I conduct environmental anthropological field research to assess the impact of tourism on biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development efforts around parks and protected areas, primarily in Latin America. I have explored these projects across a range of field sites in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Galapagos, Nicaragua, Peru, and Tanzania.
I am currently carrying out a research project supported by the NSF Cultural Anthropology Program on cultura en camino in the Galapagos Islands, where no native human population existed. In this study, I am analyzing the influence of imported cultural worldviews, as well as the ongoing genesis of place-specific Galapagueño culture, on the conflicts and policies around environmental conservation and community development in the islands.
In other explorations of the pro-environmental outcomes of tourism on travelers, I also leverage an early background in psychology into research on the ways that travel to nature-based destinations influences an individual's subsequent pro-environmental behavior, including conservation-oriented travel philanthropy.
At Penn St. my teaching corresponds to these interests. The on-campus and field courses I have taught focus on nature-based tourism, social and environmental sustainability, community development, biodiversity conservation, and qualitative research methods. I also serve as the Faculty-in-charge of the Sustainability Leadership minor at Penn State and faculty co-leader of the Penn State Parks and People Tanzania field course.
For more information about my interests, click on the Research, Publications, and Teaching tabs at my personal website: https://sites.psu.edu/carterahunt/.