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.

Dr. Cavaliere Receives 2020-2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award for Colorado State University’s Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department

The Tourism and Conservation Lab is delighted to announce that Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere has been recognized by the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department for her outstanding effort to promote diversity, equity and inclusion through her faculty service and research! She was nominated on the following highlights:

  • Invited by the co-editors for a Special Issue on gender and tourism in Annals of Leisure Research
    • Cavaliere, C. T., & Ingram, L. J. (2021). Climate change and anger: misogyny and the dominant growth paradigm in tourism. Annals of Leisure Research, 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2021.1949732
  • Research with colleagues in Norway and the US that implements the utilization of a new transdisciplinary ecofeminist intersectional methodology relating to posthumanism and tourism studies coining the conceptualization of Wildlife Equity
  • Making projects, knowledge networks, and coursework available through her lab supporting co-learning and co-supporting of DEI and female researchers.
  • Foundational use of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion principles as foundations in teaching
  • Fostering inclusion of advanced gender equality within academic involvement through research in the Tourism and Conservation Lab
  • Service on multiple external international advisory boards and committees that demonstrate her commitment to international DEI including:


Have You Taken the Merle Pledge?

Too often imbalances in gender and diversity are overlooked during the organization, facilitation, and registration of conferences, events, and project collaborations. As representatives and leaders of the tourism industry within the Tourism and Conservation Lab, we seek and engage with many conferences, events, and collaborations as educational and professional opportunities. Our lab supports and practices transparency in this process by each member of the Tourism and Conservation Lab taking the Merle Pledge committing to:

  • increasing the visibility and contribution of women in public and professional forums
  • advocating for gender balance and diversity in all professional events, panels and conferences
  • encouraging my colleagues and friends to participate in the Merle Pledge
  • questioning and raising the issue of gender balance and diversity when the opportunity arises
  • actively encouraging and supporting the voices of women
  • honouring the Merle Pledge whenever I am invited to speak
  • standing up for what is right
  • persevering and not accepting excuses for unequal representation (The University of Queensland, n.d.)

We encourage and welcome those who are interested in taking the Merle Pledge to share their thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion as related to conferences, events and collaborations. This is an important step in realizing actions towards sustainable tourism.

The Tourism and Conservation Lab, a representative of and supporting group for diversity, equity and inclusion at Colorado State University, is committed to supporting events and conferences that uplift the many voices historically underrepresented in tourism and conservation in academia and industry operations. Join us by taking the Merle Pledge!


The University of Queensland. (0AD). SAGE Athena SWAN at UQ – The Merle Pledge. About UQ. https://about.uq.edu.au/initiatives/sage-athena-swan#qt-sage_athena_swan_tabs-foundation-tabs-6