Jordan Johnson (‘18, Recreation Administration)
Last year, HSU won the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, outscoring 86 other schools to be named the “outdoorsiest” school in the nation. Jordan Johnson was HSU’s runaway leader in that effort, and one of eight students nationally to log the most outdoor time possible, often in his trademark Hawaiian print shirt and sandals. Jordan works at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center and continues to be involved in a variety of outdoor efforts with Center Activities and Outward Bound, all with the goal of getting people outside. Among those who have noticed is outdoor gear company Merrell, which has made Johnson one of its college ambassadors.
Hooked on the Outdoors “I grew up in Lemoore, California, a low-lying desert town in the Central Valley. I’d always longed to go to the Pacific Northwest, and at a school fair I found out about HSU, where the forest is your backyard and I could ride my bike 20 minutes to the beach. I got hooked on the outdoors my first semester.”
Finding a Place “I came to Humboldt in Fall 2014 as a Film major, but before long I changed to an Environmental Studies major. As I spent more time exploring classes and the outdoors, something clicked with me, and I became a Recreation Administration major.”
Helping People “I like making people feel comfortable in the outdoors. A lot of students come to Humboldt from places where there is limited access to outdoor recreation as we know it. One of the main focuses of Outdoor Nation at Humboldt State was inclusivity in the outdoors. There’s a lack of diversity in outdoor spaces and environmental sciences, partly due to economic barriers. Outdoor Nation offers a much more casual, accessible, and affordable approach to the outdoors—compared to the “extreme” portrayal that’s seen in advertising by outdoor brands. It’s also an effort for body positivity and for casual users to connect with outdoors on a regular basis.”
Helping the Earth “I really want to help people connect to the environment. One way to do that is to get people outside. Talking about the outdoors, and books—those are great—but for people to get really excited they have to feel a personal connection to the outdoors, a joy, a sense of appreciation and belonging. From that comes a sense of responsibility.”