Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

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Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism

Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism

Department of Community Sustainability


Michael Everett
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-432-0292

Frances Kaneene
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-353-0798

The Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism major in the Department of Community Sustainability prepares students for rewarding careers in the outdoors, managing organizations, resources, facilities and people linked to outdoor recreation. Those in the major will acquire an understanding of natural resources recreation and tourism that integrates sustainability and effectively links theory with practice while engaging the community. They will become adept at the management of parks, resorts, marinas, trails, campgrounds, nature centers, outfitting businesses, camps and many other outdoor venues. All senior level courses have a hands-on project component, where students work directly with professionals in the field applying classroom knowledge, critical thinking and effort to provide a lasting benefit to professional parters and society.

The MSU course catalog features all the courses for the Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism major.

Professional Internship

The capstone professional internship requirement gives students a great opportunity to apply their education and get real world experience as a bridge to their professional career.

More than 90 percent of the internships are paid and can be done in Michigan or beyond. Each is focused on the student’s professional interests. The Department of Community Sustainability coordinator works with students throughout their internship to help him or her get the most from this field experience.

Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE)

Students looking for a residential option can consider the RISE program. This living-learning community houses students from several different MSU colleges, including the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. All engage in educational and social activities related to sustainability, food and environmental stewardship.

Career Opportunities

  • National Park Service
  • US Forest Service
  • Resort Manager
  • State DNR’s
  • Local parks
  • Camp director
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Amusement parks
  • Cruise ships
  • Marina management

Study Abroad Opportunities:
Costa Rica - EARTH Consortium Study Abroad
India - Ecology of the Mountains
Peru - Community Engagement and Interdisciplinary Study of Global Issues in the Peruvian Andes