Mark J. Okrant is professor of tourism management, and director of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, at Plymouth State University. He has coordinated tourism research for the State of New Hampshire since 1990, conducted tourism assessments in Aleut and Yupik communities in Alaska, and has presented tourism marketing and planning workshops in Alaska, Canada, Romania, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Okrant was one of a handful of Americans nominated to the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, is past president of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), and past president of the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL). He is the author of six books: Judson’s Island; two retrospectives on America’s motel industry, Sleeping Alongside the Road and No Vacancy: The Rise, Demise, and Reprise of America’s Motels; and his Kary Turnell Mystery series, set at historic resort properties (A Last Resort, I Knew You When, and An Icy Reception). Okrant was the 1998 recipient of the Association of American Geographers’ John Rooney Award for excellence in applied tourism research and the 2009 recipient of the NESTVAL Award for Lifetime Contribution to Geography.
Daniel S.C. Lee graduated from the Claremont Graduate University with a Ph.D. in economics in 2007. Lee has since taught both undergraduate and graduate level economics courses at Plymouth State University. Lee is the tourism economist for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development. Lee developed and manages the North Country Economic Index, a periodic economic report for the state of New Hampshire and Coos County, New Hampshire. He is also a faculty fellow at the Center for Rural Partnerships, and has engaged in research projects serving the local communities. He is a project economist at the Institute for New Hampshire studies, and conducts economic impact studies for the tourism industry.
Ben Amsden is a Research Assistant Professor of Social Science and Tourism Management. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Center for Rural Partnerships, which includes promoting faculty and student engagement with community organizations, identifying and developing external funding for on-and-off campus partners, coordinating with administrative offices and academic departments, conducting externally funded research, advising graduate students, and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, and Penn State University, Ben’s research interests include the impacts of tourism development on rural communities; farm based recreation and tourism; the local food movement; the socio-ecological factors of place attachment; and natural-resource based volunteer stewardship programs.