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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.
Karen A. MulcahyTeaching Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
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.
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.