Kelly S. Bricker, PhD

Curriculum Vitae

The Upper Navua Conservation Area, Fiji
  • Director, Parks, Recreation & Tourism
  • Professor, Health-Kinesiology-Recreation



  • PhD, Parks, Recreation, Tourism / Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
  • MS, Parks, Recreation, Tourism / Communications, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
  • BS, Parks, Recreation, Tourism / Zoology, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as one of 18 Global Judges for the “Tourism for Tomorrow” Awards, sponsored by the World Travel & Tourism Council . World Travel and Tourism Council, 01/2017
  • Inducted as a Fellow. The Academy of Leisure Sciences, 09/15/2016
  • A scholarship was created in my name to honor students of sustainable tourism and support them to the annual Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism International Conference. The International Ecotourism Society, 04/15/2015
  • Emerging Professional - Graduate Degree Award Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Alumni Society, The Pennsylvania State University. (Award) . The Pennslyvania State University , 01/2006
  • Emerging Professional Graduate Degree Award, College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society, The Pennsylvania State University. (Award) . The Pennsylvania State University, 01/2006
  • Teacher of the Year for the Division of Forestry, West Virginia University . West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, 05/2004


Dr. Bricker is a Professor and Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah. She completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management. She has research and teaching interests in ecotourism, sense of place, community development, natural resource management, value of nature-based experiences, and the impacts of tourism.  She has authored and edited books on sustainability, which highlight case studies in tourism meeting environmental and societal issues in Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change; educational texts focused on adventure education in Adventure Programing and Travel for the 21st Century and graduate education in De-Mystifying Theories in Tourism Research; and most recently, relevant to current projects, co-edited This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature’s Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families (Sagamore Publishing, LLC). Dr. Bricker serves the boards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, The International Ecotourism Society, The Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the United Nations World Tourism Organization 10YFP for sustainable development, and the Tourism and Protected Area Specialist Group of the IUCN. With partners in OARS and her husband, she developed an ecotourism operation called Rivers Fiji. 


  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Treasurer, 07/2014 - present
  • United Nations Environmental Program - 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Program (STP), Member, Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee, 07/2013 - 06/2017
  • Academy of Leisure Sciences (ALS), Member, 07/2012 - present
  • The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Chair, Research and Education Program, 07/2006 - 06/2017
  • The International Ecotourism Society-University Consortium Certificate in Sustainable Tourism (UCC), Member, 07/2004 - 06/2017
  • Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), Member, 07/1999 - 07/2017
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Member, 07/1980 - present


  • English, fluent.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Eastern Africa. Community-based tourism, impacts of tourism.
  • Fiji. Longitudinal research on tourism and quality of life in rural communities.