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, Mulrooney taught at the John Carroll School, a coeducational private high school in Bel Air, Maryland. While teaching at John Carroll, he earned an M.S. degree in Computer Science at Loyola College in Baltimore. Those studies, combined with teaching earth science, elicited Mulrooney’s interest in the burgeoning discipline of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. Mulrooney entered the geography graduate program at the University of Idaho in 1999.
Much of Mulrooney’s studies at the University of Idaho revolved around cartography, GIS and remote sensing technology and the programming languages to help automate digital map creation. In September of 2002, Mulrooney 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, Mulrooney led various GIS technical workshops and discussions about the increasingly popular field of GIS, its applications and future use as it applies to the military. Mulrooney moved to North Carolina to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in 2007.
At UNCG, Mulrooney’s Ph.D. 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 is an impossibility, and little research has been done in the science of metadata and automating metadata. Mulrooney’s 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 North Carolina Department of Transportation (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 North Carolina Geographic Information Coordinating Council (NCGICC) in late 2016 and is being utilized to this day.
Before Mulrooney was appointed at North Carolina Central University, he did GIS research at the Center for Community Safety at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). In this position, Mulrooney 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.
Mulrooney has a vested interest in all forms of GIS, including GIS metadata and data quality 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 phenomenon has a spatial component, and the democratization of GIS software and data can aid in a variety of different disciplines and communities if used properly. Mulrooney completed a three-year grant provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (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 is more of a determinant of poor health outcomes than an absence of healthy food. Mulrooney is continuing on with this work on another three-year USDA-funded grant to explore the integrity of data used in the spatial and aspatial analysis of the food environment. This includes the development of field applications to collect in-situ data as well as data mining techniques to comb through voluminous amounts of spatial data.
As an educator, Mulrooney works hard to facilitate data-driven decision making through the latest technology and the projects he presents in his classes. There are copious amounts of data on which we make decisions; the ability to download, import, create, analyze, map and render data in all forms is absolutely essential in the workforce. Mulrooney has had 22 students earn awards at conferences and workshops such as the NCCU Research Symposium, the North Carolina Geographical Society Annual Meeting, the North Carolina GIS Conference and the National Society for Black Engineers Annual Conference. Professionally, Mulrooney’s biggest source of pride comes from former students who fostered their skills and have moved on to successful careers in the field at places such as the North Carolina Department of Transportation, City of Durham, Environmental Protection Agency, Lowe’s Corporation, National Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, real estate firms and private contractors or students who have gone onto Ph.D. programs at places such as North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Outside of school, Mulrooney enjoys traveling and sports. He has competed in marathons and triathlons. He set his personal record (PR) at the 2017 Peak to Creek Marathon in Morganton, North Carolina, and competed at the 2019 Boston Marathon.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 2011. An Assessment of Wind Power as an Alternative Energy Source in North Carolina: A GIS Approach. The North Carolina Geographer 18:35–44.
- Love, Garrett, Mulrooney, Timothy and Brown, LaDonna. 2012. Using GIS to Address Food Availability in Durham, North Carolina. The North Carolina Geographer 19:35–53.
- Mulrooney, Timothy and Mulrooney, S. 2013. Using Quadrat Analysis and Clustering Techniques to Quantify Patterns of Bear Sightings in Northwest New Jersey. The Middle States Geographer 46:51–60.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 2015. Final Report: Applying QA/QC Procedures to Quantitatively Measure the Quality of NC DOT GIS Data. A Summary of NC DOT GIS Data. Report for North Carolina Department of Transportation. 64 pp.
- Mulrooney, T., Beratan, K., McGinn, C. and Branch, B. 2017. A Comparison of Raster-Based Travel Time Surfaces against Vector-Based Network Calculations as Applied in the Study of Rural Food Insecurity. Applied Geography 78:12–21. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622816306099)
- Mulrooney, T., McGinn, C. Branch, B., Madumere, C. and Ifediora, 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.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 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, Rome, Italy, March 27. ISBN: 978-1-61208-617-0:36–39.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 2019. Final Report: Facilitating the New Statewide GIS Metadata Standard through Training and Outreach. Report for North Carolina Department of Transportation. 22 pp.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 2019. Documenting and Mapping UAS Legislation by Municipality in the State of North Carolina. Report for North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation. 10 pp.
- Mulrooney, Timothy. 2019. Facilitating a Statewide GIS Metadata Standard through Training, Outreach and Programmatic Metadata Evaluation. International Journal on Advances in Software 12(2):166–178.
- Azubike, Chinazor S., Kurkalova, Lyubov A. & Mulrooney, Timothy J., 2019. Modeling Land Use and Land Cover in North Carolina; a Markov Chain Approach. Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 21–23, Atlanta.
- Mulrooney T. and Wooten, T. A Public Participatory Approach toward the Development of a Comprehensive Geospatial Database in Support of High-scale Food Security Analysis. In Proceeding of the 6th International Conference in Geographical Information Systems Theory Application and Management (GISTAM 2020), pages 21–32. ISBN: 978-989-758-425-1.
- Dhamankar, S. S., Hashemi-Beni, L., Kurkalova, L. A., Liang, C. L., Mulrooney, T., Jha, M., Monty, G., and Miao, H. 2020. Study of Active Farmland Use To Support Agent-Based Modeling Of Food Deserts, International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science, XLIV-M-2-2020, 9–13, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLIV-M-2-2020-9-2020.
- Mulrooney, T., Foster, R., Jha, M., Hashemi Beni, L., Kurkalova, L., Liang, C.L., Miao, H., Monty, G. 2021. Using Geospatial Networking Tools to Optimize Source Locations as Applied to the Study of Food Availability: A Study in Guilford County, North Carolina. Applied Geography 128: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2021.102415.
- Mulrooney, T. and Wooten, T. 2021. Digital High-Scale Food Security Analysis: Challenges, Considerations and Opportunities. Communications in Computer and Information Systems 1411:140–166. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76374-9_9.
- Liang, C.-L., Kurkalova, L., Hashemi Beni, L., Mulrooney, T., Jha, M., Miao, H., and Monty, G. 2021. Introducing an innovative design to examine human-environment dynamics of food deserts responding to COVID-19. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2):123–133. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.037
- Lee, D., Paul, C., Pilkington, W., Mulrooney, T., Diggs, N and Kumar, D. 2021. Examining the Effects of Social Determinants of Health on COVID-19 Related Stress, Family’s Stress and Discord, and Personal Diagnosis of COVID-19. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, 5: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadr.2021.100183
- Mulrooney, T., McGinn, C., Madumere, C. and Ifediora, B. 2021. A Comprehensive Assessment and Evaluation of the Digital Geospatial Data Sources Used in the Study of Food Deserts and Food Swamps. The North Carolina Geographer, 20:13–27.
- McGinn, C., Mulrooney, T., Howard, R. and Wooten, T. 2021. Proliferating Transportation-Related Careers through the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI). The North Carolina Geographer, 20:28–36.
- Hashemi Beni, L., Kurkalova, L., Mulrooney T. and Azubike, C. 2021. Combining Multiple Geospatial Data for Estimating Above Ground Biomass in North Carolina. Forest Remote Sensing, 13(14): 2731. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142731
- Mulrooney, T. and McGinn, C. 2022. A Brief Statistical and Geostatistical Survey of the Relationship Between COVID-19 and By-Mail Balloting in the 2020 North Carolina General Election. The Professional Geographer, 74(1):115–120. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2021.1933551.
- Mulrooney, T., Mulrooney, E. and McGinn, C. 2022. Exploring Rural Food Insecurity in North Carolina: Debunking an Urban Myth. Sociation - Journal of the North Carolina Sociological Association, 20(2):40–50.
- Boehme, H., Malhotra, R. and Mulrooney, T. 2022. More Gas, More Crime: A Geospatial Examination of the Concentration of Gas Stations and Predatory Crime. The Southeastern Geographer (pending).
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI). 2011. North Carolina Central University Faculty-Student Scholarly/Creative Productivity Initiative. Using GIS to Address Food Availability in Downtown Durham. 1 year, $3,250.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI). 2013. North Carolina Department of Transportation Research Program, Award 2014-02. Applying QA/QC Procedures to Quantitatively Measure the Quality of NCDOT GIS Data. 1 year, $74,741.
- Weinstein, Meredith (PI), Dennis, Arnold (co-PI), Stiefvater, Robert (co-PI), Dorwart, Catherine (co-PI) and Mulrooney, Timothy (co-PI). 2014. National Recreation and Park Association, Crime Reduction Metric Grant. Benefits of Parks and Recreation in Reducing Juvenile Delinquency. 1 year, $35,168.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI). 2016. North Carolina Department of Transportation Research Program Award 2017-20. Facilitating the New Statewide GIS Metadata Standard Through Training and Outreach. 2 years, $95,193.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI), McGinn, Christopher (co-PI) and Beratan, Kathy (co-PI). 2016. NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) / USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Foundational Grant Program Award 2016-67023-24904. Geospatial Tools and Analyses to Assess, Educate and Inform Spatial Dimensions of Rural Food Insecurity. 3 years, $417,942.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI) and McGinn, Chris (co-PI). 2018. North Carolina Department of Transportation Research Program Award 2018-41. Spatializing UAS Legislation by Municipality in the State of North Carolina. 1 year, $24,385.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI), McGinn, Chris (co-PI) and Anderson, Cha’ssem (co-PI). 2018. North Carolina Department of Transportation / Federal Highway Administration. National Summer Transportation Institute: Summer 2018 High School Day Camp, $24,000.
- Vlahovic, Gordana (PI), McGinn, C. (co-PI), Malhotra, R. (co-PI) and Mulrooney, T. (co-PI). National Science Foundation. GEOPATHS-IMPACT: Growing Geoscience Enrollment Through Academic Partnership with NC Community Colleges. 3 years, $316,944.
- Jha, Manoj (PI), Liang, K. (co-PI), Beni, L. (co-PU), Kurkalova, L. (co-PI), Monty, G. (co-PI), Mulrooney, T. (co-PI). National Science Foundation – Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (NCH). Dynamics of Rural and Urban Food Deserts Driven by the Interactions Between Community Socio-Economic Characteristics and Land/Water Quality. 3 years, $749,990.
- Paul Chris (PI), Diggs, N. (co-PI), Lee, D. (co-PI) and Mulrooney, T. (Researcher). NC Policy Collaboratory. The Role of Food Security in the Social Determinants of Health: Contingent Impacts of COVID-19 in North Carolina. 1 year, $65,000.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI), McGinn, Chris (co-PI) and Gerald, Carresse (co-PI). 2021. NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) / USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Foundational Grant Program Award 2021-67021-34152. FACT: A Framework to Comprehensively Evaluate, Distribute and Catalog Geospatial Data Sources Used in the Study of the Food Environment. 3 years, $364,500.
- Mulrooney, Timothy (PI) and Malhotra, Rakesh (co-PI). 2021. North Carolina Department of Transportation Research Program Award 2022-21. The Interactive Mapping of the NCDOT Research Project Program Using Story Maps. 2 years, $44,125.
- Lawlor, Lathleen, McCoy, Henry, Mulrooney, Timothy, Paul, Christopher, Krome-Lukens, Anna and Bahls, Patrick. University of North Carolina System Undergraduate Research Award Program. Applied Public Policy Research on Race and Economic Opportunity: Connecting Senior Capstone CUREs at NC Central University, UNC Asheville, and UNC Chapel Hill to Inform Reparations Initiatives in Durham and Asheville. 1 year, $29,500.