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.

YouTube Preview Image

Center for Sustainable Tourism to hold Open House

The East Carolina University Center for Sustainable Tourism will celebrate its fourth anniversary with an Open House on campus beginning at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms 1 and 2.

University of Utah professor Dr. Kelly S. Bricker will kick off the event with the keynote presentation on ecotourism, “Working Towards a Greater Good: The Role of Sustainable Tourism in Supporting the Millennium Development Goals.”

Dr. Kelly Bricker

Bricker is associate professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at the University of Utah. She is executive director of The International Ecotourism Society, co-chair of the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference and a board member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Following Bricker’s presentation, reaction and comments will be provided by Dr. Deb Jordan, chair of ECU’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies; Dr. David Emmerling, executive director of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation; and Dr. Marieke Van Willigen, chair of the Department of Sociology. Graduate student research posters will be on display at 2 p.m.

A faculty panel from the center will lead a discussion of interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability and tourism at 2:30 p.m., with the following faculty members and their discussion topics:  Dr. Tom Rickenbach, climate change and geography; Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam, energy renewable energy and engineering; Dr. Stephanie Jilcott, public health and sustainability; and Dr. Jon Kirschoff, green marketing and business.

Dr. Lisa Clough, chair of ECU’s Coastal Maritime Council, will present “North Carolina’s Dynamic Coasts: An update on ECU’s Coastal Maritime Council activities,” at 3:30 p.m.

For additional information on the scheduled presentations, review descriptions of the presentations scheduled for the Open House.



Edwards to direct master of science in sustainable tourism

East Carolina University sociology professor Dr. Bob Edwards will assume the position of graduate director for the master of science in sustainable tourism. He will also serve as director for academic programs. Edwards will transition into the role held by Dr. Joseph Fridgen, who plans to retire at the end of the academic year.

Dr. Bob Edwards

Edwards spent 10 years in government and non-profit work before arriving at ECU. He was a community organized for an African America community action agency in Arlington, Va., a conflict mediator for tenants and landlords, and a program administrator in Arlington’s Department of Planning, Housing and Community Development. He served the Montgomery County Public Schools as institutional researcher and policy analyst.

Edwards has published five edited volumes and over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.  His work has appeared in some of his discipline’s leading journals including the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Social Problems and Social Forces.

He has been an active mentor of student research and received ECU’s Graduate Scholar Award in 2009. He was awarded a faculty-in-residence fellowship from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2006 and a summer-scholar-in-residence fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2000. Edwards holds a Ph.D. in sociology from The Catholic University of America (1995).