• Community Sense of Place Community Sense of Place Tourism Impacts and Second Home Development: A Sustainable Approach
  • Climate, Weather, and Tourism Climate, Weather, and Tourism Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for tourists at their respective locations.
  • Engagement and Community Engagement and Community In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development.
  • Rural Tourism Rural Tourism Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues.
  • RESET RESET Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism
  • US Travel Care Code US Travel Care Code The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • RETI RETI The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
  • Tourism and Entrepreneurship Tourism and Entrepreneurship Developing the local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy.

Affiliate Faculty

Faculty contribute to the interdisciplinary Center for Sustainability and Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism in many and varied ways reflecting the multidisciplinary interest on the campus in sustainability and a generous willingness to engage in the research, teaching and outreach activities of the center.  Examples of these contributions include service on the MS-ST Faculty Graduate Committee, on thesis and non-thesis projects, on search committees, in recruiting and mentoring students, on external funding activities, on special projects and initiatives, in teaching core courses, on interdisciplinary research and publication efforts and on hosting visiting scholars, among others. Faculty affiliates are encouraged to cross over with other disciplines in research interests to the extent possible in order to become fully aware of, and take advantage of, the many interdisciplinary approaches and opportunities.

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Karen A. Mulcahy

Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
Brewster 231-A
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Voice: 252-328-4991
FAX: 252-328-6054

Community Outreach Interests

My interest in sustainable tourism has been developing from a grass roots (or stream channel) effort. Several years ago I moved to the town of Snow Hill (pop. 1550) in Greene County, NC. Launching a kayak on the Contentnea Creek from the boat ramp in town propels one into a peaceful and remote feeling nature experience. During my paddles I saw a great deal of wildlife but very few humans and minimal human impact. It seemed a great shame that this amazing resource was no longer the center of the community as it had been for literally thousands of years. As a result I became involved with developing this resource in a variety of ways.

My recent involvement towards the development of the Contentnea as a regional tourism destination is a logical progression from my previous efforts. This effort has the potential to provide enormous assistance to this community by drawing in tourists and tourist dollars to support the local economy, developing local businesses and providing employment, and by encouraging the recognition and protection of the tremendous natural and cultural resources of the region. I see Greene County just beginning significant development activities. There is still time to act to maintain the rural character of the county and to protect its cultural and natural resources. Unfortunately, Greene County does not have a comprehensive land use plan nor zoning in the county areas.

Research and Service Interests

As a cartographer and GIS specialist with a strong interest in the environment, my emerging tourism research interests focus on the development of visualization techniques to support tourism; particularly the new VisWall technology housed in the Geography Department; as well as the use of GIS technologies to support more sustainable environmental practices.

Selected Relevant Activities

  • Encouragement of student cartographic projects to explore the use of the VisWall as a cartographic visualization media. Fall 2007.
  • Participation in Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) supported Contentnea Creek Planning Grant with Dr. David Edgell and Paul Skillicorn. Completion March 2008.
  • Preparation of Golden Leaf proposal with Dr. David Edgell and Maria Allen. Although unfunded, our efforts were strongly supported by the community.
  • Development of Contentnea Creek paddle club that aims to promote paddling activities, the development of creek-side facilities, and practices environmental stewardship within the Contentnea Creek watershed. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Contentnea_Club. 2004.
  • Successful nomination of a 9.5mi section of the Contentnea Creek Paddle trail to the NC Birding Trails. http://www.ncbirdingtrail.org/
  • Grown Greene Tourism. A presentation to 2006 ECU Tourism Conference.
  • Member of Greene County Tourism Committee 2005 - present.
  • Chair, Snow Hill Recreation Committee 2007.
  • Board Member, NC Paddle Trail Association, 2006 - present.


  • GEOG 3410:Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 4410/6410: Advanced Cartographic Production
  • GEOG 3450: Introduction to the Global Positioning System
  • GEOG 1000: Introduction to Geography

Sustainable Tourism | Karen Mulcahy

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