Noel Healy

Noel Healy

Professional Details

Title: Assistant Professor
Office: MH-326B
Phone: 978-542-2542

Fall & Winter Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
3329 02 GPH105 Introduction to Geography
3330 03 GPH105 Introduction to Geography
3347 01 GPH261 Survey of Travel and Tourism
3359 01 GPH464 Tourism Planning and Development
3723 02 GPH400 Directed Study in Geography
3973 02 GPH302 Geographic Research

Professional Biography

Noel Healy is Assistant Professor in Geography at Salem State University, Massachusetts. Having completed his B.A (Hons) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Noel undertook a study period at the UC, Berkeley. He obtained his PhD from NUIG in 2009. His dissertation - Interpretation, Governance and Conflict: A Critique of Protected Area Planning in Ireland - was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and involved a multi-layered analysis of Irish tourism development and its protected area planning and governance systems. From 2010-2011 Noel lectured in the Department of Geography at NUIG whilst also conducting consultancy work for Irish NGO's. Between 2005 and 2014 Noel secured $135,500 in research funding, published peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and presented his research extensively across Europe, North and South America, China and the Carribbean. Professor Healy's two most recent funded projects include, "Local Governance Conflicts at World Heritage Sites in China – Exploring New Territory” and "Climate Change Adaptation of the North Shore - Developing a citizen scientist guide to planning". 


2012 Research:

2013 Chinese Fellowship:

2013 Chinese research report:

2014 Collobration with Uni of West Indies,CH:

Professional Interests

  • Participatory processes and planning in environmental resource management; community based natural resources management; protected area governance
  • Climate change; climate change adaptation; climate change and tourism
  • Sustainable tourism development; cultural heritage management; political ecology of tourism
  • UNESCO World Heritage; visitor experience; interpretation


  • Reviewer of Journals: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning; Current Issues in Tourism; Journal of Heritge Tourism; Irish Geography; Fennia - International Journal of Geography
  • Member of the Centre for Economic Developement and Sustainability (CEDS) Salem State
  • Faculty-in-Residence Atlantic Hall Salem State University

Selected Publications


Healy, N. & Carvaro, S (accepted, 2014) The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)in Jafar, J and Xiao, H (eds.) Encyclopedia of Tourism, Frankfurt, Springer.

Healy, N. & Van Riper, C. J. & Boyd S.W (Under review) 'The visitor centre doth interpret too much, me thinks" - Towards a new approach to interpretive tourism planning. Submitted to Tourism Management.

Healy, N. & Jamal, T (In preperation) Enclave Tourism, in (eds.) The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Travel and Tourism. SAGE. 

Healy, N. & Zhu, X & Morrisson, A.M (In preperation) 'Comparing Chinese and Western persectives of sustainable tourism development' - An exploratory study of Huangshan National Park. To be submitted to Tourism Management. 

Healy, N. & Jamal, T (In preparation) 'The transformation of natural area destinations - developing a new model of tourist space'. To be submitted to the Annals of Tourism Research.

Healy, N., Rau, H & McDonagh, J. (2012) ' Collaborative tourism planning in Ireland: Tokenistic consultation and the politics of participation'. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 14(4), 450-471. (DOI)

Healy, N. (2012) 'Protected area governance conflicts in Ireland - mending poor relations and new modes of governance', in Fredman, P., Stenseke, M., Liljendahl, H., Mossing, A., and Laven, D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas, Stockholm, Sweden, August 21-24, 2012 (DOI)

Healy, N. (2010) 'Mediating the visitor experience: Exploring the transformation of Irish nature-based tourism', in Goosen, M., Elands, B. and van Marwijk, R. (eds.) Recreation, tourism and nature in a changing world. Proceedings of the 5th MMV, 30 May - 3 June, 2010, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Healy, N. & McDonagh, J. (2009) 'Commodification and conflict: What can the Irish approach to protected area management tell us?', Society and Natural Resources, 22(4), 381-391. ( DOI )

Van Riper, C. J. & Healy, N. (2008) 'Perceptions of the 2007 International Symposium on Society and Resource Management Student Forum', Society and Natural Resources, 21(8), 740-747. ( DOI )


McDonagh, J. & Healy , N. (2009). 'Landscapes Lost or Gained? Reflections on recent change in Ireland's physical landscape', in Fenwick, J. (ed.) Rediscovering Ireland's Past (Vol. II).


2005-2008: EPA/ ERTDI Doctoral Scholarship
2005: NUIG Scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley
2005: 4.0 (Grade Point Average) University of California, Berkeley
2005/2007: NUIG Arts Faculty travel bursary
2007: IASNR student scholarship for the 13th ISSRM, Utah State University
2008: NUIG Arts Faculty Travel Bursary
2009: College of Arts Social Science and Celtic Studies write-up bursary
2010: EPA Researcher Travel Support Grant
2012: Salem State University Faculty Summer Research Grant
2013: Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship (UNESCO World Heritage Research Grant to China)                                                                                     2013: The Sounds Conservancy Grant Program                                                      2014: Salem State University Seed Research Grant


Healy, N. (2013) 'Reflections on Black History Month - Still More Work to Do?' The Salem State Log, Feb 12th, pg 8. (

Selected Presentations


2014, Exploring the production and consumption of tourism space in China and Ireland: Some lessons for the Carribbean?. Invited talk to the Department of Management Studies, University of West Indies, Cave Hill, 11th March, 2014. 

2013, "Rethinking the approach to protected area planning and governance: Why China can learn from Ireland’s tourism failures and successes". Invited talk at College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, China, 6th September, 2013.

2013, "Renegotiating UNESCO World Heritage and protected areas: A comparative analysis of China, Europe and the USA" Invited talk for the Department of Tourism, Shanghai Normal University, 28th August 2013.

2013, 'I'm not a businessman, I'm a' - From subculture to global phonemena - the internationalization of rap and hip-hop". Invited talk at the 6th Annual Hip-Hip Summit, Salem State University, 26th April, 2013.

2012,'From Mullaghmore to ‘Shell to Sea'Power and politics within Ireland's natural resource planning'. Invited talk California State University, Long Beach 11th April, 2012.

2010, From Governement to Governance within Irish nature-based tourism planning - Real change or business as usual?' Invited talk to the Burrenbeo Trust,, KinvarraCoGalwayIreland.


2014, 'The loveliest mountain in China': An exploratory study of Chinese and Western visitor experiences at Mount Huangshan UNESCO World Heritage Site', conference paper, 2014 AAG, Tampa, FL.

2013, 'Engineering enclavic tourist spaces: exploring the production and consumption of tourist space in Ireland and China' , conference paper, 2013 NESTVAL conference, Clarke University, Massachusetts (Oct 18-19th).

2012, 'Protected area governance conflicts in Ireland - mending poor relations and new modes of governance', conference paper, 6th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas Outdoor Recreation in Change - Current Knowledge and Future Challenges Stockholm, Sweden, (August 21-24).

2012, 'Engineering enclavic tourism space: Investigating the transformation of Irish nature-based tourism', conference paper, 2012 Annual Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, NYC (Feb 23rd-28th).

2012, 'Enclavic Tourist Space: Exclusive Spaces or Spaces of Exclusion' Expert panel paper, 2012 Annual Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, NYC (Feb 23rd-28th).

2011, 'A nod and a wink - The politics of participation in Irish tourism planning', conference paper, 2011 NESTVAL conference, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada (Oct 14-16th).

2010, 'Mediating the visitor experience - Exploring the transformation of Irish nature-based tourism, conference paper, fifth international conference on Monitoring and Management of visitor Flows in recreational and protected areas, Wageningen, the Netherlands,(may 30-June 3).

2010, 'Collaborative tourism planning in Ireland: Science, experts and the politics of participation, conference paper, Conference of Irish Geographers 2010, NUI Maynooth (30th April - 2nd May).


2013, 'Crowds and Climate' Mobilizing Crowds to Develop Ideas and Take Action on Climate Change, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA (Nov 6-8). 

2013, The Great Marsh Symposium: The Value of Natural Systems in Protecting Great Marsh Communities, Crane Estate, The Great Marsh Coalition (Nov 14). 


2008, Van Riper, C.J., Healy, Noel. "Perceptions of the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management Student Forum", Conference Paper, Presented at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. Burlington, VT
2007, 'Commodification and conflict: What can the Irish approach to the management of protected areas tell us?', conference paper, European Tourism and the Environment Conference: Promotion and protection, achieving the balance, The Europa Academy, Dublin (11th-12th October)
2007, "The commodification of the landscape: Using qualitative insights to explore visitor experiences in Ireland's National Parks and Protected areas", conference paper, 13th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Utah State University in Park City, Utah (17th-21st June)
2006, 'Parks, Protected Areas and the Irish Visitor Centre Conundrum: Analysis of Visitor Management Strategies from the West of Ireland', Conference paper, 12th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada (June 4th -7th).

Personal Interests

Travelling, culture and meeting new people. The outdoors and nature. Love sports: Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer, Rugby, Golf, Basketball.

Gaelic Football:

Gaelic Hurling: