Brooke Nielson

Ecotourism Capstone Research Project

The Senior Capstone project is a self-initiated design-focused research project completed in the final semester of the graphic design BFA program at USU. The project includes a written component which describes the research. It also includes a design project where the research is defined in a design element or elements. Much of what we do in design is research. However, there is a difference in simply doing a design project and framing what we are doing as research. This design research project involves connecting in a real way with information, culture, society or the discipline and seeks to make an actual impact into one of those areas. 
Abstract: The growing number of tourists each year has contributed to the economic and environmental stresses of high-visitor locations across the globe. With the development of transportation such as the car and the airplane, travel has become more accessible to individuals all around the world, especially for the elite. Appropriately, one of the most dramatic statistics related to tourism is that this very second, forty-five people just arrived at their destination. And another forty-five. Then another. And it adds up even faster. Contrary to the excitement of those vacationing, there are many tensions within the local economy and environment due to these travelers. Findings indicate that examples of these stressors are increased pollution, soil erosion, natural habitat loss, pressure on endangered species, overuse of water, and an overall depletion of the natural resources found locally. A way to combat these negative impacts is through a more responsible way to travel referred to as ecotourism. Although it is a fairly new term, ecotourism can be very effective in elevating conservation efforts, uplifting communities and advancing interpretations of environmental awareness.