Sustainable Tourism & Protected Area Management (STPAM)

What is STPAM?

The STPAM graduate program is designed for students interested in issues of sustainable tourism and/or protected area management in either a domestic or international context. Students in this graduate program address complex and emerging tourism and protected area management issues, all under the umbrella of sustainability, from diverse perspectives at the enterprise, local, national, and international levels. 

Sustainable tourism has a focus on the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental aspects of systems that support travel for recreation and education. This includes the planning, development, and management of such systems and their component parts, including tourism enterprises. Its implementation requires an interdisciplinary and community-based approach that incorporates social, physical, and biological realms.

Parks and protected area management encompasses a wide range of cultural and natural resources at the local, regional, national, and international scales, including land-based and marine areas in settings ranging from urban to remote. Sustainable management of parks and protected areas is critical to the longevity of these areas for conservation purposes as well as to the provision of quality experiences for recreation and long-term economic viability for tourism. 

Graduates will be prepared to work with a wide range of tourism or protected area entities, including government, non-profit organizations, and commercial businesses. PhD graduates will be prepared additionally to work in academia or in research-related positions with a wide array of organizations.

Three Degree Types

  1. MS-A
  2. MS-B
  3. PhD

Five Department Themes

The Department of Community Sustainability has five broad themes that describe the general areas of application within the department’s work. These themes are not mutually exclusive, nor do they necessarily define the focus areas of a student's graduate degree program. Students are encouraged to integrate coursework across these themes.

  1. Community Food & Agricultural Systems
  2. Natural Resources & the Environment
  3. Tourism & Recreation Systems
  4. Education & Civic Engagement
  5. International Development