# 16.16: Mechelle Best

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Barbadian by birth, Caribbean and global in outlook, Mechelle Best PhD is a Professor in- and current Chair of the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management at California State University Northridge (CSUN). A Fulbright/Organization of American States Scholar for the Eastern Caribbean, Mechelle’s interests include cultural heritage, natural resource use, and sustainability in tourism. Her ongoing research streams focus on the intersection between slavery heritage and tourism in the Caribbean and Caribbean tourism’s resilience to natural disasters. As a lifelong lover of nature and the outdoors, Mechelle is also interested in the provision of opportunities for outdoor recreation on public lands and particularly in the experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in their outdoor recreational pursuits in the US.

Prior to progressing through the ranks to Professor at CSUN, Mechelle accumulated over 15 years’ experience in the tourism industry as Intern, Management Trainee, Environmental & Conservation Manager and Consultant, helping to pioneer the ‘greening’ of the hospitality and tourism sectors in Barbados and the Caribbean. Through her consulting role, she maintains her connection to industry and has consulted on projects for the United States Agency for International Development, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, among others.

Mechelle is co-author of Contemporary Caribbean Tourism: Concepts and Cases (2015) as well as various book chapters, journal articles and blog posts. She has a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management (First Class Hons.) and a Master of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of the West Indies, along with a Doctor of Philosophy in Tourism from the University of Florida.

Mechelle N. Best, PhD

Professor & Chair, Department of Recreation & Tourism Management, California State University - Northridge

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