Natalie Ooi
Sustainability in the Outdoor Industry Specialization Lead • Teaching Associate Professor


Natalie Ooi currently teaches in the Masters of the Environment Graduate Program. The MENV program is a professional master's degree administered by the Environmental Studies Department. Natalie is not accepting students interested in pursuing an MS or PhD in Environmental Studies. If you would like to learn more about the MENV program, please visit: Masters of the Environment | University of Colorado Boulder.

Natalie Ooi is a Teaching Associate Professor and leads the Sustainability in the Outdoor Industry Specialization within the Masters of the Environment program. She is also a faculty member in the online Master of Science in the Outdoor Recreation Economy (ORE) where she leads the Building Resilient Communities through the Outdoor Recreation Economy certificate. She is an educator and researcher who specializes in sustainable tourism and recreation, and her passion lies in partnering with communities to develop their outdoor recreation economy to enhance community resiliency, economic vitality and quality of life.

Prior to joining MORE, Natalie was the Director of Tourism Enterprise Programs and Program Director for the Ski Area Management graduate program at Colorado State University. There, she worked closely with the U.S ski industry building collaborative relationships to provide the first-of-its-kind, professional education program for current and future ski area employees. 

Natalie’s research interests include the sustainability and resilience of tourism destinations, with particular interest in the complexities of tourism-community and other stakeholder relationships within mountain resort communities. Natalie has also worked on research projects that examine key management challenges within public spaces utilized for recreation, barriers to access and use of open space by diverse communities, the sustainability of backpacker tourism and volunteer tourism, and the use of climate change and drought data within the ski industry and how it can help improve business decision-making into the future.  

Prior to joining academia, Natalie combined her passion for travel and the outdoors through her work as a youth Outdoor Education Leader, Special Projects Officer at a backpacker hostel, outdoor retail employee and ski rental technician. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Natalie permanently moved to Colorado in 2013 after having spent much of the previous five years working and traveling through the American West. Natalie enjoys time with her young family hiking, camping, skiing and exploring the world.    

Natalie holds a Ph.D in Business and Economics, and a double bachelor’s degree in Sport and Outdoor Recreation/Business and Commerce (major in tourism management) (Hons) from Monash University, Australia.