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Timothy J Mulrooney

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Associate Professor
(919) 530-6575
(919) 530-7990
1246 Mary M. Townes Science Building


Tim Mulrooney is originally from Long Valley, New Jersey. He is a 1995 graduate of Columbia University in New York City, where he was a member of the wrestling team. After graduating from Columbia, he taught at the John Carroll School, a coeducational private high school in Bel Air, Maryland. While teaching at John Carroll, he earned his Master's degree in Computer Science at Loyola College in Baltimore. Those studies, combined with his teaching earth science, elicited an interest in the burgeoning discipline of GIS and Remote Sensing. He entered the geography graduate program at the University of Idaho in 1999.

Much of his studies at the University of Idaho revolved around cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing technology and the programming languages to help automate digital map creation. He also taught at the Potlatch Jr-Sr High School while finishing up his thesis during the 2001- 2002 school year. In addition to his teaching duties at Potlatch, he also served as an assistant wrestling coach and head track and field coach.

In September of 2002, he began work with the Army at Fort A.P. Hill. The goal of the Sustainable Range Program (SRP) office was to create mapping products and perform spatial analysis so the military could train in an environmentally, fiscally and socially responsible manner. In addition to his mapping duties, he gave a variety of GIS technical workshops and talks about the increasingly popular field of GIS, its applications and future use as it applies to the military. He also served as an adjunct instructor in the geography department at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He moved to North Carolina to attend the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2007.

At UNCG, his PhD dissertation focus was on using open source programming and data mining techniques to assess GIS metadata integrity for large spatial databases. In his work experience, he had seen an increasing schism between the rate at which data are created and the rate at which data are cataloged. Given that each metadata file contains more than 400 individual elements, efficiently extracting information from this metadata is an impossibility and little research has been done in the science of metadata and automating metadata. His research explored methodology within the open source environment in which data can be turned into information that inevitably supports the decision-making process. This work has led to work with the NCDOT to provide GIS metadata education to statewide stakeholders in hopes of applying the new state and local government GIS metadata standard that was passed by the NCGICC (North Carolina Geographic Information Coordinating Council) in late 2016.

Before his appointment at NCCU, he did GIS research at the Center for Community Safety at Winston-Salem State University. In this position, he used maps and spatial analysis to assess quality of life issues such as crime analysis, re-entry mapping, environmental justice and issues related to education.

He has a vested interest in all forms of GIS, including GIS metadata standards, GIS education and subject areas in which GIS can be implemented at the college and high school level. Whether we realize it or not, we all use GIS in some form or another on a daily basis. Every phenomena has a spatial component and the democratization of GIS software and data can aid in a variety of different disciplines and communities. He sees GIS as a powerful tool to reinforce STEM research or to bridge social science research with STEM disciplines and feels that GIS is an effective technical skill that can set job applicants apart from those who do not have these skills. He has been working on a 3-year grant provided by the USDA to use GIS to measure facets of rural food security, or one's ability to have safe and reliable access to affordable and nutritious food. The term 'food desert', which represents low-income areas far from fresh food has been used to delineate food-insecure regions. However, contemporary research has shown the over availability of poor food sources (fast-food and convenience stores) over healthy ones was more a determinant of poor health outcomes than just the absence of healthy food. He works with Public Health researchers, Environmental Scientists and others to address this phenomena that has many causes and effects.

Outside of school, he enjoys traveling and sports. He competes in marathons and triathlons. He set his PR (personal record) at the 2017 Peak to Creek Marathon in Morganton, NC, and competed at the 2019 Boston Marathon.


PhD University of North Carolina, Greensboro 2009
MS University of Idaho 2002
ME Loyola College 1999
BA Columbia University 1995


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Selected Publications

1. Mulrooney, T. (2019). Facilitating a Statewide GIS Metadata Standard through Training, Outreach and Programmatic Metadata Evaluation. International Journal on Advances in Software , 12(2), 166-178.
2. Mulrooney, T. (2018). Assessing and Evaluating Standard Compliance with a State and Local Government GIS Metadata Profile in Large Geospatial Databases. GEOProcessing 2018: The Tenth International Conference on Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Applications, and Services, 978-1-61208-617-0, 36-39.
3. Mulrooney, T. , & McGinn, C. , & Madumere, C. , & , B. (2017). A New Raster-Based Metric to Measure Relative Food Availability in Rural Areas: A Case Study in Southeastern North Carolina. Southeastern Geographer , 57(2), 151-178.
4. Mulrooney, T. , & Beratan, K. , & McGinn, C. , & Branch, B. (2017). A comparison of raster-based travel time surfaces against vector-based network calculations as applied in the study of rural food deserts. Applied Geography, 78, 12-21.
5. Weinstein, M. B., & Fuller, K. , & Mulrooney, T. J., & Koch, G. (2014). The Benefits of Recreational Programming on Juvenile Crime Reduction: A Review of Literature and Data. National Parks and Recreation Association.
6. Mulrooney, T. J., & Mulrooney, S. D. (2013). Using Quadrat Analysis And Clustering Techniques to Quantify Patterns of Bear Sightings In Northwest New Jersey. The Middle States Geographer , 51-60.
7. Love, G. , & Mulrooney, T. J., & Brown, L. (2012). Using GIS to Address Food Availability in Durham, North Carolina. The North Carolina Geographer , 19, 34-52.
8. Mulrooney, T. J. (2011). An Assessment of Wind Power as an Alternative Energy Source in North Carolina: A GIS Approach. The North Carolina Geographer , 35-44.
9. Love, G. , & Mulrooney, T. J. (2011). Using GIS to Address Food Availability in Durham, North Carolina. Proceedings of Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, Annual Meeting.
10. Mulrooney, T. J., & Carmichael, M. (2009). Using GIS to Assess the Effectiveness of the Weed and Seed Initiative in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 2002 - 2005. Journal of Justice Studies , 1, 109-118.
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