25 February 2011

Travel Behavior Continuum

The literature in recreation and tourism notes that individuals tend to either repeat visits or diversify travel behavior. Actually people behave somewhere in between. Those who repeatedly visit the same destination (park, resort, trail etc.) may exhibit some kind of brand loyalty or "place attachment". Those who diversify their travel are seeking variety.

There are a multitude of reasons for both, and planners need to understand the different behavior.

When you vacation, do you like to visit the same place? We met a couple in Martinique who have vacationed there, in the same hotel for 15 years!

Or do you seek out a different vacation spot every year?

We do both!

24 February 2011

Maple Sugaring Season starts soon

With over two feet of snow still on the ground and snow falling out of the air tonight, it might not feel like sugar season. But as day time temps get into the 40s and nights below freezing, we might be in for a fine crop of maple syrup. If you are somewhere in North America where this takes place, check out your local shack.

High Hopes Farm in Worthington, MA is our favorite. Check them out:

We are partial to GRADE B or COOKING GRADE - darker color and stronger flavor that comes through when cooking or flavoring with. Yum Yum.

20 February 2011

anybody who likes coffee can't be bad

A blog by my friend James Hayes-Bohanan at Bridgewater State University, that highlights coffee and geography is alright in my book. Check out his writings at http://environmentalgeography.blogspot.com/ and his coffee site at http://webhost.bridgew.edu/jhayesboh/coffee/

I am partial to Costa Rica while James prefers Nicaragua and Guatemala coffee but we can both agree on Central American Coffee!

Ahh, I think I will brew some Rwandan Coffee right now!

18 February 2011

National Trails Day: mark your calendar

Not too early to be thinking about hiking. I mean, with temps in the fifties today and the snow melting away, it is time to store the xc skis and get out with some foot action.

is Saturday 4 June 2011.

Don't wait. Hit the trails this weekend!

17 February 2011

Swimming Holes to Superfund Sites

I got this idea while traveling to the Midwest to visit some ailing relatives. Seems that there are numerous contaminated ponds in the area due to a variety of manufacturing and industrial businesses. Heavy metals and a bunch of other nasty chemicals are found in the soil and waters of the area.

Just how many of us swam in these places before we knew any better? I wonder about my experiences.

Anyway, I think this will be a future paper and probably submitted to the NERR 2012 conference.

16 February 2011

Geographer's Research in South America

A colleague of mine in the Department of Geography and Regional Planning is studying glaciers in Venezuela. Carsten Braun (UMASS Geosciences PhD.), is an assistant professor in our department and was awarded a STARS grant at our University which is basically a sabbatical for untenured faculty to conduct research. Check out his blog at http://carstenbraun.blogspot.com/ for some great photos of his research.

Carsten teaches climate change and GIS courses at Westfield State University.

15 February 2011

Massage in Airports

I think it should be required that airports have those chair massages. I mean, what better way to spend some time between flights than getting those neck knots worked out?

Just don't get too relaxed and miss your connecting flights.

03 February 2011


Here is a great link to connect educators to trail related experiences. From their page:

Welcome to the Trail To Every Classroom Blog! This space was created for teachers and educators to share information, resources and curricula in using the Appalachian Trail as a learning tool. We welcome all questions, ideas, techniques, lessons learned and enthusiasm surrounding Place-Based Education and Service Learning on the A.T.

See this link for more information:

While the trails need snow shoes or xc skis right now, what better time to develop curricular material for the spring and summer!

02 February 2011

Recreation Geography at the AAG in Seattle

Ok, enuff about the weather.

The Seattle meeting of the AAG will be in a few months and you can search for the presentations by author, title, topic and so on at:

There are multiple sessions at the meeting and something for every recreation or tourism geographer. (and I suspect if you are reading this, you fall into one of those categories).

Anyway, if you find yourself in Seattle, 12-16 April 2011, stop on by the Washington State Convention Center and the Sheraton Hotel.

For more information about the meeting and the Association of American Geographers see:

01 February 2011

whew, got back in time

I got back from Martinique last night before the North East got hit with another snow event. The local airport's weather information is found at:
and NOAA is giving us this kind of prediction shown in the graphic. I spent the day raking snow off the roof and shoveling, but would like to do some x-c skiing before it ices up.