Tourism, Environment & Sustainable Societies

Tourism Environment & Sustainable Societies

The Tourism, Environment, and Sustainable Societies cluster merges a diversity of expertise to better understand the impacts of change and development, to prepare for new challenges and opportunities in tourism and economic development, and to produce innovative plans for ensuring sustainability and resiliency through stewardship and entrepreneurship. Through applied, problem-based, and community engaged learning opportunities, students in this cluster will become thoroughly prepared to solve these 21st century challenges while protecting the vast natural and cultural richness that is the essence of New England.

Real-World Cluster Project

Migration Studies and Cultural Impact of the Bicknell’s Thrush

Faculty from a variety of disciplines, students, and external partners worked to increase awareness and to conserve habitats for the Bicknell’s Thrush.

The Problem

Greater awareness and conservation action is needed to protect the Bicknell’s thrush, a threatened migratory songbird, and its habitat.

Awareness of the Issue

The birds migrate between New Hampshire’s high peaks and the declining forests of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Perspectives from all three cultures were considered.

Collaborative Team Projects

Students in the Tourism, Environment & Sustainable Societies; Exploration & Discovery; and the Health & Human Enrichment clusters teamed up to increase awareness.

Proposal Presentations

Research and findings were shared through habitat exploration, graduate course work, a film screening, an international writing workshop, and a multimedia museum exhibit.

Improved Outcomes

Public programs raised awareness of the bird’s presence and the state of its habitats.

Undergraduate Degree ProgramsGraduate Degree ProgramsMinorsCluster Projects
Anthropologist Film Screening

This project is designed to expose PSU students, faculty, staff, and community members to interdisciplinary research on one of the most pressing 21st century challenges: climate change. Dr. Susan Crate is an anthropologist with a long career of conducting interdisciplinary and applied research. Her work is showcased in the film The Anthropologist, which documents her efforts to understand how marginalized communities adapt to changing environmental conditions. This project will bring Dr. Crate to campus and we will hold a public film screening followed by a Q+A session. Students from all majors will be able to attend the public film screening with Dr. Crate, gaining knowledge on climate change and social science researcher’s work documenting its impact on marginalized communities.

Visiting the Bicknell's Thrush at Cannon Mtn.

The focus of this field trip proposal is to give three groups an opportunity to visit the breeding habitat of the Bicknell’s Thrush at Cannon Mountain, where the birds are known to breed during the summer months. NH Audubon has been monitoring the presence of the birds during the breeding season as part of Cannon Mountain’s mitigation plan for expanding operations in their acquisition of Mittersill Mountain in the last couple of years. Students helping with this survey will describe the unique ecology of the Bicknell’s Thrush, a bird that has one of the most restricted breeding and wintering ranges of any North American bird, and Explain the threats and measures being taken to conserve this bird’s population and habitat in New Hampshire.”

Forest to Forest: Bicknell's Thrush

This project involves hosting a moderated PBS movie, An Island Divided: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Student organizations, Common Ground and the Geography Club will help co host the movie and answer any questions. Next, the management team will hold a conference on Wednesday, October 25th, at the new Merrill Place facility. The conference will be open to the public. Specific courses will be targeted and invited, including: Conservation; all sections of Issues in Sustainability, including one linked with Composition; students from Sheryl Shirley’s spring ’17 Humanitarianism course; Adam Keul and tourism majors, and key First Year Seminar courses and others.”

Conservation of the Bicknell’s Thrush Conference

The project engages students to assist with planning a conference and other activities scheduled for summer and fall of 2017. A major work responsibility is to organize the conference to be held in the fall semester. The students return in the fall to attend the conference and see the fruition of their work. The students work with the project management and marketing team and attended monthly meetings related to the project during the spring of 2017.”

Cultivating Sustainable Leaders

This project consists of 20 first year PSU students from different majors enrolled in two courses- English Composition and Issues in Sustainability- will participate in a daylong field trip to Green Mountain College, VT – a leader in sustainability initiatives, for the purposes of learning about feasible projects to implement at PSU. Participants will design, write, and present about proposed projects for PSU from ideas generated from the visit to Green Mountain College. The project goals are to inspire first year students to develop and pursue feasible, sustainable initiatives at PSU.

Exploring New England Culture Heritage

This project aims to give students a first-hand account of how New England native and historic cultures are presented to visitors by visiting and analyzing two renowned tourism destinations, The Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Ledyard, CT and the Mystic Seaport and downtown Mystic, CT. The core activity of the project will be a one-day visit to these sites, though instruction will be given beforehand and analysis completed afterwards. The trip aims to give students a broader perspective on how culture and heritage are presented through tourism. Tourism economies are vital to New England and the trip is intended to be a study of tourism alongside the practice of tourism.

Mt. Prospect Region Land Conservation

The Mt. Prospect Region Land Conservation Project integrates a graduate course in ESP 5160 Land Conservation Techniques with the Town of Holderness, NH’s Conservation Commission interest in conserving land around Mt. Prospect in Holderness. The Conservation Commission will work with students in the course to develop a Project Plan and materials for the Conservation Commission and other project partners on the goals, needs, and stewardship of the Mt. Prospect area.

Quebecois Tourism

PSU French students use their skills to develop French language materials for local businesses, organizations and tourism providers. Students in advanced French courses are involved in the year-long cluster project “Designed Experiences for Québécois Tourists Visiting the North Country.” This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary experience where French students work hand in hand with students in marketing, management, and graphic design courses to identify opportunities for northern communities who are looking to better attract, welcome and serve French-Canadian visitors.

Valuing Our Campus Trees and Community Forests

Nearly 300 colleges across America are recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for maintaining and stewarding their trees through their “Tree Campus” program. As of 2016, no campuses in New Hampshire are recognized. Plymouth State University (PSU) would be the first college campus in New Hampshire to receive Tree Campus USA recognition. We propose leading PSU to acquiring this Tree Campus USA status and maintaining this distinction in perpetuity. Leading to the application for Tree Campus USA, Environmental Science and Policy PSU majors in the spring 2017 Capstone Course collected and analyzed data on PSU campus trees to quantify the many services our trees provide our community.

Vernal Pool

This project is divided into three phases. Phase I work began Spring ’17 and will continue into summer to capture the peak amphibian migration and vernal pool activity. Phase II began in Fall 2017 and takes advantage of fall amphibian activity. This phase is critical for student research assistant to practice the necessary skills and build knowledge base and develop outreach communication materials in preparation for the Phase III. Phase III is the largest taking place in 2018, will focus on a comprehensive effort to map vernal pool resources within the town of Plymouth and document the presence/absence of amphibian species of special concern and species of greatest conservation need as identified by the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan.

L-TEME site at the Beebe River

The long-term environmental monitoring and education (L-TEME) site program marks the initiation of long-term ecological and hydrologic monitoring program in the Beebe River watershed, a tributary to the Pemigewasset River. The research program will track freshwater and terrestrial ecological conditions and the movement patterns and genetics of eastern brook trout before and following a major restoration endeavor to restore natural flows to five south-facing Beebe River tributaries. Students will gain highly valuable experience as field research assistants. Seasonal field positions are among the most common opportunities available to graduates of the environmental biology and ESP undergraduate programs.