated engaging with Figure 9 : Conceptual Model

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195 nature as mo re important th an non cruise ship passengers. This idea of hikers as being more engaged with the park is directly opposite from the modest statistical results. Those who do not fit the socially constructed "norm" for healthy outdoor engagement certainly re port feeling healthy in the outdoors. However, they are the ones who are missing from the discourse of health in parks, which is so much more than physical health. Social Constructionism and the Medical Model S ome may question the utility of examining t he social construction of any topic, including health and nature. While those in the social sciences consider social construction as a given so much that it does not warrant an argument it is so widely accepted. The social construction of health, howev er, has not reached the biomedical literature or common understandings of medicine and health . There is a tension if biomedicine acknowledges uncertainty, will populations still follow dominant medical advice? Or does admitting uncertainty, and the fact that historical context, culture and power structures influence the way we perceive health undermine some health knowledge? These questions and tensions are rooted in biomedical power structures and have had cultural work done to reinforce dominant discour ses. By unveiling the power structures that support dominant discourses, we can begin to challenge them. Using the argument of the social construction of health as a base, we can understand that the separation of domains of health (mental, physical, spir itual) are the most constructed of all. Based upon this study, visitors are receiving perceived health benefits that interlink with one another such that to untangle them is futile. These health domains have a legacy within Cartesian understandings of mind /body dualisms, with discourses such as the "body as machine" metaphor reinforcing the separation of forms of health.

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196 Instead, acknowledging whole health benefits of engaging the whole person not just his or her body, mind or spirit is truly the goal of health promotion in the outdoors. The passive ways of interacting with the park are supporting some health benefits but they are doing it in ways that 1) aren't being captured by biomedical literatures that privilege physical engagement and 2) don't fit within the historical discourse of engaging with nature. The implication is that a very specific way of engaging with the park is the only one thought to matter. A major critique of this study for some is that it does not measure "objective" biomedical data BMI, heart rates or cortisol levels to name a few. Instead, I call into question the utility of these measures in the first place trying to use metrics borne out of Newtonian medicine to observe effects more rooted in holistic understandings of bo th health and nature. This is not to say that biomedicine does not have a place in outdoor contexts, only that if society can construct domains of health, perhaps we can utilize discourses to shape a more holistic understanding of both human and ecosystem health . Instead of deploying the "body as machine" metaphor which constructs us as individuals, perhaps we can view ourselves as part of an ecosystem constructing community level interactions. This can move the visitor discourse beyond a dichotomy of b ackpacker/cruise ship, and even beyond a spectrum of visitor engagement more towards system thinking. Visitors are no longer separately interacting with a park on a continuum, instead they are part of a complex interplay of many factors engaging with the p ark. The idea of visitors and all humans as part of the ecosystem of the parks begs a system view of park engagement. Landscape and Health Using a landscape frame, Alaska and KLGO represents several fram es including the NPS, and n ature broadly. I use d this theoretical lens to unpack the "cultural work" of the

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197 supposedly pure idea of Alaska and then reveal whom each area socially allows. The frontier era historical town serves as a contrast to the backpacking trail in terms of people's perception of natu re, and yet the National Pa rk Service equally manages both trail and town. The implication of this is 1) there is room for reframing and impacting the "cultural work" of these places and 2) this reframing could then broaden ideas of who is perceived as pro ducing health in these places. Health promotion campaigns could include ideas such as purity or wilderness as ideas of health producing places. Democratization of National Parks and Health From its very conception, National Parks have been a radical id ea. The privileged elite always had access to beautiful places, but for a government to set aside land for the public was unprecedented. Ken Burns calls it America's Best Idea, and Americans and the world have responded in turn with millions of visits to N ational Park per year. I see a parallel of this democratization of public lands along with the development of public health as a discipline National P arks were places that the middle and upper classes could escape the oppressive population and diseases o f cities. The underlying principle of both phenomenon of public health and public lands putting collective dollars into lands to benefit collective Americans is one I find to be incredibly interesting. Framed one way, National Parks are democratic th ey provide access to all. Framed in another way, National Parks are restricting access to income generating private businesses and are being funded by the federal government. Yet, in my experience as a ranger and a visit or, National Parks seem to unite visitors on all political spectrums. I had a man wearing a confederate flag hat thank me for my service to the government. Since I began this research in the fall of 2015, and then the field research in the summer of 2016, to the completion in summer

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198 of 2018 I have witnessed a sea change in political discourses. Embedded within broader nationalistic and individualized discourses, the ideas of public lands and public health have been under attack. Yet visitation numbers conti nue to increase and there is continued support from all political orientations for parks. In the discourses around National Parks, I see a shared value of collective action , access for all that incongruously, for most Americans at least, does not contin ue to the health of our nation. I concluded every tour I gave going back to the origin of the National Park Service 's mission to support " the education, inspiration and enjoyment of this and future generations." Visitors frequently became emotional. Howeve r, there is a large disconnection between protecting land for all, and providing healthcare access for all. As this dissertation demonstrates, we so abundantly see the connection between health and nature, to ask about it is to try to touch the unexplainab le. I believe National Parks have deftly deployed collective discourses to a culture that prizes individualism above all else. Through connecting National Parks and public lands to public health, I see a way to use collective discourses to reframe the idea s of what health for populations could and can look like. T his vision of protecting places for a future generation can and should be extended to the health our most vulnerable citizens. Recommendations to the NPS A key aspect of this dissertation was the ideas and disc ourses of the NPS constructing moral discourses about ideal ways of engaging with parks, and by extension, who is healthy in parks. Through this research, I found a disconnection between idealized goals and powerful discourses of the park se rvice and how ideas are deployed in the day to day work of rangering. Like many institutions, the NPS struggles with this disconnect. I have also struggled personally to apply principles of complete access for all with the realities of confronting visitors who do not

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199 share the same ethics and history of public lands as I do. However, I do believe there is hope in uniting the grand goals and idealism of the park service with the realities of living and working in parks. As the NPS turned 100 in 2016, it id entified a broad vision for the next 100 years. This revisioning of what the NPS could be and how public lands are changing is defined i n the four subgoals for the next century, the NPS aims to: 1. ! Develop and nurture lifelong connections between the public and parks especially through young people through a continuum of engaging recreational, educational, volunteer, and work experiences. 2. ! Connect urban communities to parks, trails, waterways, and community green spaces that give people access to fun outd oor experiences close to home. 3. ! Expand the use of parks as places for healthy outdoor recreation that contributes to people's physical, mental, and social well being. 4. ! Welcome and engage diverse communities through culturally relevant park stories and exper iences that are accessible to all. (National Park Service, 2015, p. 6) Even these four goals reflect shifting ideas of the utilities of public lands for younger people, diverse visitors, in areas close to home and for health. Through this research, I have found that goals three and four are even more interlinked than first imagined. With a focus on expanding the parks as places for healthy outdoor recreation, the NPS cannot ignore goal four to welcome and engage diverse communities. Even their identification of "cult urally relevant stories and activities" is vital. As I have learned discourses, including stories, are inherently powerful. Through this work, I have demonstrated the need to expand the ideas of who can participate and receive health benefits from the natu ral environment beyond the gendered, racialized, able bodied, and ideal of an outdoor enthusiast. The challenge, to me, remains in how to operationalize idealized ways of connecting visitors to public lands when faced with realities of decreasing funding for park personnel,

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200 difficult hiring practices and increasing visitor populations. These structural challenges are all contributing to the stressed realities of park personnel. To a person, NPS personnel expressed a love for public lands and a desire to co nnect visitors with them. However, the barriers are between the idealism and the realities of talking to huge visitor populations. Therefore, the challenge remains to change the power structures in which the discourses are created. If a visitor encounter s a ranger who is paid a livable wage, has adequate support to do his/her job and steady employment, my guess is that interaction will be easier. Beyond these structural changes, I would also focus on challenging the implicit and culturally mediated biases rangers have with park employees. Borne out of social psychology, there is a lot of research currently being conducted on how to address implicit racism. I think these principles could be easily translated to this context. Future Work This work has lai d the foundation for the inclusion of the deep histories and theoretical contributions that place can have when examining health in parks. It has produced novel information that can help to establish programming in National Parks including interpretation b y rangers as well as marketing and recruitment materials. Ethnographic perspectives are important in bringing to light alternative explanations that powerful relationships, such as NPS rangers, can overshadow. This research broadens the understanding of he alth in parks to facilitate future interventions that NPS employees, public health practitioners, and ultimately policy makers can use. It is my hope that regardless of their demographics, people who visit National Parks can expect to experience health ben efits.

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209 Zukin, C., Keeter, S., Andolina, M., Jenkins, K., & Car pini, M. X. D. (2006). A new engagement?: Political participation, civic life, and the changing American citizen . Oxford University Press. Appendix A : Interview Guides Interview Guide for Cruise Ship Tourists/Independent Travelers: " #$ ! %&'"( )("'*+",&**-."/*",*0."/*"123-435" " 2. ! What were you looking for on your trip? a. ! Probes if they're talking about health areas 3. ! What did you think Alaska would be like? 4. ! Is this what you expected? 5. ! Is this your first time to Skagway? To Alaska? a. ! If not, when did yo u first arrive? i. ! What has brought you back? b. ! If so, have you done other cruises? Outdoor trips? i. ! Where? Please describe it. 6. ! Are you traveling with other people? a. ! How many? b. ! How did the group come together? c. ! What do you think attracted the other people to co me? 7. ! If they haven't seen the park yet: a. ! Show 4 5 park photos: buildings, shorter trails, a range of things i. ! Which one of these what you thought you would see here? ii. ! Which of these do you like the most? iii. ! Which if any inspires you? iv. ! Which one of these would y ou want to show people? 1. ! What about it? 8. ! Only if they've seen the park a. ! Have you taken photos in Skagway? Or on your trip?

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210 b. ! Is there something especially interesting that you've learned about this place that you'd like to share with me? c. ! Why did that stri ke you / why is it special / interesting to you? i. ! What does it inspire for you? 9. ! Can you describe a time in your life when you felt particularly healthy? 10. ! Do you see health as connected to experiences with nature? a. ! National Parks? b. ! This park? 11. ! What health and wellbeing benefits do you gain from visiting KLGO? a. ! Mental? Physical? Spiritual? Social? b. ! Do you think visiting KLGO NP improves your well being? c. ! In what ways? why / how? 12. ! Thank you so much! Would you be willing to share your favorite photos? I'd love to h ear how your visit goes! Interview Guide for Chilkoot Hikers #$ ! %&'"()("'*+",&**-."/*"&)4."/&."6&)24**/5" " 2. ! What were you looking for on your trip? a. ! Probes if they're talking about health areas 3. ! What did you think the Chilkoot would be like? 4. ! Is this what you ex pected? 5. ! Is this your first time hiking the Chilkoot? a. ! If not, when did you first hike it? i. ! What has brought you back? b. ! If so, have you backpacked much before? i. ! Where? Please describe it. 6. ! Are you traveling with other people? a. ! How many? b. ! How did the group com e together? c. ! What do you think attracted the other people to come? 7. ! At Sheep Camp a. ! What have you thought about the trail so far? b. ! Do you have any photos of your trip so far? c. ! Has it inspired you? 8. ! In Skagway a. ! What was your Chilkoot experience like? b. ! Is there so mething especially interesting that you've learned about this place that you'd like to share with me? c. ! Why did that strike you / why is it special / interesting to you? i. ! What does it inspire for you? 9. ! Can you describe a time in your life when you felt part icularly healthy? 10. ! Do you see health as connected to experiences with nature? a. ! National Parks? b. ! This park? 11. ! What health and wellbeing benefits do you gain from visiting KLGO?

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211 a. ! Mental? Physical? Spiritual? Social? b. ! Do you think visiting KLGO NP improves your w ell being? c. ! In what ways? why / how? Interview Guide for Park Employees: 1. ! What attracted you to work for the park service? 2. ! What did you imagine this job to be like? a. ! Is it? b. ! How is it different? c. ! What are you providing people? 3. ! What about the NPS do you enj oy? Not enjoy? a. ! Challenges? 4. ! Could you describe the "typical" cruise ship passenger? Backpacker? a. ! What are the exceptions? 5. ! Do you alter your interpretation/guidance depending on the visitor? a. ! How? 6. ! What do you think benefits are for visitors for being at KL GO? 7. ! Do you see health connected to being outside for visitors? a. ! Do you think visitors are having a positive health experience at KLGO NP? Are some having a healthier visit than others? In what ways? 8. ! Do you see health as connected to experiences with natu re? a. ! National Parks? b. ! This park? Probes: 1. ! Could you tell me more about that please? 2. ! What did you mean when you said ______? 3. ! You mentioned _____, can you tell me a bit more about that? 4. ! What was going through your head when youÉ?