Grand Teton has a rich and complex history of outdoor recreation, commercial guiding, and tourism. This history includes pioneering contributions to climbing, mountaineering, hiking, dude ranching, and river rafting that are part of larger trends seen across the United States during the post-World War II recreation boom. Despite this rich history and its impacts on the field of national park recreation management and the outdoor recreation industry, very few scholarly projects have explored these aspects of the park’s past.
During her talk, Dr. Youngs will share images, stories, and the fascinating history of the Snake River community. To date her exploration of the topic has included archival research, field work, and oral histories of pioneer guides, commercial concessionaire operators, and river rangers. Through this examination, she has uncovered a fascinating and scarcely told past and is expanding the scope of her study of the river.
Dr. Youngs specializes in environmental historical geography, historical Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cultural landscapes, tourism, outdoor recreation, field methods, national parks and protected areas, and the western United States. She earned a Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University and a M.S. in Geography at Montana State University. She teaches courses in the Historical Geography of National Parks, World Regional Geography, Digital History, GIS, and U.S. Environmental History.