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Geotourism curriculum for Lake tahoe

15 active learning classes to build geotourism fluency - demonstrated with tangible deliverables in the living lab of Lake Tahoe - a world stage of watershed stewardship!.

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Geotourism curriculum for Lake tahoe

  1. 1. 775.846.1715 Sustainable Tahoe PO 3206 Incline Village, NV 89450 Creating a prosperity blueprint with geotourism curriculum Background 1997, National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destination (NGCSD) created ‘geotourism’ as a prescription for destination stewardship. This NG Mission Program is working in 65 destinations throughout the world to alleviate poverty, educate people on sustainability, and preserve heritage sites. Geotourism destinations enrich the visitor experience while sustaining and enhancing the local art, culture, heritage, environment and local well being. NGCSD is a non-profit organization. The geotourism program is endorsed by 5 Departments of the US Department of Interior to be adopted by all US destinations. The program has a 12 principles and 4 steps, building curriculum in the region will clearly accelerate the success of Step 2. 1) IDENTIFY – geotourism assets (through hands on workshops that build understanding in the community) 2) DEVELOP – relationships, fluency and guided access to create geotourism experience w/ annual showcases 3) PROMOTE – collaborative promotion (including NGCSD reach) 4) SUSTAIN – stay the course, annual review and deepen relationships with businesses A geotourism program where the class is the living lab of the Tahoe region, will enrich and elevate the sustainability efforts in the region. Students work directly with the business, tourism and stewardship communities which will result in a degree and valuable, unique experiences. The class will compliment and attract Resort Mgt and Entrepreneur focused students from around the world seeking to be a part of an active geotourism model on a global stage, where water stewardship is critical for our survival. Plus the opportunity to partner with other colleges seeking to create economic models that build destination stewardship, while enrich the field and future for all. Active Learning The approach of the class will be to help students discover conclusions that inspire implementation, so they see themselves winning in a story they actively convert into a future they will be proud to share. This active learning will also serve the region’s own “Prosperity Plan” which clearly prescribes geotourism to solve Tahoe’s economic and environmental challenges. This provides students with an education and relationships in the local business and NGO community they can then leverage into career moves. Class Objective: 1) Expand and reinforce relationships, partnerships and alliances needed to develop and sustain the brand. 2) Draft a business/marketing plan outlining profit potential the ‘experience economy’ geotourism offers. 3) Establish measurable and desired results (carbon to capital). Outcome create a tangible functioning geotourism showcase that demonstrates the students understand the first 2 Steps of creating geotourism: 1) Identify and 2) Develop. [Following course to expand on 3) Promote and 4) Sustain]. Curriculum A 15 week interactive hands-on program will use National Geographic’s 12 geotourism principles as a foundation to develop a working model for geotourism Adventure Tracks (guided access to local assets) in the Tahoe region (see 2012 Tahoe Expo program as example). This ‘menu of activities’ will be directed toward the Fall season.
  2. 2. 775.846.1715 Sustainable Tahoe PO 3206 Incline Village, NV 89450 Preliminary Draft of the 15 sessions Session 1: Sustainability, Stewardship, what is geotourism Overview; purpose, expectations, real-life application Discussion around current situation: What is working – what is broken? Pain: Define/explore regional challenges that keep us from being sustainable Gain: What would it take to build a durable local / geotourism economy? Exercise: Play ‘Fish Game’ Discuss results - and insights about our current culture Proof: Evaluate geotourism success stories: Northeast Kingdom, Appalachians, Crown of Continent Watch: Peter Diamndis, Steven Kotler; Abundance (TED Talks) Action/homework: ID activities that provide you a sense of place Session 2: Principle#1-2 Integrity of place – International Codes Review assignment Understanding geotourism from the inside out: What anchors your heart to this area? How well does our area sustain and enhance these authentic characteristics? (capture) (example) Geotourism to sustain and enhance El Dorado County 7-09 Discuss geotourism? How does that impact you? Pain: What happens if you do nothing? (capture and share scenarios) Gain: Who’s done it? What was the result? What will it take to do this here? Proof: Vermont Northeast kingdom Exercise: What types of activities provide a sense of place? Guest: Dr. Scott Underwood MaLode River Co Session 3: Principle#3 Involve the Community Review assignment Define Communities of Interest. The power to network value systems of stewardship tied to NGO’s or geotourism business in the area for building a geotourism base of visitors. Discussion: Where, when, why do these communities come to Tahoe? Who is hosting them? What is the impact? Pain: What happens when you do not involve the local community? Gain: What happens when you do? Stewardship to land and community - Winterhill Proof: economic benefits from destination that prove the concept Guest: Christa Campbell - Apple Hill grower: Pam Warhurst; Edible Landscapes (TED Talks) Action/ Homework: Review the ingredients of a geotourism itinerary Session 4: Principle#4 Community Benefit Review assignment. How well do visitors sustain local residents, resources, and businesses? Discussion...(use stories w/contrast and exercises) Pain: What happens when the community derives little benefit from visitors? Gain: What happens when it derives big? Local example video: Art and Culture of farming in Camino Proof: local dollars 2.5 times vs 0.5.Vermont case study Exercise: Share your geotourism itinerary Guest: Becky Bell, the founder of TMAC, a local arts and culture Action/homework: analyze and predict 3 actions you take that benefit your community each week/day/month Session 5: Principle#5 Conservation of Resources Review assignment. How well does our area encourage/promote environmentally friendly business practices? What is working? Where is it broken? Discussion...(using contrast, stories and exercises) Pain: What happens if you do nothing? Gain: How is preservation profitable? Proof: Land use for 14 ft top soil - Madrona Vineyards Guest: Paul Bush from Madrona Vineyards, David Hansen, Scott Terrell sharing ROI of sustainability Action/homework: 3 ways you conserve resources in your home and/or community
  3. 3. 775.846.1715 Sustainable Tahoe PO 3206 Incline Village, NV 89450 Session 6: Principle#6 Use Land Wisely Review assignment What pro-active techniques prevent over development and degradation? Locate manufactured attractions in areas with no significant ecological, scenic, historic, or cultural assets? Discussion Pain: What is the value of using land wisely? What is the cost of miss-use? Gain: What happens when we do live in harmony with the land? Proof: Organic Winery in Fair Play CA Exercise: field trip to Full Circle Compost Guest: Craig Witt or Brian Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Winery: Living in the rhythm of the land Action/homework: Take a nature walk with fresh eyes, ears, nose and mouth to see, hear, smell and taste the subtle flavors of the nature you live in. Session 7; Principle#7 Protect and Enhance Destination Appeal Review assignment How well does business balance protection of resources and limit capacity? (Capture - summarize results) Pain: How can protections and enhancements be profitable? Gain: What would it take? Who’s doing it? Proof: Conservation of Resources - 968 Park Hotel Tahoe Exercise: How does nature handle capacity? Guest: 968 Park manager- tour hotel or Dominic Acalino Action/homework: Write about 3 ways nature handles capacity in your area. Session 8: Principle#8 Encourage Interactive Interpretation Review assignment. Value of local expertise: what do you know? How does that inspire others? How well does Tahoe engage both visitors and hosts in the learning process? (capture responses - summarize) Pain: What happens when you do not understand a culture/heritage/environment? Gain: What happens when you do? Proof: Native Peoples Culture - Wa She Shu Heritage and Wellness - Smith Flat House Local author - Todd Borg Exercise: ways to help visitors connect Guest: Darrell Cruz of the Washoe Tribe, Todd Borg or Susan Frazier Action/homework: Guide someone – document their experience Session 9: Principle#9 Ensure Visitor Satisfaction Share homework and discussion outcomes, values and what quality experiences would visitors want to share with others, providing continual demand for the destination? Discussion...(using contrast, stories and exercises) Pain: What happens when you do not feel welcomed or connected to the places you visit? Gain: What happens when you do? Exercise: shared travel experiences Proof: Visitor Satisfaction thru Stewardship - Generation Green team Guest: Lauren Tomaselli, Explore Tahoe, Frank of IRIE River Rafting Mid-term: Create a 3- 5 hr itinerary using these principles the group can test Session 10: Principle#10 Appropriate Planning How do you recognize/respect immediate economic needs w/o sacrificing long-term character and geotourism potential of the destination? Discuss TRPA thresholds, impact fees and local challenges (2 states, 6 counties, 1 city, USFS) Discussion...(using contrast, stories and exercises) Pain: What happens if you do not plan around preserving authentic assets? Gain: What happens when you do? Proof: Monterey Bay Aquarium (how preservation is profitable) Exercise: Choose a site and discuss potential transformation
  4. 4. 775.846.1715 Sustainable Tahoe PO 3206 Incline Village, NV 89450 Guest: Chris Mines (or field trip to tour resort) Action/homework: Scout Geocenter sites outline appropriate theme and main activities conducive to the area Session 11: Principle#11 Foster Product Diversity and Market Selectivity What makes this area rich in diversity? Discussion...(using contrast, stories and exercises) Pain: what happens if you don’t foster diversity? Gain: What happens when you do? Proof: Blacksmithing in Placerville CA Historical Vineyard in Placerville - Boeger Winery Exercise: map diversity in our region with activities that connect you deeper to the place Guest: Keith Brown: Paddle board designer/maker in Tahoe Vista or Greg from Boeger Winery Action/homework: map sites and corresponding activities that blend diversity and build connection to the area Session 12: geotourism Adventure Track Discussion: how business benefits subsidizing “Geotours ( guided adventure tracks). Divide class into groups – assign Geotour development to specific areas of the region. Define the parameters, relationship and agencies org Exercise: groups diagram the components that create a Geotour adventure Guest: Kim Gorman, Adam Henrique’s (Geotour designer and Captain) Action/homework: diagram and scout a track – prepare itinerary for class presentation w/group Session 13: Marketing Communities of Interest / CI where do they fit into your Geotour Define relationships, funding and docents needed to make it work Exercise: Each group shares their Geotourand target market Guest: Tim Cohee (Marketing), Action/homework: Vet your track, define CI for your Geotour and marketing strategy Session 14 Business Review Communities of Interest /CI and social media opportunity to connect them to their track Define desired metrics and economic impact of the itineraries to region Determine who, how and what will be measured Enroll a business partner to help Geotour results. Example: Discuss Environmental Impact Fees as a potential funding to support and subsidize these activities and the marketing directive. Exercise: Diagram components that create an Adventure Track Guest: Dominic Acolina (GM Embassy Suites) Action/homework: access measurable results for your Geotour Session 15 Principle#12 Evaluation Present your Geotour with analysis on its impact to environment and economy Share feedback, findings and predictions from what you have learned Show how your Geotour demonstrates geotourism principles and where your model fits into the 2 day showcase. Provide sponsorship potential, alignment and commitments. Demonstrate how the event will prosper the community, economy and environment.
  5. 5. 775.846.1715 Sustainable Tahoe PO 3206 Incline Village, NV 89450 READER Steve Thompson: Geotourism Handbook Globalization And Sustainable Tourism Development By M.L. Narasaiah Chapter 9 - Sustainable Tourism Development, Chapter 10 - sustainable Tourism and the Environment, Chapter 11 - Sustainable Tourism; Illusion or realistic alternative Global Geotourism Perspective by Ross Dowling & David Newsome Chapter 12 - The Grand Canyon, USA, The experience of managing a world class geotourism destination chapter 16 - Geotourism Opportunity and Tourism Significance. Geotourism: Sustainability, impacts and management, by Ross Dowling & David Newsome Part 3, Chapter 9: Geotourism: a perspective from the USA Part 3, Chapter 13: Geotourism issues and challenges A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management By World Tourism Organization, 2007 - entire publication actical_guide_destination_management_excerpt.pdf Eco-Tourism And Livelihoods: Capacity Building For Local Authorities By A.K. Bhattacharya 4. Ecotourism Planning 5.Environmental Auditing in Ecotourism 6.Community based Ecotourism: Identification of Issues and Options, through Stakeholders Analysis 7.Tourism Carrying Capacity of Protected areas in Madhya Pradesh 8.Recreation forestry: Innovations in Ecotourism PG. 74-111