Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply for the Tourism Seminar?

Go to the Tourism & Protected Areas seminar page, which is offered on the left column of the page. Towards the bottom of that page, there is a section on “How To Apply”. Click “Tourism application form” and you will be redirected to the online application.  There are 10 pages to the application. Please go through and fill out all the requested information on each page, clicking next to move through the application.  Questions marked in red are required, but we do ask that you fill out all sections of the application that apply, to allow us to have the best information when reviewing your application during the selection and review process. On the bottom of page 1 of the application you have to select from a drop down menu the correct course that you are apply to.  Please select 2017 Tourism and Protected Area Seminar (in English).  Please note that you have to click in the blank space or on the search symbol to get the pick list to appear.

On the 10th page of the application, it will ask you for your name and date, and create an electronic signature for you. Here you should also upload the following documents:
·      CV
·      Official letter of support from your institution (expressing their support for you participation in the course, but not financial support)
·      Photocopy of your passport
·      Photocopy of your visa or other identity card as it applies
·      A photo of yourself that clearly shows your face

You can also click save at the bottom of the page, and your progress in the application process will be saved for you. You will be prompted to give your email address, and then you will be sent a link back to your application.

When the full application is complete, and you have uploaded all the requested documents, please press the “Send” button and you will be given a confirmation message that the application was received. We will be going through the applications all at once after the May 15th deadline has passed. Please allow us two weeks to review the applications, and then we will be in touch to communicate the results of the selection review process.

2. When is the deadline to apply? What should my application include?

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2017. See question 1 for how to apply as we are moving to a new on-line application process.

3.  I have most of my 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 upload all but the PDF files of your institutional letter, passport and/or visa to the online application (please see question 1 for an explanation of the new online application). Separately, please send am email with an explanation of why one or more of these documents have not been included to Jim Barborak at jim.barborak@colostate.edu. Do not put off the process of getting these documents in as in some countries the process of getting visas and passports can take a long time and if you work in a remote location even getting the institutional authorization 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 May 30th. 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).  The provisional acceptance letter might prove useful in your fundraising search.  In some cases if you apply early we can provide a letter of provisional acceptance to allow you to apply to funding sources that have a fixed deadline for applying early in 2017.

5.  How much does the seminar cost?

The registration fee for the seminar is US $5,295 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 transport back to Fort Collins on the 27th of September.  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 27th 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 28th in this case, but we recommend against very early departures on the 28th because 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 otherwise to take a shuttle to the Denver airport on the 28th.  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 en route to or from the seminar.

Click here for a breakdown of the course cost.

6. Where will we sleep?

When we are in Fort Collins the first few days of the seminar, participants are housed in a double, shared room in a hotel next to the university. After we leave Fort Collins, we will sleep in double rooms in several different hotels along the seminar route.  Some will be quite simple but in several cases we will stay in famous lodges managed by private concessionaires within national parks. Again, do note that you will be sharing a room with another participant during the entire seminar.  We have used tents in the past, however, our itinerary and often very cold temperatures makes tent camping a little more complicated so we will not be using tents in 2017.

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 go through between 19:00 – 21:00. Please plan accordingly, 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. There is a hotel along the route that does not have internet access. We will advise you all of this ahead of time 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 buy.

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 have no funding. Does Colorado State University offer scholarships for the seminar?

Colorado State University does not manage or offer scholarships for the seminar. The fundraising is the responsibility of individuals who want to attend the seminar and 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, 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 web site 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 today 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 and 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 someone 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 deadlines for applying for scholarships before May 15th, 2015, we can provide a letter of provisional acceptance pending approval of funding. 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 24).

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” and please note your name as well, so that funds are not lost en route. It is also important to send a copy of the bank wire receipt to areasprotegidas@colostate.edu.

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 areaprotegidas@colostate.edu 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 areasprotegidas@colostate.edu 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 $5,295 must be completed before the close of business of CSU on May 30, 2017, 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 May 29, 2015, the amount paid minus US $ 250 will be refunded. For cancellations between May 29 and June 26, US $ 2,500 will be returned; the remaining US $2,500 is nonrefundable and will be used to cover commitments made by the institution, particularly advance hotel reservation payments. In case of cancellation after June 26, 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.

If you have a valid B-1 visa, it is for business or attending a conference. In fact, our seminar is coordinated by the CSU Conference Office. If asked about the motive of your visit by immigration officials, it is recommended that if you have a B-1 visa that you explain that you are traveling to Colorado to attend a conference on protected areas.

If you travel with a B-2 visa, this visa is 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 PDF copy. 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 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 it is easy to get a US visa online with little paperwork, then we can help you get a J-1 short term scholar visa. 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” which means that you are visiting the USA to take a short course but not to get a degree. We complete an application form called a DS-2019 which our university has to fill out, not you. Once that form is ready we send the DS-2019 to you by courier (Federal Express or DHL), which is why 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 visa to the US consulate for review during the 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 en route.

The criteria and costs for applying for a visa may vary from country to country, but in most cases the process costs $160 for the interview with the consulate and another $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 USA. In English it is called a “short-term scholar visa” and 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 might take weeks and the process to get a passport issued by your country may also 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 return home after 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 or sponsors.   Participants should work with their travel agent to plan to arrive at DenverInternational Airport, Colorado (DEN), on September 6th and exit the Jackson Hole, Wyoming airport (JAC) to return to their countries on Sunday September 24th (or from Denver, Colorado on Monday, September 25th).  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 get flights to avoid reaching Denver very late in the evening on September 6th since the seminar begins in the morning of September 7th and Denver airport is located about 90 minutes from Fort Collins. Nor is it a good idea to schedule flights to return to your countries very early on September 24th from Jackson  or very early September 25th 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 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.  Some times 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.  We will contact you and/or your institutions by Skype before the start of the seminar to ensure that you have good conversational English.

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 in the Rocky Mountain region of neighboring states we will visit during late summer and early autumn.  The temperature in September ranges between 30 and minus 5 degrees Celsius according to 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 15 degrees C or more. There is lots of sun, but sometimes it rains in the afternoon. The entire time we will be above 1500 meters, so 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 C.   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 they are safe and enjoyable.  While we will not be making backcountry visits, we will be visiting sites where good rain gear, warm sweaters, 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 experience both warm and cold weather and it is possible we will encounter some rain and perhaps even some snow at high altitude. Having said that, the fall weather in the Western U.S. is usually quite enjoyable and autumn, with the changing color of leaves on trees, 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 general in the Western US is informal and 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.

We must stress the importance of having appropriate clothing and equipment to be comfortable and safe in the areas we will visit. In addition to your personal effects (clothes, toiletries, etc.), each participant should have 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 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.

Personal equipment:
·       Good hiking boots
·       Canvas shoes (tennis) or sandals
·       Raincoats (completely waterproof jacket and pants)
·       Warm sweater
·       Warm socks
·       Gloves*
·       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 in Fort Collins)
·       Camera (optional but recommended, you can buy in Fort Collins

*We have some of the in stock to lend out to participants if you are unable to obtain these before coming to 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 to bring with you. Many airlines now charge for bags. You should make sure that your bags do not weigh more than 22 kilos or 50 pounds or you will be charged extra by the airlines. 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. There will however be 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 homes will be at the end of the seminar immediately before returning home, either in Jackson or Fort Collins.

We will always have a first aid kit along 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 US citizens or residents to buy prescription medication in the USA, also it is not possible to purchase this medication without a prescription from a local doctor, which would require first having an appointment with a doctor. 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, or to 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.  Do note that we ask that out of respect for colleagues, instructors and guest speakers that computers and phones be turned off during classroom and lecture sessions and that work on computers and phone calls be done during breaks and in the morning, at lunch or in the evening outside classroom and field trip hours.

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) and 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 countries) for which you can buy pre-paid cards to make calls to your country at reasonable cost. If you do not bring a working phone or by one, Skype is the best free alternative 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 get an account and if you want, buy minutes in blocks of $10 of call time on the website www.skype.com.

DO NOT use the phones in your hotel rooms to directly make long distance calls!  You might be stuck with a bill for hundreds of dollars which you will be responsible to cover!  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 most of it 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 field realities 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. Only limited time, particularly at the beginning of the seminar, is spent in classrooms.  That said, we are usually in the main visitor areas of protected area and only have 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 “back-country” of the protected areas visited.

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 used to the elevation before going to higher destinations.  While the seminar does not involve overnight camping trips or many lengthy and demanding hikes or other activities, it is wise 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 not tolerated in hotel rooms or in bars, restaurants, vehicles, or classrooms and 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 and we will be providing you with more information about this 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, experience and academic levels, 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 between 20 and 24 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 the 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 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, 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 have been constantly evolving 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; 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 6th. 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 and. Follow the signs that say “Terminal” or “Baggage Claim”. You must take a 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.

Take the train (it is free) 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 tell you on which carousel your checked luggage will be arriving. 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 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 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 names and contact information for seminar staff 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 at about the same time who will also be waiting  a for someone to pick you up. Look for someone carrying a sign saying Colorado State University.

28.   What if I arrive before the 6th of September 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 6th, or in the case that you do not find CSU staff in the Denver airport, do not take a taxi to Fort Collins (it is extremely expensive as the university is about 100 km from the airport). The suggested alternative is to take a shuttle bus from the airport. There are two options: Super Shuttle or Green Ride.

Super Shuttle (www.supershuttle.com): This bus takes you directly to Fort Collins to your hotel. The Super Shuttle counter is located in the main terminal. After you exit the train, you will climb some stairs to get to the main terminal; turn left after you climb the stairs to find the Super Shuttle counter (near a large fountain). Note: If you use Super Shuttle, there is a discount for people associated with Colorado State University; the code for the discount is CSU01 or CSU03. 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.

Greenride Colorado (http://greenrideco.com): This bus also takes you directly to Fort Collins to your hotel. The Greenride counter is located in the main terminal. When you climb the stairs to the central terminal after taking the train from your conseminar, 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 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. Their phone number is 970-484-2984. It is possible that to get to the hotel, the bus will first take you to a transfer terminal where you and your luggage will have to switch to a smaller bus that will 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 Ryan Finchum (cell phone: 970-231-7751, Jim Barborak cell: 970-631-0228, or Audrey Ek cell: 505-459-2259). Near to arrival date, we will also provide you with the cell phone numbers of other 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 6th, 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 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 23rd with a closing dinner and social event in Jackson, Wyoming.  We will leave our lodging early the next day (September 24) and participants must arrange their flight itinerary accordingly. The airport code for the Jackson Airport is JAC.  On the morning of September 24th we will hire a van to take individuals who plan on departing from Jackson to the Jackson airport for departures on September 24th. This van service will pick participants up from our hotel at the scheduled time. Course staff will travel back to Fort Collins, Colorado with all individuals who choose to depart from Denver in our CSU vans.  We will arrive back in Fort Collins late on the 24th.  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 25th. Note you should not plan on flying out of Denver on the 24th of September as we will not return to Colorado in time for that.  Once in Fort Collins you can stay the night of the 24th in a Fort Collins hotel and then take the shuttle to Denver International Airport on the 25th. Any costs associated with additional night stays in Fort Collins would be the responsibility of the individual traveler. We can however help make a reservation for you at a Fort Collins hotel if needed for the 24th and for a shuttle to the Denver airport on the morning of the 25th. 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 as the traveler as 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?

If you want to come early or desire to stay additional time in the USA after the seminar for personal travel, this must be 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 so that afterwards, seminar participants have made personal trips with these friends or relatives.

32.   What if I have any other questions or concerns?

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Jim Barborak at jim.barborak@colostate.edu.