About Natalie

Dr. Natalie Ooi is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Ski Area Management Program within the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. She bridges the academic and ski industry worlds, having worked as a rental technician at Steamboat Springs Ski & Resort in 2008/09, before returning in 2010/2011 to do her dissertation on mountain resort tourism development. Her area of research focus was examining the socio-cultural sustainability of mountain resort development within the community of Steamboat Springs, CO. An avid skier and hiker, Natalie is an Australian citizen who relocated to the USA in 2013 to further follow her passion of skiing and the outdoor lifestyle. Her research interests center on sustainable ski area management and development, with particular interest in the complexities of tourism-community and other stakeholder relationships within mountain resort communities. She earned her Ph.D. 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.

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Interests

  • Dr. Ooi's 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 resilience of mountain resort destinations, climate change and the adaptation and mitigation responses of the ski industry, the sustainability of backpacker tourism, and the potential for overlap between backpacker and volunteer tourism.

Education

PhD, BusComm (ski area management) - Monash University
Berwick, Australia, 2013

BBusComm (Hons), - Monash University
Berwick, Australia, 2008

BS, Bachelor of Sport and Outdoor Recreation/BBusComm (management) - Monash University
Gippsland, Australia, 2006

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • NIDIS Research Grant, NOAA: Identifying Drought-Related Triggers and Impacts on Decision Calendars for the Ski Industry, 2019-2020

Presentations

Higher education roundtable: Career pipelines, equitable opportunities and a skilled workforce in the outdoors

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Partners in the Outdoors Conference, Breckenridge, CO, 04/26/19

The future of leadership development: How to attract, retain, and motivate your next generation of leaders

NSAA Western Conference, Snowbird, UT, 01/17/19

The future of leadership development: How to attract, retain, and motivate your next generation of leaders

NSAA Eastern Conference, Mount Snow, VT, 01/31/19

Developing the Next Generation of Ski Area Managers: A Deep Dive into Leadership Development Strategies and Techniques

NSAA Eastern Conference, Killington, VT, 02/06/19

Examining the resilience and adaptive capacity of mountain resort destinations: Moving beyond the sustainability efforts of mountain resorts

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 04/06/19

Developing the Next Generation of Ski Area Managers: A Deep Dive into Leadership Development Strategies and Techniques

NSAA Western Conference, Snowbird, UT, 01/23/19

Leadership development in the ski industry: Techniques and best practices

Professional Ski Instructors Association – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) Snowsports Management Seminar, Snowbird, UT, 01/24/19

Leadership development in the ski industry: Techniques and best practices

Professional Ski Instructors Association – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) Snowsports Management Seminar, Killington, VT, 02/04/19

Sustainable Tourism: Resilient Destinations – Future governance strategies

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 04/07/17

Managing for resilience in the face of climate change: The adaptive capacity of U.S. ski areas

Tourism Naturally Conference, Alghero, Italy, 10/04/16

Socio-cultural change as a result of mountain resort tourism growth and development: A case study of Steamboat Springs

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 04/23/15

Climate change and the effects to the ski and snowboard industry in Colorado

Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame Special Exhibit, Vail, CO, 09/27/19

Examining outdoor recreation barriers, constraints, amenity preferences, and communication and outreach needs of the Latino/Hispanic community in and around the Denver metro region, Colorado

Fort Collins Open Space Department, Fort Collins, CO, 11/08/18