Volume 15 Issue 2-3 2018 Emerging Scholar Profile 2

Dr Jinwon Kim
Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sports Management,
Universiy of Florida


Dr. Jinwon Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreationand Sport Management at the University of Florida. Jinwon’s areas of specialization arerelated directly to community development. The overall goal of his research is to identify the role of recreation, park and tourism in the creation of active, vibrant, healthy, sustainable and resilient communities. More specifically, his research purpose is to provide various local stakeholders with information and tools that enable them to actively participate in their decision-making processes for successful community recreation planning, policy and management.

Successful community recreation planning and management requires an understanding of spatial patterns and processes in the distributions of resources and users.Thus, Jinwon’s research efforts focus mostly on exploring and quantifying spatial patterns inthe distributions of recreation and tourism-related phenomena and the agents responsible for these patterns. He asks what factors account for these patterns, how do these patterns and processes change over time, and how can we apply this knowledge to create active, vibrant, healthy, sustainable and resilient communities.

Various community issues are relevant to recreation, parks and tourism, and these are typically multidimensional and exist on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Dealing with such complex, multivariate, and multi-scaled problems increasingly involves the development and use of computer models, geographic information system (GIS), and multivariate spatial or non-spatial statistical techniques, as well as working collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary environment.

The focus of Jinwon’s research is community recreation planning in the context ofenvironmental justice, which refers to the fair treatment of all people regardless of their racial/ethnic or socioeconomic factors with respect to environmental benefits and costs. Assessing the degree of environmental justice in the distribution of access to recreation settings is an essential prerequisite for effective community recreation planning and, ultimately, for the attainment of more attractive, desirable and sustainable communities. Environmental justice issues, including the accessibility and equity of recreation settings suchas beaches, parks and urban open spaces, have become priorities on Jinwon’s research agenda.He has been privileged to collaborate on a research team that is measuring beach accessibility and equity. His dissertation title is “Measuring the Equity of Recreation Opportunity: ASpatial Statistical Approach”. Using rigorous spatial statistical techniques such asgeographically weighted regression (GWR), Jinwon’s dissertation research demonstrated theutility of GWR in an equity analysis of beach access in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. The GWR models exhibited substantial improvements in model performance over the traditional linear ordinary least squares regression models.

Jinwon’s work can provide public leisure agencies a powerful methodologicaltechnique with which to better understand local patterns of recreation equity research. In addition, map-based outcomes of beach accessibility and equity analyses may encourage a more participatory decision-making process, and ultimately more successful community recreation planning and development by increasing access and interaction with information.Information regarding spatial patterns of access to beaches, residents’ demographic andsocioeconomic characteristics, and knowledge of the local variations in relationships among variables could contribute to a spatial decision support system through the integration of a web-based public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) for more open, effective, and efficient community-based recreation planning and development.

Jinwon’s application of GWR enabled the broadening of the scope of the researchquestion. Traditionally, the fundamental goal of equity-related research in the urban service delivery literature has been limited to identifying “who gets what” in the context of environmental or territorial justice. His recreation equity studies, however, widened the focus to “who gets, what, where, and to what extent/how significantly,” thus allowing the identification of neighborhoods with inequitable access to beaches specific to particular demographic and socioeconomic variables. Such results can guide the state and local leisure agencies whose missions include concern for the provision of equitable access, by identifying the people and places most in need of increased public service delivery. This information can also assist local advocacy groups, community organizations, and minority populations in their attempts to provide or gain equitable access to recreation settings.

Based on his dissertation work, Jinwon’s research is also focused on water-based tourism and recreation with particular emphasis on coastal management and beach availability using geospatial technologies such as GIS, Remote Sensing (RS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). He has developed an innovative model of beach access and equity measurements that explores important local variations in the relationships among variables. Jinwon has also conducted work in the field of environmental justice, coastal management, and park and protected area planning and management. His academic papers have been published in top-tier tourism (Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management), leisure (Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Sciences), business (Journal of Business Research), marketing (Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Journal of Destination Marketing & Management), environmental planning (Journal of Environmental Planning & Management), and community development (City & Community, Sustainability) journals. Jinwon has received prestigious awards for innovative research (e.g., Best Paper Awards from 2017 Asia Pacific Tourism Association [APTA] Conference, 2017 Korea America Hospitality and Tourism Educators Association [KAHTEA] Conference, and 2010 Tourism Sciences Society of Korea (TOSOK) Conference). He has also done several consulting projects for state and national organizations (e.g., Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Korea National Park Service).

As a tourism/recreation geographer, Jinwon is especially interested in applying geospatial concepts and analytical methodologies (e.g., big data spatial analytics, agent-based modeling, spatial data analysis, spatial econometric models and methods, and geospatial technologies) to problems that recreation or tourism managers face in their everyday decision making. In his next phase of research, Jinwon plans to understand the impacts of a recreation built environment on community health, quality of life and community resilience.

Jinwon received his undergraduate and masters’ degree majoring in Geography and Tourism from Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea. He was awarded his PhD in Sustainable Tourism and Protected Area Management from Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.

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