MICHAEL SWEENEY, AICP is a certified environmental planner and primary instructor for the Certificate Program courses. Michael was formerly the director of the Institute for Ecological Tourism at HSU, and is an active ecotourist having traveled and worked in national parks and protected natural areas in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Kenya, East Africa, United States and China.
Michael has worked on a number of local ecotourism projects, including the Yurok Destination Lodge Feasibility Study, which identified a preferred site and conceptual configuration for an ecolodge at the mouth of the Klamath River. He also worked on the development and implementation of a sustainable tourism strategy culminating in the City of Arcata’s annual “Godwit Days” migratory birding festival.
He has presented papers on sustainable andcommunity-based tourism at international conferences on ecotourism. He has also consulted on ecotourism projects, including the Sastuun Resort in Quintana Roo, Mexico, a prototype for sustainable resort development along the Riviera Maya; and the Scarlet Macaw Trail Project, a community-based ecotourism model in northern Guatemala sponsored by Conservation International.
Recently, Michael was invited on a reconnaissance tour by Sierra Gorda Ecotours (Querétaro, Mexico) a network of ecotourism venues owned and operated by community cooperatives. After visiting the region, a report was submitted summarizing observations and recommendations.