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Development of a Toolkit on Digital Storytelling for Public Land Managers

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posted on 31.10.2022, 17:21 authored by Angus Christopher McReynoldsAngus Christopher McReynolds

Complex and dynamic environmental challenges require some sort of engagement with a range of stakeholders who often have diverse and conflicting opinions on how to address these challenges. Public land managers, who attempt to manage both changing landscapes and diverse users of those landscapes, need innovative tools to effectively communicate and engage with the public. Digital storytelling, which uses first-person narratives told through mixed media to engage both the storyteller and an audience, is one such tool, but public land managers need support to use such a novel method. This research developed a functional toolkit document to assist land managers in the understanding, creation, and sharing of their own digital storytelling project in a variety of public lands contexts. This project emerged from the Pole Mountain Gateways collaborative non-motorized trails project and the related storytelling research. Translating this article away from academic jargon and towards lay-language for practical use is a main component of science communication, a major conceptual framework for this toolkit and research. The toolkit is designed distributed through the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute. Interviews with Wyoming state and federal land managers who had an opportunity to preview the toolkit assessed its efficacy. Thematic analysis of the interviews revealed several information gaps and opportunities for improvement, including providing additional information around selecting participants, the capacity required to produce a digital storytelling project, and thoughts around sharing these stories with others. None of the managers suggested major changes for the toolkit, and they all found it usable in its current state; however, these revisions are incorporated into the definitive version. All participants mentioned projects that they could see benefiting from digital storytelling, including past projects with natural resource elements.



Budowle, Rachael

Committee members

Budowle, Rachael; Smutko, Steven; Houseal, Ana



Graduation date







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  • Natural Science - NASC