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Postdoctoral Research

On September 1st, 2023, Dr. Kelsey Johansen began a Postdoctoral Research position in Water Recreation, Well-Being and Tourism at the University of Eastern Finland. She works in the UEF Business School, housed in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, on UEF's Joensuu campus. She is cross appointed to UEF WATER, and the Tourism Business Research Group.


UEF Water is a Research Centre that brings together researchers and research groups from various fields of science to conduct research on a high international level and educate experts from water related fields while creating an open innovation ecosystem, where stakeholders from the university, national research institutes, and water related businesses can meet and establish collaborative networks.

The Tourism Business Research Group studies how experiences are born and develop, especially in nature tourism destinations, and how they are communicated. The research activities of the research group are structured around the well-being effects of tourism, including the possibilities of tourism, and especially tourism businesses, to increase the well-being of communities, companies and their employees, tourists, and the environment from three perspectives: digitality and technology, nature, and responsibility. Research undertaken by the  group aims to increase the understanding of the value expectations of different tourist segments, the formation of value, and how services that meet tourists' expectations can be developed and managed responsibly. In the group's research, nature, especially water bodies and forests, is seen as a resource and as a source and environment for the creation of experiences and well-being.


The Water Recreation, Well-being and Tourism Project

Kelsey's mixed methods research focuses on the experiential, economic, and societal value of blue spaces, particularly from the perspective of recreation, well-being, and tourism.


Her research is situated within the context of the Finnish Lakeland Region.

This research is comprised of four work packages which address the primary theoretical and applied research questions driving this study:

  1. What characteristics and attributes contribute to the perceived amenity value of bluespaces and whitespaces, and ​

    • How does this relate to a) recreationists and tourists, and b) guides, operators, and owners, perception of bluespaces as restorative or therapeutic landscapes?​

  2. What are the subjective well-being needs, motives, and expected benefits of water recreationists and tourists to bluespaces and whitespaces, and​

    • How are these met / not met by the amenities and experience offerings of the Finnish Lakeland Region?​

  3. What are the subjective well-being impacts on guides, operators, and owners who facilitate four-seasons water recreation and bluespace / whitespace tourism experiences for others, and ​

    • What training, core competencies, and relationship(s) with nature / bluespaces / whitespaces do they need to offer these experiences? And,​

  4. How do a) recreationists and tourists, and b) guides, operators, and owners perceive their role in safeguarding bluespaces and whitespaces as recreation and tourism infrastructure and as intrinsically valuable natural habitat?

The Finnish Lakeland Region


© 2024

The Finnish Lakeland Region is the largest of the landscape regions that subdivide the geography of Finland. It is also the largest lake district in Europe.

The region stretches from Kuhmo and Kajaani in the north to Savonlinna and Tampere in the south, and was formed by glacial melt at the end of the last Ice Age.  With more water than land, Finnish Lakeland is a natural paradise, drawing local recreationists and domestic and international tourists to take advantage of the regions numerous water sport opportunities, including swimming, boating, and fishing, as well as hiking. 


Upcoming Conference Presentations


Publications Arising from the Postdoc

A list of the papers and conference proceedings arising from Kelsey's postdoctoral research will be appended as they are published.

Past Conference Presentations

Johansen, K. (2023). The Amenity Value of Blues Spaces and Water Trails: Local Business Perspectives on the Viability of Tourism Development Collaborations in Southern Ontario Canada. Presented at the 3rd International Conference for Sustainable Resource Society - ICS23: Special Session on the Amenity Value of Blues Spaces, November 2nd - 3rd, 2023 at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus.

Johansen, K. (2023). The Role of Reflective Nature Immersion in Online Place-Based Outdoor Experiential Learning: Lessons in Fostering Wellbeing, Human-Nature Connection, and Appreciation of the Amenity Value of Nature. Presentated at the YHYS Colloqium 2023 Polycrisis- eco-social linkages, responses, and reconstruction, November 23rd - 24th, 2023 at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus.

Johansen, K. (2023). Water Recreation, Well-Being and Tourism in the Finnish Lakeland Region – An Emerging Project. Presented as a part of the UEF Water Research Centre ‘After-Lunch Coffee Talk’ Series, September 28th, 2023 at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus.

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