Faculty Profiles

Branstrator MTM Photo

Julia Branstrator is a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab within the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She brings a multidisciplinary approach to conservation social science spanning international sustainability studies in hospitality, tourism, and technology. Julia’s teaching philosophy is to creatively engage students in the classroom by incorporating students’ backgrounds, identities and knowledge to guide lessons while drawing from her own research and work experience. Her research within Dr. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab has focused on biocultural conservation of gateway communities, information communication technologies within tourism planning, and feminist methodologies for sustainable futures in tourism. Outside the classroom, you may find Julia biking, hiking with her dog (Aloy), or enjoying the communities of Fort Collins through volleyball, gaming, or concerts.

Julia’s Google Scholar page

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 Cottrell

Stuart (Stu) Cottrell PhD is a 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

Tian Guo, Ph.D. is a quantitative social scientist who studies behavior changes and social processes in agricultural, recreation, and other natural resource management settings. She has proven skills in analytical techniques such as structural equation modeling, categorical data analyses, and multi-level modeling, along with an extensive method repertoire including social network analyses, social media harvesting, and variable selections for big data. She has worked extensively in interdisciplinary teams and is interested in developing novel socio-ecological solutions to wicked environmental programs. Tian’s teaching responsibilities include distance coursework for the MTM and MPPM program. She is interested in cross-cultural curriculum development and pedagogical strategies.

Dr. Guo’s CV

David Knight

David Knight PhD. Dubbed “Mr. Positivity” by colleagues (but without the coffee mug to prove it), David has developed a unique transnational skill-set in sustainability and tourism management living and working in the U.S., Spain, the Philippines, Peru, and China. Drawing from experience as director, educator, researcher, consultant, collaborator, and confidant, David’s growing university-level leadership underscores his passion for partnerships and diversity in working with real-world organizations and communities to provide tangible, experiential learning opportunities for students. His research and consulting projects for organizations operating from local to international levels have analyzed a variety of sustainability and tourism issues pertaining to National Parks, Chinese tourist behavior, marine protected areas, and rural (e.g., Machu Picchu) community development. Ultimately, David hopes to employ his experience, compassion, and intellect to support institutions of higher learning in empowering diverse communities through exceptional outreach, student recruitment/retention, advising, teaching, and research activities.

Dr. Knight’s CV

Professor and Head Michael Manfredo

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


Dr. Bastian Thomsen is a conservation social scientist whose research intersects conservation, social responsibility, and tourism. He was most recently an Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Boise State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Management from Central Queensland University. He is nearly finished with a second Ph.D. in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Bastian is the Strategy & Innovation Editor for the Journal of Ecotourism and has recently had articles accepted for publication in top tier journals such as the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and Annals of Tourism Research. He taught in the MTM program as an Affiliate Faculty last year and is eager to teach in the program full-time, engage with community stakeholders, and to work collaboratively with board members to tie industry needs to classroom lessons. His wife, Dr. Jennifer Thomsen will start her second doctorate in CSU’s DVM program this fall and they love to travel and get outdoors with their two border collie rescues, Bella and Zoey.

Dr. Thomsen’s CV

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Dr. Sarah Walker’s  work is based on the idea that understanding human well-being is critical for designing environmental solutions that work for both people and nature. Further, Sarah research and teaching centers on the believe that environmental solutions should prioritize social justice in both process and outcome.  Broadly, Sarah conducts environmental social science – exploring and measuring the human well-being impacts of various environmental problems and interventions. Much of her work is focused on equitable climate adaptation, rural livelihoods and changing environments, and the health and well-being effects of nature immersion. Sarah’s work and teaching occurs all around the world – from East Africa to CSU’s Mountain Campus to Canada and rural New York. Sarah is an avid hiker and cyclist and loves working with students inside and outside the classroom.

Google Scholar

Photo of HDNR faculty member Dr. Lina Xiong

Lina Xiong PhD is a tenure-track 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. Xiong came to the U.S. in 2006 from mainland China. She completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. Her 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. Dr. Xiong teaches strategic management and marketing in tourism courses at CSU, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She also serves as the Director of Academics in the Master of Tourism Management program (MTM) in China. Dr. Xiong’s research areas include internal branding, service management and marketing, as well as destination brand marketing. These areas emphasize an internal stakeholder perspective in building a sustainable competitive advantage through internal branding among tourism employees at the micro-level as well as destination residents at the macro-level. She have published many articles in top tourism and hospitality journals including International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Travel Research, European Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, etc.

Dr. Xiong’s Website

Dr. Xiong’s CV

Dr. Xiong’s Google Scholar Profile