TRC Role: Ph.D. in Natural Resources (2016)
Current Role: Assistant Professor, School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University/Hainan University-Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College, Hainan University

What have you been doing since leaving the TRC?

After I received my Ph.D. from the University of Vermont in October 2016, I migrated to South Carolina and began my postdoc research in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. My postdoc research focused on the social dimension of climate change, and sought to examine visitors’ perceptions of climate change and coping behaviors. Starting on December 2017, I moved to North Carolina, and worked as postdoc associate in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. I participated in the research project entitled “Assessing the transferability of a historic resources decision support model for optimized budget allocation and adaptation planning.” Our research team sought to build an optimization model to help National Park Service evaluate the decisions, trade-offs, and consequences of different climate adaptation planning budget scenarios.

Recently, I joined in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University as an assistant professor for the international partnership program: Hainan University - Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College. My current research focuses on transportation management in parks and protected areas, and climate change adaptation of cultural resources in parks and recreation areas, and sustainable tourism planning.

How did the TRC prepare you for these positions, and life in general?

The TRC’s lectures and events gave me insight on sustainable transportation management in parks and recreation areas. I took many TRC courses such as Critical Issues in Transportation, Travel, Safety & Human Factors, and Land Use Policy & Economics, which offered me comprehensive knowledge of transportation system and management. I was also very fortunate to be supported as a TRC graduate scholar during my Ph.D., which helped me build my dissertation research, entitled “The Role of Transportation in Expanding the Democratic Ideal of National Parks.” The assistantship provided by TRC helped me disseminate my research findings, including top-tier peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations. Moreover, the faculty and staff in TRC, especially Dr. Lisa Aultman-Hall and Glenn McRae, provided me with professional suggestions and support for my academic career path.

What would you recommend to current researchers at the TRC?

I’d strongly recommend using interdisciplinary knowledge and thinking to conduct research. For example, as a park researcher, I always keep searching for methods from other disciplines, including transportation and geography. I also like digging into unfamiliar methods such as programming and optimization modeling, which expands my research areas and improves my research capacity. Finally, I strongly encourage attending conferences to build networks, which will has kept me up to date on the newest research and facilitates partnerships with different researchers.