“The NET Effect” is a publication created by the Extension Foundation for the Cooperative Extension Service. This magazine is an outcome of a partnership of the National Extension Tourism (NET) design team, the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD), and the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) grant program.

The 57-page publication contains eight case studies that explore innovative Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant work in sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation. It features work being done in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. 

The mission of the National Extension Tourism network (NET) is to integrate research, education, and outreach within Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant to support sustainable tourism. This work contributes in meaningful ways to the long-term economic development, environmental stewardship, and socio-cultural well-being of communities and regions.


Michigan State University, Oregon State University, South Carolina State University, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Vermont Extension, Utah State University, West Virginia University

Oregon Tour Companies, Guides & Outfitters:

March 22 Locl Webinar is For You

How your business appears online matters. It’s the first thing customers see when they search online. Locl helps you simplify Google Business Profile updates, create offers and events, engage with customer reviews, monitor business performance and act on insights. Join Alexa Darrow of Locl to learn how you can use the Locl platform (for free!) to save time, gain valuable insights and drive business.

Learn more and register here.

Wildlife, Culture, Food: Sustainable Tourism Experiential Learning Tour in Costa Rica


About this trip

Oregon State University Extension tourism program in Partnership with Holbrook Travel is offering an 8-day travel program in Costa Rica. Explore the Caribbean coast parks, beaches, lowland forests, farms, and rivers on this fully guided experience. We welcome any adult interested in exploring Costa Rica.

Led by Miles Phillips, an Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension Professor for Sustainable Tourism, this experience will provide participants the chance to gain an understanding of best practices in sustainable tourism, including agritourism, wildlife viewing, and cultural tourism through direct interactive experiences. We will visit public parks, private farms and private land wildlife conservation forests.

Experience it all in a country recognized for being an international leader for conservation, agritourism, and sustainable tourism overall. For birders, you will likely add many species to your life list! You will experience the benefits of incredible naturalist guides and gain insights into how to enhance your future travels or your own tourist destination.

Miles Phillips has led many trips to Costa Rica. He, along with our local full-time professional guide and local activity guides, will provide participants an excellent learning experience.

To sign up for this experience CLICK HERE


  • Incredible bird and wildlife observation in one of the great birding/wildlife hotspots of the world, including opportunities to see monkeys, toucans, sloths and much, much more.
  • Night beach walks in search of nesting sea turtles during core nesting season in Tortuguero National Park.
  • Adventure experiences like zip lines and rafting, guided private forest hikes at night and during the day.
  • Visits to chocolate and coffee farms to see, taste, and learn about the history and practices of cultivation and use in Costa Rica.
  • Lessons in cooking and dancing Costa Rican style.
  • Visit to the Costa Rica Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San José showing a large collection of indigenous gold art.

Meet your leader

Miles Phillips

Mr. Miles Phillips is an Associate Professor for Sustainable Tourism with OSU Oregon Sea Grant Extension and the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. 

His work as Extension faculty involves responding to local needs through an applied research and outreach-based approach. His work involves the many facets of tourism including economic development, wildlife conservation, and outdoor recreation into a working relationship that informs sustainable management and community vitality.

He has published numerous articles and is a published photographer, and group travel leader. He currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon. Before coming to Oregon, he lived and worked in Texas where he was Associate Department Head for Extension Recreation Park Tourism Dept. Before that he lived and worked in South Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. His work has also included Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Africa and more.  

To sign up for this experience CLICK HERE