B.A., University of Illinois
M.S., West Virginia University
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Karen Beeftink is the coordinator for the Recreation and Tourism Management program. She teaches courses focused on nature-based tourism, sustainable tourism, outdoor recreation, leisure programming, experiential education, and recreation and wellness. Most of her courses incorporate field experiences; some focus on local resources and issues, while others have included international travel to Patagonia, Costa Rica, and Fiji.
Her most recent research focuses on visitor experiences and management in protected areas, with an emphasis on the role of soundscapes. Other research areas include nature-based tourism and the sociocultural implications of working in tourism, especially pertaining to indigenous tour guides and communities. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Downeast Youth Soccer Association, a nonprofit organization committed to providing recreational opportunities for youth in the area, and helps coordinate the Washington County Special Olympics.
Karen has previously worked as an adventure educator, a wilderness trip leader, a conservation crew leader, a rock-climbing instructor, and a gymnastics coach. Originally hailing from the Chicago area, Karen developed an early love for sports and for the outdoors. She has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., engaging in hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, road biking, rock-climbing, canoeing, and kayaking. She is a registered Maine Recreation Guide, registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator.