James N. Maples is a professor of sociology at Eastern Kentucky University. He is also the director of EKU’s Division for Regional Economic Assessment and Modeling (DREAM).

His research examines the economic impact of outdoor recreation in rural transitional economies in Central Appalachia and beyond.

Research with a Purpose

Dr. Maples grew up in East Tennessee in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. He received his PhD from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012 with a focus in sociology and political economy.

Check out some of Dr. Maples’ recent studies.

Economic Impact of Rock Climbing In Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

Economic Impact of Rock Climbing in West Virginia’s New River Gorge

Check out Dr. Maples on YouTube!