Environment Advising Pathway

Environment Advising Pathway


Vivek Shandas (lead), Megan Horst, Connie Ozawa


The field focuses on the interactions between human and biophysical systems, including natural resource management, environmental protection, and ecosystem services. This includes the roles of institutions (both government and nongovernment), individuals, regulations, the market, and scientific uncertainty.

Where environmental planners work:

Organization Type Examples of Agencies and Organizations
Local public planning organizations City of Portland
Bureau of Environmental Services: Watershed Management Division
City of Gresham: Waste Management and Recycling Program
Regional government agencies Metro
Thurston (WA) Regional Planning Council
Columbia Gorge Commission
Private consulting firms conducting environmental impact assessment Parametrix
Fregonese and Associates
Non-profit organizations focused on environmental quality and environmental justice Friends of Trees
OPAL Environmental Justice

Foundational knowledge and skills:

Capabilities Course Type
Advanced knowledge of human settlements and the dependence on natural resources USP 512 Environmental Planning Methods  Theory, Skill
Knowledge of the national and local policies affecting environmental planning actions USP 571 Environmental Policy Policy
Understanding of the history of the Environmental Justice movement and come of the major environmental justice issues in cities across the United States USP 571 Environmental Policy Policy, Theory
Identify, comprehensively, the environmental impacts of planning decisions, including the social and environmental justice impacts USP 512 Environmental Planning Methods Skill

Recommended course sequencing:

  Fall Winter  Spring
 Year 1 - - USP 571
 Year 2 USP 512 - -

Pathways in environmental planning:

Pathway Suggested Courses
Policy: institutions, systems of governance, politics USP 571 Environmental Policy
USP 512 Environmental Planning Methods
USP 577 Urban Environmental Management
USP 517 Urban Economic Development Policy
PA 575 Foundations of Collaborative Governance; and other policy-oriented courses
Analytics: data exploration and discovery -- quantitative, qualitative, spatial -- with an emphasis combining analysis and synthesis USP 592 GIS II
USP 683 Qualitative Analysis
USP Data Analysis (I & II); and other data analytics courses
Community-based environmental planning: coalition building, engagement and participatory planning

USP 593 Public Participation GIS
USP 683 Qualitative Analysis
PA 575 Foundations of Collaborative Governance
USP 528 Concepts of Community Development; and other community-based courses
EMCR 593: Climate Resilience Planning

Design: land use and urban form USP 529 Green Buildings
USP 575 Urban Design Workshop
USP 513 Public Space
USP 524 Site Planning
USP 577 Urban Environmental Management
ARCH 531 Contemporary Urban Design
ARCH 532 History and Theory of Urban Design; and other design-oriented courses
Markets: ecosystem services, environmental accounting, political economy, technology management USP 588 Sustainable Development Practices
USP 518 Energy and Society
USP 579 State and Local Finance
USP 588 Feeding the City
USP 551 Community Economic Development; and other market-related courses
Other possible options: work with your advisor to identify suitable courses.