Faculty Profiles

Alan Bright

Alan Bright PhD is a Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Al teaches courses in tourism marketing and strategic management in the Natural Resource Tourism concentration of the Department of HDNR. Al’s research has focused on a variety of human dimensions of natural resources issues, including social psychological aspects of recreation and tourism behavior as well as public values and attitudes toward natural resource management strategies such as wildland fire management and the creation of defensible space in the wildland-urban interface. Most recently, Al has worked extensively with the National Park Service on research regarding the wayshowing/wayfinding and visitor satisfaction on linear tourism assets such as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the accompanying Auto Tour Route. In his spare time Al coaches the best youth baseball, hockey and football teams in Fort Collins, or so he claims.

Dr. Bright’s CV

Stuart (Stu) Cottrell PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU and coordinator of the undergraduate concentration in Global Tourism. At CSU, he teaches courses in ecotourism, sustainable tourism development, and tourism research. Prior to coming to CSU in 2004, Stu was an assistant professor in the Department of Leisure, Tourism and Environment at Wageningen University, The Netherlands teaching and conducting research in sustainable tourism development. In 1999, he received a grant on behalf of Wageningen University to direct a special training program in Eco/Rural Tourism Development for the Ministries of Tourism in Argentina and Uruguay. During his years in Wageningen, Stu was advisor to numerous international students from all over the world. He also taught tourism related courses for six years at Christopher Newport University, Virginia. His research focus includes sustainable tourism development, travel and tourism behavior, visitor impact management, and decision-making in travel and tourism. Present projects involve monitoring the socio-cultural impacts of sustainable tourism development in Europe’s protected areas in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Romania, Poland, and Sweden. This research program aims to reveal the connection between tourism and nature conservation practices and to contribute to the future development of Protected Area Network sites. Within Colorado as a resident fellow with the School for Global and Environmental Sustainability, Cottrell is conducting a preliminary study of the impacts of mountain pine beetle infestation on recreation and tourism. One of the highlights of Dr. Cottrell’s teaching involves the monitoring of diseased corals and volunteer based conservation projects for an NGO in the Bahamas. Stu’s passion is sailing. Early in his career, Stu was Program Director of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, a marine aquatic program with the Boy Scouts of America in the Florida Keys. He has also run his own sailing charters as a business owner. Currently Stu is a proud owner of a 50-foot classic sailboat with many new waters he looks forward to crossing in the future.

Dr. Cottrell’s CV

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Mark Gasta, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU and program coordinator of the Adventure Tourism graduate certificate. At CSU, he teaches courses in adventure tourism, ski area management, and sustainable tourism. Mark’s research interests include developing leaders with the capacity to build sustainable organizations that create profit for shareholders while protecting the environment and improving the lives of those with whom they interact.

Prior to coming to CSU in 2017, Mark served as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer/Chief Sustainability Officer for Vail Resorts Management Company, the premier mountain resort company in the world and a leader in luxury, destination-based travel at iconic locations. Before Vail Resorts, Mark has held various organizational development and human resources management positions with AT&T Broadband, Lexis-Nexis and Target Corporation. He also served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer and aviator. In addition, Mark has volunteered on many non-profit boards including the Colorado Outward Bound School, Leave No Trace and the Urban League.

Mark received his Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental and Systematic Biology from California Polytechnic State University, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Denver, and his Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Change from Pepperdine University.

Mark and his family love living in Colorado as it has allowed them the opportunity to enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle.

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Soo Kang PhD is an Associate Professor in the Hospitality Management Program at Colorado State University (CSU). Her main research area is broadly consumer behaviors in the hospitality and tourism areas. Specifically, she has conducted research on how people’s quality of life interplays in the context of tourism consumption. Her research offers theoretical explanations for the contemporary outlook of quality of life in the age of modern tourism era and provides strong empirical evidence for the contributions of tourism and hospitality consumption to people’s quality of life issues. Dr. Kang’s another research interest is gambling management. She has conducted and published studies on residents’ quality of life issues in gambling communities both in Colorado and South Korea.

She has published 30 peer reviewed articles in the flagship journals in the field of hospitality and tourism management: Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Geographies, Tourism Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, among others. She is also an author of a book chapter on gambling management, ‘Land based Casino Gambling: Case of Colorado and South Dakota,’ in 2009. This chapter was included in the book titled, ‘The History of Gambling in America.’

Kang teaches the capstone undergraduate courses in the Hospitality Management. Her senior seminar class hosts an Industry Appreciation Event every semester, where the whole class plans, prepares, and executes a top notch professional network event with hospitality and tourism professionals in the State of Colorado. She is a faculty advisor to the Student Chapter of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA). She is a CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) designated by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI).  She was also a Visiting Scholar of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong and Kyung Hee University in South Korea.

Dr. Kang’s CV

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David Knight PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU.  He teaches graduate courses and assists with the administration of the Masters of Tourism Management degree program offered in partnership with Central China Normal University, located in Wuhan, China. A Center for Collaborative Conservation Fellow, David’s research has explored coastal policy communication in the Philippines and processes of empowerment through rural/community-based tourism in Peru. Other areas of interest include participatory curriculum development, multicultural/experiential education, and local perceptions of tourism-based poverty alleviation.

David’s interests in coastal management and tourism stem primarily from his dad’s passion for travel (his dad was a hospitality professor for 30+ years) and from his own experiences growing up in a variety of coastal states ranging from Massachusetts and New York to California and Hawaii. In addition to his goals of becoming a polyglot and travel writer, David dreams of having his stories and drawings made into children’s books and his original songs for piano placed into video games or movies. Put David in touch with a publisher leading to a contract, and he promises to give you a cut of the proceeds.

Dr. Knight’s CV

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Michael Manfredo Phd Head, Professor, the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.  Michael’s research focus is on understanding human thought about wildlife and natural resources. The goals of his current research program are: to increase the availability of human dimensions information relevant to wildlife and natural resource management; to provide for increased understanding of the role of human dimensions information in natural resources decision-making; to facilitate the integration of human dimension information into the natural resource decision-making process.

Dr. Manfredo’s CV

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Sam Martin.  (ABD) Assistant Professor, Director MTM China, and Program Coordinator of the Master of Tourism Management program in the department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Sam specializes in heritage tourism and has more than 25 years of industry experience having owned and operated several tourism-oriented businesses. He has also held senior marketing and management positions in up-scale resort and lodging properties, and in institutional fundraising. Sam lives in Fort Collins with his wife Joni and his son Timothy, two golden retrievers, Jake and Molly, and the head of the house cat. Joni and Sam have two older sons: Matt, a CSU alumnus; and Mike, a graduate of UC Denver. Both are currently pursuing careers in music.

Sam Martin’s CV

Joe Oleary

Joseph O’Leary PhD is Formerly Dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University and Professor and Department Head in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. Joe has a prolific and distinguished publishing record in the tourism and recreation research areas with more than 200 publications. His research has involved knowledge management and analysis of large national and international studies of travel and recreation behavior. He received the prestigious national award, the Franklin D. and Theodore Roosevelt Excellence in Recreation and Park Research Award from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award. Joe is a member of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (North American section), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE), served on the Education Committee for the World Tourism Organization and the Research Committee of the Travel Industry Association of America, and is Chair of the Committee on Tourism Statistics in the International Statistical Institute. He currently is Chairman of the Board for the Fort Collins Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. He also serves as coeditor and on the editorial advisory boards of a number of international journals.

Dr. O’Leary’s CV

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Natalie Ooi Ph.D. is a graduate from Monash University, Australia, where she was a Donald Cochrane Scholar, and recipient of the Dean’s Postgraduate Research Excellence Award for the Faculty of Business and Economics. Her PhD research was an ethnographic case study that examined the socio-cultural sustainability of mountain resort tourism development within the community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. An avid skier and hiker, Natalie is an Australian citizen who has recently relocated to the USA where she is looking forward to being able to actively pursue her outdoor and research interests in the Rocky Mountain West.

Primary research interests center around sustainable tourism development. These include the sustainability of ski area management and development, with particular interest in the complexities of tourism-community and other stakeholder relationships within mountain resort communities. Other research interests pertaining to sustainable tourism include the sustainability of backpacker tourism, and the potential for overlap between backpacker and volunteer tourism.

Dr. Ooi’s CV

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Jerry Vaske PhD is Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. For the last 30 years his research has focused on the application of social science theory and methodology to the concerns of tourism / natural resource managers and policy makers. Dr. Vaske has published over 130 articles in scientific journals and authored or co-authored 20 book chapters and 8 books. A recent book is titled Survey Research and Analysis: Applications in Parks, Recreation and Human Dimensions. He has presented hundreds of papers at local, national, and international conferences. His primary teaching responsibilities at Colorado State University focus on research methodology and statistics. Specific topics range from survey design to applied multivariate analysis. Courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level emphasize understanding data manipulation techniques and what statistics are appropriate for addressing theoretical and applied tourism / natural resource problems. Dr. Vaske is founding and current Editor of the Journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife and has served as Guest Editor of Leisure Sciences and the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

Dr. Vaske’s CV

Lina Xiong

Lina Xiong PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. She is also called “Dr. Bear” because her last name in Chinese means “bear”. Dr. Bear came to the U.S. in 2006 from mainland China. Lina completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. Before coming to CSU, Dr. Bear has taught many business courses in the College of Business in Marshall University. Her teaching assignment in CSU includes tourism strategic management, tourism marketing, and advanced lodging in the MTM program. She is also responsible for developing several MTM courses in mandarin. Dr. Bear’s research interests include service management, internal branding, employee brand motivation, and customer loyalty. She has published several articles in hospitality management journals. Recently, Dr. Bear’s dissertation titled “Employee brand internalization: the central route to a brand aligned workforce” has received a Highly Commended Award of the 2014 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Hospitality Management category. This is a prestigious international annual award presented by Emerald and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). In addition, she is the winner of the Outstanding Paper in the 2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Dr. Bear has worked in hospitality and tourism businesses in China and in the U.S. She also has a cat named “Mulan”.

Dr. Xiong’s CV