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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.
Transportation and Economic Geography
Ronald L. Mitchelson
Professor and Chair
My interests lie in the area of assisting communities with transportation and travel related issues. I have assisted communities with comprehensive planning. I helped to lead ECU's regional response after Hurricane Floyd with a series of conferences and workshops dealing with response and recovery. I have assisted a large number of communities and interstate corridors with planning for accidental releases of hazardous materials during highway transportation.
As an economic geographer, my main research interests focus on examining the relationship between transportation and the location of facilities, e.g., golf courses. I generally find that the quest for good location generally yields substantial spatially-based inequality. I use GIS and advanced statistical analysis to provide predictive analyses of facility locations or the volume of flows one might expect. Recently I have used these methods to predict the location of hazmat highway accidents and gang violence. I have used the same space-time approaches to predict the performance of retail stores. I do have a growing interest in the intersection of culture and economy. For example, along with my good colleague, Derek Alderman, I recently examined the growth of NASCAR in the Charlotte region as a social network or knowledge community.