31 December 2015

U.S. Citizen International Travel Increased 10 Percent in October 2015

here are the highlights:

October 2015/2014 Comparisons
U.S. travel to overseas markets totaled 2.4 million, up nine percent in October and six percent for the year (27.7 million). Regional results for the month were as follows:

  • Europe, 978,000 travelers, up seven percent
  • Caribbean, 477,000 travelers, up nine percent
  • Asia, 423,000 travelers, up 11 percent
  • Central America, 158,000 travelers, up eight percent
  • Middle East, 154,000 travelers, up 15 percent
  • South America, 139,000 travelers, up 13 percent
  • Oceania, 50,000 travelers, up eight percent
  • Africa, 25,000 travelers, down two percent
For more details and data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) see this link.

Oh yeah, a Happy and Safe New Year to all!

17 December 2015

Assistant Professor of Sustainability & Community Resilience

Assistant Professor of Sustainability & Community Resilience
Tenure Track: Geography & Regional Planning
The Department of Geography and Regional Planning (GARP) at Westfield State University (WSU) is excited to invite applications for a tenure-track position in Sustainability and Community Resilience at the Assistant Professor level beginning September 2016. Academic load is nine (9) hours teaching per semester plus time devoted to building a resilient and sustainable community on and off campus.  Summer responsibilities may be available on a contract basis.
A Ph.D. is required in Geography, Planning or closely related field with a focus on sustainable and resilient communities. The successful candidate will teach courses in an Allied Science area (sustainability or resilience related) and a specialty area such as Disaster Mitigation and Recovery, Health and the Built Environment, or Economic Revitalization.  Additionally, we seek a candidate with strong leadership skills, one who has the ability to engage on a local and global scale, function across multiple disciplines, be an effective communicator, and manage multiple projects. Current sustainable initiatives offered in GARP include housing, food security, urban planning, disaster mitigation, climate change and transportation.  We desire individuals that would complement our current talent. Teaching in the University's Allied Science Core and sustainability courses required. The new faculty member will be expected to coordinate a new initiative, the Alliance for a Resilient Community (ARC), and will receive a quarter time reduction for this responsibility. This role will be reviewed annually and contingent on performance and measurable outcomes.  The successful candidate will facilitate partnerships with the Westfield State community and underserved local communities to:
  • Develop active, safe and thriving communities for future citizens.
  • Enhance student problem-solving skills and respect for diversity.
  • Promote the value of service-learning in the college curriculum.
  • Inspire global citizenship, increase social justice and improve economic viability of the region.
  • Respond to the needs of a changing environment by preserving precious resources.
Job Requirements
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Ph.D. in geography, planning, or closely related field and a desire to teach undergraduates.
  • Experience in addressing challenges facing local communities.
  • GIS experience a plus.
  • Spanish and/or Eastern European Language skills a plus.
Additional Information
Westfield State University understands that persons with specific disabilities may need assistance with the job application process and/or with the interview process. For confidential assistance with the job application process, please contact the human resources office at (413) 572-8809.
Application Instructions
An online application is required. The successful candidate must submit an official transcript at the time of hire. Interested candidates should electronically attach the following documents:
  • Letter of application
  • Vita
  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Unofficial copy of transcript
  • Contact information for references
University Description
Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational institution of higher learning in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. A public teaching institution offering quality programs in the liberal arts and sciences with complementing professional studies curricula, we are grounded in our founding principles of academic excellence and educating all in a diverse and welcoming community.
For the first time, Westfield State University is the only Massachusetts state university to be named as one of the top 50 "Best Colleges for Veterans" as reported in the latest US News & World Report 2015 "Best Colleges" edition. Westfield State continues its trend to lead the Massachusetts state university system in the annual overall rankings for Regional Universities-North, officially ranked 115, up from 123 last year. Westfield State is the only Massachusetts school public or private in the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report's 2014 "Best Online Education Programs" rankings. Westfield State offers six online bachelor's degree completion programs in business management, criminal justice, history, liberal studies, psychology, and sociology.
Westfield State University is ideally situated on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. The area offers a relatively low cost of living and a high quality of life. Hiking, canoeing, and ski areas are minutes away, yet the campus is just a half-hour from the thriving cultural centers of Northampton and Amherst, and about two to three hours from Boston and New York City.
Established in 1983, the Department of Geography and Regional Planning currently offers an undergraduate degree in planning and works closely with the Environmental Science program.
Westfield State University provides equal access to employment opportunities for all applicants, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, age, disability or veteran status in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.

05 December 2015

Sea, Sun, Sand and …. Selecting Surgery: an Exploration of Health, Medical and Wellness

We recently published an exploratory investigation into travel behavior or health, medical and wellness tourists found in Human Geographies.  It reflects the findings of a sample of actual tourists and the motivations behind the travel to a foreign destination for care. I need to also credit my co-author Wen-Tsann Yang (Feng-Chia University) and fellow Ph.D. graduate of the Geography Department at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for his efforts in this research.

The Abstract:

Mass tourism facilities depend on repeat visitors as well as attracting new first time tourists. As these traditional sun and sand holiday destinations mature, tourism promoters are bundling opportunities to attract a different kind of tourist. Since many of these resorts are all-inclusive facilities and include a Spa, one potential expansion may be to market to health, medical or wellness tourists. Geographic research in travel and tourism has found that individuals either repeat visits to the same destination or diversify their choices. This paper highlights the decision-making process of tourists and how it may be related to the niche market of health, wellness, and medical tourism. It uses data from a survey that gathered the travel patterns and motivations, and socio-demographics of medical tourists. Consumers who exhibit different travel behavior rank hospital accreditation and American hospital affiliation more important than those who repeat travel behavior - See more at: http://www.humangeographies.org.ro/volume-9-issue-2-2015/921-abstract#sthash.bJDUFRpD.dpuf

03 December 2015


and always there is the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium (NERR) 2016 to consider.

Check it out quick since Change is on the way....

NERR will be changing its name to the National Environment and Recreation Research Symposium over the next year. This new national focus will better reflect the broad research perspectives of NERR attendees, who travel to the conference from all over the United States and from other countries as well. As part of this change in focus, a new not-for-profit organization will be formed to organize and host the symposium. The mission of the National Environment and Recreation Research Association will be to foster an interdisciplinary scientific understanding of the relationships between humans and the natural environment in outdoor recreation and tourism-related contexts; further the application of social science information in natural resource decision-making; and provide a mechanism for social scientists, resource managers, practitioners, agency personnel, and decision makers to discuss and exchange information and knowledge . Look for updates about these future changes on this website!

02 December 2015


The SERR conference was my first professional meeting as a grad student.  Check it out at http://www.serrconference.org/.

You get access the Proceedings from the site, for example, try this link.