Faculty Fellows Directory

Meet the Faculty Fellows

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Naomi Adiv
Urban Studies & Planning

Naomi’s research focuses on the social and political functions of public spaces in cities, including municipal toilets as part of public space in West Coast cities. She teaches community development and Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) courses that encourage her students to better understand their communities.

Sy Adler
Urban Studies & Planning

The associate dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs, Sy works with Planning Oregon, an initiative of the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, that supports faculty research about issues of interest to land use planners and community leaders in Portland and across the state, and convenes events to discuss innovative land-use planning practices.  

Idowu Ajibade, GeographyIdowu Ajibade 


Idowu's research focuses on the very timely themes of environmental justice, urbanization, disaster response, and governance of global environmental change. She is studying how the city of Portland is transforming toward sustainability through shifts in environmental culture and ideology, and how this shift will affect preparedness in the event of future extreme events. 

Jennifer Allen 
Public Administration

Jennifer’s research focuses on sustainable economic development and collaborative approaches to natural resource management; she works closely with the National Policy Consensus Center to develop a shared research agenda on collaborative governance. Jennifer is a co-founder and the former director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

Leslie W. Batchelder
University Studies

With a background in comparative literature and cultural studies, Leslie engages her students in social aspects of sustainability and asks them to consider how the choices they make every day have a broader impact on society. Students in her classes have participated in the WALL-E Living Lab program, analysis of Portland’s Climate Action Plan, and other community-based projects.

Lisa K. Bates
Urban Studies & Planning  

Lisa’s research is focused on urban planning and social justice, particularly thinking about housing not just as shelter, but a means of access to neighborhoods and opportunities. Her work analyzes affordable housing locations with respect to transit and jobs; understanding gentrification and displacement; and how planning systems can support housing choices.

Travis Bell

Travis is a specialist in ecological design and a faculty fellow at the Center for Public Interest Design (CPID), and a faculty fellow at the Building Science Lab to Advance Teaching (BUILT) with PSU’s School of Architecture. His primary interest lies in making architecture that is in closer alignment with the natural patterns of our environment.

Kathi Inman Berens

A digital poet and storyteller, Kathi curates, researches, and creates electronic literature. She is focused on documenting sustainability stories through participatory experiences that invite people to hear transformations that are ordinarily abstractions, including the concepts of decay, renovation, sustainability, access, gentrification, and demolition.

John Bershaw

John is an assistant professor whose research focuses on stable isotopes (chemistry of water) and precipitation. He is interested in water management in regions where water is a limited resource and impacts of climate change on water availability in the Pacific Northwest and Asia.


Jonathan Bird
Electrical & Computer Engineering

Jonathan is focused on studying new types of high-torque density, magnetically geared electromechanical energy conversion devices for use in renewable power generation applications such as in wind turbines and ocean power generators and exploring ways to improve reliability and lower the cost of renewable power generation. 

Randall Bluffstone

Randy focuses on environmental and natural resource economics with an emphasis on ecosystem services provided by forests. He works with partners as diverse as the World Bank in Ethiopia, ForestAction in Nepal, and Forest Park Conservancy in Portland. He is also the founder of the ISS-funded PSU Institute for Economics and the Environment. 

Brian Bolton

If Brian could sum up his research in one phrase it would be this: “No mission, no margin.” The author of the book “Sustainable Financial Investments,” published by Palgrave McMillian in 2015, Brian teaches courses and pursues research in finance, financial institutions, corporate social responsibility, and social enterprises. 

Darrell Brown

An endowed professor of accounting, Darrell operates at the intersection of business and sustainability. He works closely with ISS as the director of the interdisciplinary NSF-funded IGERT program on Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions and develops sustainability-oriented curriculum for individual courses and entire programs.  

Nirupama Bulusu
Computer Science

A computer scientist, Niru has spent nearly two decades developing algorithms and protocols for low-power and mobile sensor networks that are being applied to various sustainability related domains such as environmental sensing, habitat monitoring, urban planning, and personalized health care and wellness.  

Tina Burdsall

Tina’s primary areas of research and teaching connect to the social determinants of health: the social factors such as income, education, race, and age, that play an important part in determining a person's access to opportunities, health, and wellness. Her current work includes research on the creation and use of green roofs on hospitals. 

Heather Burns
Educational Leadership & Policy  

The director of the graduate Leadership for Sustainability Education program, Heather teaches courses ranging from sustainability leadership to deep ecology. Her research is focused on sustainability pedagogy including transformative learning, leadership development, and whole person development. She is also the PSU faculty coordinator of the Learning Gardens Laboratory.

Raúl Bayoán Cal
Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Raul’s area of research is focused on understanding hydrodynamic turbulence and complexity in fluid mechanics with an emphasis on interactions between the atmosphere and turbines and other forms of renewable energy as well as volcanic plumes. Partners in his research include Portland General Electric and TriMet.  

Alida Cantor, GeographyAlida Cantor 


Water is a hot topic in a changing climate and Alida has been focusing her research at the center of water policy and governance in California and the U.S. West. In addition to water policy, her research interests include food systems, legal geography, environmental justice, political ecology, feminist science and technology studies, and human-environment geography. 

Peter Chaille, Public AdministrationPeter Chaille

Public Administration

Peter's teaching and research interests are in civic engagement and leadership, ecology, environment and natural resources, and science education. Peter is part of a team of Public Administration faculty and graduate research assistants who collaborate closely with ISS, engaging their civic leadership students in multi-term community-based learning projects. 

Heejun Chang

Heejun investigates climate change impacts on water resources, land cover change and water quality, urban water demand, and water-related ecosystem services. As a director of the Hydrology and Water Resources Lab, he has lead the Columbia River Basin study and the urban flood risk study that has contributed to the Portland Climate Action Collaborative.  

Kelly Clifton
Civil & Environmental Engineering 

Kelly has worked to develop a sustainable urban transportation agenda around the connections between transportation and land use, development of planning tools and models, and active transportation and health.  She is the director of the Oregon Modeling Collaborative and the chair of the World Society on Transport and Land Use Research.

Jack Corbett
Public Administration

For more than 40 years Jack Corbett has worked with organizations and universities in Mexico and Canada on community-based approaches to natural and cultural resources management. His work on organizational culture, community values, and transnational decision-making dynamics addresses policy and practice with special attention to sustainable development.

Tugrul Daim
Technology Management 

Tugrul leads the PhD program in technology management and a research group on sustainable infrastructure, developing technology roadmaps for organizations including Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon, and utilities across the country. He is a faculty adviser for the Graduate Certificate for Energy Policy and Management

Catherine de Rivera 
Environmental Science & Management

Catherine researches habitat connectivity, climate change, and the invasion of non-native species. She collaborates with a variety of disciplines to create outcomes such as an actionable plan for improving habitat connectivity through urban areas, an analysis of the effects of sea level rise on salt marshes, and studies of invasive species and climate change.  

Sahan DissanayakeSahan Dissanayake 

Sahan is an environmental and resource economist with expertise on ecosystem services and land conservation and the use of choice experiment surveys and mathematical programming models. His research spans the United States, Nepal, Ethiopia, Japan, and Sri Lanka. His work has also focused on conservation within military installations and school districting.

Marion Dresner
Environmental Science & Management

Marion believes in tapping the potential of citizen scientists and has worked with them on project such as bird abundance data collection in backyard habitats and monitoring pollinator activity at community gardens. She’s also involved in a long-term study of ecological connectivity of backyards and public greenspaces and the impact of urbanization in Forest Park. 

Peter Dusicka
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Peter’s focus is on sustainable and resilient infrastructure including large buildings, towers, and bridges. His research has investigated green building materials, reducing the resource intensity of constructions, and the development of seismically resilient mass timber buildings. Peter leads PSU’s InfraStructure Testing and Applied Research Laboratory.

Brian Elliott

Brian researches, writes, and teaches about environmental ethics and politics with a focus on the politics of climate change, social philosophy, and urbanism. Brian is an active member of the Public Philosophy Network, an organization that relates academic philosophy to public policy and urban sustainability. 

Sarah Ensor

An expert in the intersections of literature and ecology, Sarah’s research and teaching interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, ecocriticism, queer theory, and American literary regionalism. Her current project is a manuscript entitled “Spinster Ecology” that will explore and bridge the theoretical impasses that divide queer theory from ecocriticism. 

Berrin Erdogan

Berrin is interested in the interface between employment, employability, and work conditions and employee health and well-being. Her research examines employee “green” behaviors at work, what organizational practices and conditions motivate employees, and how employees are affected by organizational commitment to the ecological environment and community.

David Ervin
Environmental Management and Economics

David conducts research and works with students to advance the comprehensive valuation of ecosystem services to inform local, national, and international natural resource management regimes. He specializes in working with government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits to help resolve wicked natural resource problems confronting society. 

Faryar Etesami
Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Faryar is a specialist in mechanical design, computer-aided design, mechanical tolerancing, and statistical process improvement. He is working on a research project focused on low-concentration photovoltaic solar energy, working with students to develop a small, mirror-based prototype. 

Yiping Fang 
Urban Studies

Yiping focuses on the urbanization processes of cities from a critical perspective of social and environmental sustainability: identifying housing-related inequalities in Chinese cities, investigating the power dynamics of urban sprawl, and exploring planning responses to migration challenges. She brings an international perspective to the local planning debate.

Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate
Black Studies/University Studies

Pedro teaches sustainable food systems capstones at PSU, partnering with local cooperative food markets, farms, and food producers. He teaches classes on race and sustainability, food justice, and social sustainability and his research focuses on indigenous food ways of the Caribbean and the Americas, with a focus on cassava and corn complexes. 

Todd Ferry

Todd’s work investigates the role of designers in traditionally underserved communities through applied research that emphasizes practice that is socially conscious, environmentally sustainable, and economically accessible to all. Current projects include work in China, North Portland, and northern California. He also coordinates PSU’s Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design

Miguel Figliozzi
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Miguel’s research spans transportation and supply chain-related issues including emissions, lifecycle analysis, logistics, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian transportation, safety, traffic, electric vehicles. His work includes modeling and statistical analysis and his partners include transportation agencies at the federal/state/metro level as well as private companies.

Jonathan Fink

Jon conducts research on natural hazards and urban sustainability, with a current emphasis on smart cities. He is the former interim director of ISS and previously headed the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. His administrative focus has been on designing interdisciplinary research programs that build on multi-sector partnerships.

Celine Fitzmaurice
University Studies

Celine is a capstone instructor and faculty development facilitator with a focus on environmental advocacy, sustainable food systems, the commons, and climate change. Her classes have been active in the ISS Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative. Her work has led her to focus on facilitated experiential education programs in a variety of academic, international, and wilderness settings.

Andrew Fountain

Andrew has worked on glaciers in polar regions and in the U.S., and studies how they respond to climate change, and how much water they contribute to high alpine hydrology, ecosystems, and to global sea level. His more detailed studies include how water moves through and under glaciers, as well as the conditions at the ice-air interface that initiate melt.

Lauren Frank, CommunicationLauren Frank 


Lauren specializes in health communication campaigns with a focus on health and gender equity issues. Her research spans South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the United States; and she collaborates with BBC Media Action and other international groups to examine the influence of media campaigns on behavior. 

Stephen Frenkel
International and Global Studies

Stephen's teaching ranges from sustainable development, globalization and urban development, to tourism and commodities in both Latin American and African contexts. Common themes embedded in these topics are sustainability, examining current global political, social, and environmental inequities, and identifying solutions.

Elliott Gall
Mechanical & Materials Engineering

The core areas of Elliott’s research are in air pollutants and building technologies—and understanding how built environments affect exposure to air pollution serves as a bridge between these two core areas. As a building scientist, his research and teaching is compelled by the urgent need for sustainable built and urban environments. 

Matthew Gebhardt
Urban Studies & Planning

Matthew’s research has him examining food carts, housing affordability,  the sharing economy, and green building. He teaches core planning and real estate courses on ethics, design, and development that explore the tensions of equity, environmental preservation, and economic development, in addition to community development and neighborhood revitalization.  

Linda George
Environmental Science & Management  

Linda’s primary research interests include monitoring and modeling of urban air pollutants as they relate to urban infrastructure, such as transportation systems, land use, and cities. Her lab works on assessing human exposure of air pollutants and she is a member of the PSU Center for Climate and Aerosol Research and the Healthy Trees, Healthy People research projects.  

Rodrigo George 
Public Administration

Rodrigo is an active teacher in ISS’ Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, having engaged both business and public administration classes in neighborhood-scale sustainability projects. He is also the sustainability program manager for Bonneville Power Administration and is a native Brazilian who cares deeply about the success of students seeking careers in sustainability.

Jeffrey Gerwing
Environmental Science & Management

For the past decade, Jeff has focused his attention on forest and ecosystem restoration in the Mt. Hood National Forest, with a personal emphasis on monitoring adaptive management to improve restoration projects. He has also been a teacher in the PSU Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative and the Living Lab.

Karen J. Gibson

Urban Studies & Planning

Karen studies the mechanisms and processes that structure and sustain Black urban poverty, such as segregation, housing discrimination, redlining, disinvestment, and gentrification. She teaches housing and community development courses using historical and political economy perspectives.

Aaron Golub 
Urban Studies & Planning

Aaron’s work hits the intersection—and tension—between justice and broader sustainable transportation movements. His research focuses on social equity outcomes of transportation planning practices—how people participate in the process transportation plan winners and losers, and advocacy for transportation alternatives such as public transportation and bicycles. 

Anna Goodman 

Anna’s interests are architectural practice, social justice, urban governance, and research on the powerful role natural systems and ecological metaphors play in shaping the political projects of design professionals. She is pursuing projects that consider contemporary linkages between ecological and societal health and wellbeing.

Sean Gordon
Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Sean’s interests are conceptualization, measurement, and monitoring of environmental sustainability; the integration of scientific knowledge into decision making; and the design of systems to support collaboration. He currently works on watershed assessment for the Northwest Forest Plan and participatory mapping projects with the Portland Climate Action Collaborative

Elise Granek
Environmental Science & Management  

Elise’s research, teaching, and community engagement projects have addressed ecosystem services supporting urbanizing regions, specifically in coastal areas. Her work includes studying how land-based activities and contaminants affect coastal marine species and ecosystems. She is the co-director of the NSF-funded IGERT PhD program.

Frank D. Granshaw

Frank teaches geology and climate science, mentors undergraduates in glacier and climate research, and is an adjunct faculty member at PSU. He retired from 25 years of teaching at Portland Community College and is a research fellow for the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network developing online educational material on sustainability.

Jacen Greene

Jacen is the program manager for PSU’s Impact Entrepreneurs program, which is focused on nurturing businesses that foster economic, social, and ecological prosperity. He also helped develop and teaches the online certificate program in the Business of Social Innovation and is the faculty adviser for PSU’s Net Impact chapter.  

Melissa HaeffnerMelissa Haeffner

Environmental Science & Management 

Is it "just water"? Melissa's work focuses on water access, environmental justice, and concepts of fairness and equity. Her work contributes to the knowledge of local politics in watersheds and how they shape urban water infrastructure development in the past, in the present, and under future predictions.

Charles Heying
Urban Studies & Planning

A passion for community-based economic development and understanding locally distinct and home-grown economies led Charles to write his book, Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy, which chronicles the transformation of the Portland economy. He teaches courses in green economics, urban sociology and politics, and strategies for an economy of place.    

Avram HillerAvram Hiller


Avram's research focuses on environmental ethics and analytic philosophy. He is interested in the interplay between different kinds of values—social, animal, and ecological—and how these values inform our political and social decision-making. He's also studied climate change and its ethical ramifications.

Andrés Holz

Andrés examines climate change impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, especially forests. He takes a multi-scale, interdisciplinary approach with an eye toward building better forecasting models to predict future vulnerabilities. His research involves neo-, dendro-, and paleo-ecology, GIS and remote sensing, landscape ecology and spatially explicit modeling, and historical records.   

Megan Horst 
Urban Studies & Planning

Faculty in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at PSU,Megan’s research expertise is in the relationship between planning and policy and food systems sustainability and justice. She is collaborating with researchers from Oregon State to study patterns in farmland ownership and impacts on sustainable community food systems.

Peter Hulseman 
Northwest Economic Research Center

Peter is a senior economist at NERC and teaches introductory economics courses. His research includes analyses of Portland’s housing prices, the impact of Oregon’s minimum wage law on the long-term care sector, and Portland’s deconstruction policy. He is responsible for forecasts of population, employment, income, and housing for NERC’s regional forecast release.

Alastair Hunt

The principal question of Alastair’s research and teaching is: What makes for a sustainable political community? Using his expertise as a literary critic and theorist, he thinks through this question through the study of topics in political theory, animal studies, and Romanticism —the historical origin of modern environmentalism.

Marcus Ingle

Public Administration 

Marcus focuses on the nexus of public leadership and sustainable development. His current work with the Vietnam-Oregon Initiative aims to advance sustainable economic development in Vietnam within policy domains. 


Betty Izumi

Community Health

Betty’s teaching and research focus is on issues at the intersection of health equity, nutrition, and resilient food systems. Her Harvest for Healthy Kids is a farm-to-preschool program that promotes fruit and vegetable consumption at an early age and her work with partners including Zenger Farm brings community supported agriculture to low income communities.

Daniel Jaffee

Daniel’s research examines social contestation over natural resources and the effects of neoliberal policies on rural communities in the global South and North. His current work focuses on conflicts over the commodification of drinking water in Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., as well as the international fair trade movement and certified fair trade/organic coffee production. 

Bin Jiang
Mathematics & Statistics

Bin is a collaborative mathematician with an interest in numerical simulation of materials such as anti-reflection coatings for solar cells and nano-scale materials for use in the energy and semiconductor fields. His work was instrumental in the development of a coating for solar cells that resembles moth eyes to significantly reduce reflection.  

Jun Jiao
Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Jun’s research is focused on nanomaterials and devices fabrication aimed at promoting high-efficiency, low-power consumption, and sustainable supply resources for solar cell advancement, air pollution and wastewater treatment. Her research partners include Intel, AIT, Oregon Metals Initiative, and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. 

Gwynn R. Johnson
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Gwynn’s research focuses on toxins in the environment, how they move about and where they end up. Much of her research has her exploring sustainable solutions to at-risk environmental systems and sustainable alternatives to those long-standing engineered processes that may pose a risk to the environment (e.g., land-applied biosolids). 

Jason Jurjevich
Urban Studies & Planning

Assistant director of the Population Research Center, Jason is a human geographer with an interest in the challenges facing U.S. cities including income segregation, displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods, and health inequity connected to built environment disparities. He is currently exploring the demographic implications of climate change.

Priya Kapoor
International & Global Studies

Priya is a specialist in the unlikely pairing of climate change and community radio. Her research takes her to Northern India where she looks at the ravages of environmental destruction and how they have given rise to social and environmental mobilization and new models for community media, specifically among younger generations. 

Kevin Kecskes
Public Administration

Social sustainability informs Kevin’s research and curriculum development. He led the faculty team for the Hatfield School's Civic Leadership academic program when it combined efforts for a 9-month-long partnership in outer Southeast Portland with Green Lents at the Malden Court Community Orchard as part of the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative.  

Sybil KelleySybil Kelley

Educational Leadership & Policy

Sybil’s work includes community-based learning and research at the intersection of science/STEM education, sustainability education, and social justice. A lead faculty on the interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems, she engages her students in experiential learning and research in the Learning Gardens Laboratory, and beyond.

Arash Khosravifar
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Part of the geotechnical engineering group, Arash aims to use sustainable ground improvement techniques to improve the mechanical properties of soils, including seismic retrofits of liquefiable soils in infrastructure foundations and the improvement of seepage barriers to contain contaminated soils. 

Theodore A. Khoury

Ted’s research is situated within the areas of human and social sustainability, where he focuses on the role of institutions and social forces within entrepreneurship and innovation processes. A dominant theme in his work is the study of developing country entrepreneurs and how nascent industries learn to survive through activism and strategic alliances. 

Annie Knepler
University Studies

As a faculty member with a background in rhetoric and composition, Annie wants students to explore sustainability-related topics and communicate what they’ve learned using a variety of modes and media. From the Learning Gardens Laboratory to the WALL-E Living Lab program, she engages students in sustainability concepts at both a regional and global scale.

Sirisha Kothuri
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Working on projects in Oregon and Arizona, Sirisha is developing new strategies to improve traffic signal operations for pedestrians and cyclists, increasing safety and efficiency for sustainable transportation modes and identifying new methods to estimate pedestrian and bicycle volumes— critical for the design of new infrastructure and safety analyses.

Andres H. La Rosa

Our understanding and control of sustainable energy technologies is in its infancy, but progress is coming from the growing ability to understand nanoscale phenomena that govern the conversion of photons into other forms of energy. Andres is studying electrical conductivity  in copper oxide nano-wires, aiming to harness their use in solar energy conversion applications.

Martin Lafrenz

Martin studies the effects of persistent human disturbance and disruptions in systems from glaciers to estuaries, with a focus on providing leadership to restore ecosystem functions and anticipate the future effects of land use decisions and climate change. He’s working with Metro on a five-year study to assess the habitat connectivity for the region’s terrestrial vertebrates

Paul Lask

Paul is a writing instructor and adjunct faculty member bridging the arts and environmental issues to advance sustainable change. Teaching, storytelling, and kayaking are some of Paul’s tools for growing awareness for climate change and local issues. Paul has recently taught Wilderness History courses and was involved in the Living Lab WALL-E project communications.

Sarah Lincoln, EnglishSarah Lincoln


What's growing in that garden? Sarah's research and teaching examines sustainability, the environment, and global ecology, with current projects focusing on the environmental, ethical, social and political significance of gardening in postcolonial contexts. Her English classes include courses on postcolonial ecology, waste, and other environmental issues. 

Jenny H. Liu 
Urban Studies & Planning

Assistant director of the Northwest Economic Research Center, Jenny is an environmental and transportation economist. Her research examines links between transportation, economic development, climate change, and sustainability through a policy lens. She recently analyzed the local food economy and the Green Loop as part of the Portland Climate Action Collaborative.

Paul Loikith

Director of the Climate Science Lab, Paul’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of how temperature and precipitation extremes will change due to global warming.  In particular he is interested in how large-scale meteorology impacts extremes at local scales and teaches several classes on weather and climate.

Amy Lubitow

Amy teaches courses in social sustainability and environmental sociology and serves as affiliate faculty for the IGERT program. As part of the Portland Climate Action Collaborative, she led an equity analysis of Portland’s proposed Green Loop project. Her research explores issues of mobility, public transit, and cycling in the U.S. 

Loren Lutzenhiser
Urban Studies & Planning

Loren’s research concerns the social dimensions of energy and climate change, specifically how people use energy, buildings, and technologies, and how social groups organize resource flows. He oversees the Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management and believes that understanding the nexus of energy and people is crucial for addressing climate change.

John MacArthur, Portland State University John MacArthur

Transportation Research and Education Center 

John's research work looks at sustainable transportation, particularly in the areas of transportation electrification, emerging technologies and new mobility, e-bikes, bike share, transit, and the relationship between transportation and public health. He has a particular interest in smart cities research including new mobility, curb managment, and sensors. 

David Maier
Engineering & Computer Science

David’s research is centered on data management, including applications to science, engineering, and urban analytics. He has been involved in the NSF Science & Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction since its inception and also applies scientific data management to research on the forest canopy. He is interested in Urban Informatics—collecting and analyzing data about cities to help decisionmakers.

Sheila Martin
Urban & Public Affairs

Sheila is the director of PSU’s Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies and the Population Research Center. An economist, Sheila led the development of the Greater Portland Pulse project, and is working with others to develop a climate-induced migration symposium to generate research among demographers and climate scientists in the Pacific Northwest. 

Susan Masta

Susan trains students to identify organisms and to assess species composition with the goal of using this knowledge to help inform best practices in green roof and landscape design. Her research is aimed at understanding biological diversification, with a focus on arthropods in the Pacific Northwest—including an analysis of the arthropod community on Portland green roofs. 

Nathan McClintock
Urban Studies & Planning  

Nathan’s research focus is on urban agriculture and food systems, with a particular interest in issues of equity and social justice. A current project uses a lens of critical geography and urban political ecology to examine the relationship between urban agriculture policy, practice, and urban political economy in two “sustainable cities”: Portland and Vancouver, BC.

Theresa McCormick

Theresa’s research develops new ways to store solar energy as chemical potential in transportable fuels, reducing carbon emissions. She challenges her students to consider the responsibility they have as chemists to not harm the environment and to consider using their education to address large problems of sustainability such as alternative energy solutions.  

Christa McDermott
Urban Studies & Planning

Christa is the director of Community Environmental Services, a student-powered research and service unit focused on sustainable materials management. Bringing her background in psychology to bear, her research takes on the human dimensions of reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency, and improving materials management. 

Julius McGee

Julius is an assistant professor whose research focuses on the socioeconomic factors that contribute to and mitigate environmental degradation. He is assessing how social inequality (i.e. race, gender, and social class) contributes to environmental degradation and is studying the ecological consequences of environmentally sustainable processes and policies.

Rebecca McLain
Institute for Sustainable Solutions  

A specialist in cultural values mapping, Rebecca’s work takes her to the streets of Portland’s neighborhoods, the forests of the Blue Mountains, and to Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Her goal is that the social dimensions are taken into account in governance, planning, and policy. Among her current projects: participatory mapping for the Portland Climate Action Collaborative

Catherine McNeur

A specialist in urban environmental history, Catherine is the author of "Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City" and is turning her research attention to the contested nature of urban trees in nineteenth-century American cities while also teaching a public history course on Portland’s Heritage Trees.  

Lindsay Merritt, Social Work Lindsay Merritt 

Social Work

Lindsay’s teaching and research in social work is focused on engaging students and community partners in the language and actions of social, cultural, economic, and environmental justice. She works alongside reservation-based tribal communities to evaluate maternal child and behavior health programming and is expanding her work with local autistic adults and autism awareness.

Lynne C. Messer
Public Health

Lynne is an associate professor and a social, reproductive/perinatal and environmental epidemiologist whose research is located within the developmental origins of health and disease framework. She is particularly concerned with how the intersection of social-environmental structure and residential segregation exacerbates existing maternal and child health disparities.

Saeed Moghimi
Civil & Environmental Engineering

A specialist in environmental fluid mechanics, Saeed has led a number of research and industrial projects dealing with pollution transport, thermal plume dispersion, port and coastal protection design, storm and flood management and environmental impact assessment of human activities on lakes, oceans, wetlands and other bodies of water.  

Hamid Moradkhani
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Hamid leads the remote sensing and water resources lab where he focuses on Hydrosystem analysis, climate change, flood and drought forecasting. His pioneering developments in the area of data assimilation and uncertainty quantification are used internationally; currently a member of NOAA drought task force and on the advisory board of Canada FloodNet.

Randy Morris
Urban & Public Affairs

Randy is the Community GIS Project Leader at the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. He is currently working with Green Lents to visualize their sustainable community efforts and collaborating with ISS Fellow Rebecca McLain on a similar project for Living Cully. Randy is also Lead Cartographer for "Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas."

Jennifer Morse
Environmental Science & Management

Jennifer’s research specializes in biogeochemistry in urban environments, particularly the effects of green infrastructure on water quality and soil chemistry. She is working with the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services on Green Streets facilities throughout Portland, engaging graduate students with community groups for outreach and citizen science.

Jocelyn G. Mueller
Liberal Arts & Sciences

Jocelyn is an Environmental Science and Management adjunct faculty member whose research examines the interactions between plants and humans in linked social-ecological systems. Her work involves using participatory research tools and citizen science as part of her community engagement approach to conservation, sustainability and environmental justice research.

Hal T. Nelson
Public Administration

Hal’s research interests involve developing tools and strategies to address complex economic, environmental and social problems. He received a National Science Foundation grant to collect data on energy infrastructure and conflicts between communities, project developers, and regulators. He is an assistant professor and microeconomic analyst for climate action planning.

Max Nielsen-Pincus
Environmental Science and Management

Max’s research combines social science and economic methodologies to study how individuals and institutions make natural resource and environmental management decisions. Max's work includes: wildfire risk management, climate resilience, watershed management, private land conservation, and the impacts of policy on natural resource management and local communities.

Masami Nishishiba
Public Administration

Masami’s research and teaching focus on developing civic and local government capacity in: 1) community and disaster resilience, and 2) diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to sustainable development and solutions for social issues. She works with a variety of local governments and nonprofit partners from Oregon to Japan.

Chris North
Art + Design

Chris is a multi-disciplinary designer and artist interested in conceptual responses to urban, environmental and cultural issues. Sustainability is a framework for her to conceptualize and apply solutions that advocate for change and encourage civic engagement at multiple levels. She is dedicated to enhancing student experiences through funded projects and internships.

Desiree Pacheco

Desiree links sustainability to entrepreneurship and firm strategy and is a specialist in the business sector related to sustainability, including wind and solar companies and social ventures. Her research highlights the inter-dependencies that exist between emerging industries that address sustainability, supporting social movements, and competing incumbent industries.   

Sergio Palleroni

Director of the Center for Public Interest Design, Sergio is focused on design that is inclusionary and supports the sustainability of cultures, communities, and the ecosystem. He is creating a global knowledge community engaged in sharing best practices while also actively developing green building prototypes, such as the SAGE classroom, which meet the needs of communities.  

James F. Pankow
Civil & Environmental Engineering & Chemistry

Jim’s atmospheric work involves the study of the chemistry of particle formation in the atmosphere. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he reminds us that articles are important in climate science because they can reflect and absorb incoming light energy, and they can nucleate the formation of clouds in the atmosphere, which reflect incoming light energy. 

Federico Perez, Honors CollegeFederico Perez

Honors College

Federico's research as a sociocultural and urban anthropologist focuses on planning, security, urban redevelopment, and infrastructure in Latin America. He is particularly interested in the politics of social and environmental sustainability in contexts of urban inequality and conflict and is working on a book project about the remaking of downtown Bogotá, Colombia. 

John Perona

John has expertise in both environmental biochemistry and environmental law. His NASA-funded lab studies the metabolism of methanogens, which are significant to climate change since they emit large amounts of methane. John also works at the interface of science and law, with emphasis on climate-related policies, the transition to a renewable energy economy, and biotech.

Ralph Pugay
Art & Design

Ralph is a painter who explores sustainability through teaching creativity. He is an advocate for sustainable design as a pathway for community engagement and environmental stewardship. In a 3D design course, he worked with students to create seasonal depression succulent lamps using recycled materials, exploring concepts of community problem solving and sustainability.

Rai PronoyPronoy Rai
International & Global Studies

Pronoy is a human-environment geographer. His research focuses on how historically marginalized agrarian communities in rural western India participate in sustainable social, economic, and environmental development. He studies how their internal seasonal migration is affected by the challenges posed by climate change to both rural and urban environments.

Judith Ramaley, PSU President Emeritus Judith Ramaley

President Emeritus 

Judith served as professor of Biology and president of Portland State from 1990 to 1997. A national advocate for university-community partnerships, she serves on the Board of Audubon Society of Portland, is Vice Chair of Second Nature, and advises the Community Engagement Research Academy seminar series on community-based learning and engaged scholarship. 

Brandon Reich, School of Business Brandon Reich 


Brandon studies marketing including prosocial consumer movements and specializes in topics that include the local foods movement, the movement towards ecologically sustainable consumption, and the gap between what marketers communicate is sustainable and what the reality is.

Andrew Rice

Andrew studies the drivers of global climate change with a focus on greenhouse gas emissions and trends in time. His research group makes global-scale measurements of greenhouse gases and interprets them using computational simulations. He's a carbon budget adviser to the city of Eugene and has contributed research on the potential impacts of a carbon tax in Oregon. 

Dawn M. Richardson 
Community Health

Dawn is a social epidemiologist with an interdisciplinary focus. Her goal is to advance health equity by integrating social determinants of health with the science of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. The themes of her work include the intersection of place and health; social factors and reproductive health; and addressing disparities with research-based interventions.  

Bernadette RodgersBernadette Rodgers 
University Studies

Bernadette is an instructor for Freshman and Senior Inquiry courses and serves as the Board Chair of 350PDX.org, an organization that is active in city and state policy and public outreach for climate action. Bernadette is motivated to empower young people to not only face the climate change challenge, but seize the opportunity it provides to address systemic inequity.

Leopoldo Rodriguez
International & Global Studies

A specialist in sustainable rural development in Argentina, Polo studies the impact of tourism on rural livelihoods and the expansion of soybean cultivation in Argentina. He teaches courses on sustainable development and social sustainability and his background in economics brings a political economy orientation to both his research and his teaching. 

Todd Rosenstiel

Associate Dean for research and graduate programs at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Todd is a plant biologist with a focus on biosphere-atmosphere interactions. His primary research areas include bioenergy crop development in the Pacific Northwest, urbanization impacts on ecosystem function, and the rationale and function of urban canopies.

Jeff Schnabel 

Jeff is a landscape architect and the primary investigator and manager of PSU’s Shattuck Hall Ecological Learning Plaza where his is engaged in research on vertical growing systems.  He is currently involved in research dedicated to creating successful cities at night with attention given to emerging technologies for illumination. 

Greg Schrock
Urban Studies & Planning

Greg’s current research examines the use of "opportunity targeting" and equitable development policies in U.S. cities to address social and racial disparities, including their connection to sustainability-related initiatives. He also examines local manufacturing and "maker" economies and analyzed Portland's food economy as part of the Portland Climate Action Collaborative

Thomas Schumacher
Civil & Environmental Engineering  

Thomas is involved in multi-disciplinary research to create a more sustainable civil infrastructure network. In particular, he develops new sensing and monitoring methodologies to increase the safety, reliability, and sustainability of structures. He takes a broad view on sustainability, involving the role of technology on society and the environment. 

Emily Shafer

Despite the relative gains women have made since the 1960s, the trend toward gender equality and positive trends in U.S. women's health have. Emily’s research points to the limited change in domestic relationships as a key to the persistence of gender inequality. She is interested in social sustainability and how the relationships women are embedded in affect their life outcomes.

Lee Shaker, CommunicationsLee Shaker 


Lee equips his students to understand the critical intersection between media and cities. "Information is central to citizens' abilities to participate in self-rule," Lee says, "but the media is rapidly shifting today." His teaching and research focuses on the underlying community and citizen components necessary to create, support, and effect policy related to sustainability. 

Vivek Shandas
Urban Studies & Planning

Vivek is interested in the broad connections between urban form, environmental quality, human health, and engagement processes. He has a specific interest in climate-induced natural hazards, including urban heat islands and flooding, along with the role urban trees play in improving human health. He currently serves as the Institute for Sustainable Solutions research director. 

Craig Shinn
Public Administration

Craig’s scholarship is focused on the areas where people and the environment intertwine and includes governance, collaboration, and the social aspects of sustainability. He has coordinated the environmental and natural resource aspects of degree programs and community outreach efforts in the PSU Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and the Center for Public Service.  

Hunter Shobe

A cultural geographer, Hunter explores the cultural, economic, and political dimensions of how people connect to and create meaning in different places. His World Population and Food Supply classes have engaged with local partners through the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative to study food availability and affordability.  

Erin Shortlidge

Erin, assistant professor in Biology, is dedicated to enhancing undergraduate students’ experiences with research in the classroom. She is passionate about developing courses that connect students to local and global issues and integrating problem-solving skills, critical thinking, experimental design, and science communication in undergraduate curricula.

Deborah Smith Arthur
University Studies

Deborah’s work is focused on educational opportunities for incarcerated and re-entering young people, a key issue for sustainable and resilient neighborhoods. She partners with Multnomah County Department of Community Justice and MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn on a number of courses and projects that bring sustainability education to life. 

Albert Spencer

Albert is a senior instructor who regularly teaches and writes on the subject of environmental ethics. His work focuses on applying environmental pragmatism to contemporary ecological challenges, particularly coal mining in Appalachia. He also researches indigenous critiques and alternatives to contemporary environmentalism.

Jeremy Spoon

An applied environmental anthropologist, Jeremy focuses on social-ecological transitions after natural disasters such as the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. His research in western U.S. protected and federal lands uses collaboration to operationalize indigenous ecological knowledge to develop management plans, stewardship events, visitor centers, interpretive trails, and public art.  

Olyssa Starry
University Honors

Olyssa seeks out model systems to explore major urban ecological questions. She studies links including stormwater management and civic engagement; green roofs and urban biodiversity; and urban open space and human health. The faculty mentor for the University Honors College Sustainability Scholars, she also leads a Living Lab project on Cramer Hall's green roof.

Jacob Suher
Business Administration

Jacob’s interest in healthy eating and food waste reduction has led him to apply his knowledge of consumer psychology and retailing to research with direct and indirect implications for food sustainability. Studying daily consumption and people’s frequent, low-involvement choices can lead to significant changes in the local and global impact on our health and the environment.

Brianne SuldovskyBrianne Suldovsky


Brianne’s research focuses on understanding how science and the environment are covered by the media, how science influences policy, and how scientists communicate with the public. Brianne is particularly interested in ways to combine social science with biophysical data. Most of her work focuses on climate change, bioengineering, and environmental sustainability. 

Stefan Talke

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stefan's work characterizes how water moves in the coastal environment, from turbulence to tides. He uses recently rediscovered archival data and numerical modeling to assess how tides, storm surge, river flow, sea-level, water temperature, and salinity intrusion have changed over 200 years, regionally and nationally, yielding possible solutions to mitigate against climate change effects.

Paul Timmermans
Political Science

Paul’s teaching and research specialties include international environmental politics, environmental political philosophy, and deep ecology. He also has research interests in political justice, the recognition of states, foreign policy and international law, and specific theories such as those of Machiavelli and Hobbes. 

Alma Trinidad
Social Work

Alma is a macro social worker and scholar activist. She focuses on an array of work in community organizing, health promotion, and education among diverse communities that impact children, youth, and families. Her research and teaching touches critical humanist-centered designs, innovation, social entrepreneurship, and culturally responsible research methods. 

Kristin Tufte
Computer Science

Transportation, smart cities, big data. These three terms sum up Kristin’s focus in her management of PORTAL, the official transportation data archive for the Portland metro region. She’s been a key member of several large transportation research projects, leveraging her experience designing and implementing data management systems.

Avinash Unnikrishnan
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Avi's research goal is to  enhance transportation system sustainability and efficiency. He aims to get there by developing novel traffic and freight network equilibrium models. In his work he applies network optimization and simulation algorithms to help transportation planners better understand traffic, transit and freight networks.

Drusilla van Hagel, Urban Studies and PlanningDrusilla van Hengel 

Urban Studies and Planning

As an adjunct PSU faculty, Dru teaches her students to listen to communities to design socially just and environmentally sustainable walking and bicycling options for people of all ages and abilities. Drawing on her academic work and her transportation consulting practice,  she challenges her students to support implementable plans for PSU's community partners. 

Erica Wagner

Erica is a specialist in information systems and she is interested in the ways in which data are used to foster sustainability agendas. Her research focuses on the ways software is “made to work” within different contexts, with particular emphasis on how work practices are designed into artifacts, standard processes, and methods of accounting.  

Liming Wang
Urban Studies & Planning

Liming's research takes a data-driven approach to address issues in planning, especially at the intersection of land use and transportation, and focuses on improving our understanding of the effects of technology, infrastructure and policies on accessibility, environment, and equity with computer modeling and visualization.

Scott A. Wells
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Scott’s research focus is on modeling surface water quality and hydrodynamics, and his work has taken him around the world from Ukraine to Israel to China. He is the co-author of the water quality and hydrodynamic model, CE-QUAL-W2, used throughout the world for temperature and water quality modeling studies or rivers, lakes and reservoir systems.  

Wim Wiewel 

President Emeritus 

Wim served as president of Portland State University from 2008 to 2017 and in 2014 was honored with the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Chief Executive Leadership Award. Wim is a sociologist with a passion for strong cities and a vocal advocate of teaching and practicing sustainability. 

Dilafruz Williams
Educational Leadership & Policy

Dilafruz has long had an interest in sustainability as it relates to learning gardens and food systems and, along with equity and inclusion for communities of color, has focused her research and teaching on that nexus. She is currently leading an interdisciplinary, National Science Foundation-funded study on “Science in the Learning Gardens.”

Sung Yi
Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Sung’s primary teaching and research interests lie in the areas of nano/microelectronics devices, materials, and manufacturing. He is currently focused on green electronic materials and sustainable electronics and manufacturing to improve energy efficiency and solve the growing ecological problems of electronic waste.

Marisa Zapata
Urban Studies & Planning

Marisa’s research focuses on the intersection between participatory democracy and racial equity in futures planning. She is interested in creating just plans and policies and conducts research on community processes to enhance their stakeholder engagement efforts. She values faculty collaboration in sustainability work as part of building healthy and resilient communities.