Chapter 2 | Surf Resource System Boundaries

Chapter 2 | Surf Resource System Boundaries

Asst Professor Dr Steven A Martin

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies in Sociology and Anthropology

2017 UNIVERSITY NEWS | Dr Steven A Martin publishes new book chapter on the Environmental Management of suring sites

Faculty of International Studies Press Release

Chapter 2 | Surf Resource System Boundaries

Martin, S. A., & O'Brien, D. (2017). Part 2: A systems approach – Chapter 2. Surf resource system boundaries. In G. Borne and J. Ponting (Eds.), Sustainable surfing.(pp.23–38). Routledge.

Introduction

A ‘system boundary’ is a theoretical concept in environmental science representing the intersecting and interrelated human and physical elements in the natural world at a given site. This chapter develops a system boundary discussion on surf sites, recognizing ‘surf system boundaries’ as more than the beach and sea; they encompass numerous stakeholder interests and factors related to the scope of the ‘whole’ surf system as a sustainable and dynamic model. The following discussion serves to review and broaden the knowledge of surf system boundaries and provide clarity in two sets of dimensions: the physical boundaries of surf sites and the resource stakeholders.

Keywords: surf tourism; surf resource; system boundaries; environmental management

Surf Resource System Boundaries | Environmental Management and Surf Tourism Research | Andaman Coast, Phuket

Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group (PSSRG)

In 2013, Steven was invited by the Gold Coast City Council, Australia, to present a new research methodology – the Surf Resource Sustainability Index (SRSI). Speaking at the Global Surf Cities Conference at the Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, Gold Coast, Queensland, Steven brought to light the topic of coastal resource sustainability in Phuket, Thailand.

Based on Steven’s presentation, Dr Gregory Borne, Director of the Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group (PSSRG), offered Steven to participate in a new book titled Sustainable Surfing.

After four years of communication and collaboration, the university’s book is published and available to English readers.

Sustainable Surfing | Chapter 2 – Surf Resource System Boundaries | Click image for more details...

About the research

Steven’s research explores the concept of a ‘surf resource system boundary’. His work develops a theoretical concept in environmental science, representing the intersecting and interrelated human and physical elements in the natural world at a given surf site. In the study, Co-authored with Assoc. Prof. Danny O’Brien at Bond University, Australia, Steven explores numerous stakeholder interests and factors related to the ‘whole’ surf system as a sustainable and dynamic model. The research addresses a knowledge gap in this area, broadening the understanding of surf system boundaries and providing clarity in two sets of dimensions: the physical boundaries of surf sites and the key resource stakeholders.

Visit Steven's Surf Tourism Research page for more information.

Andaman Coast Phuket Thailand | Surf Resource System Boundaries

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Catch the Environmental Studies wave with Dr. Steven Martin | Click to visit the Surf Tourism Research Page

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Course Description

Concepts, objectives, and development of environmental studies; systems approach to environment; interaction between life and surroundings; patterns of environmental problems in both physical and biological aspects involved in society and economics; guidelines for designing environmental education processes, including theories and philosophy of environmental management that mitigate or solve environmental problems leading to the sustainable development.


 

STUDENT POSTER PROJECTS – ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCHERS

  1. Choose an environmental researcher with deep experience and present his or her personal and education background leading to their research. Emphasize his or her area of expertise, including fieldwork. Identify the significance of the research in the field of Environmental Studies.
  2. Develop an academic poster using PowerPoint or other software with the ability to incorporate text boxes, maps, tables and images.

Student Research Poster | Environmental Studies

2017 Best Posters

The 12 posters listed below were shortlisted out of 40 submitted. Click to open or download PDF (6 to 8 MB each).


ENVIRONMENTAL VIDEOS AND TRAILERS

Environmental films and videos are a valuable learning resource for students of environmental studies.

Through edX, Netflix, Ted Talks, YouTube, and public television, we learn about individuals who inspire positive change.

The videos listed on our new Environmental Video Page were selected by students in 805-282 Environmental Studies.

Please visit our page to learn more.

Jeremy Jackson | How we wrecked the ocean


FEATURED TOPIC – "FOOD ENVIRONMENT"

Welcome to "Food Environment", an emerging paradigm in Environmental Studies – A new way to think about food.

Food Environment is a concept which expresses a wide-range of topics and system boundaries related food production, distribution and consumption. Students learn from the personal perspective – That is, how human relationships with the environment are most intimate in our choice of what we put into our bodies.

Class projects and presentations develop an understanding of personal and social food environments as we explore how the environment flows into us in the food we choose to eat. The topic expands through class discussion to include contemporary dimensions, such as sustainable, toxic, local, or regional food environments, including private and public food networks and food deserts.

Food Environment | Central Ohio, USA

Intended learning outcomes include students gaining the ability to talk about personal and public health, diet and nutrition, and how personal choices and responsibility impact sustainability and the environment.


ENVIRONMENTAL WORKS OF LEONARDO DICAPRIO

In 2014, Hollywood super star, Leonardo DiCaprio, was appointed as a United Nations representative on climate change. Dedicated to shedding light on global environmental issues, his works include The11th Hour and Before the Flood.

As our class works together to uncover global environmental issues, we learn about the individual scholars featured in these and other films produced by DiCaprio. Representing social, economic, political and scientific interests and communities, experts lead us through stories and examples from around the world, sharing personal insights, history, scientific data and innovative solutions.

Students in 805-283 Environmental Studies are asked to select one of the scholars featured in any of these movies for an in-depth report and presentation on their life, education, and the events leading to the position they defend in the film. Scholars' current projects, research, challenges, and advancements in the field are discussed.

The project is designed so that student projects can bring to light, in their own words, the interdisciplinary context of Environmental Studies in social, physical, and applied sciences.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the United Nations Climate Change Summit with Ban Ki-moon

DiCaprio's UN Speech

Before the Flood

The 11th Hour Movie Trailer

Before the Flood – Full Movie | National Geographic – Archive.org

Before the Flood – Official Website


NATIONAL PARKS OF THAILAND

Taking into consideration that 805-283 Environmental Studies is taught in Phuket, Thailand, course content includes contemporary local and regional issues concerning national and trans-boundary park systems and management.

Students are encouraged to gain personal experience and conduct field research at terrestrial and marine national parks. Nearly any topic is worth sharing with our class, including history, current events, successes, failures, and challenges in park management.

Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park, Thailand | Click to visit my Karst Topography Research PDF

Khao Yai Thailand's first national park

As the first national park founded in Thailand, the significance of Khao Yai has matured and expanded to include five important protected areas in the region. Combined, these natural areas form the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.

Deer | Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Monkey | Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Landscape | Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Haew Narok Waterfall | Khao Yai National Park, Thailand


SURFING AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The sport of surfing is fundamentally dependent on limited coastal resources which are more than physical and tangible settings—they encompass the people who interact with the coastal environment and each other.

From the perspective of sustainability and conservation, coastal resources are normally discussed in the scheme of Coastal Resource Management (CRM).

CRM is an increasingly in-style field of study which integrates our understanding of natural and human elements, much like the discipline of geography includes physical and human geography (Martin, 2010).

La'a Loa, Hawaii – Surf Resource System Boundaries | Click to learn more...

Surf Resource System Boundaries

A ‘system boundary’ is a theoretical concept in environmental science representing the intersecting and interrelated human and physical elements in the natural world at a given site. This lecture, based on Martin and O'Brien (2017), develops a system boundary discussion on surf sites, recognizing ‘surf system boundaries’ as more than the beach and sea; they encompass numerous stakeholder interests and factors related to the scope of the ‘whole’ surf system as a sustainable and dynamic model.

Martin, S. A., & O'Brien, D. (2017). Part 2: A systems approach – Chapter 2. Surf resource system boundaries. In G. Borne and J. Ponting (Eds.), Sustainable surfing. Routledge: London.

Kalim Beach, Phuket, Thailand | Click to learn more about surf tourism research...

Thailand Case Study

The tropical resort island of Phuket Thailand has exotic beaches, a dynamic tourism economy, and a distinct new surfing culture. In recent years, recreational surfing in Phuket has gained rapid popularity—It has also gained attention in domestic and international magazines and on the internet. Nonetheless, Thailand’s Andaman Coast remains a mysterious and nostalgic place—in the minds of the people who make up the tapestry of coastal cultures—and in the memories of the tourists who come each year (Martin, 2010).

Martin, S. A. (2010). Coastal resource and surfing in ThailandThailand Surfrider, (1) (pp. 42–50). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.


AMAZON RAINFOREST AND GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

One of the most rewarding experiences that I have had in Environmental Studies was the opportunity to visit the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon Basin, and the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific in 2004. The research was supported in part by the University of San Francisco De Quito (USFQ), Ecuador, and the Study Abroad Journal.

Through sharing my photos and National Geographic videos with students, key topics and issues are open for discussion.

Moi Enomenga, Huaorani Indian | Amazon eco-warrior and environmental celebrity | Click to learn more about Moi's story...

Amazon River House | Rio Napo

Quechua Indian guide | Tiputini, Ecuador

Napo River | Coca, Ecuador

Parrot | Coca, Ecuador

San Cristobal Island | Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and Study Abroad Journal | Click to learn more...

Seals on the beach | San Cristobal

Galapagos Brown Pelican | San Cristobal

Galapagos Tortoise | San Cristobal

Galapagos Marine Iguana | San Cristobal


Thank you for visiting the Environmental Studies Page.

I hope you enjoy the photos and information in the links provided. If you feel motivated to know more about my other courses or other Learning Adventures, or would like to arrange for me to give a public talk, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

–Steven Martin

Surf Tourism Research

Surf Tourism Research

SURF TOURISM RESEARCH AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT OF SURFING SITES 

One of my favorite research areas is surf tourism, especially when addressing the conservation of coastal surfing resources. It has been a great way to bring together my personal experience in surfing, surf travel, managing an international surf school (1998-2003), and academic research.

Celebrities from Bangkok try surfing for the first time in Phuket

Conducting Surf Tourism Research in Phuket, Thailand | Click to Phuket Gazette News

My personal experience and research indicate that the world's surfing breaks are iconic locations worthy of protection for future generations. Surf sites are also significant economic engines for local communities with sustainability a key issue.

To address these problems, I developed the Surf Resource Sustainability Index (SRSI pdf), a methodology aimed at measuring the conservation aptitude at surf sites. SRSI is a metric-orientated planning and development methodology – a theoretical compass which points toward sustainability, representing the summation of assessable qualities or attributes a site possesses which can make a positive contribution to sustainability.

NEWS | Surfers save the Eisbach River wave in downtown Munich, Germany

The Eisbach River Wave (Eisbachwelle) is one of the best and most consistent city-center river surfing spots in the world.

When local authorities planned to destroy the Eisbachwelle, local and international surfers responded with a public campaign and online petition to "save the wave"... Read more...

NEWS | Surfing the Eisbach River Wave | Munich, Germany


Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Management

Thesis Title: A Surf Resource Sustainability Index for Surf Site Conservation and Tourism Management

Abstract

Surf sites around the world are under ever-increasing pressures from tourism, coastal development, pollution and other anthropogenic factors, and this research introduces and illuminates surfing areas as integral natural resources. The dissertation develops a Surf Resource Sustainability Index (SRSI) and presents it through a series of three peer-reviewed journal papers. The SRSI is designed as a global model and framework of indicators and methods for the assessment of surf site conservation attributes. A systematic literature review of surf tourism research was used in conjunction with the author’s personal experience and discussion with experienced surfers and scholars to develop twenty-seven sustainability indicators. Framing them as social, economic, environmental and governance indices, the study defines the criteria, implications and applicability for each indicator in context. A progression of field studies was carried out in Phuket, Thailand, where an emerging surf tourism market segment is additive to the island’s bustling tourism economy and escalating coastal resource management issues. The SRSI has proven effective in assessing sites and pinpointing key areas of concern. SRSI metrics are particularly applicable to the cross-sectional evaluation of surf sites and serve as a direct method in the prioritization of sites for surfing reserve development. This research contributes to the fields of surf resource conservation and tourism management through the innovation and application of a new and pragmatic methodology.

Keywords: coastal management, conservation, sustainability indicators, surf resource sustainability index, surf tourism, Phuket, Thailand

My PhD process

My PhD was research-based and followed a standard protocol set forth by the Faculty of Environmental Management. I was required to prepare a qualifying exam, supplemental exam, thesis proposal, thesis defense, thesis poster, and three international journal publications.


Master of Business Administration in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Thesis Title: Coastal resource assessment for surf tourism in Thailand

Abstract

Framed as an exploratory research of Thailand’s physical environment, this study identifies and assesses the natural surfing resources of the Andaman Coast, including the sources, types and locations of waves in relationship to the regional and coastal topography. Underpinning the research is the collection and review of the literature on coastal resource management, surfing in Thailand, and the scholarly works pertaining to surf tourism. From a social science standpoint, personal interviews with Thai and foreign resident surfers, tourists, and members of local communities were carried out. The investigation locates a wide range of areas suitable for surf tourism and indicates that Thailand’s natural resources are somewhat limited and coupled with issues of water quality, ocean safety, regularity and quality of surfing waves, and the accessibility to remote coastal areas during the southwest monsoon. The study finds that surf tourism in Thailand is at a stage of infancy, has potential, and affords an opportunity to develop sustainably. The research advances the overall understanding of surfing in Thailand and offers a series of recommendations for the coastal resource management and conservation of surfing areas.

Keywords: surf tourism, coastal resource, coastal assessment, Andaman, Phuket, Thailand


Academic papers and publications

Martin, S. A. (2022). From shades of grey to Web of Science: A systematic review of surf tourism research in international journals (2011–2020). Journal of Sport & Tourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2022.2037453

Previous research outlined the genesis of a new body of surf tourism research based on a wide array of grey and published literature (Martin & Assenov, 2012). The aim of this paper is to further investigate the development of the field through an evidence-based informetric analysis of international journal articles listed in Web of Science or Scopus databases. Employing a systematic review of journal papers published from 2011 to 2020, the study addresses the previous grey literature problem of accessibility and eligibility criteria for citation. Findings are drawn from explicit and tangential studies which capture an up-to-date overview of the evolution of surf tourism research. The study identifies active journals, authors, field locations, and leading areas of research, suggesting that the field has entered a period of ‘academic professionalization’. A bibliography of 96 journal articles presents academics and readers with a corpus of accessible research.

Keywords: citation criteria; Scopus; surf tourism research; systematic review; Web of Science


Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. (2019). A social science index and conceptual framework for assigning weights in surf tourism planning and development.Tourism Planning and Development, 16(3) 281–303. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2018.1470999

This paper develops a social science weighting schema for surf tourism planning and sustainable development, eco-tourism, and conservation studies using surf tourism as a representative worked example. Assessment scores from a previously published surf resource sustainability field study of nine beaches in Phuket, Thailand, were weighted against data taken from surveys of expert scholars and surfers from a range of diverse backgrounds. The study measured levels of significance among weighted and unweighted means and bias ratio for 27 social, economic, environmental and governance indicators. Differences between scores and weighted scores were, in general, low, but this was not the case in key areas of concern, notably governance, and areas where poor governance had negative consequences, such as water quality. The findings indicate that analysis of weighted data helps identify key metrics. We show that analysis of weighted data provides insights not apparent from working on unweighted data. The procedures and weighting strategies employed in this research can be used for tourism planning and other related research activities which use interview data, such as research on, ecotourism, national park surveys, amateur fishing, snorkeling and reef tours. This study provides a conceptual framework for comparisons of different studies using similar protocols.

Keywords: conservation; surf resource sustainability index; surf tourism; Thailand; tourism planning; weights


Martin, S. A., & O'Brien, D. (2017). Part 2: A systems approach – Chapter 2. Surf resource system boundaries. In G. Borne and J. Ponting (Eds.), Sustainable surfing (pp. 23–38). Routledge: London.

Ch.2 (pp. 23–38) PDF

Read more...

Introduction

A ‘system boundary’ is a theoretical concept in environmental science representing the intersecting and interrelated human and physical elements in the natural world at a given site. This chapter develops a system boundary discussion on surf sites, recognizing ‘surf system boundaries’ as more than the beach and sea; they encompass numerous stakeholder interests and factors related to the scope of the ‘whole’ surf system as a sustainable and dynamic model. The following discussion serves to review and broaden the knowledge of surf system boundaries and provide clarity in two sets of dimensions: the physical boundaries of surf sites and the resource stakeholders.

Keywords: surf tourism; surf resource; system boundaries; environmental management

University News: Dr. Steven Andrew Martin Recognized for Social Science Research and Publication in Environmental Studies with a New Book Chapter on Surf Resource System Boundaries.


Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2015). Measuring the conservation aptitude of surf beaches in Phuket, Thailand: An application of the surf resource sustainability index. International Journal of Tourism Research, 17(2) 105–117. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.1961

Abstract

The research seeks to measure the conservation aptitude of nine surf beaches in Phuket, Thailand by employing the Surf Resource Sustainability Index, an assessment methodology comprising 27 social, economic, environmental and governance indicators used to frame and quantify attributes for conservation development. The research identifies and documents key areas of concern for the sustainability of the island's coastal surfing resources and distinguishes steps forward to address emergent issues. The study finds that by improving the awareness, legislative status and management of surfing sites, the overall conservation aptitude for the island could be raised considerably.

Keywordssurf resource sustainability index; surf tourism; conservation; Phuket, Thailand


Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2014). Investigating the importance of surf resource sustainability indicators: Stakeholder perspectives for surf tourism planning and development. Tourism Planning and Development11(2) 127–148. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2013.864990

Abstract

The sustainability and conservation of coastal surfing resources have gained considerable attention in the twenty-first century. Scholars, graduate students, not-for-profit organizations, and commercial and governmental sectors have entered the surf tourism research field in order to better understand and manage surf sites. This research investigates the significance of 27 social, economic, environmental, and governance indicators outlined in the Surf Resource Sustainability Index, a contemporary methodology for measuring the conservation aptitude of surf sites. Twenty-one highly experienced surfers from diverse backgrounds were chosen for in-depth interviews based on their position as key stakeholders and for their practical experience, knowledge, and interaction with the resource. The study finds that surfers placed the highest importance for conservation aptitude on beach quality, water quality, legislative status, biodiversity, and history. Overall, environmental and governance indicators were slightly more significant than social indicators, and economic indicators were the least significant. Stakeholders' comments and corresponding ratings are listed for each indicator and provide insight to their perspectives and evaluations. The research contributes to surf tourism planning and development though the clarification of sustainability indicators and the discernment of indicator importance by surfers. A surf resource conservation action matrix is developed for future policy design and management.

Keywords: sustainability indicators; surf resource sustainability index; surf tourism; conservation aptitude


Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2014). Developing a surf resource sustainability index as a global model for surf beach conservation and tourism research. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 19(7) 760–792. https://doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2013.806942

Abstract

The growth of surfing activities and surf tourism has gained significant attention in the academia during the past decade. This paper is aimed at developing a framework of indicators and methods used in assessing the sustainability factors of surf sites. The research puts forward a Surf Resource Sustainability Index (SRSI) as a conceptual model to study the sustainability of surf tourism sites. The literature review, previous experience, and discussion with veteran surfers and scholars were used to develop indicators and determine their measurability and aptitude. Index pilot testing was carried out in Phuket, Thailand, where an emerging surf culture and tourism market segment add to the island's bustling economy and coastal resource-management issues. The case study underpins the importance of social, economic, environmental, and governance factors in the conservation process. The SRSI metrics provide a direct method for assessing surf sites and offer tangible benefits to surfers and other stakeholders.

Keywords: surf tourismcoastal resourcessustainability indicatorsindexThailand

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2012). The genesis of a new body of sport tourism literature: A systematic review of surf tourism research (1997-2011). Journal of Sport and Tourism, 17(4), 257–287. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2013.766528

Abstract

Surf tourism is a rapidly expanding market segment of the wider sport tourism industry and the purpose of this study is to provide an analytical interpretation of surf tourism research. Published and unpublished literature from 1997 through to 2011 was collected through searching a variety of academic databases and communicating directly with the authors themselves. A systematic review was employed to identify and analyze the types of research emerging from international journals, universities, governments, and the not-for-profit sector. The study indicates a genesis in sport tourism literature, representing a new and available body of surf tourism research. We find that this new area of research has arisen mainly from the grey literature through the works of graduate students and consultants. Surfing events, artificial surfing reefs, and the sustainability of surf sites and host communities are among the most prolific areas under discussion and key arguments include socioeconomics, coastal management, and sustainable tourism. Approximately 10% of countries in the world with coastal surfing resources have been studied, and this and other findings indicate the potential for new areas of research in domestic and international tourism. A bibliography provides 156 documentary materials compiled for the systematic review.

Keywords: surfingsurf tourismliterature reviewsustainabilitycoastal management

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2011). Beach and coastal survey of Thailand: What future for surf tourism. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 3(1), 77–87.

Abstract

Surfing and surf tourism run parallel: they are focused upon location-specific destinations where natural resources and phenomena occur conducive to the sport, and traveling for the sake of surfing new places is as old as the sport itself. The research investigates the broad environment of Thailand through the survey and assessment of coastal resources in order to determine the plausibility of developing surf tourism in Thailand. The study also examines surf tourist characteristics in Phuket, Thailand, through unstructured and semi-structured personal interviews. The research identified five Thai provinces best suited for surf tourism and suggests that there are suitable locations for surfing and surf tourism, including those for advanced, intermediate, and beginner surfers. A Thailand-specific definition for surf tourism is put forward, reflecting the natural environment and the characteristics of current surf tourists. The paper identifies future prospects, challenges, and issues for developing sustainable surf tourism in Thailand.

Keywords: surf tourism; sustainable surfing; surf site assessment; Thailand


Global Surf Cities Conference, Surfer's Paradise, Australia

In 2013, I was invited to give several talks to the international surfing community at the Global Surf Cities Conference in Australia. I was asked to present research on the Surf Resource Sustainability Index (SRSI) and the surf tourism industry in Phuket, Thailand. Please click the buttons below to view or share these presentations.

  • Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre
  • Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Wednesday, 27 February – Friday, 1 March, 2013

Presenting the Surf Resource Sustainability Index at the Global Surf Cities Conference on the Gold Coast, Australia


National and International Surfing Reserves

Surf tourism is a new and dynamic area of research, with most studies targeting the economics and sustainable management of coastal resources, including stakeholder perspectives, conservation, water quality and biodiversity of marine organisms (Martin & Assenov, 2012).

Brad Farmer, a leading advocate for the "Conservation of oceans, waves and beaches, and the salty communities who share them," and global chair of the non-profit organization National Surfing Reserves (NSR), met with me in Phuket to discuss my research and the protection of surf sites in Thailand for future generations (Phuket Gazette, 2011).

Meeting in Phuket, Thailand, with Australian Brad Farmer from National Surfing Reserves | Click to Phuket Gazette News

Conservation Leadership

Farmer is an outstanding example of personal commitment and proactive engagement in surf site conservation. He developed the Surfing Reserve program in order to recognize surf sites as "Iconic places of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value, and to embrace all peoples to enjoy, understand and protect special coastal environments of universal value to the surfing world" (NSR, 2017). Farmer maintains the core values of conservation: "A Surfing Reserve does not attempt to exclude any user group."

For more information, please surf to these websites:

NSR – National Surfing Reserves

WSR – World Surfing Reserves


Nalu Longboarder's Magazine (Japan) – Surf Tourism Research in Phuket

In 2008, Japanese surf magazine "Nalu" came to Phuket to write a story featuring the island's waves and my surf tourism research. The article, written by Riku Emoto and photographed by Yasuma Miura, was centered on the concept of a surfer conducting research on surfing for an academic degree (published in Japanese).


Conferences and Proceedings

In recent years, I have been active in presenting surf tourism research at conferences and raising awareness of the value and significance of surfing as a coastal resource.

At the 18th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference (APTA) in 2012, "Towards a surf resource sustainability index: A global model for surf site conservation and Thailand case study" won the Best Paper Award (Green Aspect on Tourism Development Research), selected out of 171 papers.

Martin, S. A. (2009). Rethinking the monsoon: Sustainable surf tourism in Thailand. Paper presented at the International Tourism Conference on Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism Management: Beyond the Global Recession. Silpakon University, Bangkok, Thailand, May 14–15.

Martin, S. A. (2010). The conservation of coastal surfing resources in Thailand: The Andaman Sea. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Environment and Natural Resources (ICENR) 2010  The Changing Environment: Challenges for Society (pp. 262–280), Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Bangkok, Thailand, November 10–12.

Martin, S. A. (2013). Surf tourism and resource sustainability in Phuket, Thailand. Scholarly presentation [PowerPoint]. Global Surf Cities Conference: Destination Innovation Collaboration, Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, Gold Coast, QLD, February 28 – March 1. Gold Coast: Gold Coast Surf City, Inc.

Martin, S. A. (2013). The surf resource sustainability index and Thailand case trial. Scholarly presentation [PowerPoint]. Global Surf Cities Conference: Destination Innovation Collaboration, Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, Gold Coast, QLD, February 28 – March 1. Gold Coast: Gold Coast Surf City, Inc.

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2008). Beach and coastal survey: What future for surf tourism. CD Proceedings of the 7th Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Students’ Research in Tourism – Advances in Tourism Practices: Pointing the Way Forward (p. 12). University Teknologi Mara, Selangor, Malaysia, June 3–5.

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2008). Interdisciplinary approaches toward sustainable surf tourism in Thailand. Paper presented at the 1st PSU Sustainability Conference. Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, Thailand, November 19–21.

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2011). A statistical analysis of surf tourism research literatureCD Proceedings of the 4th Annual PSU Research Conference: Multidisciplinary Studies on Sustainable Development (p. 57). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, November 16–18.

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2012). Measuring the importance of social, economic, environmental and governance indicators for the surf resource sustainability index. Proceedings of the 1st Annual PSU Phuket International Conference: Multidisciplinary Studies on Sustainable Development (p. 51). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, January 10–12, 2013.

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2012). Towards a surf resource sustainability index: A global model for surf site conservation and Thailand case studyProceedings of the 18th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference (APTA) Hospitality & Tourism Education: New Tourism & New Waves (pp. 745–760). Taipei, ROC, June 26–29. Busan, Korea: School of International Tourism, Dong-A University. [+ best paper award]

Martin, S. A., Assenov, I., & Ritchie, R. (2014). Towards a social science index and conceptual framework for assigning weights in sustainability research. Proceedings of the 3rd Annual PSU Phuket International Conference: Multidisciplinary Studies on Sustainable Development (p. 70). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, November 13–14. [+ best paper award]

Thank you for visiting my Surf Tourism Research Page.

I hope you enjoy the information in the links provided. If you feel motivated to learn more about surf tourism or the environmental management of surf sites, or would like to arrange a public talk, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

–Steven Martin

Food Environment

Food Environment

YOUR FOOD ENVIRONMENT | WHEN OUTSIDE BECOMES INSIDE

Welcome to "Food Environment", an emerging paradigm in Environmental Studies – A new way to think about food.

Intended learning outcomes include students gaining the ability to talk about personal and public health, diet and nutrition, and how personal choices and responsibility impact sustainability and the environment.

Food Environment Class at Prince of Songkla University

The environment flows into us through food

Our relationship with the environment is most intimate in our choice of what we put into our bodies. Consider that the environment flows into us in the food we choose to eat – When outside becomes inside.

Defining the food environment – An emerging paradigm

Managing your home and personal food environments [click on photo for "Juice Me" presentation]

 A food environment suggests the system boundaries of food production, distribution and consumption.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014), the food environment is mainly:

"The physical presence of food that affects a person’s diet, a person’s proximity to food store locations, the distribution of food stores, food service, and any physical entity by which food may be obtained, or a connected system that allows access to food."

Food environment or "Food environments"

Can food environments be expressed as community food environments, local food environments, sustainable food environments, nutritional food environments, toxic food environments, and even personal food environments?

When considering that our relationship with the food environment is most intimate in our choice of what we put into our bodies, editor and lecturer Peter Coan suggests, "Perhaps we can draw a further useful distinction between an individual's available, or potential, food environment and his/her actual food environment – that is, between the foods a person has the opportunity to eat, and the foods s/he actually eats."

Students in Food Environment Class - Dr Steven Andrew Martin - Environmental Studies

Students in Food Environment class preparing traditional Thai foods without meat, dairy or added sugar

Supporting this idea, Coan notes that corporate supermarkets largely mediate the potential food environment for many people simply by limiting the range of foods available on their shelves, and corporate advertising further distorts the choices and preferences which people have in buying foods – that is, selecting the inputs to their actual food environment, located typically in their kitchens and refrigerators.

Check out Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health: Healthy Food Environment Recommendations – Complete List


Health, Diet and Nutrition

While conducting research on personal health management for Food Environment, I developed a shortlist of key topics, namely diet, exercise, toxins and stress.

I soon discovered that I was not the first to make this list.

My personal research led me to the story of Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, French physician and neuroscientist, who developed the "Four Pillars" to examine the rising issue of cancer and other chronic diseases through the lens of prevention, rather than treatment.

The "Four Pillars" of anti-cancer

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Avoid toxins
  • Manage stress

Dr. Servan-Schreiber's best-selling book "Anticancer: A New Way Of Life (2007)" and research-based insights were brought to life by Morgan Freeman, executive producer and narrator of "The C Word", the 2016 documentary.

The C Word

Research by T. Colin Campbell

T. Colin Campbell research poster by Shirley Yang [click on image to enlarge]

"You need to know the truth about food and why eating the right way can save your life."

T. Colin Campbell, PhD., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University.

According to Campbell, understanding and implementing a whole food, plant-based diet is scientifically proven to improve health, wellness, and to mitigate many of the chronic illnesses of our time, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Much more than a diet, Campbell considers living on whole and plant-based foods as, "Living a whole life."

Popular quotes on food and health

  • "Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food." – Hippocrates
  • "He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the time of his doctor." – Ancient Chinese Proverb
  • "One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive." – Ancient Egyptian Proverb
  • "The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." – Thomas Edison

Popular videos on food and health

Forks Over Knives | Trailer

Food Choices | Trailer

Food Matters | Trailer

TEDx Talks | Exceptional doctors and nutrition experts supporting a plant-based diet

Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck

T. Colin Campbell | TEDxCornellUniversity

Caldwell Esselstyn | TEDxCambridge

Joel Fuhrman | TEDxCharlottesville

Michael Greger | TEDxSedona

Michael Klaper | TEDxTraverseCity

John McDougall | TEDxFremont

Dean Ornish | TEDxSan Francisco


Sustainable food environment

Among environmental managers, "sustainability" is a foundational idea whereby people consciously and accountably take action in mitigating or avoiding the depletion of natural resources.

A sustainable food environment includes a system of food production, transportation, and consumption, which maintains an ecological balance while meeting our health and nutritional needs.

Sustainable | Trailer


Whole foods vs processed foods

Examples of whole foods

  • Beans
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables

Examples of processed foods

  • Canned foods
  • Dairy products
  • Meat products
  • Refined sugars
  • Refined oils

Toxic food environment

Chemicals in our food system range from man made to those which occur naturally.

Factsheet from Physicians for Social Responsibility

Man-made chemicals that may be harmful to you

  • Chemical fertilizers (petrochemicals, inorganics, etc.)
  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides (agriculture and military defoliants, such as Agent Orange)
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics (such as Bisphenol A or BPA)
  • Preservatives
  • Radiation (irradiated foods, farming near contaminated areas)
  • Stabilizers

Naturally-occurring food toxins that may be harmful to you

Naturally-occurring food toxins (Dolan, Matulka & Burdock, 2009) can be studied from a variety of perspectives. For example, even too much of a healthy food can have a toxic effect on the body. Healthy foods that contain natural toxins can include vegetables, beans and grains.

Other natural toxins can result from spoiled foods or are produced in certain types of moulds and algae. For example, Funji, including some varieties of mushrooms, can be highly toxic to humans. Ergot funji (Schmale & Munkvold, 2017) found in flowering grass or cereal, such as rye, are linked with physical and mental health issues as far back as the Middle Ages. Metalloids, such as arsenic, are naturally occurring elements strongly linked to public health issues world-wide.

Shortlist of common natural toxins in food.

  • Algae
  • Funji
  • Metalloids
  • Mould

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides a database of information about toxic substances and how they affect human health.

According to Harvard University, addressing the complex problems associated with toxic food environments requires urgent communication and collaboration among government, industry and local institutions. As individuals, what steps can we take toward personal and public health responsibility to best mitigate a toxic food environment?

Human Experiment | Trailer

Cowspiracy | Trailer

What the Health | Trailer


Food Deserts

In an article published in Nutrition Digest (2011), the American Nutrition Association (ANA) outlines a “Food Desert” as a geographic location, area or region where fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods are, for the most part, unavailable.

Food deserts are typically located in low income, disadvantaged areas with limited access to healthy, nutritional foods, including farmers’ markets and modern grocery stores offering fresh fruits and vegetables (Nutrition Digest, 2011). For example, a typical food desert is a food environment with fast food chains and convenience stores located at or near gas stations selling processed, imperishable products, such as canned and packaged foods.

Typical canned and processed foods in the rural US

Arguably, a food desert is actually a nutrition desert, meaning that while food is generally available, the food environment does not provide appropriate nourishment to people who rely on these products to survive – That is, fast foods and processed foods which are particularly high in processed sugars, fats, and salt.

To address the issue, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2017) suggests that individuals and communities can create community gardens (CDC, 2011a), share in the upkeep and production of the garden, and organize local farmers’ markets (CDC, 2011b).

Topics for class discussion

  • Can food deserts can be transformed into "Food oases"?
  • Rural and urban food deserts.
  • Urban farming.

References

  • (ANA, 2017) The Community for Science-Based Nutrition
  • (Barthel & Isendahl, 2013) Urban gardens, agriculture, and water management: Sources of resilience for long-term food security in cities
  • (CDC, 2011a) Healthy Places: Community Gardens
  • (CDC, 2011b) Healthy Places: Farmers Markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and Local Food Distribution
  • (CDC, 2017) Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice
  • (Nutrition Digest, 2011) USDA Defines Food Deserts
  • (USDA, 2017) Food Access Research Atlas

Contemporary terms and trends in healthy dietary lifestyles for discussion

  • Fruitarian
  • Juicing
  • Organic (agriculture) – Not using artificial chemicals in the growing of plants and animals (Biology Online, 2018)
  • Plant-based diet
  • Plant-rich diet
  • Raw foods
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Whole foods
  • "Whole Life" (Campbell, 2018)
  • WFPB (Whole Foods Plant Based) (Campbell, 2018)

Food environment and the media

  • Who owns the food companies?
  • What marketing strategies are used by major food companies?
  • Do food advertisements tell the truth?
  • Where can we find honest information about food?

Three reasons to think about what we eat

  • For your health and the health of your loved ones.
  • For the environment and whole earth systems.
  • For animals and other sentient life forms.

Resources

  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • American Nutrition Association (ANA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)