Co-director of the Conservation Leadership Program, CSU
Mr. Ryan Finchum is co-director of the Conservation Leadership Program at Colorado State University and co-owner of Emerald Planet Tours, a U.S.-based outbound ecotourism company that focuses on tours to Latin America. Ryan has 15 years of experience in protected areas, ecotourism, and environmental communication throughout the western hemisphere. He spent three years developing environmental education and alternative tourism opportunities in the Galapagos Islands with the Charles Darwin Foundation and worked as a natural/cultural heritage tourism guide and ecotour operator in Mesoamerica for ten years. During his time as an operator he ran natural history and cultural tours to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colorado. Ryan has taught tourism and communication courses for the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, has run field-based training programs for Latin American land managers, and spent five years running CSU’s Center for Protected Area Management and Training.
He has developed a portfolio of projects with the alphabet soup of organizations involved in conservation and development including: TNC, WWF, WCS, CI, USAID, Moore Foundation, NPS, USFS, USFWS, etc. Ryan is a board member of the Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance, a member of the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas, and is a certified trainer with the National Association for Interpretation. Ryan most enjoys playing tour guide for his two little kids, Darwin and Isabella.