I am an Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, and a Research Associate in the Center for Urban Studies at Portland State University. As the founder of the newly established Sustaining Urban Places Research Lab (SUPR Lab, website under construction), our team focuses on three substantive areas of investigation: (1) examining feedbacks between environmental change and human behavior; (2) developing community-based indicators for measuring the social and environmental conditions; and (3) characterizing the relationship between urban development patterns and environmental quality. Prior to serving at Portland State University, I was a school teacher in Oregon; curriculum developer in California; and, a health and environmental policy analyst for New York State’s Governors Office.
Research: Working in collaborative teams to address pressing societal challenges is at the core of my research efforts. Funding for my research comes from local, State, and National organizations. Two recent and notable projects were funded by the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, and the Urban Long Term Research Areas Exploratory (ULTRA - Ex). This is the first IGERT at PSU and examines the field of ecosystem services. The ULTRA - Ex project also examines ecosystem services, although aims to create an urban long term ecological research station in the Portland region. Both projects promise to expand and deepen the research capacity of the University. For more information about these (and other) research projects, please navigate to the 'Research' link above.
Courses: As my research is inextricably linked with my approach to teaching. I strive to engage students in problem-based inquiry, which allows students to confront a pressing societal problem, identify the knowledge and skills necessary for analyzing the problem, and collaborate to develop practicable solutions for addressing the problem. Currently, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Environmental Planning Methods, Ecosystem Services, Global Cities, and a readings seminar. More information, including sample syllabi, is available on the 'Courses' link above.
Training: I received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (agroecology emphasis, UC Santa Cruz), Master of Science degrees in Economics (Ecological Economics emphasis) and Environmental Policy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), and a PhD in Urban Design and Planning (Urban Ecology emphasis, University of Washington).
Contact: If you have questions about my teaching or research interests please feel free to contact me. I will be on leave during spring term, 2013 (April 1 - June 15), and not responding to emails until the summer.
The information contained on this site is for the public to learn more about my interests, and in no way reflects the opinions of Portland State University.