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Recreation and Tourism Studies

Grand Forks, ND

Travis W. Heggie, Ph.D.



Travis W. Heggie, Ph.D.


Ph.D. Texas A&M University
M.S. Texas A&M University
B.A. University of Hawaii at Hilo

Research Direction

In addition to his duties with the Recreation & Tourism Studies Program, Dr. Heggie is the Director of the Great Plains Injury Prevention Research Initiative , an adjunct professor with the UND Department of Geography, and a Senior Research Fellow with the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Science at James Cook University in Australia. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the research journal Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease and a member of the Scientific Board for Med Sport (Medicina Sportiva).

Dr. Heggie's research specialty focuses on the health, safety, and legal (tort law) aspects of recreation, sport, tourism, and hospitality management.  This is an area presently costing the public and private sectors millions of dollars in lawsuits and medical costs.  It is also an area witnessing an increasing number of human fatalities and serious injury.  Dr. Heggie's research is closely aligned with that of risk management, travel, wilderness, and environmental medicine, epidemiology, public / community health, and informatics. 

Dr. Heggie's current research projects involve the assessment of search and rescue incidents and emergency medical services on Mt. Kilimanjaro ( Tanzania ) and the East Africa region. He is also involved in a major coastal/beach safety initiative in southern Africa and the development of a new United Nations World Heritage Site and Marine Protected Area in South Africa . When completed, the World Heritage listed site will be the most diversified national park in the world offering a unique “Big 7” tourism experience (including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino, sharks, whales, and dolphins).

Dr. Heggie's secondary research interests include geotourism, natural resource & protected area management, natural hazards and disaster response, environmental impact statements, and wildland ecology.

Other Professional Experience 

  • Public Risk Management Specialist & Tort Claims Officer, U.S. National Park Service, Washington D.C.
  • Eruption Duty Ranger, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • Consultant, South Pacific Development Board (Recreation & Tourism Development).
  • Consult, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Professional Affiliations

  • Alberta Injury Control Alliance (AICA).
  • American Public Health Association (Injury Control & Emergency Health Services Section).
  • International Society for Travel Medicine (ISTM).
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
  • Society for the Advancement of Violence & Injury Research (SAVIR).
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
  • The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).

Recent Honors and Awards

  • University of North Dakota, New Faculty Scholar Award
  • University of North Dakota, Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award
  • University of North Dakota, North Dakota Spirit Faculty Achievement Award
  • Invited Expert Panelist, Fulbright 60th Anniversary Symposium, Cairns, Australia (2010)

Press Releases

Selected Research Publications

Heggie, Travis W. 2010. Swimming with Death: Naegleria fowleri Infections in Recreational Waters. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 8:201-206.

Heggie, Travis W., Kupper, Thomas, and Heggie, Tracey M. Spezifische Gefahren bei Vulkan-Tourismus. Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin und Umweltmedizin (German Journal: Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine).

Heggie, Travis W., Borwein, Sarah, and Shaw, Marc T.M.  2010.  The International Athlete: Traveling Healthy to Global Sporting Events.  Principles and Practices of Travel Medicine.  In Press.

Heggie, Travis W. 2010. Volcanoes and Travel Medicine. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 8:199-200..

Heggie, Travis W.  2010.  Volcanic Gas and Fumaroles: Health Hazards.  Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards.  In Press.

Heggie, Travis W. 2010. Pediatric and Adolescent Sport Injury in the Wilderness. British Journal of Sports Medicine  44:50-55.

Heggie, Travis W. and Jorgenson, Jacob D. 2010. Two Deaths in Two Days: A Case Report of Mountaineering Fatalities on Mount Rainier. Medicina Sportiva 14:24-27.

Heggie, Travis W. 2010. Geotourism and Public Safety in Volcanic Environments. In: Erfurt-Cooper, P. and Cooper, M. (eds), Volcano and Geothermal Tourism: Sustainable Geo-Resources for Leisure and Recreation. pp. 77-84. United Kingdom: Earthscan.

Heggie, Travis W. 2009. Geotourism and Volcanoes: Health Hazards Facing Tourists at Volcanic and Geothermal Destinations. Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease 7(5):257-261.

Heggie, Travis W. and Amundson, Michael. 2009. Dead Men Walking: Search & Rescue in U.S. National Parks. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 20(3):244-249.

Heggie, Travis W. 2009. Tourist Injuries on U.S. National Seashores. 6 th International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism , Nelson Mandela Bay , South Africa . 2009: 297-201.

Heggie, Travis W. 2009. Traveling to Canada for the Vancouver 2010 Winter and Paralympic Winter Games. Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease 7(4):207-211.

Heggie, Travis W., Heggie Tracey M., and Heggie, Tanner J. 2009. Death by Volcanic Laze. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 20(1):101-103.

Heggie, Travis W. 2009. Saving Tourists: The Status of Emergency Medical Services in California 's National Parks. Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease 7(1):19-24.

Heggie, Travis W. and Heggie, Tracey M. 2009. Search & Rescue Trends Associated with Recreational Travel in U.S. National Parks. Journal of Travel Medicine 16(1):23-27.

Heggie, Travis W. 2008. Search and Rescue in Alaska 's National Parks. Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease 6(6): 355-361

Heggie, Travis W., Heggie, Tracey M. and Kliewer, C. 2008. Recreational Travel Fatalities in U.S. National Parks. Journal of Travel Medicine 15(6): 404-411.

Heggie, Travis W. and Heggie, Tracey M. 2008. Search and Rescue Trends and the Emergency Medical Service Workload in Utah 's National Parks. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 19(3): 164-171.

Erfurt-Cooper, Patricia J. and Heggie, Travis. 2008. Risk Perception, Prevention, Management and Mitigation in Volcanic Environments. Proceedings of the Inaugural Global Geotourism Conference, Perth, Australia . 2008:427-430.

Heggie, Travis W. 2006. Tourist Trauma in National Parks . In: Wilks, J., Pedergast, D. and Leggat, P.: Tourism in Turbulent Times: Towards Safe Experiences for Visitors. ISBN: 0080446663. United Kingdom: Elsevier.

Heggie, Travis W. 2005. Reported Fatal and Non-Fatal Incidents Involving Tourists in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease 3(3):123-13.

Heggie, Travis W. and Heggie, Tracey M. 2004. Viewing Lava Safely: The Epidemiology of Hiker Injury and Illness in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 15(4): 77-81.

Heggie, Travis W. and Heggie, Tracey M. 2004. International and Domestic Tourist Road Safety in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . Journal of Tourism Studies 15(1): 51-58.



Recreation and Tourism Studies
Gillette Hall Room 110
P.O. Box 7116
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202-7116
Phone: 701-777-2346
Fax: 701-777-3845
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Tel: 701-777-2011
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