Paddling through Patagonia

Nature-based tourism


Leena Hallock, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

The Fairhaven Lecture Series brought to light the exciting experiences of Dr. Andrea Ednie, Department Chair and associate professor of Kinesiology Feb. 8. Through her years of research, she dove into an examination of the behavioral choices of outdoor recreation management and exercise. Her lecture Patagonia: Building Resilience through Nature Based Tourism details years of travel study, as well as research experiences she’s encountered during her trips to Patagonia. It’s a region in both Chile and Argentina connecting “Healthy Parks, Healthy People.

“They’re pretty connected with the national park services within the U.S.,” said Ednie. “Patagonia attracts a very large international base, so they are using lots of U.S. models and guidelines to help develop the maintenance and terms of their national parks. There is a lot of amazing initiatives going on to help incorporate communities and sustainability.”

Ednie ties her many years of research into her coursework, highlighting the urbanization in Patagonia and how it is contributing to the overall disconnect from the surrounding nature, as well as increasing mental health issues. With her team, Ednie works closely with park faculty in these areas to help entice visitors to seek and protect the beautiful lush nature the country provides. 

In the future Ednie hopes to build further upon her research by bringing to light the importance of nature-based tourism in Patagonia.

“We invited professor Ednie due to her student travels into the Patagonia region as well as research. This year we are talking about traveling outside the U.S and people who immigrate into the U.S,” said lecture series program manager Kari Borne.

To watch these informational lectures visit