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Faculty Image Thomas Sullivan
Office: 307B Stone Hall


Current Position:

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Office Hours:

Spring 2015 - 1 to 2 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays

Field Of Study:

Social and Cultural Geography, Urban and Recreational Planning, Sustainable Transportation

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. His work, which incorporates a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, involves collecting data that helps to better understand users' behaviors within these mostly public spaces. He is also beginning work with faculty at Montana State University's Department of Architecture, as well as city planners in Montana, in identifying problems and providing solutions for complex planning issues that pertain specifically to mountain communities. In addition, Dr. Sullivan continues to work on research from his dissertation on Irish ethnicity, he is also studying the effects of improved engineering methods in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, and he is beginning work on the effectiveness of multi-modal transportation use and the symbiotic relationship between bicycle touring, healthy lifestyles, and the 'Slow Foods' movement in Europe.


Spring 2015

GPHY121S - Introduction to Human Geography

GPHY433 - Cultural [Geography] Ecology


  • Ph.D., Geography, Louisiana State University 2010
    • Dissertation: "Designing Irishness: Ethnicity, Belonging, and Imagined Connection to Place through Language"
  • M.A., Geography, The University of Montana 1995
    • Thesis: "Developing Contents for a Special Topic (Irish History) Regional Atlas"
  • 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 432 - The Human Role in Environmental Change
  • GPHY 433 - Cultural [Geography] Ecology- Writing Course
  • 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, Geography of Engineering and Architectural Design, Place and Identity Studies

Professional Experience:

Dr. Sullivan was the founder, CEO and owner of Eclipse Engineering, Inc.--a 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. He has multiple research interests that span from his work on Ireland, ethnicity, and the Irish language--his dissertation topic--to social and cultural geographic aspects of planning, active transportation, transportation infrastructure, and the design profession in general.

Selected Publications:

Refereed Journal Articles

Sullivan, Thomas. 2014. 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 and Christopher Livingston. “Round and Round We Go!”: American Political Ideology, Social Behavior, and the Roundabout. Mobilities.

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

Languages Known:

  • French - elementary proficiency
  • Gaelic - elementary proficiency