Hashtag Stewardship: Identifying and Enhancing Cultural Resource Awareness Knowledge at CSU Channel Islands

Kathleen Preston and Dr. Colleen Delaney


Santa Rosa Island (SRI) holds an abundance of historical, cultural, and ecological resources which are protected by the National Park Service. The Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) is responsible for facilitating CSUCI student engagement with island resources, promoting interdisciplinary skills, and encouraging ecological stewardship. The variety and number of cultural resources on the island often result in inevitable visitor interactions. Furthermore, insufficient manpower within the island’s backcountry means that these interactions occur largely unsupervised. While the majority of visitors to the island have received some form of formal/informal stewardship education related to natural resources, many visitors are unsure of how to interact with the park’s cultural materials due to a lack of sufficient education materials. This research evaluates visitor habits and levels of cultural resource awareness through social media, as well as surveys distributed to CSUCI students and faculty, SRIRS staff, and Indigenous stakeholders. I present recommendations to the SRIRS and NPS for the improved management of visitor interactions with cultural resources on Santa Rosa Island to further encourage the preservation of its archaeological sites.


  1. I’m so happy that you did this. Because I think I speak for many people who are also aware of the importance of cultural resources and how we can take care of them. I do not think many people really consider the harm of doing something as “simple” as taking pictures and posting them. It may be something that comes with no real bad intentions but it is something that we should all know about. We need to really protect these spaces from the people who manipulate the experience to the public. Places like the SRIRS should have, as you said, more manpower in supervising these lands and their historical, cultural, and ecological resources. In doing so, we can encourage its preservation so that we can keep this special way of researching and learning more about a culture. It sucks to see how 61% of people indicated that they had not received any resource awareness training. It is definitely something that needs further research on and I can’t wait to see how you continue this research in the future because it is something worthwhile. Great job!!

  2. I find that you highlight some helpful information concerning aspects of cultural resource management (CRM) on Santa Rosa Islands (SRI), and how you mention that the consultation of “indigenous stakeholders” is important. I think that this idea is one that can be carried forward to nearly all, if not all, national parks in the US especially, and should not be left with SRI to manage alone. This poster has inspired me to take a renewed look at all National Parks and reconsider the cultural landscape that may not be so visibly apparent to people (such as me) who may not know all the indicators to look for. Awareness of this matter on social media these days is especially important. Excellent survey analysis and very important research for modern day applicability with CRM.

  3. Katie, your project is fantastic! The presentation of your topic, process, and findings are very clear, and both your presentation and your poster are very professional. Cultural resource awareness is such an important issue (especially for the CSUCI community) and you’ve done a great job raising awareness about it and making information about it accessible/understandable. So proud of you for all your hard work!

  4. Hi Katie!
    I enjoyed your poster and topic. Like you said, a regular person/visitor on the island might not be familiar to what a cultural resource is. I think there should be more awareness centered on this to visitors because for some it remains unclear or they don’t see the significance of it.

  5. Hi Katie,
    I think understanding the importance of cultural resource is such an important topic. Before majoring in Anthropology, I had no idea about cultural resources so I would have been one of those visitors who would have thrown things away or even took it home as a souvenir. Creating a way to share the knowledge of the importance of how to treat the cultural resources is crucial and I think the visitors will appreciate the knowledge.
    The poster is so beautiful done! Great job.

  6. Excellent job, Katie ! Time to get to work on training materials! 😉

  7. Good job Katie! Both your presentation and poster are very informative and professionally done. This reminded me of someone I follow on Instagram who goes to abandoned locations but no longer give out the address of those places to protect them from vandalism and others who would wish to destroy or exploit these locations. I have felt similarly about new “discovered” species and often worry about the sort of exploitation that could come from those locations being given away freely. I think it is very vital to have some sort of training into what a cultural resource is before visiting the islands or a national park, should the importance of this issue be expanded to those areas (which they definitely should). I think some informational bulletin boards should definitely be posted either by the docks when people get to the island and around key locations as well, also it shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the SRI staff to make people aware of this, but perhaps that could open the possibility of classes with a focus on cultural resources and how to properly respect them? Overall this is an exceptional presentation, thank you for educating us on such a vital topic.

  8. Thank you for talking about this much needed information. This research has made me think deeper on what I post online. I think that your survey results show the need for modern ways to provide cultural resource training. I think this research is extremely important and can’t wait to see any further research or training material that is created in response to this issue.

  9. Hi Kathleen,

    I enjoyed your poster and presentation. I do think it is important for people to be educated on cultural resources and the types of behaviors are acceptable while on the island. The information you provided was very informative. Great work!

  10. Hey Katie! Amazing job! I’ve been to the island so many times and each time you learn something new. So hearing someone talk about the cultural resources on the island is super important because I think it’s something people forget about when they arrive. We definitely need a type of training for future endeavors!

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