|Jack Thigpen, Extension Director|
As extension director, Jack Thigpen oversees Sea Grant’s extension and education specialists and activities. His expertise includes researching the sociological and economic impacts of coastal recreation and tourism on communities, and he is associate faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University.
Thigpen has received numerous awards and recognition for his multidisciplinary work, including chairing the National Sea Grant Assembly of Extension Program and helping lead the creation of the South East Coastal Ocean Observing System (SEACOOS), a collaborative university partnership to collect, manage, and disseminate integrated regional ocean observations and information about southeastern coastlines. Thigpen is the past president and recipient of the excellence in extension award from the Southern Rural Sociological Association, and was a rural affairs fellow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Before becoming extension director, Thigpen worked as a coastal recreation and tourism specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant and earlier as an associate professor of rural sociology at Texas A&M University. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Kentucky, a master’s in agricultural economics and a bachelor’s in agricultural business, both from the University of Tennessee.
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