23 December 2016

Aviation Warning Issued Due to Volcanic Eruption in Alaska

Is this going to be a repeat of Iceland?  Some great imagery is found here.

Eyjafjallajökull from Ring Road (2015)

And speaking of Iceland, what happend back in 2010 when Eyjafjallajökull became active?

22 December 2016

Tourists like the sun, right

So instead of the beach, what happens if you are in the Big Apple?  The New York Times has mapped it for you "Mapping the Shadows of New York City: Every Building, Every Block."

There are some great maps and graphics too.

21 December 2016


Time to start tracking Santa as we move toward a season of goodwill.  Please, let us foster Peace on Earth.

Official tracking is found here.

17 December 2016

Change of Government is not Just the US

A major tourist destination in the Caribbean is changing leadership as well.  Attorney-at-law Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson led the opposition People's Democratic Movement (PDM) to its first election victory in 13 years, thereby becoming the British territory’s first female premier in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Will tourists be aware of the change?  Probably not since most are insulated from the day to day business on the islands.  Amazingly the troubles of 2009 only became known to me after my first visit to Providenciales that same summer.  Current news of Michael Misick trial is still pending.

It is all about money and greed.

12 December 2016

Fall Teaching and Research Assistantships

Check out this list:

FALL 2017
PhD Research Assistantship-Public Lands Management and Recreational Use:  The Department of Natural Resources and Society, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, is seeking highly qualified candidates committed to pursuing a PhD focused on social science research on public lands management, participatory decision making, recreational and visitor use of public lands, and travel management.  For more information contact Dr. Patrick Wilson (pwilson@uidaho.edu) or Dr. Travis Paveglio (tpaveglio@uidaho.edu).

PhD Research Assistantship-Fire Adapted Communities and Policy Evaluation: The Department of Natural Resources and Society and the Policy Analysis Group at the University of Idaho seeks a highly qualified candidate to pursue a PhD focused on understanding the ways in which communities adapt and respond to wildfire risk.  The successful candidate will work closely with communities and local authorities in the western US to identify their policy preferences and mitigation strategies. Interested applicants should have interest in community decision making, wildfire planning, policy evaluation, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.  For more information contact Dr. Travis Paveglio (tpaveglio@uidaho.edu) or Dr. Dennis Becker (drbecker@uidaho.edu).

MS Research Assistantship-Policy Analysis Group: The Policy Analysis Group at the University of Idaho is seeking a highly qualified candidate to pursue an MS focused on evaluating natural resource policy systems and methods of analysis. Students should have broad interest in a variety of natural resource topics relevant to the Policy Analysis Group. For more information contact Dr. Dennis Becker (drbecker@uidaho.edu).

11 December 2016

Winter Weather Advisory

Seems we might get some snow tonight in New England.  In Albany, NY, "significant snow" is expected.  In anticipation, I checked out my snow blower, gassed it up, and ran it for a bit yesterday so I can tackle Winter Storm Caly!.  (notice how the Foxification of the Weather Channel has gotten out of hand the past few years?)

That is why I rarely use the dot com site.

02 December 2016


What does this area look like from space?  http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=88701
And from the Sea?

And nearby?

01 December 2016

Climate Change and Tourism

Our friends at Michigan State have a great site.  Check out the traffic and ski "tools."  For example the winter tool does:

"The tool provides information on a number of ski-relevant parameters including the number of ski days, the day of first snow, the date of last snowcover, and the amount of snow that has to be artificially generated to keep a resort open."

"Richard Medina, an assistant geography professor at the University of Utah, is studying how weather affects traffic patterns and accidents in Salt Lake County. The project could produce a model that may help emergency managers, said Medina, who previously did a similar study in the Washington, D.C., area."  Listen here.

29 November 2016

TSA Confiscated Items

Just do a "google" search for images, to see the crazy things people try to bring on an airplane.

and you are complaining about a pair of nail clippers?

27 November 2016

Travel this weekend?

Are you or a family member flying right now?  Trying to get back home or to school after the Thanksgiving Break?  Well, check out this site to see live air trafic.

And currently not too many delays right now!  Safe travels.

24 November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you and yours a happy thanksgiving.  If you are one of the 50 million travellers this weekend, I hope your trip is going well and that you remember the folks that served you during the trip.  Remember the gas station employees, the wait staff, toll plaza people, airport people and of course the other travellers.

Be polite please and give something back to your neighbors.

21 November 2016

Heading to the Caribbean this winter?

Be sure to check out the latest on the volcanoes in the region.  I have only seen a couple active ones in Arenal in Costa Rica, semi-active Hekla and Eyafjallajökull on Iceland and few not active like Pelée volcano on Martinique and Qualibou on St. Lucia. Soufriere Hills on Montserrat is on my list.

Here is Arenal with steam on the north slope.

13 November 2016

Boundary Monitoring on the Appalachian Trail

A beautiful day to hike in the woods today.  So I headed west to the community of Tyringham, Massachusetts to find these monuments.

I hit several sections of the National Park called the Appalachian Trail to bushwhack in the woods to make sure no human or natural encroachments might threaten our park,  I am just one of thousands of volunteers that help our parks.  And what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

This panoramic shot is looking south through valley and in the distance the AT crosses the low Hop Brook valley.

The AT is a great public resource!

10 November 2016

08 November 2016

Election Day

I am reminded about an episode of my favorite comedy TV show, Count Arthur Strong.  The best thing on TV now. If you don't subscribe to to Acorn, you can watch many episodes on YouTube.

Erect Strong!

30 October 2016

The Tingler

This morning I raked leaves and at lunch took a break to watch The Tingler.  It was shown on TCM, so you know it is a classic film.  Great stuff.

Now I get to grade papers.

29 October 2016

Pet Halloween

Halloween is a BIG holiday in the States.  Some reports predict "HALLOWEEN SPENDING TO REACH $8.4 BILLION, HIGHEST IN SURVEY HISTORY" according to the National Retail Association.

In a recent stop at a Big Box pet food and supply store I noticed this display.

Don't worry Biscuit.  I won't dress you up like Trump!

27 October 2016

Dozens of ancient shipwrecks found accidentally during Black Sea mapping

A cool news report (and related to an earlier post) is the mapping of ship wrecks in the Black Sea.  I remember a colleague in grad school whose interest was in marine archaelology since water (and cold water in particular) helps preserve these ships for future study.  Check out the news at this link.

26 October 2016

WHO maps

Climate is the long term atmospheric conditions in a region.  Typically it is measured by precipitation and temperature averages.  Travel decisions are often based on climatic conditions.  Check out this interactive website for the air pollution.

24 October 2016

Be a Transportation Planner!

Design your own streetscape for pedestrian and biking.  Forget adding lanes to deal with your traffic jams, add a bike lane.  You too can be a transportation planner using this cool site 
Thanks to a colleague who shared this neat website.

17 October 2016

15 October 2016

Near Live Satelite Imagery

Want to track natural events over time using remote sensed imagery?  Check out this link:


You can track atmospheric events on this site.  Don't expect to see what is in you backyard.  This is a global view that can only zoom in so far.  But for vacation plans and hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and big events that can be observed from space this link rocks.

13 October 2016


the funny sounding word stands for State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreeation Plan and you can find thme for your state at this site:



11 October 2016

Volunteering is Big Business in America

About a quarter of Americans volunteered at least once in 2015.  In a recent news release from (get this) the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Most volunteers tend to be "By age, 35- to 44-year-olds and 45- to 54-year-olds were the most likely to volunteer (28.9 percent and 28.0 percent, respectively). Volunteer rates were lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds (18.4 percent). Teenagers (16- to 19-year-olds) continued to have a relatively high volunteer rate, at 26.4 percent. Over the year, the volunteer rates for 35- to 44-year-olds and 55- to 64-year-olds declined."

06 October 2016

Caribbean Flights disrupted?

Check out what is in the air in the Caribbean or anywhere else for that matter using this really cool site   Currently 89% of flights have been canceled at Miami (MIA).

05 October 2016

2017 National Outdoor Recreation Conference

Request for Presentations

2017 National Outdoor Recreation Conference

Creating a Relevant and Inclusive Future

May 1-4, 2017 – Scottsdale, Arizona

We are seeking presentations from outdoor recreation professionals (e.g., planners, managers, academics, consultants, etc.) and students that demonstrate how you, your organization, and/or the profession are creating a lasting legacy of conservation and stewardship by fostering relevant and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities for all.  As outdoor recreation professionals, we will share outstanding examples of innovation and research that invite all people to share equally in the multiple benefits of outdoor recreation and open space.  

Tell us about your creative approaches for connecting youth to the outdoors, examples of innovative solutions to ensure recreation opportunities are accessible, use of technology to reach visitors who increasingly rely on mobile devices, and other case studies that present new ideas and tools to succeed today and to create a relevant, sustainable, and inclusive future for outdoor recreation.

We are seeking presentations that highlight:

Diversity of opportunity - To better serve the broader spectrum of the American people. This may include topics like frontcountry, backcountry, traditional recreation, new initiatives, underserved populations, culturally relevant recreation, etc.

Diversity of engagement - To partner with communities in decision-making, sustainability, and the identification of values and experiences.  

Diversity of the profession - To infuse innovation and excellence in volunteerism, employment, education, and outreach.

Submittal Deadline: October 28, 2016, midnight EST

For more information: http://www.recpro.org/2017-national-outdoor-recreation-conference

04 October 2016

Planning a winter vacation to a small Caribbean Island?

Or any island for that matter.  Check out this YouTube link for some scary landings/takeoffs.

Also see the report from The Guardian here.

Can you imagine trying to land after flying 16 hours?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PCOcyt7BPI 

01 October 2016


NOAA is not just hurricane tracking information, but also a source for nautical maps.  For instance check out this map of the inner Harbor in Baltimore, my old stomping grounds.

One of the cool things by exploring the site, is that you find ship wrecks!  Cool for boating and skin diving, this is really interesting.

29 September 2016

Hurricanes in the Fall

A few years ago, a friend was getting married in the fall and planned a honeymoon in the Caribbean.  Hurricane Matthew is precisely the reason NOT to do this.  When ever I plan to travel to this region, I make, especially late summer and fall, I will book the trip one week out.

Here is the prediction as of today 29 Sept 2016:

For the Atlantic and Pacific storms visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

28 September 2016

The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Try the  The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association gathering in Williamstown, MA.  Details at this link.

26 September 2016

Listen to the Dead Show today

The next morning, from Archive.org at this direct link.

The playlist:

Bertha, Minglewood Blues, Ramble On Rose, Cassidy, Brown Eyed Women, Mama Tried, Peggy-O, It's All Over Now, Loser, Let It Grow, Sugaree Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, Mississippi Half Step, Dancin' In The Streets-> Cosmic Charlie, Scarlet Begonias, Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Drums-> Saint Stephen-> Sugar Magnolia.

(That's me screaming Casey Jones in the second set, well not really, but then again maybe...it was a long time ago)

Here is a shot, developed and printed of Bob Weir I took at the concert.  (I just digitized it for the Blog)

25 September 2016

40 years ago on September 25th

What were you doing 40 years ago?  Were you even born?

Well digging through some old college stuff I found this concert ticket.

What a long strange trip it's been.

Note the price!

24 September 2016

Open Sea Map

There are a ton of cool internet mapping sites out there, but I recently found this one and it is pretty neat.  Check out http://map.openseamap.org/  And the main home page here. (in English, other languages available).

22 September 2016

First Day of Fall

Something like 10:21 am eastern time if I recall.

Seems also to be a good day to announce a new YouTube Channel.  No, nothing to do with cats.

But check this out. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXd0a8aLkvATie-VA4WogQ

Called Travel Professors YouTube Channel, we will see if it is sustainable.

I might recommend they mix the sound better since the video I watched had "too much, surf noise in the background."  But in any case,  good luck.

21 September 2016


Please visit http://www.serrconference.org/ to register for the 39th Annual Southeastern Recreation Research Conference March 19th-March 21st 2017 in Asheville, NC.

I presented at this conference back in the 1980's and found it be a friendly and welcoming group.

16 September 2016

ISSRM 2017

International Association for Society and Natural Resources
International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM)
June 19-22, 2017 in Umeå, Sweden
Symposium Theme:
Contested Spaces: Bridging Protection and Development in a Globalizing World
Call for Organized Session Proposals: Proposals for Panels, Paper Sessions, Book Review Sessions, and Workshops are invited now – the deadline for submission isOctober 31, 2016, at midnight (Central Standard Time). Proposals from any area of societal relationships to environment and natural resources are welcome. Organized sessions are an opportunity to bring together a group of scholars around a particular topic. They can be a collection of 3-5 oral presentations with or without a discussant, a panel of experts on a given topic, a roundtable discussion, an author-meets-critics session, a workshop, or propose your own idea. Panels and paper sessions will last 75 minutes each. The organizer(s) should recruit participants and include these in the session proposal. Organized sessions will be highlighted and given priority in the program.
Please submit your session proposal electronically by going to the ISSRM 2017 webpage and click on “Add” next to “Session Proposals” on the right side of the page. Please note: a login account is required before a session proposal can be submitted; you must also be logged into your account to submit a session proposal.
Call for Abstracts: Abstract submissions for organized sessions, individual papers and posters are now open and due December 1, 2016, at midnight (Central Standard Time). Individual paper and poster abstracts can be submitted electronically by going to the ISSRM 2017 webpage and clicking on “Add” next to “Abstracts (Oral Presentations and Posters)” on the right side of the page. Please note: a login account is required before an abstract can be submitted; you must also be logged into your account to submit an abstract.
Guidelines for Abstracts:
Abstracts should be in paragraph form without bullet points. Additionally, the abstract body should include details regarding the background, purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. Please also include theory/analytical framework and a description of the methods employed (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, etc.).
**Individuals are limited to serving as lead presenter on only one oral paper presentation. This does not include co-authorship and individuals may present both an oral paper presentation and organize a session, present a poster, or serve on a panel.
Please email Jessica Burk (info@iasnr.org) if you have any questions. 
~2017 ISSRM Organizing Committee and IASNR Office

International Association for Society and Natural Resources
info@iasnr.org | 936.294.4143 | www.iasnr.org

10 September 2016


I renewed my Passport this summer and it was pretty quick.  I read somewhere else that Spring is the worst time to do this, since people are planning summer travel.  Well since that was not our plan (we instead did home improvement projects allllll summer), we waited until June to do so and the renewal was quick.

Now, where can we go?

09 September 2016

Glendi 2016

Glendi 2016 starts tonight in Springfield Mass.  One of the great cultural festivals available in Western Massachusetts.

Great fun for the whole family

07 September 2016

What is Recreation and Tourism Geography?

What is Recreation and Tourism Geography?

re-creation –noun
1. the act of creating anew.
2. something created anew.

too r-iz-uh m – noun
1. the activity or practice of touring, especially for pleasure.
2. the business or industry of providing information, accommodations, transportation, and other services to tourists.
3. the promotion of tourist travel, especially for commercial purposes.

geography –noun, plural -phies.
1. the science dealing with the areal differentiation of the earth's surface, as shown in the character, arrangement, and interrelations over the world of such elements as climate, elevation, soil, vegetation, population, land use, industries, or states, and of the unit areas formed by the complex of these individual elements.
2. the study of this science.
3. the topographical features of a region, usually of the earth, sometimes of the planets.
4. a book dealing with this science or study, as a textbook.
5. the arrangement of features of any complex entity: the geography of the mind.

(source: Dictionary.Com)

Combining the three terms we come up with my definition:

Recreation and Tourism Geography is the study of humans participating in some leisure pursuit at some setting. That is, people, activity and resource.

People are categorized by the socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Activities are what people are doing and the resource could be the Grand Canyon, the Musee du Louvre, or your couch!

11 August 2016

National Parks

100 years young this year!

How about a few more to the mix?

Here are five that deserve our protection.

28 July 2016

2015 Overseas Visitation Estimates Released

So...what is the latest data on visitors to the States?  Check out International Visitation to the United States.  The State of New York was "the most visited state by overseas travelers in 2015. It has been the most visited state for 15 consecutive years. Visitation to the state (10.39 million) increased by two percent."  (I visited my sister in NYC last year, but didn't come from overseas.)

The fact filled report is a easy read and gives you a sense of popular destinations in the US.

23 July 2016

Clear Weather good for Recreation?

Well yes and no.  No rain is certainly a good thing for outdoor recreation.  But clear skies this summer mean no rain and a drought.  Further it means HOT.

Loads of people are outside enjoying clear skies, getting sun burned and drinking lots of beers.   Like driving after midnight, toasted recreationists (pun intended) will hit the roads.

So today folks, enjoy the outside, drinks lots of water, protect against that harmful UV Radiation and stay cool....if you can find a cool spot.

21 July 2016

Republican Convention Tourism cost and benefits

So what are the costs and benefits for a city to host a presidential convention?  Beats me, so I looked up some info on the WWW.

According to the Republican's Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, "While it’s tough to project exactly what this number will be for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, we do know that the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa had an economic impact of more than $200 million in direct spending."

On the other hand, how much does it cost?  The Fiscal Times website finds "The GOP’s Cleveland Host Committee aimed to raise $64 million to fund the event. Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Ohio have collectively contributed $15 million to that total. But, as of last Thursday, the GOP was millions short of their goal after losing $8.1 million from corporations and individuals who revoked their pledges. Among the biggest former donors are David Koch ($1 million), Coca-Cola ($1 million), FedEx ($500,000), Pepsi ($500,000), United Health ($500,000), Apple ($250,000), Visa ($100,000) and BP ($50,000)."

As the event winds down, it is important to note that "As of July 1, 10,867 people were registered to protest with permits to march, rally and demonstrate. But many protestors haven’t bothered to apply for permits. Adding to the security concern is Ohio’s open-carry law, which allows people to walk around with loaded handguns and long guns. Gov. Kasich rejected the Cleveland police’s request that he suspend open-carry for the week, ostensibly because he didn’t have the unilateral authority to waive the law. Members of the New Black Panther Party have announced their intentions to protest in Cleveland with weapons.(my emphasis from The Fiscal Times report).

But rest assured that Cleveland is ready to deal with trouble makers by extending hours of courts to process people.

20 July 2016

This date in 1969

Do you remember what you were doing on this date?  I do!  I was sitting in a tent at summer camp (Broad Creek) listening to the radio as Neil Armstrong was climbing down the ladder to step on the moon.  I remember it took what seemed to be forever and every step was carefully planned.

This is one of those remarkable memories.

19 July 2016

Full time Temp teaching job at Westfield State

The Department of Geography and Regional Planning (GARP), Westfield State University (WSU), invites applications for a one-year temporary Instructor or Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainability  beginning September 2016. Academic load is 12 hours per semester. A strong background in applied urban planning, or sustainability is expected.

Primary Duties/Responsibilities:
Teaching responsibilities include introductory and advanced planning courses.  Supporting the University's common core in geography is also expected.  Responsibilities include the advising of regional planning students.

Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. in planning, geography, urban studies or strongly related field, and experience teaching undergraduates.
ABD candidates are also welcome to apply (at Instructor level).
Professionals with an MRP and experience, and/or AICP plus teaching experience, may apply for the Instructor level.

15 July 2016

Community Preservation Act in Springfield MA?

Plans are in the mix to offer the citizens of Springfield MA to join the numerous communities across the Commonwealth who have adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  The Act, created in 2000, allows community to self tax by adding a small surcharge on real estate taxes. Springfield proponents recommending 1.5%, and that is estimated to add $10 to the tax bill for the average house.

Now, nobody likes taxes, but like death, it is unavoidable. That said, additional funds from the state would be added and this money could in turn be used to preserve open space, historic preservation, enhance recreation and improve community housing.

Ten bucks is worth all of that, and I hope the citizens embrace this opportunity to improve Springfield.  I wrote about the CPA and you can read the paper here.

The towns and cities shown in green on the map below have adopted the Community Preservation Act as of May 2016. Thus far, 228 Massachusetts communities have voted on CPA adoption. Of those, 161 communities (46 percent of the state's municipalities) have passed CPA. This represents a 71 percent adoption success rate.
Communities in green have adopted CPA. Communities in yellow represent upcoming CPA adoption ballots.

14 July 2016

US Airlines Report $25.6 Billion Net Profit in 2015

Data from the US Department or Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports a "U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $25.6 billion in 2015 up from $7.5 billion in 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported ..."


Now, for us, what does that mean?

Air Travel for me is needed to do two things:

Travel Far, and
Get there fast.

Trouble is, that there are places you can't travel to....easily.

Take for an example my interest to fly to Tobago.  And this is in the Caribbean.  We used to be able to fly direct on American from Hartford (BDL) to Puerto Rico (SJU), and from there travel to anywhere in the Caribbean. Now, you need to go through Miami (MIA) and to continue through to Trinidad, you have a 8 hour layover, only to arrive at POS by midnight.  Do you risk catching the small plane to Tobago (TAB), or do you spend the night and catch the morning flight?

The challenge for airlines is to maximize passengers to the markets they desire, in an appropriately sized plane.  Do you fly a Boeing 777 once a day between markets, or do you fly a 737 twice a day?

This is why my trip to Tobago will take 26 hours!

12 July 2016

Henry David Thoreau's Birthday

Celebrate and honor Thoreau today.  To learn more, click this link and this one.  (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)

Walden Pond.

11 July 2016

Blei (2016) Inventing the Beach: The Unnatural History of a Natural Place

Nice report on Smithsonian.Com about our fascination of the beach by Daniela Blei.   These fragile and liminal landscapes are both spatial and temporal, and our interest is fairly recent.  For one reason is that vacations are a recent possibility.  Think Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith best line in the TV series, "What Is a Weekend?"
So for all the folks that head to the Cape of Cod this summer, enjoy your experience, since climate change will likely remove our beaches.

07 July 2016

NPR and The Sound Of America's Best Parks

Check out this report on NPR about sounds in National Parks.  Talk about virtual tourism!  Aren't National Parks great!

03 July 2016

Volunteer Project at Philmont

Kinda' neat to hear about this American Hiking Society project in New Mexico.  I hiked there in (I think) 1972, after recovering from a dislocated hip from a track and field accident.  Further it is neat since I worked with the current Director of the camp back in the late 70's and early 80s.  Pretty cool.

Oh yeah, here is a trail map for Baldy Mountain.

30 June 2016

Data Visualized

Need a quick map for the US?  Some data to play with?  Where is the violent Crime (think Nevada, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alaska)? You can break it down to counties too.

What are the growing jobs?  Well, check out DATA USA.

They just need some recreation stuff...

29 June 2016

Ticks Suck

I remember seeing a t-shirt with the title phrase and boy oh boy, do I agree.  I have (had) Lyme disease and  it is no fun.  Learn how to identify the suckers here.

25 June 2016

Towson Swimmers at Olympic Trials

This is so cool.  Four swimmers from my old school, then Towson State University (drop the state now) are competing this next week in Omaha to qualify for the Olympics.  Check out the news here.

And watch it here.  Go Tigers!

24 June 2016

AIR BnB takes some more heat

I wrote about Air BnB a few weeks back, and it seems city's have a different idea about these un-taxed hotel rooms.  After all something can rent an apartment for a couple grand a month and they offer it as a BnB for a boatload a night!  What if the apartment is under rent control?  There is a concern that short term rentals will hurt affordable housing for the permanent residents.

17 June 2016

Interactive Websites

There are so many websites for teaching that it just boggles the mind.  This one is cool and shows a lot of animations about the lithosphere on the planet.

and while we are at it, here is a "video" of the Earth splitting apart.  Be patient it is slow.

15 June 2016

Stream flow might be a bit low for this weekend

The Annual Westfield River Canoe Cruise has been canceled due to low water flow.  The stream gauge shows how low the water is and notice the triangles that illustrate normal flows for this time of the year.

12 June 2016

Will tourism suffer in Disney World Orlando?

First I must send my condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the murderous attack in the Vacation Capital of the US.  For some local news, check this site out.

And I now provide some stats from the FBI regarding murders in Orlando.  According to the FBI data set there were 9 murders total in 2015 in Orlando.  For a city of 260,000 people that is a lot of deaths.  Now add 50 more (and we are not even half way through 2016).

Will this have an impact on visitors heading to Disney and other attractions?  For the response from the NRA, see what they have to say here.

My thoughts go out to the victims of gun violence.

11 June 2016

Climate Website

Wow, the internet continues to amaze me and here is another weather and climate site that pulls together so much information into graphic output and you need to check it out:


08 June 2016

Book Review

just published a book review for Tourism Geographies and the preview can be found here.

A Review of “Destination competitiveness, the environment and sustainability: challenges and cases”

edited by Andrés Artal-Tur and Metin Kozak, CABI Series in Tourism Management Research, Oxfordshire, U.K., 2016, 220 pp., £76.50 (hardback), ISBN 9781780646978

07 June 2016


Check out to see if your flight might be a bit bumpy by going to this site.  Extreme conditions over the Big Apple today:

04 June 2016

National Trails Day

Still time to get out on a trail.....


And for that matter, make every day a trail day.

You never know who you might meet on the trail.

Someone's Dad is lost on NYC's High Line.

03 June 2016

02 June 2016

Normal Hurricane Season Predicted

It is now officially hurricane season.  What might happen?

Here is my attempt to chronicle Hurricane Irene in 2011.

31 May 2016

Five years since Western Mass Tornado

Do you remember that day?  The weather was bad, but since the tornado hit the ground two miles east, I was totally unaware of what was going on.  Read about it here and see the track here.

Here is a shot I took in West Springfield a few days later.

25 May 2016

2016 Hiking Trails in America: Pathways to Health

2016 Hiking Trails in America: Pathways to Health is to be published on 26 May 2016 from the American Hiking Society website.  This report will "illustrate the very real health benefits of a nation with a well-prepared and connected trails system."  Last year's report can be found here and highlights the economic benefits of trails.

In the meantime, dream about hiking.

A view from Tekoa Mountain, Massachusetts.

24 May 2016

Record Travel this weekend?

Well AAA says so.  "AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30. "

And if you are flying get to the airport today so you can get through TSA Security.  CNN reports heavy air travel. Especially as the number of TSA staff reduce while air travelers increase.

Or you can stay home and enjoy a BBQ!

17 May 2016

U.S. Citizen International Travel up 11 Percent in February 2016

February 2016/2015 YTD Comparisons

U.S. travel to overseas markets (1) totaled 4.5 million, up nine percent

Regional results were:

Europe, 1.16 million travelers, up seven percent
Caribbean, 1.23 million travelers, up five percent
Asia, 786,000 travelers, up 10 percent
Central America, 519,000 travelers, up 14 percent
Middle East, 331,000 travelers, up 11 percent
South America, 314,000 travelers, up 19 percent
Oceania, 131,000 travelers, up eight percent
Africa, 49,000 travelers, up nine percent

Source: The National Travel and Tourism Office.

For the data and such http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2016-O-001/index.html

15 May 2016

Recreation Job ..... Act Quick

so, there are so many jobs sites out there and a quick check today found this park ranger job in Massachusetts.  Act Quick at this link.

11 May 2016

Trout Stocking

Even though I don't fish, I do enjoy seafood (and freshfood for freshwater fish)!  So for all you anglers out there, check out the stocking schedule for Massachusetts.

10 May 2016

Medical students cheating to get degrees for Medical Tourism

"Medical degrees are highly sought after in Thailand, where doctors can make small fortunes in a private sector that has become one of the world's treatment hubs."

For another link to this story, see this.

09 May 2016

Medical Tourism Destinations Threatened by Doctor's Cheating

Seems another story of medical students cheating on exams has a potential impact on the lucrative medical tourism business!  Recent news reports from SE Asia, one the world's most popular regions for medical tourism, highlights the "mission impossible" tactics used by wanna' be doctors facing the mounting pressures to be doctors and serve the tourists arriving daily.  Another report  identifies the same damaging fact.  Seems these students are willing to pay upwards to $30k to pass the test in order to offer medical care for the fast growing medical tourism industry.

Just think about this as you travel half way around the world to get a cheap nose job!

02 May 2016

Indian Cave, Middle Caicos Island, TCI

Here is another historic site and one that has a unique past.  Off the beaten track in TCI, Middle Caicos only has  only 300 residents, but with only one main road it is easy to get around.  This cave is just west of Conch Bar.

Check out the video here.

Since caves are typically fragile environments they need to be protected.  This one however has a flourishing ecosystem despite the heat.

01 May 2016

Sapodilla Hill, TCI

It is important to preserve our history and this place is just one of the many places in the world that needs our help.  Remember to take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and waste nothing but time.

The walking tour is found here.

For the back story see this link.

30 April 2016

AT Corridor Monitoring April 2016

Last weekend I went out to Tyringham to do some boundary walking on the Appalachian Trail.  A great day to be in the woods!

Here is a short video of the walk.

22 April 2016

Earth Day 2016

Let's celebrate the Earth today (and everyday).

And by earth, I mean all of it, the abiotic and biotic parts, including humans.

18 April 2016

BnB take beds from Hotels

Seems to be a powerful new partner in the travel and tourism industry.  The BnB, especially the one called https://www.airbnb.com/

This is not with out some concern, since local residents of apartments and houses may not realize their neighbor is actually renting rooms.  This is a particular problem in urban areas with a night life where the temporary tenants return "home" after a late night of partying.  Further there is a concern about lost tax revenue.

But just like the Uber Taxis, the market drives the competition.  But we will likely see some sort of regulation, especially if the big guys (e.g., Intercontinental Hotel Group) feel threatened?

11th Province for Canada

There has been a discussion for several years for the Turks and Caicos to become the 11th Province in Canada.  This recent report summarizes the idea.

Talk about a neat idea!

I always remember meeting some British citizens in St. Lucia who noted the lack of reasoning when the "Empire" gave up the tropical paradise.  The TCI merger may be a mutually beneficial arrangement for our neighbors to the north.  Oh, yeah, while in St. Lucia, we met President Clinton.

12 April 2016

Climate Change Toolkits on the web

Seems everyone and their brother are now doing "toolkits" to understand climate change.  For instance here is the states we have https://toolkit.climate.gov/.  It is pretty simple and provides access to basic data.

A more holistic approach is found with the League of Women Voters.  The LWV have a history of providing a good review of any topic and worth the visit.

The United Nations has a good reference too and is found here.  And for more info, the UN has this.

And finally, for this short intro, since travel and tourism account for 5% of the carbon emissions. check this one out for tourism impacts.

10 April 2016

UN World Tourism Organization and Poverty Alleviation

Come on folks, let's all make tourism help the world instead of exploiting it.  Tourism can be a tool to alleviate poverty instead of filling the deep pockets of the rich.  Visit this UN site for details.


07 April 2016

Appalachian Trail Boundary Monitoring

So, here is video I shot last fall.  Will try to hit the NPS properties this spring with my students.  Just need to wait for the snow to melt.  Out to hunt for these monuments:

Good stuff.

05 April 2016

Tourism Conference in Sardinia

Time again for a tourism conference in Sardinia.  This time in the southern part of the Island, the last one I attended was in the northern end when I flew into Olbia.  The Tourism Naturally Conference is set take place in Alghero, Italy.  Beautiful country, but I think I need to pass on this one.

But if you are interested in the conference, check out this link.

02 April 2016

April Fools (again)

Just for the record, yesterday's post was my annual April Fools day joke.

After all, Don Trump would also replace park rangers with cocktail waitresses but paid by tips only to save money!

31 March 2016

Trumps Views on National Parks?

Now that we are deep in the campaigning phase of the fall election, environmentalists are asking the candidates about their positions toward parks and protected areas.

Don Trump, might propose adding casinos to our nation's parks to provide a steady stream of revenue.  His track record in hotels and casinos is legendary an despite only 4 bankruptcies, he might believe his economic model may be the boost our parks need.

For instance, the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which filed for bankruptcy in 1991, is a clear example he is willing to fail, and fail big.

But will that failure follow in our nation's parks?

Are you willing to take that gamble?

27 March 2016

Sunday Hike to Petticoat Hill

This weekend we checked out another Trustees of Reservation property in Williamsburg MA.

This place is called Petticoat Hill and a trail map is found here.  Unfortunately some trail maintenance crew dumped a bunch of brush into a historic old cellar hole.

26 March 2016

Maple Sugar Shack

Made our traditional road trip up to Worthington, MA to enjoy some freshly made maple syrup.  The High Hopes Farm hosts the annual "all you can eat" breakfast buffet during the maple sugaring season (and again in the fall during the fall foliage season).  Yum.

So if you are in maple syrup country, check out a local farm.

24 March 2016

State Economic Impact from Parks

How important are parks?  Well darn important IMHO.

http://www.nrpa.org/parkeconreport-state-charts/ to fine out how important parks for your state!

Giant City State Park resident.

For the full report, click here.

23 March 2016

Quality Service in Hospitality and Tourism: Experiencing Persian Heritage

Sounds like an interesting conference.

Quality Service in Hospitality and  Tourism: Experiencing Persian Heritage 

July 16-17, Isfahan, Iran


13 March 2016

Two ways to see a tourist attraction

On TRINET there had been a discussion on metropolitan areas that overlap multiple countries.  Someone posted this wikipedia page for a fairly comprehensive list:


I have been to a few of them, most notably Niagara Falls.

06 March 2016

Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Tolland MA

Our Sunday hike today (and a good one at that) headed west of MA Rt 57 past "downtown" Tolland to this Audubon Society property.  Named after this small stream, the wooded hike offers two loops that are easy to follow.

A description of the trail and a map can be found here. Below is a glacial erratic found along the trail.

05 March 2016

Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreation and Protected Areas

In September 2016, MMV08 will take place in Serbia.  Details from the website:

"The MMV conference provides a forum for presentations and other exchanges of ideas and experiences related to the monitoring and management of visitors in recreation and protected areas. The emphasis is on policies, problems, practices and innovative solutions, and will therefore be of equal relevance to managers and researchers The 8th MMV will focus on the sub-theme “Cooperation across borders and scales” with the aim to connect different areas and regions in order to collaborate on the same focus."

I have heard a lot of good things about this conference and would like to present there someday.  Maybe not 2016, but maybe in 2018?

04 March 2016


Wilderness and the American Mind should be required reading for all college students.  Since that ain't gonna' happen, I would just hope that recreation students would pick up a copy.  Try eBay or Amazon to find one for a couple bucks.

So in the meantime, while you are waiting for the delivery, check out http://www.wilderness.net/

Also, here is a screen saver for you.

02 March 2016

Local Hikes Abound

A couple of great sites for local hiking can be found at The Trustees of Reservations  and the Audubon Society.

On each site, you will find trail maps nearby.  Take a hike this weekend.

A video of one of the trails is found here.

28 February 2016

Sunday Hike

Hiked Peaked Mountain today.  It is The Trustees of Reservation property east of Springfield, MA.
Offering several miles of trails and loops, the trails lead up the west side of the mountain and offers several rocky outcrops to sit and admire the view.  Well marked, although a bit wet in spots, this is an excellent trail system for all levels of hiking ability.

For more info and a trail map, visit this link.

27 February 2016

Celebrating 100 years of our National Parks

The National Park Service turns 100 this year. As part of the CBS TV series, "On the Trail," Conor Knighton takes a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. At just under 50,000 acres, it's one of our smallest national parks, but also one of the most popular.  Check out this CBS Sunday Morning clip.

22 February 2016

Census Data on Recreation

Try this link for tables and reports devoted to recreation.

"This section presents data on the arts, entertainment, and recreation economic sector of the economy, and personal recreational activities, the arts and humanities, and domestic and foreign travel."

19 February 2016

Recreation and Wealth

To understand recreation demand, we need to understand the SES (demographic) characteristics of users. Age is one important factor. And so is gender.  But what about wealth, especially the HUGE gap between incomes.

See how income varies on this website.  How might this influence participation?

18 February 2016

Water Scarcity impacts 4 Billion People

We take water for granted.  I mean we drink it, we use it to shower, and wash the car.  And we even water our gardens with it.  And best of all, we can play in it.

And get this, people are willing to pay $2 for a pint of it!

While this is all true, 4 BILLION people are threatened by the scarcity of water.  Read this news report for info.

16 February 2016

SCORP updating

Seems States may be tardy in submitting State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans in order to get some federal funding.  Part of the problem might be the need to update the demand study.  Here is a paper that highlights how Census Data might be used.

09 February 2016

yummmmmm Ice Cream tourism

Ice Cream Tourism?  Seems you can put any noun in front of the word Tourism.

Read about it here.

07 February 2016

Puppy Bowl

yes, it is that time of the year when all turn to their favorite bowl game.  No, not the brain concussion one, but one devoted to cute puppies.

Watch it here.

05 February 2016


This year I need to renew my passport.   Apparently I am like a bunch of other citizens that need to do it this year according to the NY Times.

To apply, click here.

Oh yeah, then you can collect these visa stamps!

02 February 2016

The Compatibility of Recreation Activities in Illinois

What happens when you do several different activities at a single park resources?  Are these activity packages? Read here.

01 February 2016

Unauthorized Payments hurt Sandals

You have probably seen those commercials on TV or in magazines.  You know the ones where beautiful people frolic on the beach in a gorgeous setting, with not a worry.  Sandals, a huge all inclusive chain now has an image problem.

Seems some previous management folks paid money to government officials to get in return some cheap land to develop.  Follow the story from this St. Lucia news site.

(1 Feb 2016) An update is found here.

(2 Feb 2016) Update here

(9 Feb 2016) Update here.

31 January 2016


Not often you get to write this word.  I mean, it should be part of everyone's vocabulary, but it isn't.

Impress your friends and use it every day.  Next time at a party, when you are trying to impress a new friend, bring it up.  They will truly be impressed.  Google the phrase to get a good sense about this term!

Oh yeah, for recreation geography, check out this paper.

29 January 2016

Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

Required reading in grad school, today is Ed Abbey's birthday.  I really enjoyed reading since he was a conservationist and humorist.  Essential reading even today.  Check out his site for more info and his biography here.

"One word is worth a thousand pictures. If it's the right word."

28 January 2016

Corruption in Paradise

Seems things are getting heated in the Turks and Caicos.  Several years have passed since the former Premier left office under serious accusations of corruption.  The current report provides some background on the scandal (or is it Sandals?)

27 January 2016

Near Live Satellite Imagery

No, you can't peep in the neighbor's back yard, but this new site show current imagery on a global scale.  And to top that, a historical review of previous imagery.  Check out https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/

26 January 2016

Western Avenue Improvements include a safe bike lane


Western Avenue Redesign - Information Meeting by the City of Westfield and MassDOT

7PM Tuesday January 26
South Middle School
30 West Silver Street
Westfield, MA

for details see the City webpage:

17 January 2016

Beating the high price of sports tickets

Read about the Chicago base ball team buying up real estate across the street in the paper this morning.  No, not for parking but to grab the revenue for people sitting on the roof tops to watch the ball game.  Google Earth to "Wrigley Field, 1060 W Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613" and you can see the bleachers on the roofs just north of the left field stands.

Just like the drive in movie theaters that put the back side of the screen toward the road I guess.

14 January 2016

Chasing Ice

This visual documentary titled Chasing Ice is found on Netflix streaming, so do check it out if you can.

Spectacular photography!  and a great illustration of climate change.  See the website for more info.  The Extreme Ice Survey has some great videos as well.