I am currently a 4th year Animal Science student with minors in Environmental Studies and Indigenous Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. As an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar, I will be interning here with Oregon Sea Grant Tourism Program working from the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance to work on developing a tourism and outdoor recreation program for Oregon’s South Coast.
The long-term goals of this project are to raise the region’s profile as a tourist destination while prioritizing the triple bottom line of community, conservation, and economic development, and to later create a larger training program after which other coastal communities throughout the country can model in the future. I will be collecting, analyzing, and sharing data about tour operators – specifically whale watching, kayaking, and recreational fishing – in order to help inform business managers as they expand operations and effectively educate visitors of the region.
I am extremely interested in and excited about this project because it is both an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of this beautiful region and an opportunity to study, experiment with, and apply the most effective methods of interpretation and science communication through the development of experiential, sustainable tourism. During this experience I hope to form valuable relationships between the WRCA, tourist entities, and other valuable stakeholders in order to help these organizations promote a vibrant, sustainable tourist economy while conserving the beautiful and resilient ecosystems of the southern Oregon coast.
Stay tuned for more posts in the future concerning the many things I will be learning and doing. I am very excited to be here!