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Broken Marble


Recreation and Tourism Academic, Practitioner, and Consultant


Dr. Kelsey M. Johansen, Postdoctoral Researcher (Water Recreation, Well-Being and Tourism) at the University of Eastern Finland, works in the UEF Business School (Joensuu Campus) where she is cross appointed to UEF WATER and the Tourism Business Research Group. She specializes in the amenity, experiential, economic, and societal value of blue spaces and trails for individuals, businesses, communities, and society, particularly from the perspective of recreation, well-being, and tourism. As a broadly trained social scientist, she focuses on projects that activate community assets to develop sustainable recreation and tourism products and engages in knowledge mobilization and translation within and across sectors using a community-centred, service-focused, and solution-oriented lens.


Dr. Johansen is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Lakehead University (Thunder Bay Campus) and at the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University (Victoria Campus). Kelsey serves as Chair of the Trail Research Hub (Toronto, Canada) and has consulted for and with governmental, non-governmental, philanthropic and academic organizations.

Kelsey is also a member of Sportainable, an independent non-profit think tank comprised of a network of researchers in the natural, social, technical and economic sciences committed to sustainability and education for sustainable development through sport. Learn more here.

Kelsey’s work bridges the practical, methodological and theoretical drawing on scholarship from tourism studies, geography, sociology, anthropology, political ecology, human dimensions of resource management and environmental studies. Kelsey’s teaching interests include nature-based therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation. risk management, and community-based tourism development. Kelsey has taught at the University of Waterloo (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies), Lakehead University (School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Department of Anthropology and Department of Geography) and the University of Manitoba (Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management).

Kelsey graduated from the University of Otago with a PhD (Tourism) in 2022, a Masters specializing in Nature-Based Recreation and Tourism from Lakehead University in 2011, and undergraduate degrees in Anthropology (HBSc), Outdoor Recreation (HBOR) and Philosophy (BA) in 2008. Her work has been supported by a Doctoral Scholarship from Otago (2013 – 2016), and a Hallman Undergraduate Fellowship (2021) and Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement Seed Grant, from Waterloo (2022).

With fifteen years experience building meaningful multi-stakeholder partnerships and managing research and consulting projects in economic development, recreation and tourism infrastructure and product development, and regenerative practices, Kelsey’s skills include mentoring and supervision, curriculum design, student-centred instruction, remote and complex team management, academic and industry research, non-profit organization and project operations, cross-cultural communications and community engagement. Kelsey is open to projects globally and has regional expertise in North America, Europe, and the Pacific.



You can learn more about Kelsey's engagement in
teaching, research and service by clicking on the links below.

Mountain View


Discover and Create

Kelsey is an interdisciplinary and pragmatic scholar and researcher, inspired by a desire to find meaningful, community engaged, solutions to real world problems that promote knowledge mobilization and translation within and across sectors.



Support and Build

Kelsey consults on diverse recreation, tourism, curriculum design, teaching and research topics and is passionate about projects that focused on community-engaged nature-based recreation and tourism product development, stakeholder engagement, and building education and research capacity among on-profit organizations.



Inspire and Engage

Kelsey is passionate about experiential, place-based and outdoor education, as well as ways to extend the learning environment beyond the traditional classroom setting. She teaches in the areas of nature-based therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation. risk management, community-based tourism development, and research methods.



Advocate and Contribute

Kelsey is actively engaged in the University Community, through service on administrative Committees, and has always volunteered  professionally  and personally within the communities in which she lives. 

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