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Jordan W. Smith, PhD
Jordan W. Smith is the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Society. His research examines how humans make behavioral and planning adaptations in response to rapidly changing environmental conditions. He uses stated preference experiments, geospatial modeling, and immersive virtual environments to understand contingent behaviors and preferences.
Jordan joined Utah State in January 2016, having previously been an Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Social Science and GIS at NC State University. Jordan earned his PhD in Parks Recreation and Tourism Management with minors in both Geospatial Information Systems and Sociology from NC State. He completed both his master’s and undergraduate degrees from Utah State University. Off-campus, Jordan is an active cyclist and motorcycle enthusiast.
Chris Monz, PhD
Christopher Monz is a Professor of Recreation Resource Management in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. Chris joined Utah State in 2007, having previously been an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University in New York, the Academic Dean of Sterling College in Vermont, and the Research Director for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming. He holds a PhD in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University, an MS in Plant Ecology from the University of Maine, and a BA in biology from SUNY New Paltz.
Chris has taught courses on outdoor recreation management, ecological impacts of recreation, nature-based tourism, interpretation, and outdoor education. Chris’ research specialty is recreation ecology, with current research interests focusing on the integration of biophysical science, soil science, and park planning approaches. His research also involves studying the ecological impacts of recreation in arctic and alpine ecosystems.
Chris has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on over $3.5M funded research from the National Science Foundation, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Paul Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program. He has worked extensively in the US, including Alaska, and internationally in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. Chris was also a Fullbright Scholar for the 2013-14 academic year in Norway. He is the co-author of the textbook Wildland Recreation: Ecology and Management. Chris is an active mountaineer, runner, and skier and has worked as an environmental educator, ranger, and climbing instructor.
Mark W. Brunson, PhD
Mark W. Brunson is a Professor in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. He is an environmental scientist whose work applies methods from the social and ecological sciences to understand the complex dynamics of human-environment interactions. His work focuses on the causes and consequences of human behaviors in deserts and rangelands, as well as how ecological processes and conditions influence human activities.
Mark’s current research investigates how social and institutional factors interact with biological invasions and climate to influence the success of restoration projects following wildfire, how ranchers perceive the full suite of ecosystem goods and services (from forage for livestock to wildlife habitat and open space), and how residents of Salt Lake City’s ethnically diverse west side are connected to the Jordan River and other water resources in their community.
Steven W. Burr, PhD
Steve Burr is an Associate Professor of Recreation Resource Management, an Extension Specialist in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, and the former Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. He is based out of the USU Moab Center, in Utah’s Canyonlands country, where he teaches and advises students in the Recreation Resource Management undergraduate degree program via USUs Regional Campuses and Distance Education. His work helps prepare students for careers in public lands recreation management.
Steve’s extension work involves serving on boards, advisory committees, and task forces focused on outdoor recreation and tourism on Utah’s public lands. He has also advised communities and counties on tourism development, and he has consulted with farmers and ranchers in the development of agritourism resources. Steve served for six years on the Utah Office of Tourism Board of Directors. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and is liaison to the Utah Council for Outdoor Recreation, which he chairs. Steve also serves as Executive Vice-President for Education and Outreach on the Friends of Utah State Parks Board. In 2014, Steve was re-appointed by Secretary of Interior Jewell to the BLM-Utah Resource Advisory Council, representing dispersed recreation and serving as the Recreation RAC Coordinator. In the past, Steve was an Executive Council Member of the Bear River Heritage Area and chair of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Advisory Committee, representing social sciences.
Steve’s current areas of interest, expertise, and research include wildland outdoor recreation and natural resources-based tourism policy, planning, and management; sustainable community tourism development; and the human dimensions of natural resource management.
Jacopo Baggio, PhD
Jacopo Baggio is an Assistant Professor of human-environment modeling in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. He holds a BA in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Milan Bicocca, a master’s in Development Economics, and a PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia. Jacopo worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment at Arizona State University before joining the faculty at Utah State.
Jacopo’s research uses game-based experiments and agent-based models to develop a better understanding of complex socio-ecological systems, which include nature-based outdoor recreation systems.
Chase Lamborn is a Research Associate for the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. Much of his time is spent developing, coordinating, and reporting the Institute’s research. Chase has worked on a variety of research from monitoring fish habitat in the Columbia River Basin to studying the visitation, attitudes, and management preferences of people who recreate on public lands.
Aside from research, Chase has worked for the USDA Forest Service, spending most of his time on the Moab-Monticello Ranger District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. He received a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Resource Management from Utah State University, and he later returned to further his education by earning a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management. Outside of the office, Chase spends a great deal of time with his wife, friends, and family traveling throughout the West climbing, fishing, viewing wildlife, and exploring.
Lael Gilbert is the Institute's Outreach Coordinator. Her education and career background in recreation resource management, journalism, and fire ecology have given her a passion for all things science. Lael enjoys learning about, writing about, and communicating science principles. She has been a park ranger at Zion National Park, a science writer, and a food columnist/commentator. She enjoys any type of outdoor recreation that involves keeping two feet firmly planted on the ground and moving less than 10 miles per hour.