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The Center for Sustainable Tourism functions under the leadership of Director Dr. Patrick Long. Dr. Huili Hao, Research Associate,provides direction for the Center's applied and academic research activities. Dr. Jason Oliver, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, serves as Graduate Program Director for the interdisciplinary Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism. The Center's outreach and engagement efforts are led by Alex Naar, Director of Sustainable Tourism Outreach. Dr. Carol Kline, Assistant Professor, is the Center's first joint faculty hire in partnership with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and focuses her research on a range of rural and sustainable tourism topics.
Dr. Patrick Long, Director
Pat brings to the Center extensive experience in grappling with the competing requirements of regional development and resource conservation. He comes to ECU from the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder, where he established the nation's first sustainable tourism center. Long holds tenure in ECU's College of Business and applies a much-practiced interdisciplinary approach in guiding the development of a new MS degree offering in Sustainable Tourism, as well as directing the Center's plans for multi-campus partnerships. He served for a number of years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Rural Tourism Foundation as well as President/CEO of that organization. His scholarly publications have appeared in Annals of Tourism, the Journal of Travel Research, the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, the Journal of Business Research and Tourism Management, among others.
Dr. Huili Hao, Research Associate
Huili comes to the Center from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she completed her doctoral degree in Public Policy with a concentration in urban and regional planning. Her research interests lie in community sense of place, coastal community sustainable development, tourism and second home development, and brownfields redevelopment. Her recent research focuses on tourism impacts and second home development in amenity-rich communities, as well as tourism-impacted businesses and organizations' perceptions of potential drilled oil risks for coastal North Carolina. As Research Associate, Huili brings to the Center a combination of sophisticated research methods, integrated project conduction expertise, and experience in academic and applied research and student interaction.
Dr. Jason Oliver, Graduate Program Director
In the Fall Semester of 2013, Dr. Jay Oliver assumed responsibility for the MS-ST interdisciplinary degree program. Jay received the Center’s Outstanding Affiliate Faculty member recognition in 2011-2012, developed the required core course on business and sustainable tourism, mentored numerous theses and non-theses’ projects and served in a key role on the MS-ST Faculty Graduate Committee. Dr. Oliver is a member of the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management faculty in the College of Business. His primary research interests include marketing green products and services, with an emphasis on developing strategies companies can use to persuade different types of consumers to choose green products and services. He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from The University of Rhode Island, an MBA from the University of Rhode Island and a BS in financial management from Clemson University.
Dr. Carol Kline, Assistant Professor
Carol received her Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from North Carolina State University, where she instructed classes and provided outreach to North Carolina communities on issues of sustainable tourism. Her research interests focus on rural tourism development: how to create a supportive environment for tourism entrepreneurs, the role of sustainable food systems in tourism, the impacts of tourism on the community, and early tourist markets in burgeoning destinations. Carol has worked in a variety of geographical and cultural settings, and believes that teaching, researching and learning in an international context is an invaluable opportunity for faculty and students. She led a study abroad course to Ghana, West Africa for three years, and most recently completed study abroad courses to Cuba in 2012 and 2013.
Dr. David Edgell, Sr., Research Scholar, Planning and Policy
David’s interests are in providing communities with a full range of sustainable tourism services, developing strategic tourism plans, suggesting tourism management strategies, implementing tourism marketing concepts, and introducing tourism policies. As a professor of tourism within ECU’s Hospitality Management Program, an international consultant on global tourism solutions, and a researcher, he has considerable interest in the past, present, and future development of tourism. His career has included such roles as undersecretary of the US Department of Commerce for Travel and Tourism, commissioner of tourism for the US Virgin Islands, and vice president of strategic marketing. Sustainable tourism management, in all its varieties and vagaries, has fascinated his interests for many years, and as a result, David has prepared state and local strategic tourism plans, prepared business plans for resort developments and international tourism destinations, provided direction in sustainable tourism as an economic development strategy, and consulted on special heritage and cultural tourism projects. Some of his current interests include researching and examining best practices for tourism development in communities, climate change and tourism along coastlines, strategic overview of tourism opportunities in rural counties, and helping to structure new tourism resorts. Among his books are Tourism Policy and Planning: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (with Allen, Swanson, & Smith), Managing Sustainable Tourism: A Legacy for the Future, and Best Practices Guidebook for International Tourism Development for Rural Communities.
Alex Naar, Director of Sustainable Tourism Outreach
Alex has been recreating in North Carolina since he was a little boy and went to summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was there he fell in love with what our state has to offer and began a lifelong commitment to environmental protection. While attending high school in Asheville, Alex became an avid outdoorsman: backpacking in Pisgah National Forest, rock climbing in Linville Gorge, and fishing in the high country. He has provided hundreds of children with various outdoor adventures while serving as a summer camp counselor and program director and continues his interest in summer camp programs and outdoor recreation in North Carolina. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined the first generation of trained sustainable business people. While in Boulder he also worked with the Boulder County Government program Partners for a Clean Environment conducting environmental outreach and education with local businesses. Alex is being funded through the ECU Office of Economic Development (OED) and working jointly with the OED, the North Carolina Department of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development and the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
Keturah Mayberry, Social Media/Outreach/Center Reports
Born in Joliet, Illinois, Keturah spent several years of life as a child moving throughout different states. Rapid movement sparked an interest in traveling and adventuring, which guided her to pursue a position with the Center. She has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Management and Accounting. Keturah is currently pursing a Masters of Science in Accounting and aides in research, social media, reports, and internal and external communications at the Center.