Natalie Ooi
Teaching Associate Professor • Faculty Lead for the Building Resilient Communities Certificate
Outdoor Recreation Economy

Natalie Ooi is an educator and researcher who specializes in sustainable tourism and recreation. Her passion lies in working with industry and communities to prepare the next generation of leaders to contribute to an innovative, resilient and just tourism/outdoor recreation economy. She joined the Outdoor Recreation Economy Program at CU Boulder in 2021 as the Faculty Lead for the Community Economic Development and the Outdoor Recreation Economy certificate, after having spent seven years at Colorado State University in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Natalie developed the first online Graduate Certificate at CSU in Ski Area Management. In her role as Program Director, 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 primary research interests center around sustainable tourism and recreation development and cover a range of topics, including 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 participated in research projects that examine key management challenges within public spaces utilized for recreation, barriers to access and use of open space by diverse communities, and the sustainability of backpacker tourism and volunteer tourism. Natalie is currently working on an interdisciplinary, collaborative project examining the use of climate change and drought data within the ski industry and how it can help improve business decision-making in the future.

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