Drs. Cavaliere & Branstrator publish “A Critical Biocultural Identity Framework” in Society and Natural Resources

Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab is proud to announce its latest publication featured in the journal of Society and Natural Resources!

Leading this latest paper, Dr. Cavaliere with co-author Dr. Julia Branstrator, present A Critical Biocultural Identity Framework. This publication analyzes remote fieldwork during the quarantine lockdown period of COVID-19 in the coastal community of Ketchikan, Alaska (May – September 2021).

During this unique window of time of mobility restrictions, residents unpacked their relationships to the coast and encompassing bioregion of Ketchikan, revealing the impacts of overtourism and economic dependence on the multinational conglomerate mass cruise industry.

Presenting in-depth, qualitative semi-structured interviews, the Critical Biocultural Identity Framework expands place identity through critical ecofeminist-posthumanistic epistemologies to situate biocultural identities within the structural power components of Ketchikan. This research contributes thick empirical data to understandings of biocultural identities, which may be described as “the intertwining of social-ecological relationships and diverse knowledges that situate characteristics within bioregional constructs” (Cavaliere & Branstrator, 2023, p.9)

Thematic analysis of data resulted in nine empirical themes contributing to biocultural knowledge including: temporal engagement, emotional associations, interspecies interactions, local knowledge networks, bioregional relationships, ecological intimacies, neolocal resilience, nonverbal expressions, and sensory connections.

Each theme explores aspects of biocultural identities through social-ecological and bioregional contexts. The CBIF positions biocultural identity within social science conservation to resist biocultural homogenization of biodiverse places from neoliberal encroachment via mass cruise tourism.

Dr. Cavaliere Receives 2022-2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

The Warner College of Natural Resources and the Human Resources of Natural Resources Department have awarded Dr. Cavaliere annual recognition of her work within Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for the 2022-2023 academic year!

As featured on the Warner College website at Colorado State University, Dr. Christina Cavaliere “is a global leader speaking out for equity / inclusion and impacting women’s roles and recognition for the better in our department and around the world… of note this year was her influence leading to greater representation by women as keynote speakers in the Tourism Naturally Conference [which had 1000+ registrants from over 50 countries] in October 2022.”

Dr. Cavaliere continues to center justice, wildlife and multispecies equity and gender within biocultural conservation and tourism. We are delighted to celebrate across multiple channels this exciting achievement!

The following summary of Dr.s Kline, Hoarau-Heemstra, & Cavaliere’s recent publication, Wildlife Equity Theory for Multispecies Tourism Justice, is featured in Journal of Travel Research!

Dr. Cavaliere explains the work of the research group:

“Wildlife Equity Theory is a new concept that we developed that builds upon previous works in biocultural conservation but also brings in concepts from gender studies, anthrozoology, geography, ecotourism and Indigenous perspectives on nature. This paper addresses the study from a transdisciplinary intersectional ecofeminist approach. It is imperative to mention that this research also contributes to a growing body of literature that connects diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to conservation and sustainability. And while DEI or Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) initiatives are typically focused on equity and justice within human societies, our paper asks for us to consider the broader realm of animal stakeholders as keystone members for consideration. It is a conceptual analysis that draws on the theory and insights of tourism, sustainability, biocultural conservation, and animal ethics epistemologies. This research is also applied and outlines the ways in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need to re-address the equity and inclusion of wildlife rights and protection through examples pertaining to each of the 17 SDGs where Wildlife Equity can be integrated and/or improved upon throughout the tourism system. This is essential for various aspects of system change intended to support human–wildlife relationships and biocultural conservation.” – Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere

Congratulations, Dr. Cavaliere!

Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere presents at the Sorbonne in Paris at the International Geographic Union Congress

The Paris 2022 IGU Centennial Congress took place from 18 to 22 July to share research and celebrate this special congress entitled Time for Geographers. Dr. Cavaliere presented co-authored work with PhD Candidate of the lab, Julia Branstrator at Drs Joseph Cheer (Wakayama University) and Loretta Bellato’s (Swinburne University of Technology) co-chaired session, Regenerative Development and Tourism Geographies: A Timely Turn?

 Dr. Cavaliere’s presentation at the Sorbonne was entitled Decolonizing Destination Planning: Integrating Decomposition as Time-Space Re-Expansion for Biocultural Regeneration. This research situates concepts of time-space re-extension and degrowth within concepts of decomposition in tourism to radically restructure destination lifecycle planning according to biomimicry. This exciting research furthers the Tourism and Conservation Lab’s work in exploring how decomposition in tourism aligns with enacting degrowth for healthy destination lifecycle management. We hope you enjoy, and explore the IGU’s website!

Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere presents in Spain at the Critical Tourism Studies Conference

Over the summer, Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere traveled to Maó, Menorca to present in Spain at the 2022 Critical Tourism Studies Conference from 27 June to 1 July entitled Critical Tourism Studies IX: With In Dangerous Times. Dr. Cavaliere presented research conducted with Drs Hin Hoarau-Heemstra (Nord University, Norway) and Carol Kline (Appalachian State University, USA). Dr. Cavaliere’s presentation was entitled Critical Posthumanism and Agency: Biocultural Identities of the Wolffish in Tourism. Through a critical posthumanistic lens, they shared the story of Norway’s Bodø Wolffish (Steinbit) using the Biocultural Identity Framework (Cavaliere & Branstrator, 2022 in progress) to explore the co-constructed identities of the Wolffish from a posthumanistic context. Data was gathered from various human stakeholders in and around Saltstraumen’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) “to understand the stories of the lived experiences of the Wolffish” (Cavaliere, Heemstra, and Kline, 2022). It is hoped this research furthers Wildlife Equity research to progress wildlife policy and conservation interventions. We encourage you to explore the Critical Tourism Studies website!

Cavaliere, C. T., Hoarau-Heemstra, H., & Kline, C. (2022). Critical Posthumanism and Agency: Biocultural Identities of the Wolffish in Tourism. In Critical Tourism Studies IX: With In Dangerous Times. Maó; Critical Tourism Studies. Retrieved from https://www.criticaltourismstudies.info/ 

Cavaliere, C.T., & Branstrator, J.R. (2022). A critical biocultural identify framework. [Manuscript submitted for publication].

2022-2023 School of Global Environmental Sustainability Fellow Within the Tourism and Conservation Lab

April and May have been busy months within the Tourism and Conservation Lab. In addition to celebrating a new publication within the Journal of Ecotourism, Julia R. Branstrator has been announced as one of twenty Sustainability Leadership Fellows within the 2022-2023 School of Global Environmental and Sustainability (SoGES) program at Colorado State University! To read Julia’s fellowship biography, follow this link (click here).

Advised by Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere, Julia will advance her skills in science communication within this competetive fellowship program that “provides innovative training for early career scientists to effectively communicate science to the media and public, professional development skills and techniques, and strategies to build meaningful careers that incorporate engagement and interdisciplinarity” (SoGES, 2022, para 1). Within her fellowship year, Julia will take part in workshops, seminars, and many networking events to hone skills in communicating her research to a broad, global community.

School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). (2022). Sustainability Leadership Fellows. School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://sustainability.colostate.edu/education-and-training/sustainability-leadership-fellows/

Julia R. Branstrator Advances to PhD Candidacy

It is with great enthusiasm that the Tourism and Conservation Lab announces that Julia R. Branstrator, lead graduate student within the lab, has advanced from PhD student to PhD candidate! On April 25th, 2022, Julia presented her dissertation topic of “Embodying Changes Through Crises: Exploring Western Gateway Resident Identities”. This research recognizes and studies the unique experiences of intermountain western gateway residents during intersectional crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and sociopolitical conflict within a remote mountain community.

Stoker at al. (2021) define western gateway communities as, “communities of 150 to 150,000 people that are: 1) within 10 linear miles from the boundary of a national park, national monument, national forest, state park, wild and scenic river or other major river, or lake and 2) further than 15 miles from a census-designated urbanized area by road” (2021, p.23). This description is applied specifically to intermountain gateway communities within the United States bordering national and state parks and protected areas. I-West explains that, “The Intermountain West region of the U.S. is composed of states with shared geographical, environmental, and demographic attributes that present a broad spectrum of carbon neutral energy opportunities” (I-West, 2022, para.1).

The cover slide opening Julia Branstrator’s dissertation proposal

Through concepts of identity, affect, and technology use, Julia will be exploring the relationships between changes experienced by intermountain western gateway residents hosting a tourism economy during crisis. Her research takes place within the creative community of Nederland, Colorado – an intermountain western gateway community bordering many forests and outdoor recreational areas within Western Colorado.

Julia will engage with the residents of Nederland, Colorado within her research
The many parks and protected areas surrounding Nederland, CO within the intermountain west are circled within Julia’s proposal


I-West. (2022, April 11). About – i-west. I-West. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://iwest.org/about/

Stoker, P., Rumore, D., Romaniello, L., & Levine, Z. (2021). Planning and Development Challenges in Western Gateway Communities. Journal of the American Planning Association, 87(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2020.1791728

New Publication in the Journal of Ecotourism

As the prima scholar in the Tourism and Conservation Lab under Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere’s advisory, I am excited to share the news of my first ever publication! Prior to my time at Colorado State University, the publication process of academia was alien to me. However, after seeing promising growth within my writing within research and coursework, Dr. Cavaliere offered the role of first author for our (now published) manuscript on extended reality and sustainable tourism. I had first expressed interest in this topic building from my graduate studies in sustainability, innovation, and technology from Purdue University. However, I was uncertain of the direction my research interest within sustainability, extended reality, and tourism could take direction. Dr.’s Cavaliere and Xiong had previously presented work on programs for healthy relationships to wildlife within tourism encounters, and offered a lead position and mentorship to create a manuscript building up their knowledge.

This experience was a pinnacle experience in my growth as a PhD student through my advancement to candidacy. Acting as first author, I became more experienced within the content, my positionality to the research, and how this shaped the topic progression. I became familiar with regular research meetings with co-authors as collaborators, and how collaboration provides deep strength to the research process. Finally, I had fun writing about a topic that bridged my own passions within sustainability and biocultural conservation in tourism.

Dr. Cavaliere and Julia Branstrator, newly confirmed PhD candidate within the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department, are delighted to present the latest publication under Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab! The publication, Extended reality and sustainable tourism: Restorying human–wildlife relationships for biocultural conservation, was a collaborative effort by authors Julia Branstrator, Dr. Cavaliere, Dr. Xiong, and Dr. Knight of Colorado State University.

I am grateful to Dr. Cavaliere’s directorship of the lab creating this opportunity. Through the guidance of my research team, I learned from regular feedback and different perspectives. It is my hope to provide similar opportunities for others in the future to honor and reciprocate the mentorship that has been shown to me.

I hope you enjoy this article! If you have any questions, we welcome your feedback.

Julia R. Branstrator
PhD Candidate in Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department
Colorado State University

Dr. Cavaliere nominated for Colorado State University’s 2022 Best Teacher Award

The Tourism and Conservation Lab is delighted to announce that students and alumni nominated Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere for the Best Teacher of the Year Award. Details of the nomination shared how she has impacted the lives of alumni and students in the Warner College of Natural Resources. Her home department, the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, is proud to share this great honor and congratulate Dr. Cavaliere.

She is the founder and director of the Tourism and Conservation Lab where she continues to mentor students engaged in conservation research, impacting academic and professional lives.

Dr. Cavaliere congratulates the other nominees and recipients. She shares her gratitude for the recognition of her passion for adult learning and conservation research, and looks forward to furthering the lab’s future impacts!

Tourism and Conservation Lab Presents at GSTC and BCRTS 2021 Tourism Summit

On November 4th, 2021, Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab was invited to take part in the BCRTS Tourism Summit for 2021. This virtual event was a joint collaboration with the Global
Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
and the British Colombia Regional Tourism Secretariat. Hosting 3 GSTC Workshops, 6 BCRTS panels and over 25 Virtual Booths, the T&C Lab was proud to take part and present within the Natural Areas and Visitor Management workshop.

Facilitated by Dr. Kelly Bricker, Julia Branstrator joined the conference panelists and presented collaborative work with Dr. Cavaliere and Dr. Niemiec in a session on Visitor Use Management and Overtourism, highlighting visitor management cases from North America, Europe, and South America. The Tourism and Conservation Lab presented insights from their continued field research within the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of Southeastern Alaska including perceptions of biocultural conservation, visitor management and overtourism through the experiences of residents during COVID.

To watch all panelists of the session, including Dr. Ivana Damnjanovic, and learn from the full day of presentations, follow this link to watch the T&C Lab present with this Vimeo recording!

Tourism and Conservation Lab Presents at 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism

From the 21st – 23rd of September, 2021, the Tourism and Conservation Lab joined the 29th Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality Research, an e-Conference hosted
by the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre in Akureyri, Iceland. Sharing on behalf of the research team including Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere and Dr. Rebecca Niemiec, Director of the Conservation Action through Behavioral Science Lab also housed within the Human Dimension of Natural Resources Department at Colorado State University, Julia Branstrator presented in Session 30: Staying with the trouble of cruise communities in
a post-Covid world
. Julia presented an emerging analysis of work conducted within the T&C Lab titled Community perceptions of biocultural changes during the COVID disruption in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The T&C Lab was proud to present alongside research collaborator, Dr. Hin Hoarau Heemstra, on behalf of her team including Karina Eline Knutzenand, and Karin Andrea Wigger of Nord University and the Nordic Cruise Research Network. Hin shared highlights of the Nordic team regarding Resilience to cruise tourism: insights from Northern Norway and Svalbard

The Tourism and Conservation Lab is looking forward to the 2022 30th NST in Finland!

To explore the full book of abstracts from the 2021 29th NST, follow this link.