Aaron Massey researches the intersection of resource economics, politics and environmental degradation. Currently, his research focuses on the controversial use of mountaintop removal coal mining in southern West Virginia. Using qualitative methods, he engages with local anti-MTR activists group to understand how they organize and mobilize in regards to issues of geographic scale, place, and political agency. Other research interests include the development of a wine tourism industry in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina, the remembrance of the Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia, and the culture of lost coal company towns of Appalachia.
At West Liberty University, Massey is the advisor to Chi Nu Fraternity, Gamma Theta Upsilon – Geography Honorary Society, Geography Club, and the West Liberty Pioneers (student hiking and camping club). He is also the Coordinator of Social Studies Education , as well as the Social Studies Program Assessment Coordinator. Massey continues to serve on the WLU President’s Council on Sustainability Executive Committee. Additionally, he has led study abroad experiences in both Iceland and China.
When off campus, Massey is an award-winning homebrewer and home winemaker. He teaches courses on the Geography of Wine and winemaking at various colleges and wine establishments. He has also served as judge in a number of beer and wine competitions and has led tastings for dozens of breweries and wineries at local events such as the Oglebay Institute and the Mountaineer Brewfest. He is also an active member in the Wheeling Alers Homebrew Club, as well as the American Homebrewers Association.