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Sense of Place in Sagebrush Landscapes

Idaho landscape with sagebrush and rabbitbrush in the foreground, foothills with trees and grassy foothills in the middle ground, and the city of Boise in the distance.
Photo Credit: Haley Netherton-Morrison


Place captures not only a physical setting, but human experiences and interpretations as well. The human-place relationship can be better understood through the lens of sense of place, which includes components of identity, dependence, meaning, attachment, and satisfaction. Many studies have already sought to understand and measure sense of place in amenity landscapes known for their scenic beauty; however, few have addressed it in regard to working landscapes and “mundane” sagebrush landscapes. To address this gap, this project will advance sense of place theory through an exploration of the relationships between Idahoans and the sagebrush landscapes they call home.

Project Highlights

  • Investigating the links between physical landscape characteristics and sense of place in sagebrush landscapes through surveys and interviews
  • Contributing to a better understanding of how sense of place measures can be adapted from amenity landscapes to working landscapes
  • Understanding the role of sagebrush in shaping Idahoans’ sense of place


Haley Netherton-Morrison, Boise State University

Kelly Hopping, Boise State University

Morey Burnham, Idaho State University

Rebecca Som Castellano, Boise State University

Matt Williamson, Boise State University


This project is supported by the NSF Idaho EPSCoR Program and by the National Science Foundation under award number OIA-1757324.

GEM3 Genes by Environment - modeling, mechanisms, mapping

Idaho EPSCoR