Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies

Centers & Institutes

Aquatics Institute

It is the vision of the Indiana University Aquatics Institute to investigate the important role that the aquatic environment plays within the context of recreation and leisure, and its contribution to quality of life. We recognize the need to develop and disseminate sound concepts through education, research, and service. The institute strives to serve as a central resource for agencies and individuals seeking knowledge and support within hte aquatics community. Our mission, as the Indiana University Aquatic Institute, will be to provide specialized leadership and direction in the area of aquatics within the state of Indiana and the nation.

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands

From the Eppley Institute's inception in 1946, Indiana University has provided technical assistance in parks, recreation and public lands throughout the nation and world creating a reputation for excellence that has no comparison. The Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands at Indiana University is the unique outreach division of the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies Department and is named after Garrett Eppley who was the department chair for almost 20 years. The Institute, Department and Indiana University have created unique, long standing and unqualified expertise in the recreation and park professions.

As an outreach arm of Indiana University, the Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands is currently working on research or technical assistance programs in cities in Alaska, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and for the National Park Service with total annual contracts exceeding $1.8 million. With over 200 years of combined experience in the Eppley Institute alone, this program is exceptional. The Institute’s efforts are driven by service to the profession, state, region and nation in parks, recreation and public lands. The Eppley Institute mission to partner with recreation, park, and public land organizations to enhance access, choice, and quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences, has made it widely regarded as the best, unbiased and clearly cost effective assistance available.

Executive Development Program

For 39 years the Indiana University Executive Development Program has helped park and recreation professionals at the local, state and national level who  are in front line, management, and leadership positions build and strengthen the fundamental skills needed to manage and lead in a public and non-profit setting.

IU EDP is organized around a two year curriculum focusing on leadership and management skill development. To continually offer cutting edge education opportunities, the curriculum is reviewed annually by the IU EDP board of Trustees who are past program graduates. Past graduates of the 2 year Executive Development Program may return as EDP Alumni Program Students.

Great Lakes Park Training Institute

The Great Lakes Park Training Institute has offered park technicians, naturalists, interpreters and managers training since 1946. Currently managed by the Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands at Indiana University, this Institute is an opportunity for recreation and park staff representing municipal, county, state, regional, and national levels to meet and exchange ideas, concerns, problems, and solutions. Included are park and recreation managers, recreation leaders, horticulturists, planners, naturalists, maintenance technicians, outdoor educators, land and facility managers, and others providing leisure services.

Leisure Research Institute

The LRI facilitates research and provides leadership in scholarly inquiry in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. This is accomplished through the systematic study of leisure and recreation-related phenomena by department faculty and students; dissemination of research-related publications prepared by faculty and students that serve the professional practice and theoretical development of the leisure, recreation, and tourism fields; organization and support of conferences, seminars, colloquia, and workshops for faculty and students; facilitation, through funding grants, research team formation, and research consultancy advisement, for both faculty and students; and leverage of partnerships within and outside the university that support research.

National Center on Accessibility

The National Center on Accessibility is a national leader in the movement to include people with disabilities in recreation, parks and tourism. Through its comprehensive services of research, technical assistance and education, NCA focuses on Universal Design and practical accessibility solutions that create inclusive recreation opportunities for people of all abilities. The NCA is a program of Indiana University's Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, in cooperation with the National Park Service Accessibility Management Program.

Other Affiliated Resources

Serving the Bloomington campus and surrounding community, Indiana University Outdoor Adventures offers a wide variety of outdoor trips and courses, including rock climbing, rafting, and backpacking. Each year IUOA offers over 80 1-2 credit experiential education courses through the Department of RPTS. Students also have the opportunity to gain unique leadership development through serving as a trip leader with IUOA, assisting in the instruction of trips in Indiana and across the country. Contact IUOA with your questions.