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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

University of Tennessee


Assessing the Potential Impact of Emerging Technologies in Rural Communities in Ducktown, Tennessee

Ducktown Tennessee, population 427, is located in the Copper Basin in Southeast Tennessee. Like all Copper Basin communities, Ducktown carries a legacy of environmental devastation and remediation. It is also a town in the midst of economic change as it transitions from an extractive resource-based economy to one focused on tourism and small business development.

Ducktown has, in recent years, garnered a reputation as an innovative and progressive community. The community has developed one of the most ambitious municipal solar programs in Tennessee and has assumed a leadership role in the state's rural development community. Using Ducktown as a case study, ATP students examined the potential economic impact and social consequences of new and emerging technologies on small rural communities. The class examined policies and development strategies based on several new technologies, including renewable energy, alternative fuel vehicles, and 3D printing. As part of the assessment process, students examined a wide range of issues and policy topics, including workforce development, infrastructure, local perceptions, and local capacity.


2013 Presentation

2013 Final Report


Contact Information:

Tim Ezzell, Ph.D.
Director Community Partnership Center
University of Tennessee
UT Conference Center, Suite 311
Knoxville, TN 37996-0645
Telephone: 865-974-9036


Previous Conference Participation:   2012    2011    2010     2009

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