• 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.

Return to All Affiliate Faculty

Return to MS-ST Faculty

GIS and Coastal Issues

Thomas R. Allen

Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Director, RENCI at ECU Engagement Center 
Brewster 227-A 
East Carolina University 
Greenville, NC 27858 
Voice: 252-328-6624 
FAX: 252-328-6054 

Community Outreach Interests

I am interested in promoting the adoption of geospatial technologies by communities for better land use planning, environmental quality, and natural hazards reduction. The strategy I am pursuing in outreach seeks to raise awareness, develop capacity, and proselytize the labor, time-saving, and efficiency of GIS and related technology. Many communities lack the awareness or technical wherewithal to utilize GIS. My community outreach intends to raise the public awareness of spatial decision-making, providing the layperson, government, and activists alike access to the environmental data and ultimately life-sustaining resources for an ecological foundation of sustainability. I am a highly engaged scholar who enjoys working with others in a variety of disciplines. In particular, I have become strongly allied with practitioners in public health and mosquito control, environmental management, and sustainable design, manufacturing, and planning.

Research Interests

I am fascinated by the revolution in science and technology that allows us to map with unprecedented accuracy and precision as well as to record and analyze spatial patterns and processes. I work on problems with a holistic perspective that includes the spatial dynamics of environmental systems. I am most interested in coastal ecosystems, watersheds, and landform changes (e.g., sea-level rise, coastal erosion, natural hazards, and environmental quality). Toward this, I have studied a wide range of systems, from barrier islands, shore erosion mapping techniques, mosquito-borne disease, land use and stormwater runoff, and sea-level rise. Since coastal environments offer such attractive tourism resources, my interest in sustainable tourism flows naturally from my passion for the coasts.

Notable Publications

  • Allen, T. R., Tolvanen, H., Oertel, G. F., & McLeod, G. M. (2007). Spatial characterization of environmental gradients in a coastal lagoon, Chincoteague Bay, USA. Estuaries and Coasts, 30(6), 1–19.
  • Allen, T. R., & Wong, D. (2006). Exploring GIS, spatial statistics, and remote sensing for risk assessment of vector-borne disease: A West Nile virus example. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 6(4/5/6), 253–275.
  • Oertel, G. F., Allen, T. R, & Foyle, A. M. (2008). The influence of drainage hierarchy on pathways of barrier retreat: An example from Chincoteague Bight, Virginia, U.S.A. Southeastern Geology, 45(3), 179–208.
  • Wang, Y., & Allen, T. R. (2008). Estuarine shoreline change detection using Japanese ALOS PALSAR HH and JERS-1 L-HH SAR data in the Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina, USA. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29(15), 4429–4442.


  • GEOG 6410: Advanced Cartography
  • GEOG 6230: Earth Surface Processes on the Coastal Plain
  • GEOG 6440: Spatial Analysis of Coastal Environments

Sustainable Tourism | Tom Allen

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