Michelle Rutty

Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair

EV1-306, ext. 42105

Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Tourism, Environment, and Sustainability

Dr. Michelle Rutty holds a Canada Research Chair in Tourism, Environment and Sustainability and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo. Her research examines the behavioural response of tourists to environmental change (past, present, future), as well as the climatic risks and emerging opportunities for tourism operators and destinations in a warming and decarbonizing world. She is also the Director of the deTOUR Lab, which utilizes leading-edge virtual reality (VR) technologies to explore the ways in which climate-induced environmental change (e.g., natural disasters, glacier retreat, coastal inundation), including adaptation strategies, is influencing the global tourism economy.

Dr. Rutty is a contributing author to the Sixth Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) North American chapter, a Lead Expert on the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC), and co-chair of the International Society of Biometeorology Commission on Climate, Tourism and Recreation. Her research has led to international recognitions, including awards from the Travel and Tourism Research Association, World Meteorological Organization, International Center for Research and Education in Tourism, and the World Tourism Forum.

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision

Tourism and environmental change, sustainable tourism, virtual reality, weather and society

*Dr. Rutty is recruiting graduate students (Master and PhD) interested in sustainable tourism, particularly students who have experience with VR technologies. Please email directly (michelle.rutty@uwaterloo.ca) for more information.

Courses Taught

GEOG 101: Human Geographies: People, Space and Change

GEOG 233: Geography of Tourism

ENVS 205: Sustainability: The Future We Want

GEMCC 620: Climate and Society

Publications (since 2015)

  • Rutty, M., Cardwell, F., and Gunn, G. (2023). Snowmobiling and Climate Change: A temporal analogue approach in Ontario (Canada). Tourism and Hospitality, 4, 604-617

  • Knowles, N., Scott, D., and Rutty, M. (2023). Climate Change versus Winter Sport; Can Athlete Climate Activism Change the Score? International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1-21. DOI: 10.1177/10126902231209226

  • Brunacini, J., Goralnik, L., Rutty, M., & Keller, E. (2023). Industrial Transitions in Michigan: Stakeholder Perspectives on Water Resources Restoration and Community Vibrancy. Society & Natural Resources, 1-19.

  • Rushton, B., & Rutty, M. (2023). Gaining insight from the most challenging expedition: climate change from the perspective of Canadian mountain guides. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-13.

  • Rutty, M., Hewer, M., Knowles, N., and Ma, S. (2022). Tourism & Climate Change in North America: Regional State of Knowledge. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1 – 28. (Invited)
  • Goralnik, L., Brunacini, J., Rutty, M., and Finnell, E. (2022). Restoring Relationships: Water Heritage, Sense of Place, and Community Engagement. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 1 – 12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2022.08.018
  • Steiger, R., Knowles, N. Poll, K., and Rutty, M. (2022). Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Tourism: A Review. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-34. DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2022.2112204
  • Scott, D., Knowles, N. L., Ma, S., Rutty, M., and Steiger, R. (2022). Climate change and the future of the Olympic Winter Games: athlete and coach perspectives. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2021.2023480
  • Rutty, M., Steiger, R., Demiroglu, C., and Perkins, D.J. (2021). Tourism Climatology: Past, Present, and Future.  International Journal of Biometeorology. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-020-02070-0
  • Scott, D., Steiger, R., Rutty, M., Knowles, N., and Rushton, B. (2021). Future Climate Change Risk in the US Midwestern Ski Industry.  Tourism Management Perspectives. DOI: 10.1016/j.tmp.2021.1000875
  • Bessette, D., Rutty, M., Gunn, G., Tarabara, V., and Richardson, R. (2020). The Perceived Risk of Freshwater Oil Pipelines and Spills in Icy Conditions. The Journal of Great Lakes Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2020.12.002
  • Scott, D., Steiger, R., Rutty, M., Pons, M., and Johnson, P. (2020). Climate change and ski tourism sustainability: An integrated model of the adaptive dynamics between ski area operations and skier demand.  Sustainability, 12, 10617. DOI: 10.3390/su122410617
  • Rutty, M., Scott, D., Matthews, L., Burrowes, R., Trotman, A., Mahon, R., and Charles, A. (2020). An Inter-Comparison of the Holiday Climate Index (HCI:Beach) and the Tourism Climate Index (TCI) to Explain Canadian Tourism Arrivals to the Caribbean. Atmosphere, 11(4), 412.
  • Yu, D.D., Rutty, M., Scott, D., and Li, S. (2020). A Comparison of the Holiday Climate Index: Beach and the Tourism Climate Index across Coastal Destinations in China. International Journal of Biometeorology. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-020-01979-w
  • Rutty, M., and Richardson, R. (2019). Tourism Research in Cuba: Gaps in Knowledge and Challenges for Sustainable Tourism. Sustainability, 11(12): 3340.
  • Scott, D., Rutty, M., and Peister, C. (2018). Climate variability and water use on golf courses: Optimization opportunities for a warmer future. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(8): 1453 – 1467. DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1459629
  • Rutty, M., Scott, D., Johnson, P., Pons, M., Steiger, R., and Vilella, M. (2017). Using Ski Industry Response to Climatic Variability to Assess Climate Change Risk: An Analogue Study in Eastern Canada. Tourism Management, 58: 196 – 204.
  • Rutty, M., and Scott, D. (2016). Comparison of Climate Preferences for Domestic and International Beach Holidays: A Case Study of Canadian Travelers. Atmosphere, 7(2): 30, DOI: 10.3390/atmos7020030
  • Scott, D., Rutty, M., Amelung, B., and Tang, M. (2016). An Inter-Comparison of the Holiday Climate Index (HCI) and the Tourism Climate Index (TCI) in Europe. Atmosphere, 7(6): 80, DOI: 10.3390/atmos7060080
  • Rutty, M., Scott, D., Johnson, P., Jover, E., Pons, M., and Steiger, R. (2015). The Geography of Skier Adaptation to Adverse Conditions in the Ontario Ski Market. The Canadian Geographer, 59(4): 391 – 403.
  • Rutty, M., Scott, D., Johnson, P., Jover, E Pons, M., and Steiger, R. (2015). Behavioural Adaptation of Skiers to Climatic Variability and Change in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 11: 13 – 21.
  • Rutty, M., Scott, D., Steiger, R., and Johnson, P. (2015). Weather Risk Management at the Olympic Winter Games. Current Issues in Tourism, 18(10): 931 – 946.
  • Rutty, M., and Scott, D. (2015). Bioclimatic Comfort and the Thermal Perceptions and Preferences of Beach Tourists. International Journal of Biometeorology, 59: 37 – 45.
  • Scott, D., Rutty, M., and Steiger, R. (2015). Future of the Olympic Winter Games. Journal of Olympic History. 23(1): 52 – 61. (Invited)
  • Scott, D., Steiger, R., Rutty, M., and Johnson, P. (2015). The Future of the Olympic Winter Games in an Era of Climate Change. Current Issues in Tourism, 18(10): 913 – 930.