Karen Beeftink

B.A., University of Illinois
M.S., West Virginia University
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Karen Beeftink is the coordinator for the Outdoor Recreation and Leadership, and the Conservation Law and Outdoor Management programs. She teaches courses focused on outdoor recreation, outdoor leadership, recreation management, nature-based tourism, leisure programming, inclusive recreation, and experiential education. 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 Coastal Conservancy, a nonprofit organization committed to conserving essential ecological habitats and connecting people to local coastal and forested environments. Her current role with DCC is the Chair of the Outreach and Education committee.

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.

Click here to view Karen Beeftink’s schedule