Dr. Brooke Hansen - Adjunct Lecturer of Sustainable Tourism

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Dr. Brooke Hansen
(813) 974-7132

Research Projects 

  • USF Egmont Key Project
  • USF Metropolitan Food Project

UN SDG Action Alliance



Dr. Brooke Hansen is a sustainability focused anthropologist with specialties in tourism, food, farming, indigenous studies, transcultural health care, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and gender studies. She is an affiliate faculty member in the USF Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, an adjunct faculty member in the MUMA College of Business School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and an Associate Professor of Instruction at the Patel College of Global Sustainability. She serves as the Director of the SDG Action Alliance https://www.usf.edu/pcgs/about/sdg-action-alliance/, an official UN partnership. Her work for the last fifteen years has focused on sustainable tourism in Hawai’i and Florida, with new research directions including sustainable tourism development in Serbia. The Sustainable Tourism program focuses on training students for careers in sustainable tourism, ecotourism, consulting, and sustainable tourism certifications. The program was designated in 2019 as an Academic Affiliate of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) headquartered in Washington, D.C., where PCGS interns have been placed.
In Florida, Dr. Hansen is engaged with research on sustainable tourism, climate change impacts on tourism, virtualization technologies in cultural heritage tourism, food sovereignty, and regenerative agriculture. She is a member of the USGBC Tampa Bay Leadership Committee, Tampa Bay Women in Tourism, and the Florida Agritourism Association. She has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences and events, including the 2021 World Sustainability Conference and the 2021 FoodTreX Research Summit. Dr. Hansen was named in 2020 as a South Atlantic Woman to Watch by US Green Building Council and served on the NFL Super Bowl LV Sustainability Subcommittee. In 2021 she was she was chosen as a Scientific Committee Member for the International Conference on Sustainable Development and inducted into the CLEO Institute’s Leadership Circle. She collaborates with Keep Pinellas Beautiful on the development of the Eco-Hospitality Partnership Program and with Ocean Allies to promote Ocean Friendly Certifications in Florida.
Before coming to Florida, Dr. Hansen worked in Hawai`i for over fifteen years where she developed and taught sustainability themed service-learning courses on O'ahu and Hawai'i Island. The winter field classes were taught through Ithaca College, where she served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department, focused on the connections between cultural revitalization, island food security, heritage interpretation, and the economic engine and environmental impact of tourism. As an affiliate associate professor at the University of Hawai'i from 2014-2017, Dr. Hansen conducted research and taught classes on cultural, culinary, and agricultural tourism in Hawai'i. She served on the Sustainability Committee at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo as the curriculum coordinator and she was the faculty director of the campus food waste composting program led by Students of Sustainability. In the community, she was an Aloha Ambassador for Destination Hilo and served as a member of the planning committee for the first international Hawai'i Agritourism Association (HATA) Symposium in 2016.

Sustainable Tourism Program Feature: Sustainable Tourism Program on Vimeo
Research Projects
  • Egmont Key Project: Virtualization Technologies for Heritage at Risk and Sustainable Tourism in Tampa Bay

Dr. Hansen co-directs the Egmont Key Project in collaboration with Dr. Laura Harrison (Director, Access 3D Lab, College of Arts and Science, USF), the Egmont Key Alliance, and other community partners. The goal of the project is to utilize digital humanities and virtualization technologies to assess sustainability, model climate change and anthropogenic activities, and raise awareness about heritage at risk at this remote tourist site in Tampa Bay. The project aligns with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal # 11, Sustainable Communities, particularly target 11.4 which aims to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. In 2019, the project received a grant for an interactive touch screen table from the Florida Humanities Council. In April 2020, Drs. Hansen and Harrison received a USF Creative Scholarship Grant to develop a virtual reality experience of the many histories of Egmont Key, including the internment camps where Seminoles were held in the 1850s. Each May at Egmont Key, Dr. Hansen and Dr. Harrison co-direct a professional development workshop on sustainable tourism development, heritage monitoring, and the use of geoinformatics in preserving and educating about heritage at risk. Learn more about the project here: https://www.usf.edu/arts-sciences/labs/access3d/lab-projects/egmontkey.aspx

Seminole Tribe, USF Sustainable Tourism and 3D Access Lab preserve history at Egmont Key

USF Sustainable Tourism team reframes visitor experience to help save Egmont Key

Professional Development Workshop May 2022: Cultural Heritage & Climate Change Geomatics at Egmont Key

Egmont Key Research Group

  • The USF Metropolitan Food Project: Linking Regenerative Agriculture with Regenerative Tourism

    Find out more here

See the latest article here: Physicians, anthropologists and marine biologists start at the soil in launch of program to address nature’s impact on human health.

The USF Metropolitan Food Project brings together a diverse team of soil ecology, marine biology, virology and nutrition experts, along with social scientists and sustainability faculty, to conduct research on the connections between climate change, global pollution, and the biodiversity of soil, oceans, and human microbiomes. The direct and indirect effects of diverse microbiomes, and threats to them, are a main focus of the MFP. The goals of the MFP are to improve food security, nutrition, and control of viral pandemics through transdisciplinary research and multifaceted education and outreach programs.


Soil harbors tremendous biodiversity that promotes essential ecosystem functions including retention of water, securing key nutrients, optimizing plant growth, and sequestering carbon. Focusing on soil biodiversity should be the foundation for environmental and human health, a perspective supported and championed by the United Nations, from the Food and Agriculture Organization to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The preservation of soil biodiversity is critical for human health (SDG 3) and the maintenance of above-ground biodiversity (a target of SDG 15 Life on Land).

As part of the MFP’s activities, Dr. Brooke Hansen is the P.I. on a research project to document and develop case study profiles of regenerative farms the Tampa Bay area that are implementing regenerative farming and soil biodiversity practices. Turner Citrus Farm (pictured below) https://turnerfamilygroves.com/about/ uses diverse cover crops, compost teas, local inoculants, and science-based methods to restore the soil microbiome for healthy crops and ecosystems. Dr. Hansen featured the farm in her tour for the CLEO Institute’s summer class on Food Policy and Climate Action. The practices at Turner Citrus Farm highlight the use of carbon farming to mitigate climate change as well. The goal of the project led by Dr. Hansen is to highlight regenerative farms as learning sites for regenerative tourism to educate residents and guests about sustainable agri-food systems.


  • IDS 6237 - Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Management (3)
    • Ecotourism is a relatively new branch of global tourism defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Since this 1990 definition by the International Ecotourism Society, the concept has been used in a variety of ways to market travel to natural sites, promote conservation, fuel sustainable development, and spawn a plethora of certification programs and ecolabels. In this course we will critically evaluate ecotourism and assess the role it has played in conservation, economic development, stakeholder empowerment, and sustainable tourism. Key organizations, leading scholars, global case studies, and approaches to developing ecotourism operations will be explored.

    • *This course is available on-campus and online.
  • IDS 6236 - Sustainable Tourism Development: Principles & Practices (3)
    • This course focuses on environmentally and socially responsible tourism strategies and innovations, including initiatives such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Using interdisciplinary lenses, this course explores the global, national, regional, and local fields of sustainable tourism with a focus on policies, stakeholders, best and worst practices, research methods, certifications, grant funding, careers, and more. The triple bottom line will be the primary perspective used to evaluate tourism and its impact on culture, environment, and economy. The food-energy-water nexus will also be examined at multiple sites in the tourism industry, from hotels and restaurants to local tours and shared economy platforms.
    • *This course is available on-campus and online.

  • IDS 6216 - United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (3)
    • This course provides an understanding of the challenges and pathways to sustainable development through the lens of the SDGs – a widely recognized, holistic and universal framework for achieving sustainability. We will explore the complex interconnections between the SDGs using interdisciplinary lenses and theories from medical anthropology, climate science, gender studies, political science, public health, urban planning, critical race studies, environmental studies, political ecology and more. Class projects include assessing SDG integration and reporting at USF, including the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, and applied research for the USF SDG Action Alliance housed at the Patel College of Global Sustainability.
    • *This course is available on-campus and online.

  • IDS 6938 Applied Heritage and Sustainability Research (3)
    • This course explores the latest virtualization technologies being used to assess sustainability and heritage-at-risk at locations around the world, with a focus on visualizing and digitally preserving Egmont Key's endangered heritage in Tampa Bay. Student learning objectives include understanding the fields of cultural heritage management, digital archaeology and participatory research and how these can be applied to both tangible and intangible heritage at risk at Egmont Key, especially related to Seminole perspectives about their internment on the island in the 1850s during Indian Removal. The fundamentals of tracking changes to at-risk archaeological sites will be covered with the Florida Public Archaeology Networks' Heritage Monitoring Scouts program. The integration of UN Sustainable Development Goals 11.4 (cultural and natural heritage) and 8.9 (sustainable tourism) will be explored. Professional development opportunities including certifications, workshops, and internships for building careers in heritage conservation and sustainability research will be covered.
    • *This course is offered during Maymester on-campus and online with a field/lab component.
Research Interests
  • Sustainable cultural and heritage tourism
  • Tourism and resiliency in the face of climate change and pandemics
  • Food sovereignty and community food systems
  • Sustainability reporting in higher education
  • Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals