Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Citizens of Washington County are about to face serious water shortages that time-honored myths imposed on the landscape during the pioneer era will make difficult to confront. Biblical views of the desert as undesirable wilderness drove early Mormon settlers to create an Edenic oasis. Twenty-first century residents believe the desert has been conquered and no longer poses a threat, a myth that allows for aesthetic appreciation of the landscape but also supports extravagant use of water for recreation and development. To admit that the desert is still a formidable opponent is to deny the achievement of previous generations and question the myth of the Garden. While the myth helped early settlers face an alien landscape, it now impedes rational efforts to conserve and develop an important limited resource.



Faculty Mentor

Paul Crumbley

Departmental Honors Advisor

John McLaughlin