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Gene Brothers

Associate Professor

Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 4008

Grants

Date: 02/01/12 - 1/31/13
Amount: $5,000.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Sea Grant Program

BACKGROUND: Coastal resource management policy has attempted to conserve natural resources, optimize fisheries, and provide recreation and tourism opportunities. With the recent economic downturn, however, management of natural resources has increased in complexity and economic difficulties have distressed fragile coastal economies and reduced budgets of public agencies. We propose to explore ways in which poor individuals living in coastal communities might become involved in nature-based tourism micro-entrepreneurship. This study will provide baseline knowledge to market-based conservation approaches that might be effective in North Carolina coastal areas with limited economic resources. The study is timely because of the current interaction between green market trends and economic difficulties. Due to the current economic downturn, public agencies need inventiveness and innovation in order to meet their conservation and economic revitalization missions. In addition, the growing numbers of individuals with skills and motivation that find themselves unemployed or under-employed provide opportunities to incubate micro-entrepreneurial ventures. PURPOSE: This study will collect and organize information about ways in which individuals can pursue dignified livelihoods through non-consumptive utilitarian uses of coastal resources for economic sustainability. It will explore techniques by which poor individuals living in and near coastal communities in North Carolina can become involved in nature-based tourism micro-entrepreneurship. With this preliminary study the researchers intend to gather information from existing entrepreneurs to include: a) socio-demographic characteristics; b) geographic location and spatial distribution; c) ways in which these entrepreneurs use coastal resources for the benefit of their business; d) the strategies they employ to overcome business development and operating challenges; and, e) ways they network with agencies in natural resource management, economic development, the formal tourism industry and each other. Findings will result in the creation and distribution of actionable tools for use by extension, small business development centers, and other coastal community development programs, in their efforts to enable the sustainable and dignifying livelihoods and healthy and prosperous coastal economies. METHOD:We will use mixed methods to arrive to a comprehensive understanding of the current, desired and appropriate non-consumptive utilitarian uses of natural resources in coastal North Carolina as well as the entrepreneurs and their business practices. We will search and examine secondary data from agency reports and scholarly literature. Namely we will examine reports related to coastal livelihoods and sustainable community development from NC Small Business Centers, NC Sea Grant, NC Cooperative Extension, and other agencies. We will also mine academic literature in fields such as political ecology, sustainable tourism, rural sociology, and community development for an analysis of insights related to non-consumptive use of coastal resources and micro-entrepreneurship. In addition to secondary data, we will also conduct field assessments in coastal counties. We will work with our local partners (Small Business Development Centers, coastal Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant extension staff and Destination Management Associations) to identify individuals running small nature-based tourism businesses. Once we meet a set of informants, we will ask them to introduce us to their peers, and will in this way expand our group of informants through snow-ball sampling. We are interested in capturing insight from even the more informal examples of tourism businesses; therefore, we will also inquire local residents and search web sites like Craigslist for businesses using natural resources in non-consumptive ways. We will do this to avoid circumscribing our sample to more established businesses or to select factions with closer ties to natural resource agencies and community or

Date: 08/01/10 - 3/31/12
Amount: $6,900.00
Funding Agencies: Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

This research effort will provide visitor feedback to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau regarding levels of satisfaction for vacation visits including, accommodations, food service, entertainment, and quality of the environment. The duration of the study will include a cycle of four seasons.

Date: 09/15/08 - 8/31/09
Amount: $72,191.00
Funding Agencies: NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Devlopment

A tourism barometer provides basic data that assists NCTFSD to forecast and predict the impact of tourism in North Carolina. The barometer, the ?Travel Tracker,? which was begun in 2001 is composed of standard, basic measures that the tourism industry can use as an indicator of changes in tourism over time. Barometer development has involved data collection and coordination with agencies and associations that have data on different sectors of the industry.

Date: 12/01/07 - 6/30/08
Amount: $67,547.00
Funding Agencies: NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Devlopment

A tourism barometer provides basic data that assists NCTFSD to forecast and predict the impact of tourism in North Carolina. The barometer, the "Travel Tracker," which was begun in 2001 is composed of standard, basic measures that the tourism industry can use as an indicator of changes in tourism over time. Barometer development has involved data collection and coordination with agencies and associations that have data on different sectors of the industry. In addition, international visitor estimates will be implemented and estimates of visitation will be attempted quarterly to begin for first quarter 2008 to be reported May 2008.

Date: 01/01/07 - 8/30/07
Amount: $69,988.00
Funding Agencies: NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Devlopment

This project will continue the NC tourism barometer to provide basic data to assist North Carolina Tourism, Film and Sports Development in forecasts and prediction of the impact of tourism in North Carolina. The barometer will be composed of standard basic measures that the tourism industry uses as an indicator of changes in tourism over time. The NC Tourism Tracker Barometer consists of data collection and coordination with agencies and associations that have data on different sectors of the industry.

Date: 06/01/07 - 8/17/07
Amount: $0.00
Funding Agencies: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Gather Work/Life Best Practices. Research methods for assessing work/life needs. Develops assessment tools to gather customer feedback and identify needs/requirements. Conduct research on the effectiveness of current Work/Life programs. Conduct Work/Life program needs assessment for developing new programs. Review and prepare a report on recommended work/life programming. Researach available resources for demonstrations, discussions and/or workshops. Researches ideas for generating interest in Wrok/Life Program participation.

Date: 06/05/06 - 12/31/06
Amount: $10,318.00
Funding Agencies: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Gather data on the demographics of the NIEHS population. Review and prepare a report on the current NIEHS work/life programs. Gather Work/Life Best Practices. Research methods for assessing work/life needs. Research available resources for demonstrations, discussions and/or workshops. Researches promotional items for incentives. Develops assessment tools to gather customer feedback and identify needs/requirements.

Date: 07/01/05 - 6/30/06
Amount: $77,633.00
Funding Agencies: NC Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Devlopment

The North Carolina Department of Commerce Office of Tourism, Film and Sports Development is interested in providing to the tourism industry of the state current, accurate information on how the industry in performing. This information will be provided on a monthly basis to the industry through a tourism barometer, the NC Travel Tracker. The information for this barometer will be collected and reported by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at NC State University. The Travel Tracker will include visitation to attractions, lodging statistics, visitor information traffic, state and national park visitation counts, and airport traffic. The Travel Tracker will be reported and kept up to date as an element of the NC Department of Commerce web site.

Date: 07/01/04 - 6/30/05
Amount: $66,435.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Commerce

The North Carolina Department of Commerce Office of Tourism, Film and Sports Development is interested in providing to the tourism industry of the state current, accurate information on how the industry is performing. This information will be provided on a monthly basis to the industry through a tourism barometer, the NC Travel Tracker. The information for this barometer will be collected and reported by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at NC State University. The Travel Tracker will include visitation to attractions, lodging statistics, visitor information traffic, state and national park visitation counts, and airport traffic. The Travel Tracker will be reported and kept up to date as an element of the NC Department of Commerce web site.


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