Coastal and Marine Tourism Conference in Hawai’i

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Sunset Luau

Sunset at the CMT Closing Ceremony, Luau & Awards

Dr. Erin Seekamp and PhD student Karly Bitsura-Meszaros traveled to the big island of Hawai’i to participate in the International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, hosted by the College of the Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at Hanoa and held in Kailua-Kona.

Green Turtles Resting

Erin & Karly saw green turtles resting on the beach at Kekaha Kai Sate Park

Karly received a student travel award to present her research at the conference; her study utilized ocular tracking technology to investigate the differences in eye gaze patterns exhibited by differing ideological groups when presented with climate-related media depicting impacts to coastal resources in North Carolina.

Karly with the other Student Travel Award Recipients at the CMT Closing Ceremony, Luau & Awards

Karly with the other Student Travel Award Recipients at the CMT Closing Ceremony, Luau & Awards

Erin served as chair of a session on fishing communities and tourism, delivered an oral presentation about coastal tourism as a means to preserve the cultural heritage of artisanal fishermen in Huanchaco, Peru, was a co-author on an oral paper (delivered by Dr. Jordan Smith) about climate-related impacts to coastal tourism along the ‘North Shore’ of Lake Superior, MN, and presented a poster about the challenges of ecotourism development projects on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula, North Carolina.

Karly crossing a foot bridge towards Akaka Falls, Akaka State Park

Karly hiking towards Akaka Falls, Akaka State Park

Erin and Karly took full advantage of time outside of the conference exploring the island. They visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, secluded black sand beaches, waterfalls and local breweries. The conference opened with an authentic Kīpaepae Ceremony and concluded with a sunset luau featuring pacific island dancing and music and the award ceremony for students receiving travel awards.