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University of Minnesota Extension

Rani Bhattacharyya



Northwest Minnesota


Phone: 218-281-8689
Fax: 218-281-8686

510 County Rd 71, Ste 119
Crookston, MN 56716



  • B.S., Environmental Studies, Concentration in Public Policy and Literature, Northland College, Ashland, WI
  • M.S., Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, Concentration in Rural Destination Development and Management, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

Work experience

Before joining the Community Economics team in 2012, Rani served as a community development fellow with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs where she worked on agritourism research and served as statewide field staff for Rural Partners Illinois. With Rural Partners, she also worked on housing and rural broadband access issues throughout the state. Prior to her fellowship in Illinois, Rani also served for three years with the Peace Corps in Bulgaria, where she helped implement a regional sustainable tourism development strategy - focusing on engaging migrant populations within regional development strategies concerning tourism entrepreneurship and environmental education of youth. More recently, she worked with Green Seal in Washington, D.C. on promoting environmentally responsible facility management practices and with the social enterprise Local Flavor, LLC in Minnesota.

Affiliations, honors and community service

  • Affiliations: Editorial Board Member of HotelExecutive.com; Guest Presenter on Lodging Certification in the Environmental Management of International Tourism Development course offered by the Harvard Extension School, Cambridge, MA; Volunteer Alumna of: Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal; Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul; and Three Rivers Park District Natural Resources Division, Minnesota
  • Certification: Global Sustainable Ecotourism Development: Achieving Economic Growth, Alleviation of Poverty and Environmental Conservation from the University of Vermont, Burlington; Business Retention & Expansion in Your Community; and At Your Service from the University of Minnesota Extension.
  • Member: Agriculture and Applied Economics Association, National Association of Community and Economic Development Extension Professionals, and Minnesota Association of Community and Leadership Education Professionals.

Selected publications

  • Pesch, R., and Bhattacharyya, R. (2014) Assessing the Potential Northwest Minnesota Farm-to-Institution Market. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.
  • Messer, C., and Bhattacharyya, R. (2014) Sustainable Tourism Development in Warroad, Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Tourism Center. 
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