K Bricker
  • Adjunct Professor, Parks, Recreation & Tourism

Research Summary

My research interests center on sustainable tourism and impacts on communities and the environment. I have been funded to develop sustainable tourism guidelines for the tourism industry in North America; explore sustainable tourism certification programs in the USA; understand public land managers conceptualization of sustainable recreation; and study the impact of tourism on health and well-being of community members in small island nations (i.e., Fiji).


  • 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


Kelly S. Bricker is a professor and Chair in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in the College of Health. She has research and teaching interests in nature-based tourism, sense of place, gateway communities, natural resource management, health benefits of nature-based experiences, and the impacts of tourism. Bricker is the  co-author or editor of seven books on sustainable tourism, ecotourism, and the restorative qualities of nature. She has contributed numerous chapters to books on tourism’s environmental and social impacts and authored more than 60 journal articles. Bricker serves the boards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Tourism and Protected Area Specialist Group of the IUCN, and the Central Wasatch Stakeholders Council. With her husband, partners in OARS, and 12 communities in the rural highlands of Fiji, Bricker established a lease for conservation on the Upper Navua River, through an ecotourism project they created called Rivers Fiji. She completed her doctorate degree at The Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management.