1. How do I apply for the Tourism Seminar?
Visit the “How to Apply” page of this website for a step-by-step description of how to apply to his seminar. On the “How to Apply” page, se sure to click “Apply Here” to be redirected to our online application form. The application is 10 pages long.
To finalize your application, you should upload the following when prompted during the last step of the online application:
- CV or resume (no more than 2 pages as a Word document or PDF),
- A copy of your passport photo and information page (if you have a passport),
- A copy of your US visa (if you have one),
- A letter of institutional support (or letter of recommendation if self-employed or a student).
- A photo of yourself that we can use in our “participant profile document.”
2. When is the deadline to apply? What should my application include?
The deadline for applications is May 10, 2019. All of the information requested in the application form is required in order to finalize your application. We do understand that some applicants will not have a passport or visa at the time they apply. If this is true in your case, please submit your application and notify us of your missing documents via e-mail at Erin.J.Hicks@colostate.edu. If selected as a participant, you will have an opportunity to acquire your passport and/or visa.
3. I have most of my supplemental application materials ready but do not yet have the institutional authorization letter or my passport or my US visa. Is that a problem?
In this case, please complete your online application. Upload what supplemental documents you can. Separately, please send an email with an explanation of why one or more of these supplemental documents have not been included in your application to Erin Hicks at Erin.J.Hicks@colostate.edu. Please do not put off the process of acquiring these important documents as in some countries the process of getting visas and passports can take a long time. If you work in a remote location, even getting the institutional authorization letter might take some time.
4. When will applicants be informed regarding the results of the selection process?
Candidates will be notified as soon as possible after the deadline to apply for admission to the seminar. Depending on the number of applications, this process can take several weeks but normally expect communication from us by early June. Once the selection is complete, you will receive an email from the organizers of the seminar confirming the status of your application (not accepted, provisionally accepted pending submission of additional documentation, provisionally accepted pending confirmation of funding, or accepted based on confirmed funding).
5. How much does the seminar cost?
The registration fee for the seminar is US $5,495 and includes ground transportation from Denver to Fort Collins at the beginning of the seminar, van transportation throughout the seminar, and transportation to the Jackson, Wyoming airport at the end of the seminar. The seminar fee also includes tuition, seminar materials, accommodation and meals in Fort Collins, insurance (health and accident), food and lodging during the seminar, a certificate of completion, a digital library on tourism and protected areas, seminar photographs, all administrative costs and a closing banquet. Note that the emergency accident insurance requires payment of a co-pay and deductible, meaning you might be responsible for some out of pocket costs associated with medicine or doctor or hospital visits.
If participants prefer to return to Colorado by van at the end of the seminar, CSU will provide van transportation back to Fort Collins on the 22nd of September, 2019. Participants can thus fly round-trip to and from Denver instead of returning to their countries from Jackson, Wyoming, which might be more costly. However, in this case participants are responsible for paying the cost of their hotel room on the night of the 22nd in Fort Collins, since we will not return in time to make it to the Denver airport that night. Participants should book return flights from Denver on the 23rd in this case keeping in mind that we recommend against very early departures on the 23rd. Fort Collins is over an hour from the airport and with the required 2-hour advance check-in, participants would have to get up very early to take a shuttle to the Denver airport on the 23rd to catch an early morning flight. Participants flying out of Denver instead of Jackson Hole may be responsible for their own transportation costs back to the airport.
It is the responsibility of applicants and/or their agencies or sponsors to cover the costs of passports and US visas where needed, as well as the costs of ground transportation within their countries to their departure airport for the US and again between that airport and their home cities on their return to their countries.
It is recommended that each participant bring about $300-$500 to fund personal expenses such as phone calls and calling cards, your portion of the deductible and co-pay for health insurance for any medical services rendered while in the USA, souvenirs, toiletries, gifts and personal items you might wish to buy, etc. If you would like to bring additional funds for rain gear and hiking boots, those can be purchased in Fort Collins during the initial days of the seminar.
Please note that you do not need to get per diems from your donor or sponsor for the time you will spend in the USA as all meals (reasonably priced), ground transportation costs, coffee breaks, and lodging costs will be covered by your course fee, unless you plan on spending additional work-related time in the USA or have to stay overnight in route to or from the seminar.
6. Where will we sleep?
During the first few days of the seminar in Fort Collins, participants are housed in a shared room with two beds in a hotel next to the university. After we leave Fort Collins, we will sleep in double rooms (rooms with two beds) in several different hotels along the seminar route. Some will be quite simple; however, in several cases we will stay in famous lodges managed by private concessionaires within national parks. Again, it is important to note that you will be sharing a room with another participant during the entire seminar.
Please note that because of the intensive schedule, participants have little free time during the seminar. Generally, our days start around 8:00 or 9:00am, and can go as late as 19:00 to 21:00. Please plan accordingly by not committing to completing outside work during the seminar as well as notifying loved ones that you will likely be able to contact them in the morning and evenings. All of the hotels except one have Wi-Fi internet access. We will advise you ahead of time regarding which hotel will not have internet so that you can notify colleagues and loved ones.
7. Where will we eat?
Continental breakfast is provided for free in most hotels as part of the room rate. In some cases, we will all eat lunch and dinner together and CSU will directly cover the costs of those meals. However, in other cases you will have the liberty to buy lunch and dinner on your own or with small groups of other seminar participants. The detailed seminar schedule which you will receive on arrival will identify those meals that you will eat on your own. At the beginning of the seminar each participant will receive a modest stipend to cover costs of those meals which you will be required to buy on your own.
Note: If you have any dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan or vegetarian, please let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to accommodate your dietary needs.
8. I don’t have funding. Does Colorado State University offer scholarships for the seminar?
Colorado State University does not manage or offer scholarships for the seminar. Fundraising to cover the cost of the course is the responsibility of individuals who want to attend the seminar and of their organizations. It is important to start fundraising to sources in your home countries and abroad at the time of applying. The US Forest Service, the US National Park Service US, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), WWF-US and WWF-International generally support several candidates from Latin America and Africa. It’s a good idea to consult with representatives of these institutions in your countries if they have a physical presence there. Note that most institutions have deadline dates each year for scholarship application so please do not delay your search for funding. A further important source of funds for candidates from some regions such as Caribbean, Andean, Amazonian and African countries is the WWF-US Education for Nature Program professional development grants (http://worldwildlife.org/initiatives/professional-development-grants) and the WWF International Prince Bernhard scholarship program (NOTE: this opportunity is unavailable for 2019), which has a deadline in early January each year (http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/volunteer/prince_bernhard_scholarships/).
Depending on the country, region and institution where the applicant works, several institutions may offer funding opportunities, including organizations of the United Nations (FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO World Heritage), the Ramsar Convention, ITTO, and foundations and national and international conservation NGOs (such as IUCN, TNC, CI, FFI, WCS, SNV, CARE, Panthera, the Moore Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, etc.). Candidates can also contact the embassies of developed countries and offices of bilateral donors such as GIZ, DFID, the Nordic countries, the Netherlands and others, as well as national offices of agencies such as the World Bank, ITTO, OAS, IDB, Asian and African development banks, GEF and the European Union. The Semeia Institute of Brazil normally funds several Brazilian participants each year and has their own selection process; please check with their website for details.
Participants are urged to first look for at least partial funding within their agencies and countries, which demonstrates the interest and commitment of your own agency and country. If you personally can contribute the costs of processing your visa and passport, or all or part of the airfare, that is also seen as a positive sign of personal interest and commitment by potential donors. Few donors will cover the costs of getting a passport. A good source of information on potential funding opportunities is Terra Viva Grants (http://www.terravivagrants.org).
In many countries, national foundations and environmental funds can also be sources of support, such as the ACBT program in Peru. Also, many countries and individual protected areas have environmental funds or are assisted by aid agency projects that may be able to support training activities. It is important to try to get permission for a leave of absence with pay and check with your superiors, the offices of international relations, and human resources of your institution to see if they, or some project managed in partnership with donors to your institution, may cover all or part of costs of international airfare or scholarship.
Many donors require applicants to their grants to already have provisional acceptance before approving financial support. For that reason, in some cases, for highly qualified applicants who apply early to the seminar and are applying for funding from sources with firm scholarship application deadlines before May 10th, 2019, we can provide a letter of provisional acceptance pending approval of funding, if your application materials meet acceptance requirements. Note this is no guarantee of final acceptance to the seminar, which depends of having full funding before the seminar fills (capacity is capped at 27).
Click here for a longer description of potential funding sources.
9. I found a sponsor. How can the sponsor or I make payment for the seminar?
The best method of payment is by electronic bank transfer. Payments must be in US dollars.
The wire transport paperwork should form should indicate that the transfer is for “CSU tourism seminar” have your name noted as well so that funds are not lost in route. It is also important to send a copy of the bank wire receipt to email@example.com.
If the transfer comes from a bank in the United States, the information for the wire transfer is:
Send funds to:
First National Bank of Omaha (205 W. Oak Ft. Collins, CO 80521)
ABA # 107000262 (routing number)
CSU Account Number # 90544
If the transfer is from a bank outside the United States, the instructions are:
Send funds to:
First National Bank of Omaha
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Colorado State University
Account number: 90544
If by any means you cannot make the payment in this way please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss alternatives. For those funded by the US Forest Service, ITTO, WWF, the US Department of Interior and USAID, usually these institutions make payments directly to our university. You can also make payment through credit cards and debit cards; if you prefer this alternative please inform us at email@example.com so we can send detailed instructions on how to make payment, which must be by phone and during days and hours when CSU business offices are open. However, our preference is for payment by bank transfer or check.
10. What is the time limit to pay for the seminar?
The total payment of $5,495 must be completed before the close of business of Colorado State University (CSU) on July 5, 2019, so you do not lose your place in the course to an alternate candidate. CSU does not accept responsibility for the loss of your space in the course due to late payments. It is recommended to send the funds as quickly as possible, as soon as you are informed of your admission to the course, so as not to delay the visa application process.
11. Can I or my donor get a refund after paying if I cannot participate for any reason?
In case of cancellation requests before June 10, 2019, the amount paid minus US $250 will be refunded. For cancellations between June 10 and July 5, US $ 2,500 will be returned; the remaining US $2,895 is nonrefundable and will be used to cover commitments made by the institution, particularly for advanced hotel and other service provider payments. In case of cancellation after July 5th, we cannot guarantee any refund.
12. I already have a multiple entry B1 or B2 visa to the United States. Can I use it to come to the seminar?
In the past, participants have been able to attend our training events without issue when holding multiple-entry B1 or B2 visas, as long as the visas are in force for the duration of the seminar and through the day of departure.
A valid B-1 visa is designated for business or attending a conference. In fact, our seminar is coordinated by the CSU Conference Office. If you are traveling with a B-1 visa and are asked about the motive of your visit by immigration officials, it is recommended you explain that you are traveling to Colorado to attend a conference on protected areas.
A valid B-2 visa is designated for visitors and tourism. However, this visa also allows you to participate in unofficial short seminars that do not include academic credits. If asked by immigration officials why you or traveling to the USA, you should explain that you will take a non-credit short seminar on protected areas, as well as visit (as a tourist) several parks in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana.
If you already have a valid business or tourist visa to the USA, please let us know on your application form and send us a scanned copy (JPEG or PDF). If you have US citizenship or permanent or temporary residency, let us know as these visa requirements do not apply to you.
13. I don’t have a valid US visa. What are my options? Can CSU help me to get a US visa to attend the seminar?
Some countries from Europe and Asia and Chile in Latin America have a simpler online process (the Visa Waiver Program) for obtaining entry papers to the United States. Please check online or via telephone with the US consulate in your country to see what the requirements are for nationals from your country. If you hold several passports, it might be cheaper and easier to enter the USA on a European visa, for example.
If you do not have a valid visa and are not from a country where the U.S. Visa Waiver Program is active, we can help you get a J-1 short term scholar visa. You will need to contact the Center to request for help. Once you request our help and payment of your course fee is received, CSU will fill out the initial paperwork to obtain a J-1 US visa which is for “short-term scholars.” This means that you will be visiting the USA to take a short course but not to get a degree. The paperwork that we need to complete is called a DS-2019 form which our university has to fill out, not you. Once that form is ready and certified by the university, we will send the DS-2019 to you by courier (Federal Express or DHL). In order to do this, we require a physical mailing address that is not a post office box. When you receive this form from our university, you must take it with the other documents required to apply for a J-1 visa to the US consulate for review during the visa interview. You must take responsibility for setting up the interview at the US consulate, but you should not do so until we inform you that the DS-2019 is in route.
The criteria and costs for applying for a visa may vary from country to country, but in most cases the process costs US $160 for the interview with the consulate and another US $180 to register in the database of the SEVIS system of the US government (in the case of J-1 visas). Please check with the US consulate in your country regarding the amount to pay and how and when to pay it. Here is a link to the US Department of State website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html.
The J-1 visa is only available for short-term students of CSU not enrolled in degree programs and it is important to mention this to the immigration officials on your arrival in the U.S.A. In English, it is called a “short-term scholar visa.” You can explain that you are participating in a seminar at Colorado State University on national park management and will be visiting several national parks and forests in the western United States. If you are asked by an immigration official, make clear that you are only coming to the USA for a short stay and will not be taking university courses towards a degree.
Please note that depending on your country, the time required to get an appointment at the US consulate and to order a passport issued by your home country might take weeks. It is important not to procrastinate! In the past, people with funding who have been accepted conditionally to the seminar could not attend because they did not complete their visa and passport paperwork on time.
14. Is it important to have a passport valid for an additional period beyond the end of the seminar?
It is important to have a passport valid for at least six months after the date of your return home from the seminar; some countries and airlines require that passengers have 6 months of validity remaining in their passports to allow for entry or boarding, even if they have a valid visa to the USA.
15. How and when will we travel between our countries and the US?
Unless your donor specifically asks CSU to purchase your airfare, internal transportation in your country to the port of departure to the US and vice versa, as well as international air transport to and from the US, is the responsibility of the participant or their institutions and sponsors. Participants should work with their travel agent to plan to arrive at Denver International Airport, Colorado (DEN), on Tuesday, September 4th and exit the Jackson Hole, Wyoming airport (JAC) to return to their countries on Sunday, September 22nd (or from Denver, Colorado on Monday, September 23rd). The seminar staff will contact the group of participants to get their arrival and departure information and to coordinate transportation between the Denver airport and Fort Collins. It is best to try to arranger flights in order to avoid reaching Denver very late in the evening on September 4th since the seminar begins in the morning of September 5th and Denver airport is located about 90 minutes from Fort Collins. Nor is it a good idea to schedule return flights to your countries very early on September 22nd from Jackson or very early September 23rd from Denver if possible; mid-morning departures would be best to allow you to get ample sleep the night before your long journey home.
It is very important to ensure that you do not arrive at the airport in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is much farther from Fort Collins than is Denver International Airport. The seminar cannot provide transportation between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Sometimes travel agents make this mistake!
16. Can I attend the seminar without knowing English?
The official language of the seminar is English. All materials, readings, lectures, discussions, field trips and other activities will be conducted in that language. You must be capable of understanding lectures in English and communicating with other seminar participants in English. You will have to make a brief presentation on your own work in English as well.
17. What type of certification is given to participants who complete the seminar?
All participants receive a certificate of participation from Colorado State University stipulating the number of days and hours of instruction. This certificate is signed by all seminar instructors and bears the Colorado State University logo.
18. How is the weather in Fort Collins, Colorado and along the seminar route?
We have a comfortable climate in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region of neighboring states that we will visit during late summer and early autumn. The temperature in September ranges between 30 and minus 5 degrees Celsius depending on the time of day, the elevation, and the presence of weather fronts that might occur. There is considerable variation between daytime and nighttime temperatures because of the altitude—often a 15 degrees Celsius change or more. There is lots of sun, but sometimes it rains in the afternoon. The entire time we will be above 1,500 meters, so the use of hats and sunblock is important even on cloudy days. With this type of climate, it is preferable to dress in layers that can be removed as needed. Generally, the region is arid and warmer on the plains, and cooler and wetter in the mountains. We might even see snow and will very likely experience overnight and morning temperatures near zero degrees Celsius. We have a saying here: “If you do not like the weather in Colorado, wait 20 minutes and it will change.”
19. What do I need to bring to the seminar?
The tourism seminar requires that all participants have basic field gear for our site visits to ensure that the field trips are safe and enjoyable. While we will not be making visits to the backcountry, we will be going to field sites where good rain gear, warm sweaters, a jacket, hiking boots, hats, gloves, sunglasses, sunblock, flash light, and other basic field equipment will enable a safe and comfortable visit. Given the timing of the seminar, we will likely to experience both warm and cold weather. It is possible we will encounter some rain and perhaps even some snow at high altitudes. Having said that, the autumn weather in the Western U.S. is usually quite enjoyable, and with the changing color of leaves on the trees, the season can be spectacular. We must stress the importance of having appropriate field equipment to be comfortable and safe in these different climates. Dressing in layers is recommended as the weather can change quickly. Dress in the Western U.S. in general is informal. Men will not need ties or jackets. We do recommend that everyone bring one nice set of clothing for the closing ceremony and one or two dinners in more formal settings.
In addition to having appropriate clothing and equipment to be safe and comfortable during our field visits, each participant should bring their personal effects (clothes, toiletries, etc.) and the items listed below. After arriving in Fort Collins for the seminar, staff can help you choose the right equipment and clothing for both the seminar and that will be useful back home. We make a trip to stores in Fort Collins at the beginning of the seminar to help you achieve this. We also recommend you bring posters, brochures and other items that illustrate the protected area system in your country and tourism destinations and protected areas where you work to share with your colleagues in the seminar.
- Good hiking boots
- Canvas shoes (tennis) or sandals
- Raincoats (completely waterproof jacket and pants)
- Warm sweater
- Warm socks
- Warm hat*
- 1 to 2 pairs of shorts
- Hat or cap for the sun
- Sunblock (best to buy in Colorado)
- Insect repellent (best to buy in Colorado)
- Small flashlight or headlamp with batteries
- Binoculars (optional but recommended, you can buy one in Fort Collins)
- Camera (optional but recommended, you can buy one in Fort Collins
Note: Items with a ‘*’ indicate equipment we have to lend out to participants. If you are unable to obtain these items before coming to the course, we will distribute marked items in the list at the beginning of the course.
If you lack any of the items listed above, we recommend that you buy them after arriving in Fort Collins —costs in the USA for most items will probably be lower than in your countries and it will mean fewer pieces of luggage for you to bring. Many airlines now charge for bags. You should make sure that your bags do not weigh more than 22 kilograms or 50 pounds or you will be charged extra by the airline. Please verify baggage restrictions with your airline. Note that after we leave Fort Collins, we will not be visiting any other large cities, so if you plan on purchasing laptops, binoculars, cameras, other electronics, etc., we recommend you do so while in Fort Collins. We have planned a specific evening for this shopping trip soon after you arrive. You will encounter souvenir shops in many of the parks and reserves we visit. Please note we are traveling in small vans. There will be no space for participants to bring along bulky purchases such as televisions, bicycles, or similar items. Your only chance to buy larger items to take back to your home will be at the end of the seminar immediately before returning home, either in Jackson or Fort Collins.
We will always carry a first aid kit on our field trips that includes basic first aid equipment (bandages, thermometers, creams) along with simple over-the-counter medicines. However, it is difficult and often costly for individuals who are not U.S. citizens or residents to buy prescription medication in the U.S.A. In addition, it is not possible to purchase this medication without first having an appointment with a local doctor to obtain a prescription as the pharmacy will not accept foreign prescriptions. Please bring enough pills of any prescription medicine you use for at least 18 days.
As part of the curriculum of the seminar, participants will have the opportunity to give a brief presentation on their work and about areas where they work using a standardized PowerPoint presentation guide which we will send you a few weeks before the start of the seminar.
20. Are there computers I can use during the seminar or should I bring my own?
In many of the hotels where we stay there will be a business center with computers you can use during the evening. Most participants find it is useful to bring along a laptop computer, tablet, or at least a smartphone. You may also buy one of these items in Fort Collins. Please note that electricity in the US is 110 volts and plugs may differ from those used in your countries. In this case, you must purchase an adapter to plug in any electronic device. Please note that out of respect for our colleagues, instructors, and guest speakers, we ask that that computers and phones be turned off during classroom and lecture sessions if being used for email or personal reasons. If you use your computer or tablet for notetaking, that is not a problem.
21. How I can make calls to or from the US?
Cell phones from some other countries do not work in the USA (or they might cost a lot per minute for calls and messages). At times, there will be no signal from some cell phone providers while the seminar is in the field. Make sure you know the policies and costs of using your phone from your home country in the USA! Another option is to buy a cheap phone in the US (which may not work back in your country) for which you can buy pre-paid cards to make calls to your country at reasonable cost. If you do not bring or purchase a working phone, Skype and WhatsApp are the best free alternatives to communicate with your loved ones and work via the Internet. Skype is free if calling computer to computer and costs pennies each minute for calls to cell phones and land lines, even in other countries. You can register for an account and if you want, purchase minutes in blocks of $10 of call time on the website www.skype.com. For more information about WhatsApp, please visit www.whatsapp.com.
DO NOT use the phones in your hotel rooms to make direct long-distance calls! If you do so, you may be stuck with a bill for hundreds of dollars which you will be responsible to pay! One way to communicate by phone would be through pre-paid cards for international calls or long distance, which you can buy in shops that will be easily found throughout the seminar.
Regardless of how you communicate, we will ask you to refrain from doing email, making calls, or using handheld devices during class sessions out of respect for instructors and your fellow participants.
22. Is the seminar physically demanding? Is the majority of the course held indoors and in cities?
We believe that professionals involved in all aspects of managing protected areas and tourism programs in parks and reserves should have direct knowledge of the realities in the field and conditions faced by staff and the visiting public. Therefore, almost 75% of the seminar is spent in the field visiting 9 units of the US National Park System, along with other federal, state, local, and private parks and reserves and ecotourism destinations in surrounding buffer zones and gateway communities. Very limited time, particularly at the beginning of the seminar, is spent in classrooms. With that said, we usually stay in the main visitor areas of the protected areas and only plan 2 – 3 long hikes of up to 10 km (however not extreme in elevation gain) where we provide the opportunity for the group to visit the protected area’s “back-country.”
The seminar takes place between 1700 and 4000 meters above sea level. There will be a period of a few days after arriving in Fort Collins to get accustomed to the elevation before going to higher destinations. While the seminar does not involve overnight camping trips or many lengthy and demanding hikes, we highly recommend that you to do everything possible to be in good physical condition before the seminar starts. In this seminar, there is no discrimination; everyone must collaborate and work equally without distinction of their educational level or position held.
Participants who smoke should note that smoking, including with electronic cigarettes, is highly regulated in the USA and is not tolerated in hotel rooms, bars, restaurants, vehicles, classrooms, or even in many places outdoors such as restaurant patios. Possessing open containers of alcohol in motor vehicles, even by passengers, is also prohibited. Smoking and drinking at high altitude can often lead to respiratory distress or terrible hangovers.
23. Will there be opportunities to wash clothes?
This seminar is mobile, meaning that we are on the move throughout the entire course and never in one place more than a few nights. This makes it difficult to find time to wash clothes. Most hotels we stay in have coin-operated washers and dryers. We provide the participants with more information about opportunities to wash clothes upon your arrival in Fort Collins. That said, we suggest you bring enough clothes for at least 6-7 days, in case you are only able to wash clothes 2 times during the seminar.
24. Who are the other participants?
The seminar will include participants from government agencies, tourism businesses, universities, and NGOs with varying levels of responsibility and academic and professional experience. In the past, we have had participants ranging from park rangers in the heart of the Amazon and African jungles to regional and central office staff of tourism and conservation agencies, as well as academics, NGO representatives, and individuals who work for tourism businesses. You can expect to be one of 24 to 27 participants, from 12 or more countries from around the world. Most participants will be speaking English as a second language. Participants in past seminars have come from Asia, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, New Zealand, the USA, and Europe. We try to have about the same number of men and women on the seminar.
25. Do I have to do preparatory work for the seminar?
We ask that each participant come prepared to give a short presentation about his or her work. In the month before the seminar starts, seminar staff will send you a PowerPoint outline to facilitate the development of your presentation. During the seminar, each van will have a small library with information on the natural and cultural history of the sites we are visiting. The intensity of the workload is such that there will be limited time available for reading other than in the vans.
During the seminar, there will be opportunities for you to share and discuss the programs, projects, and problems related to the management of tourism in the protected areas where you work. Therefore, feel free to bring audiovisual materials (digital photos, slides, videos, films, maps, etc.), as well as basic information (publications and reports). If you have copies of any management plans or tourism and public use strategies for the areas where you work, we ask that you bring a copy of each to share during the seminar and, if possible, leave them as examples for our library.
26. What rules exist regarding what I can bring on the plane with me and bring to the USA?
The airport security in the U.S. is very strict and the rules constantly evolve due to unfortunate events of recent years. Regulations on what is allowed and prohibited change frequently. However, some common rules about items that you carry on the plane with you are the following. Please note that this list is relevant for carry-on security procedures only and does not apply to checked luggage:
- You cannot bring liquids that are more than 85.05 grams (3 ounces) on the plane with you. If you bring liquids that are smaller than this size, they must be stored in a small re-sealable plastic bag and taken out of your carry-on luggage when going through security. It is advisable to put all liquids (shampoo, etc.) in checked baggage and not in your hand (carry-on) luggage.
- It is best to avoid wearing metal items while traveling and simply pack all metal things in checked baggage. The airport security does not allow any type of knife, scissors or any short, pointed items or potentially explosive canisters; these items will be confiscated be airport security if found in carry-on luggage.
- If you bring a computer, you will usually be required to take it out of its case and place it in a tray while going through security. (It is a better idea to carry your computer with you than to pack it in checked luggage.)
- Most airports require you to remove your shoes, hat, belt, watches or metal jewelry and any overcoat as you go through security, putting them in a tray with anything else you bring with you as carry-on luggage.
- It is always best to travel in the US with extra patience as the travel screening process can be slow and frustrating.
Be sure you check with your airline ahead of time about the costs for both carry-on and checked bags; increasingly, airlines are charging for checked bags and even for carry-on bags. Weigh your bags at home before leaving for the airport, and try to keep them below 22 kg or 50 lbs. to avoid paying for overweight fees. Make sure you have enough cash or credit cards on hand to pay for any baggage fees. Also, since we will be on the road constantly we recommend you try to pack as light as possible and avoid large and bulky bags.
27. Will someone from the course staff pick me up at the airport when I arrive in Denver?
Someone from the course will pick you up at the Denver airport when you arrive, if you arrive on September 5th. The Denver airport is quite large. You will arrive at Concourse A, B, or C, depending on the airline. After exiting your plane and entering the airport, you should start looking for signs indicating how to get to the baggage claim area. Follow the signs that say “Terminal” or “Baggage Claim”. You must take the airport train to get to baggage claim from Concourse B and C though you can walk from Concourse A to the baggage claim area if you do not want to take the train. To find the train, you must go down automatic stairs (the escalator), to find the train. For a map of the airport, please click here.
Take the free train to arrive at the terminal and baggage claim area. The claim area is quite large with two sections – the West Side and the East Side. On each side, there are screens marked “arrivals” that indicate which carousel your checked luggage will be arriving on. Another option that works well is to ask the crew personnel before leaving the plane in Denver the number of the flight’s baggage claim carousel. They flight staff might also announce what carousel your bags will be on before you deplane. There are several information booths and volunteers within the airport dressed in western style vests and cowboy hats that are there to help guide passengers in case you get lost or confused. After collecting your luggage, we will meet you in the West Side near Door 506 located by baggage carousel #17.
If, for any reason, you miss a flight or experience major delays in route, please contact seminar staff by phone, WhatsApp, or email as soon as possible so that we are aware of the situation. We will work to schedule you on a later pick-up shuttle by our staff. We will be providing you our staff’s names and contact information before you travel to the USA, including the name of the person that will pick you up, a photo, and the names of other participants coming in to Denver in the same pickup group as you. Look for someone carrying a sign saying Colorado State University.
28. What if I arrive before the September 4th or can’t find anyone in the airport because my flight is delayed and I get in very late to Denver?
If you arrive before September 4th, or in the case that you do not find CSU staff in the Denver airport, do not take a taxi to Fort Collins. Taxis are extremely expensive due to the fact that the university is about 100 km from the airport. The suggested alternative is to take a shuttle bus from the airport. The name of the shuttle bus company is Green Ride.
Greenride Colorado (http://greenrideco.com): This shuttle bus will take you directly to your hotel in Fort Collins. The Greenride counter is located in the main terminal. When you climb the stairs to the central terminal after taking the train from your terminal, look for a sign that says “Ground Transportation” on the west wall (marked “West”). Follow the arrows and you will see the “Greenride” sign. Their pick-up location is through door 507, which is near baggage claim carousel #4. Go out this door and walk to island #5 where the departures for “Shared Rides” are located.
The shuttle buses leave every hour from around 6:00 a.m. to near midnight and a ticket to Fort Collins costs about $40 (pay at the counter by cash or credit card). They will tell you the time of your departure and the place where the bus will pick you up. The hotel where you will be staying during the first few days of the seminar is the Best Western University Inn. Once on the bus, tell the driver that you need to go to the Best Western University Inn, 914 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, right across from CSU. The hotel’s phone number is 970-484-2984. In order to arrive at your hotel, it is very possible that the shuttle bus will first take you to a transfer terminal where you and your luggage will have to be switched to a smaller shuttle bus that will then take you to the hotel; the driver will help you change buses if this is the case.
Upon arrival in Denver, please call the seminar staff. Near to the arrival date, we will provide you with the cell phone numbers of the center staff that will be on duty to assist you. The hotel will have a list of all participants and the corresponding numbers of your rooms. Each seminar participant will be sharing a hotel room with one other participant. If you arrive before September 5th, the hotel room in Fort Collins will not be available, and you will be responsible for finding and booking your own lodging. Please communicate with our seminar staff if this is the case and we can recommend some cheaper lodging options.
29. Will someone from the course take me to the Jackson Hole airport or the Denver airport at the end of the seminar?
The seminar will officially end on the evening of September 21st with a closing dinner and social event in Jackson, Wyoming. We will leave our lodging early the next day (September 22nd) and participants must arrange their flight itinerary accordingly. The airport code for the Jackson Airport is JAC. On the morning of September 22nd, we will hire a van to take individuals who plan on departing from Jackson to the Jackson Airport for their departures. This van service will pick participants up from our hotel at a scheduled time. Course staff will travel back to Fort Collins, Colorado in our CSU vans with all of the individuals who have chosen to depart from Denver. We will arrive back in Fort Collins late on the 22nd. If you would prefer to have a round trip flight to and from Denver, you are welcome to ride back with us to Fort Collins and then fly out of Denver on the 23rd. Note you should not plan on flying out of Denver on the 22nd of September as we will not return to Colorado in time to make it to the airport. Once in Fort Collins, you can stay the night of the 22nd at a hotel in Fort Collins and then take the shuttle to Denver International Airport on the 23rd. Any costs associated with this additional night stay in Fort Collins are the responsibility of the individual traveler. We can however help make a reservation for you at a Fort Collins hotel if needed for the 22nd and for a shuttle to the Denver airport on the morning of the 23rd. The sooner you can let us know about your travel plans, the better. If you are able to fly into Denver, Colorado and out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming it will be much more comfortable for you. By doing so, you would avoid an 8-hour drive back to Fort Collins on the last day.
30. Can I come early or stay additional time in the USA before or after the seminar?
You may come early or stay additional time in the USA after the seminar for personal travel if it is within the terms of your US visa. The seminar does not cover extra expenses or guarantee accommodations or transportation in these cases.
31. Can I bring my spouse, partner, other relative, or a friend with me?
Because of the mobile nature of the seminar and limited seating you are not allowed to bring any friends or family members with you during the seminar. However, there have been cases where family or friends of participants have come to Fort Collins or Jackson at the end of the seminar to join participants on personal trips with these friends or relatives.