I began applying research on local ecological knowledge to protected area management and interpretation in 1997-98 with the Keekonyokie Maasai and Dorobo around Hell’s Gate National Park/Oloor Karian, Kenya. In 2000, I applied this data to the exhibit Maasai for the international non-governmental organization (NGO) Cultures and Communications, which received nearly one million visitors in Han-Sur-Lesse, Belgium. In 2001, I began working with the NGO The Mountain Institute (TMI) on various interpretive and educational projects with indigenous and other peoples inside and around mountainous protected areas including Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and various National Historic Sites on Hawai‘i Island.
Since 2004, I collaborated with TMI to apply my doctoral research with the Khumbu Sherpa living inside Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. These applications included collaboration on the project Livelihoods along Beyul Trails funded by the Ford Foundation Asia. This project focuses on integrating place-based spirituality into tourism development, local education, and resource management. In 2008, I initiated several new projects with the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) Nation that live in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California, U.S.A. These initiatives focus on government-to-government consultation, interpretive program planning, and collaborative resource stewardship in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Nevada. In response to the catastrophic 2015 Nepal earthquakes, I started a new project focused on understanding how different communities are recovering from this natural disaster. As part of this project, we conducted a series of research return workshops to help educate international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international agencies, and applied academic about the dynamics of earthquake recovery in different mountain communities.