About - Hospitality & Tourism Management, The L. Robert Payne School
headshot of Crystal DeSoto

Crystal DeSoto


About Crystal DeSoto

Crystal De Soto-Schmidt, M.Ed., has been a lecturer at SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management since August 2016. She teaches Environmental, Cultural, and Heritage Interpretation courses, blending theoretical knowledge with practical applications to prepare students for careers in hospitality and tourism.

With over 28 years of experience in nature-based and science activities for youth, Crystal emphasizes cultural competency, inclusivity, and hands-on learning. She has a proven track record in managing programs and engaging with underrepresented communities.

In addition to her role at SDSU, Crystal founded Local Point of View Tours, providing training on interpretive techniques and environmental education. She has consulted for organizations like the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Orange County Parks, and the Anza Borrego Foundation.


  • BS in Earth Systems Science & Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, California
  • MA Teaching & Learning, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California
  • A.S., Grossmont College, San Diego, California