The Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism (IORT) conducts a program of research, extension/public service, and teaching for the benefit of the people of Utah, our country, and the world, to improve understanding of the relationship between outdoor recreation and tourism, natural resources management, community economic vitality, and quality of life.

BackpackersThrough statewide collaboration and cooperation, IORT will be a source for the creation, communication, and transfer of knowledge on natural resources-based recreation and tourism issues affecting social, economic, and environmental systems. As a source of information, IORT assists citizen groups, professionals, and decision-makers in learning more about the role of natural resources in outdoor recreation and tourism development.

Our goal is to help Utah's citizens make good decisions about such issues to enhance both community and environmental sustainability, and to train future professionals in effective decision-making.

Research Function

  • IORT helps to identify research needs in outdoor recreation and tourism for communities and natural resources management agencies in Utah. IORT helps coordinate public and private sector efforts to study and solve related problems, as well as identifying and generating supplemental research funds from state, federal, and private sources.
  • The experts at IORT collaborate with scientists and professionals in Utah, the West, and elsewhere, to enhance the knowledge base in outdoor recreation and tourism, as well as providing a clearinghouse of research publications.

Extension Function

  • IORT provides an Extension Specialist in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism to work with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in the private sector, offering consultation and training sessions in outdoor recreation and tourism development.
  • IORT publishes a series of informative reports and “fact sheets” on outdoor recreation and natural resources-based tourism development.

Teaching Function

  • IORT offers short courses for outdoor recreation professionals, and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Recreation Resources Management and Natural Resources-Based Tourism at Utah State University.