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Myron Floyd

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About Dr. Myron F. Floyd

Dr. Myron F. Floyd currently serves as Dean of the College of Natural Resources at NC State University. He first joined the college in 2005 as a professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. In 2010, he was appointed to serve as director of graduate programs for the department, and in 2014, he became department head.

An elected Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences and the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, Floyd is widely recognized as a leading scholar focused on understanding race and ethnic patterns in outdoor recreation behavior. His most recent research examines how public parks and greenspaces and other features of the built environment contribute to physical activity in low-income communities of color.

He is co-author of Race, Ethnicity, and Leisure: Perspectives on Research, Theory and Practice from Human Kinetics, as well as, 95 peer-reviewed journal articles, 22 peer reviewed monographs and proceedings papers, 18 book chapters and more than 100 presentation papers and abstracts. In 2008, he was awarded the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award, the highest award for research excellence from the National Recreation and Park Association.

During his tenure as head of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Floyd grew the department’s teaching, research and extension capacity by adding faculty expertise in new areas including land use and ecosystem services, conservation behavior, environmental education, diversity and environmental justice, crowdsourcing data for health research, geospatial analytics, and worksite physical activity.

Before taking on the role of department head, his research program focused almost exclusively on understanding the capacity of neighborhood parks and green space to promote physical activity and reduce health disparities. He has served as PI or co-investigator on numerous large multidisciplinary research teams funded by governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the USDA Forest Service, USDI Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, USDOD Army Corps of Engineers, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Floyd has served in several national and state leadership roles. In February 2014, Floyd served a three-year appointment on the Forestry Research Advisory Council (FRAC) by then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. With a council of 11 distinguished members, he advised the secretary on issues concerning forestry and natural resources. Most recently, he served on the NC Institute of Medicine’s Healthy NC 2030 Taskforce and co-chaired the Physical Environment Work Group.

Prior to coming to NC State, Floyd served on the faculty at Clemson University, Texas A&M University (College Station), and the University of Florida.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Park Administration, a Master of Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University, and a PhD in Recreation and Resources Development with a specialization in natural resource sociology from Texas A&M University.


  • Ph.D. Recreation and Resources Development, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • M.S. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
  • M.S. Recreation and Park Administration, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Research Interests

  • Physical activity and the built environment
  • Health disparities
  • Race/ethnicity and leisure activity preferences
  • Environmental justice
  • Health benefits of urban green space

Awards and Honors

  • Elected Member, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, 2019
  • Leadership for a Diverse Campus Workshop Series, NC State University Office of the Provost, 2014
  • Outstanding Alumni, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, 2014
  • University of South Australia Distinguished Professor Scholarship, 2010
  • Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award, National Recreation and Park Association, 2008
  • Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, NC State University, 2007
  • Ben H. Box Award for Excellence, Clemson University, 2006
  • Fellow, The Academy of Leisure Sciences, Elected 2005
  • Allen V. Sapora Research Award, University of Illinois, 2004
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture, 1989


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Date: 08/15/19 - 12/31/20
Amount: $48,600.00
Funding Agencies: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Drs. Hipp and Floyd, graduate students Alberico and Huang, and their community partners will contribute to the following dissemination activities of PARC3 and PARC. 1. Presentations to different audiences – 6 min a. New/Non-traditional dissemination (e.g., webinar through Recreation Resources Services) b. Journal articles (min 2) c. Conferences / traditional outlets (e.g., National Recreation and Parks Association and The Academy of Leisure Sciences) • Where appropriate, provide support to partner organizations to share study findings • Participate in monthly research team meeting calls • Participate in one PARC in-person meeting (ALC 2020 in Orlando) • Participate in the development of PARC video • Contribute to pursuing funding opportunities

Date: 02/01/18 - 12/30/20
Amount: $119,979.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Sea Grant Program

Rivers connect the social, economic, and ecological processes of inland communities to the coast. These connections became overwhelmingly apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought extreme rainfall (up to 350 mm in 24 h) to parts of eastern North Carolina, resulting in flooding across Robeson County. Robeson County represents a region characterized by high rates of poverty and large disparities in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. We hypothesize that flood-related damages exposed Robeson residents (and downstream coastal communities) to new hazards and illuminated a need to examine hazards in light of larger relationships between resilience and vulnerability. To test this hypothesis, we propose to use an innovative methodological approach that combines interviews, participatory mapping, and public videos into a comprehensive community voice framework (CVM). Specific objectives include (a) analyzing the legitimacy of spatially explicit resilience-vulnerability models against community-generated definitions shared in interviews and (b) evaluating whether state and federal interventions following disaster present opportunities to disrupt pernicious patterns of disparity. Maps and video products created as a result of this work will inform scholarly efforts to reconcile theories of resilience and vulnerability. Results will be provided to residents and local decision-makers including Lumbee tribal leaders, recovery professionals, city planners, and community-based organizations. To extend the impact of our work beyond the life of the grant and limits of Robeson County, we will develop and pilot a protocol to empower a small museum/library/cultural center to document recovery experiences.

Date: 08/26/16 - 6/01/20
Amount: $23,225.00
Funding Agencies: US Forest Service

Mounting evidence suggests that exposure to natural environments has promising human health benefits. Although research is accumulating, additional investigations involving different measures of green space and multiple health outcomes are needed. As public health, medical, and land management organizations increasingly promote contact with nature for health benefits, and prescribe nature for health, there is urgent need for more scientific evidence to guide policy and practice. This proposal requests support to conduct secondary analyses on three data sets focused on green space characteristics and population health.

Date: 05/15/17 - 5/14/20
Amount: $41,684.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Rangelands in semi-arid and arid regions represent managed agroecosystems that provide wildlife habitat and multiple ecosystem services. However, these benefits are at risk from environmental change. In particular, shrub encroachment into grasslands is an important issue in many drylands worldwide. The overall goal of our project is to integrate ecological and social science approaches to understand how restoration efforts using shrub removal in the Chihuahuan Desert are affecting biodiversity and other ecosystem services across spatial and temporal scales. Such knowledge is needed to inform adaptive management by agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management that are attempting to produce resilient and sustainable landscapes. Managers need to know not only how much land to treat (including what would be too much), but also where treatments should be placed. Our overall hypothesis is that emergent properties at the landscape level will strongly determine the nature of and congruency of ecosystem services. This proposal will examine whether restoration efforts that remove shrubs are able to restore and retain ecosystem services over multiple spatial and temporal scales in the Chihuahuan Desert. Our research project has a set of interrelated specific objectives designed to meet our overall goal: (1) Determine how restoration efforts are affecting multiple aspects of animal diversity including songbirds, lizards, a keystone rodent, and scaled quail, a declining game bird. (2) Evaluate how these wildlife responses depend on landscape mosaic effects and time since treatment. (3) Determine responses of plant diversity to shrub removal. (4) Quantify how primary production and carrying capacity for livestock are affected by restoration treatments. (5) Determine whether reintroduction of a keystone species changes the pace of restoration trajectories and affects ecosystem services including primary production and livestock productivity. (6) Assess stakeholder interpretations of management success, and contrast perceptions among groups regarding ecosystem services being delivered from restored landscapes. (7) Integrate biodiversity, supporting services, provisioning services, and cultural ecosystem services into the assessment of socioecological systems. (8) Transfer knowledge gained about complementarities and trade-offs among biodiversity and other ecosystem services to land management agencies so future treatments can be advantageously placed to maximize benefits from rangelands.

Date: 08/15/16 - 8/14/19
Amount: $435,372.00
Funding Agencies: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In many regions of the country, policy and environmental changes have led to increased physical activity and lower obesity among children. Unfortunately, racial and ethnic and income disparities in childhood overweight and obesity remain and in some instances have widened. To reduce disparities, close examination of how policies and practices related to the built environment can intervene against childhood obesity for highest risk populations is needed. Therefore, we propose to examine patterns of park use among children from different racial and ethnic groups. Parks are widely available and affordable community resources that can increase routine physical activity among children during non-school hours (or out of school time). Although several studies show that parks and related environmental factors tend to increase the likelihood that children will be physically active, few studies include comparisons by race/ethnicity within low income communities.

Date: 09/30/16 - 12/29/18
Amount: $1,547,354.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

Increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. remains a significant public health concern. Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and a range of other chronic diseases. Research shows that minority and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by obesity compared to the general population. This project, “A Multi-Level Approach to Prevent Obesity: Extension and Engagement in Four North Carolina Counties”, identifies several strategies to prevent obesity in four counties in North Carolina: Lee, Edgecombe, Halifax, and Northampton. By partnering with local Extension offices, health departments, parks and recreation departments, schools, and faith communities, we aim to: 1) increase opportunities for individual education around healthy eating and physical activity, drawing on research-based Extension programming such as EFNEP, SNAP-Education and Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More; 2) increase partnerships and supporting coalitions that are focused on increasing access to healthy foods and places to be active; 3) increase the number of organizations (faith communities and schools) and food retail establishments (corner stores and farmers’ markets) that implement healthy food standards or increase access to fresh and local foods; and 4) increase the availability of places to be active through Active Routes to School programs, shared use practices in community organizations, and standards that encourage physical activity in Afterschool setting. Through a comprehensive approach, based on the socio-ecological model, we aim to better understand the role Extension can play in preventing obesity, particularly in low-income and minority communities in North Carolina.

Date: 09/20/16 - 8/31/18
Amount: $154,892.00
Funding Agencies: US National Park Service

The scope of work under this agreement will consist of a collaborative effort to create a comprehensive evidence-based framework to guide marketing and promotion, planning for interpretive services, stewardship and partnership development, and philanthropy to engage African Americans partner organizations in support of national park units with African American themes. To assist the NPS in developing strategies for connecting to African American audiences, this task agreement will focus on four major collaborative functions: 1) social science research to investigate perceptions and meanings of national park sites and themes among selected African American partner organizations and visitor groups; 2) development and technical support of marketing and branding activities to African American partner organizations, visitor groups, and other relevant stakeholders; and 3) development of education and training curricula and programs to build capacity among African American partner organizations to collaborate with the NPS in stewardship and philanthropy in support of national park units with African American themes; and 4) evaluation of marketing, branding, and training activities.

Date: 11/01/16 - 9/29/17
Amount: $84,203.00
Funding Agencies: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Inefficiencies in the U.S. health care system create barriers to providing the highest quality of prevention and treatment services, particularly for vulnerable communities. What the U.S. spends for health care relative to improvements in population health highlights symptoms of a failing system. Physical activity (PA) has been identified as one of four key modifiable risk behaviors contributing to chronic diseases. Despite evidence that increased PA reduces preventable chronic diseases, health care professionals including primary care doctors may lack knowledge to effectively counsel patients on activity and program options for PA. Community parks and recreation services can play a much larger role in providing both prevention and treatment, offering an alternative and a more cost effective and efficient preventive medical approach. Park Rx programs seek to strengthen the connection between the healthcare system and parks and recreation services. In such programs, physicians and other healthcare providers prescribe to patients’ use of parks and recreation services for prevention and treatment for a range of chronic diseases. This project is a collaborative effort between NC State, two to four Federally Qualified Health Centers, and the NC Division of Public Health (NCDPH), Chronic Disease and Injury Section. We will also engage two key partners: North Carolina Parks and Recreation Association (NCRPA) and Recreation Resources Service (RRS), a state-level technical assistance program that supports public parks and recreation department in all 100 NC counties. These two organizations could potentially coordinate partnerships between parks and recreation departments in the project counties and the volunteer focus group participants. This project will develop an app that would allow FQHC staff and their patients to identify opportunities for physical activity programs and facilities in the patient's community that matches their interest, physical abilities/disabilities, and leisure skills.

Date: 08/15/15 - 6/01/17
Amount: $87,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Interior (DOI)

This research is a collaborative effort between NC State and the NPS that will develop an inventory of historical and current RDI programs, initiatives, services, and activities designed to help NPS realize its vision and achieve its goals in the following areas: Relevancy, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Specifically, the inventory will describe and examine strategies, population(s) targeted, staff, funding, and other resources, external partnerships, and outcomes including whether the activity is site specific or whether it can be replicated. The goal is to design it so that it can be transferred into an online interactive format.

Date: 02/01/16 - 7/31/16
Amount: $5,000.00
Funding Agencies: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The purpose of this award is to collaborate with researchers from the University of California at San Diego, Johns Hopkins University, and Georgia Tech to plan a Physical Activity Research Center. The Center will conduct studies for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify and inform built environment policies and practices that are most important for increasing physical activity among children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

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