Motivations For Entering Academia
Following work in the nonprofit sector and as Peace Corps Volunteer, I decided to go into academia to find ways to better leverage the resources, expertise, an standing of universities to catalyze societal change to meet some of our most pressing challenges, particularly climate change.
My applied research focuses on redesigning cities so that more people can walk and bike more of the time. This work has ranged from bottom-up, participatory GIS planning to more standard analysis of urban form and transportation. I have completed three case study books of Rethinking Streets, or street redesigns for sustainability. These books are publicly accessible and targeted toward diverse scholarly and practitioner audiences in positions to make local change. The Rethinking Streets series has been downloaded across sectors, cities, and countries throughout the world.
Sustainable Cities Institute
The Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI) is an applied thinktank focused on sustainability and cities. SCI work is always sustainability-focused, cross-disciplinary, and applied, and focuses on policy-relevant research, applied pedagogy, and direct engagement with appropriate stakeholders across public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. SCI has pioneered a new ‘catalytic learning’ model of higher education that is multi-disciplinary, broad scaled, and action-oriented called the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP), which is now being implemented by over 60 universities across four continents under the nonprofit organization I helped co-found, Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N).
The overarching goal of SCI is to put the resources of the university into action to help address society’s most pressing issues and help train the next generation of leaders. You can find more information here about SCI: sci.uoregon.edu. Urbanism Next: urbanismnext.uoregon.edu, or EPIC-N: epicn.org.
Other Random Notes
· I was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Fiji (1995-97), focusing on sustainable rural development
· I was a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom in 2009-10 and a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Israel in 2015-16
· Since 2011, every other summer, I have been offering a study abroad course on bicycle transportation in Denmark and the Netherlands (now alternating instruction with Professor Rebecca Lewis), supported by Scan Design Foundation philanthropic funds that help make this program the largest scholarship-supported study abroad program at the University of Oregon
· I supervise the LiveMove transportation and livability student group (an incredible group!)
· I co-founded and currently lead the ‘Sustainable Cities and Public Good’ Academic Residential Community (ARC), which is a dorm-affiliated program for 1st year college students that has both academic and social elements to integrate new students into university life and adulthood
· My main web page includes additional information on research projects, tools for students, key web links, and a basic training manual for ultimate frisbee beginners.