Sarah Nicholls

Sarah Nicholls

Associate Professor

331B Natural Resources Bldg.

(517) 432-0319

Sarah Nicholls is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Departments of Community, Agriculture, Recreation & Resource Studies (CARRS, 75%) and Geography (25%).

She received her B.Sc. (Hons) in Geography from University College London, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Sarah’s interests focus on two main areas:

  • International tourism, planning and development, with a special emphasis on tourism on islands and in small nation states
  • Urban park issues, including the accessibility and equity of urban park distributions, and the impacts of green spaces on surrounding property values.

More specific interests and areas of expertise include:

  • Interactions between tourism and climate change
  • Youth and student travel
  • Agri-tourism
  • Applications of GPS and GIS in parks, recreation, and tourism

Sarah teaches four different classes at present, one graduate and three undergraduate:

  • GEO 259 - Geography of Recreation and Tourism (Fall semesters)
  • GEO 459 - Tourism in Regional Development (Springs of even years)
  • PRR 214 - Introduction to Travel and Tourism (Spring semesters)
  • ACR 875 - Tourism and Global Change 

Current/Recent Research Projects

  • Overcoming Impediments to Smart Growth: Finding Ways for Land Development Professionals to Help Achieve Sustainability. With colleagues from the Dept of CARRS and Planning & Zoning Center, Inc. Funded by the People and Land Funding Program, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Measuring the Impact of Community Design on Health in Michigan. With colleagues from the Depts of CARRS, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Urban and Regional Planning. Funded by MSU Land Policy Program
  • Improving the Utility of Regional Climate Change Information from a Stakeholder Perspective. With colleagues from the Depts of CARRS, Geography and Ag Econ. Funded by EPA
  • The Impacts of Climate Change on Ecotourism in Tobago: Stakeholder Perspectives. With colleagues from the Universities of East Anglia, and Oxford, UK
  • Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? An Exploratory Analysis of the Canadian Snowbird Phenomenon. Funded by the Foreign Affairs Canada Canadian Studies Grant Program
  • Sustainable Agri-Tourism Enterprises in Western Michigan: An Inventory and Analysis of Motivations and Challenges. With colleagues from the Dept of CARRS
  • Assessments of the accessibility and equity of parks in Lansing and Grand Rapids

Professional Memberships

  • Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers
  • Association of American Geographers
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • Society of Park and Recreation Educators
  • National Association of Recreation and Resource Planners
  • International Society of Biometeorology, Commission on Climate, Tourism and Recreation
  • Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

Sarah Nicholls’ Curriculum Vitae

Color Figures for the Journal of Travel Research - Implications of Global Climate Change for Tourism Flows and Seasonality

Color Figures for Tourism Analysis - Climate Change and Tourism in North-Western Europe: Impacts and Adaptation.