Associate Professor


Contact Info

Institution: California State University, San Bernardino

Phone: (909) 537-5519

Address: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies California State University San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California 92407, US


Research Disciplines

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Geographic Information Systems

  • Geography

  • Outdoor Recreation

  • Tourism

  • Cultural Anthropology

  • Water Resources

  • Landscape Design

Research Interests

Cultural Landscapes, Tourism, Outdoor Recreation, National Parks and Protected Areas, Story Maps (GIS), Environmental Studies


Title: Adventure Outdoor Recreation History and Management in Grand Teton National.  Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Grand Teton National Park   (GRTE).  Cooperative Ecosystem Research Unit Study (CESU) for NPS P16AC01260 and/or P16AC01179. CFDA 15.945. #P11AC8R001, 7/1/2016 – 7/01/2021


Dr. Youngs is an Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at California State University, San Bernardino.  She specializes in cultural geography, environmental studies, national parks and protected areas, public lands, environmental justice, social science GIS, conservation of natural resources, environmental policy and land management, field methods, American West, Europe. Dr. Youngs recently moved to CSUSB (2021) after nine years as Associate Professor of geography at Idaho State University where she conducted CESU funded research with the US National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park (Great Basin CESU and Rocky Mountain CESU), documenting and interpreting the history of outdoor recreation, tourism, and environmental management focused on river rangers, river guides, and mountaineering rangers. Her work also includes active and ongoing field and research projects in additional NPS sites (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Canyonlands, Yosemite). At CSUSB, she is interested in developing California based CESU projects at Channel Islands and other NPS sites. Her publications appear in the Geographical Review, GeoHumanities, Environmental History, Journal of Teaching and Learning Technology, and Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal. Dr. Youngs has published a book, numerous book chapters, book reviews, scientific technical reports, and scholarly essays on topics ranging from cultural landscape evolution in U.S. national parks, public lands management and environmental justice in the American West, repeat photography and environmental change, applications of digital and geospatial technology including mobile apps, 3D visualization, and online GIS-based Story Maps.  Her published research also explores topics of tourism in North America, visitor experiences in national parks, environmental management and social science GIS in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks, and place attachment through river guiding and mountaineering in Grand Teton National Park. Her first book is The American Environment Revisited: Environmental Historical Geographies of the United States (2018, edited with Geoffrey Buckley, Rowman & Littlefield Press). Her second books is a solo-authored project titled Framing Nature: The Making of an American Icon at the Grand Canyon. It explores one hundred years of popular iconography, tourism, environmental justice, and public lands management and policy in the Greater Grand Canyon Region (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press). Her research is funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Park Service, Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Association of American Geographers. She is an active researcher and PI with the CESU network (Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit) – a national network national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. Her most recent grant from the U.S. National Park Service (US NPS) funded a six-year research project to study the cultural and environmental geography of outdoor recreation in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The work traces the environmental management and stewardship of the Upper Snake River and Teton Mountain Range from 1950 to the present day through the experiences of scenic rafting guides, NPS river rangers, and NPS mountaineering rangers and the cultural landscapes of the park. Many of Dr. Youngs’ projects include digital geospatial research and community outreach. Working with collaborative and interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students, Dr. Youngs’ has created GIS-based online StoryMaps, 3D visualizations of Native American museum objects, a mobile app for Yellowstone National Parks cultural landscape history, websites, and lead participatory GIS projects of river restoration and community engagement on the Portneuf River, Idaho.


  • Ph.D. 2009, Arizona State University (Geography)
  • M.S. 2004, Montana State University (Earth Sciences – Geography)
  • B.A. 1993, Florida State University (Anthropology, Archaeology)