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Stacy Supak

Associate Teaching Professor

Jordan Hall 5121



North Carolina State University
  •  Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (2013)
  • Concentration in Geospatial Analytics
University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Masters of Science in Geophysics (2005)
Columbia University, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Civil Engineering (2002)

Current Research Interests

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Protected land management decision support
  • Geology tourism

Current Courses Taught

  • GIS 280: Introduction to GIS
  • GIS 510: Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology
  • GIS 530: Spatial Data Foundations



Date: 02/02/22 - 12/31/23
Amount: $285,388.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

In 2020, the NC State Park system received a record 19.8 million visitors. This increased visitation rate meant the system supported 1.2 million more visitors than in 2019 and 400,000 more than 2017, the previous record year. Although the record-high visitation in 2020 is largely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made outdoor recreation a safer and more appealing alternative compared to indoor activities, historic long-term trends show an increase in visitation to parks and outdoor areas in the state of North Carolina as well as around the country. Therefore, the NC State Parks system can likely expect a continued rise in visitation, which will require additional resources to support such visitation. Identifying and understanding potential funding options that can help support growing demands and prepare the NC State Park system for this eventuality are needed. Equity is another pressing issue for the system. Although there is increasing demand, it is necessary to acknowledge some communities in North Carolina have been historically underserved by the NC State Parks. Identifying barriers and opportunities related to park visitation can help state park managers develop strategies for more equitable park access. To continue to be relevant to future generations, it is essential that the NC State Park system foster inclusion and provide recreation opportunities for all residents of North Carolina. In sum, due to the increase in demand on the NC State Parks system resources as well as the need for more inclusive and equitable park usage for all North Carolina residents, the goal of this study is to identify pricing strategies that will support demand, promote more equitable use of NC State Parks, and contribute to more sustainable park management. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives set forth by the NC State Parks: 1. Review existing funding mechanisms and pricing strategies for other state and national recreational areas to identify a variety of options for valuing services (e.g., amenities, facilities, campground reservations, permitting fees); 2. Discern barriers to communities that have historically been underserved by the NC State Parks system, the role pricing strategies can play in limiting future use of NC State Parks by these communities, and opportunities for the parks system to be more inclusive and equitable to all North Carolina residents; 3. Identify locations and dates of high/low visitation activity to inform dynamic pricing strategies, to help reduce crowding, and to identify less visited parks that may benefit from promotion; and, 4. Establish stakeholder perceptions of pricing strategies and feasibility of application for the NC State Park system.

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