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Faculty Image Thomas Sullivan
Office: 307B Stone Hall


Current Position:

Visiting Assistant Professor

Field Of Study:

Social and Cultural Geography, Urban and Recreational Planning, Sustainable and Active Transportation, Identity and Place Studies

Research Interests:

Dr. Sullivan is currently working on research projects that involve active transportation and urban planning issues at Black Rock City (the Burning Man Festival) and a "re-thinking" of the design and implementation of more equitable streetscapes in Missoula, Montana. His work, which incorporates a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, involves collecting data that helps to better understand users' behaviors within mostly public spaces in hopes of encouraging better and more innovative planning and design. Along with these projects, he recently began a study that involves social and cultural aspects of planning with regard to sustainablity and sustainable practices in smaller, mountain communities throughout the Mountain West region in the US.


Fall 2015

GPHY121S - Introduction to Human Geography

GPHY 385 - Field Techniques

GPHY520 - Geographic Thought

Spring 2016

GPHY 421 Sustainable Cities

GPHY 434 Food and Famine


  • Ph.D., Geography, Louisiana State University 2010
  • M.A., Geography, The University of Montana 1995
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Montana State University 1987

Teaching Experience:

University of Montana

  • GPHY 111/112N - Introduction to Physical Geography & Geography Lab
  • GPHY 121S - Introduction to Human Geography
  • GPHY 141S - Geography of World Regions
  • GPHY 333 - Cultural Ecology
  • GPHY 381/382 Principles of Digital Cartography & Digital Cartography Lab
  • GPHY 385 - Field Techniques in Geography
  • GPHY 421 - Sustainable Cities (Spring 2016)
  • GPHY 432 - The Human Role in Environmental Change
  • GPHY 433 - Cultural [Geography] Ecology- Writing Course
  • GPHY 434 - Food and Famine (Spring 2016)
  • GPHY 435 - Enivronmental Hazards and Planning
  • GPHY 465 - Planning Principles and Processes
  • GPHY 488/489 - Thematic Cartography and Thematic Cartography Lab
  • GPHY 504 - Introduction to Geographical Research
  • GPHY 505 - Research Design
  • GPHY 520 - Seminar in Geographical Thought
  • GPHY 550 - Seminar in Geography: Space and Place
  • PTRM 485 - Recreation Planning (School of Forestry)

Louisiana State University

  • GEOG 1001 - Human Geography: Europe and the Americas

Specialized Skills:

Social and Cultural Geography, Urban and Recreational Planning, Sustainable and Active Transportation, Sustainable Practices within the Planning and Design Professions, Place and Identity Studies

Professional Experience:

Dr. Sullivan was the founder, CEO and owner of Eclipse Engineering, Inc.--a civil/structural engineering firm located in Missoula, Montana--until he decided to "retire" from engineering and pursue his doctorate in geography at Louisiana State University. He received his Ph.D. in 2010 in Geography with an emphasis in cultural geography. He has multiple research interests that span from his work on Irish ethnicity and landscape--his dissertation topic--to social and cultural geographic aspects of urban planning, active and sustainable transportation, transportation infrastructure, and sustainable practices in the design and planning professions more generally.

Selected Publications:

Refereed Journal Articles

Sullivan, Thomas and Livingston, Christopher. 2015 (forthcoming). "Round and Round We Go!": American Political Ideology, Social Behavior, and the Roundabout. Mobilities

Sullivan, Thomas. 2015. Ethnicity. In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography. Edited by Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, Thomas. 2012. “I Want to be All I Can Irish”: The Role of Performance and Performativity in the Construction of Ethnicity. Social and Cultural Geography 13(5): 429-444.

Sluyter, Andrew, Andrew Augustine, Michael Bitton, Thomas Sullivan, and Fei Wei. 2006. The Recent Intellectual Structure of Geography. Geographical Review 96(4): 594-608.

Manuscripts in Submission

Sullivan, Thomas. The New Irish Identity: Ethnicity and Bourdieu’s “Forms of Capital”. Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Languages Known:

  • French - elementary proficiency
  • Gaelic - elementary proficiency