In 2018, Colorado State University-Pueblo, the Colorado State University Todos Santos Center, and Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), will collaborate to establish an Institute of Ecotourism Studies in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

An 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, will fund the institute. The CSU project was selected in late 2017 for the innovation fund, which facilitates eight new higher education partnerships between the United States, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia that offer new exchange and training opportunities to students who traditionally lack access to, or are underrepresented in, international exchange programs.

The bi-national effort will be led by CSU-Pueblo Assistant Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Leadership Dr. Daniel Bowan. Bowan will work with Kim Kita, director, special projects & partnerships at Colorado State University, and Dr. Plácido Roberto Cruz Chávez, professor, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, to stand up the Institute.

The Institute of Ecotourism Studies will focus on undergraduate education and highlight the significance of ecotourism in the Baja California Sur region and in Colorado by providing education around the role and impacts of tourism on local cultures and communities.

Programs will occur in Mexico and Colorado with focus on:

  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable travel
  • Alternative tourism issues

Courses are open to CSU-Pueblo, CSU-Fort Collins, and Autonomous University of Baja California Sur students, and focus on cultural exchange between students from Mexico and Colorado.

The grant will support three field-based academic courses to be held throughout 2018, as well as the development of an Ecotourism Symposium to be hosted at the CSU Todos Santos Center in Mexico, featuring educational workshops, clinics, and research presentations with the goal of supporting local workforce development.

For more information about the Institute of Ecotourism Studies, please contact