National Leadership Recipient

North Carolina State University Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management


The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management (ranked 6th in the country for natural resources according to USA Today) has been a leading contributor to outdoor recreation, parks and protected area education and research for many years.  Undergraduate and graduate students in this department learn to make a difference in people’s lives by creating and providing high quality recreational experience, enhancing community, addressing societal concerns related to physical health, environmental justice and economic sustainability.  In recent years, the department has grown to include land use and ecosystem services, conservation behavior, environmental education, diversity and environmental justice, crowdsourcing data for health research, geospatial analytics and worksite physical activity.


Each of the faculty in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management compete for and are awarded external research grants and contracts approaching $1,000,000 making it possible for the faculty to conduct research related to health and well-being, human dimensions of built and natural environments, and equitable and sustainable tourism.  The faculty, research associates, and graduate students in this department are actively engaged in high impact scholarship leading to science-driven solutions to enhance the social, environmental, and economic well-being of communities.


The departments research findings are critical to and help inform major policy debates related to human health and well-being, especially issues related to physical activity, land use and landscape design, social justice, sustainable tourism practices and rural vitality, and climate change.