NC GreenTravel Initiative names 100th sustainable-practice business

The ECU Center for Sustainability is a partner in the NC GreenTravel Initiative, which has named the Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market its 100th North Carolina business to be recognized for use of sustainable practices that save energy and protect the environment. The Umbrella Market is a Greenville farmer’s market that features locally-grown food and a free shuttle providing transportation.

Pat Long, director of the ECU Center for Sustainability, is pictured with the travel care code, which encourage travelers to take a pledge to travel responsibly. The code was developed at ECU.

Pat Long, director of the ECU Center for Sustainability, is pictured with the ECU-developed travel care code, which encourages travelers to take a pledge to travel responsibly.

The GreenTravel Initiative helps tourists locate lodging, restaurants and activities that will enable them to visit an area while making a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. The program began in 2011 as a joint effort between the ECU center, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, N.C. Department of Commerce and the Waste Reduction Partners.

Tourism-focused businesses apply for the program and are selected through a grading system that measures environmentally friendly practices used to conserve energy and water, reduce waste, recycle and protect the environment.

More than 50 million tourists visited North Carolina in 2013, according to the state Department of Commerce. Among those visitors, more and more are seeking out businesses that maintain sustainable practices. The NC GreenTravel Initiative helps by identifying those businesses.

“We know our tourism economy depends upon the protection of our nationally recognized travel offerings,” said Pat Long, director of the ECU Center for Sustainability.

“It will only be enhanced by sending a clear message that North Carolina tourism providers are working hard to limit energy and water use, reduce waste generation, and still provide the quality vacation and business travel experience travelers have become accustomed to.”

For additional information on NC GreenTravel, visit

For more information on the ECU Center for Sustainability, visit

For information on the Travel Care Code developed by the center, visit



Center for Sustainability Announces 2013-2014 Outstanding Affiliate Faculty Member

Dr. Scott Curtis, associate professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, has been selected for the 2013-2014 Outstanding Affiliate Faculty Member of the Year Award for the Center for Sustainability. The Center for Sustainability is housed in the College of Engineering and Technology at ECU.



Since 2008, Curtis has contributed to both the Center’s research and outreach activities and to the learning experiences of the students pursuing the master’s in sustainable tourism.

As the faculty lead in the Climate, Weather and Tourism Initiative, Curtis co-hosted the first Southeast U.S. Regional workshop for tourism businesses, researchers and policy-makers, chaired a master’s thesis addressing information use in decision-making by tourism businesses and conducted a focus group of tourism business owners in Beaufort, North Carolina on the effects of weather on tourism products and services.

Curtis received his bachelor’s in environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and then received his master’s and doctorate in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from the University of Wisconsin. His research areas include climate variability and smallholder farming in the Caribbean, climate, weather, and tourism and coastal storms.

Curtis co-authored the “Climate, Weather and Tourism: Bridging Science and Practice” publication, has presented at six conferences on behalf of the Center, developed the Seasonal Weather and Tourism Dispatch and contributed to the National Climate Assessment- Southeast Climate Consortium report. He participates in a wide range of Center- and student-sponsored events.

– Margaret Turner


APA honors ECU geography student

East Carolina University geography student Bryn E. Terry was named the American Planning Association – North Carolina Chapter’s Outstanding Student at the 2013 Marvin Collins Planning Awards Ceremony in Winston-Salem Sept. 19.

Terry is a planning major with an outstanding GPA. She participates in sustainable tourism projects along Eastern North Carolina rivers and has conducted research to identify areas underserved by medical facilities and personnel.

The North Carolina Marvin Collins Planning Awards annual recognize agencies and individuals who have completed outstanding projects, excelled as planning students or made notable contributions to the planning profession. The awards signify the highest standards of achievement for planning in North Carolina, and highlight work that is worthy of attention.

The awards program is named in honor of the late Marvin Collins, a former planning director for Orange County. Collins developed the idea for the program in 1975.


BBC Travel lists ECU as one of five in world for sustainable tourism

A BBC Travel story listed East Carolina University as one of five schools in the world where one can earn a degree in sustainable tourism.

In the Aug. 22 article, “Ethical traveller: Getting a degree in sustainable travel,” author Lori Robertson noted ECU’s master of science in sustainable tourism degree as well as the Center for Sustainable Tourism.

Read the article at

Visit ECU’s Center for Sustainable Tourism at

For additional information about the master’s of science in sustainable tourism degree, visit


Pat Long speaks before Congressional Subcommittee

Pat Long

East Carolina University’s director of the Center for Sustainable Tourism, Pat Long, spoke before a Congressional Subcommittee this week on the topic, “Where the Jobs Are – Promoting Tourism to America.”

Long spoke on rural tourism and sustainability in the tourism ecomony before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman G.K. Butterfield is the ranking member of that committee.

Long’s testimony can be viewed beginning at frame 1:34 on the video below.

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