URBAN Dialogue of Critical Environmental Issues

Friday January 18, 2013 Kroon Hall, Burke Auditorium

Agenda, registration, and speaker biographies below

8:30 – 8:40

Welcome and Introduction - Professor Gaboury Benoit, Yale F&ES

8:40 - 12:00





Human Dimensions of Urban Ecology and Urbanization
Panel Discussion moderated by Professor Karen Seto, Yale F&ES

Morgan Grove, U.S. Forest Service: "Urban Residential Landowners: The Social Dilemma of the New and Dominant Forest Landowner"
Christopher Boone, Arizona State University: "Environmental Justice of Green Infrastructure: An Urban Sustainability Imperative"
Deborah Balk, City University of New York: "Growth, Urban Populations-at-Risk, and Climate Change Hazards"

Coffee Break (10:15 - 10:30)

Paty Romero-Lankao, National Center for Atmospheric Research: "Imagining Urban Futures: Some Reflections"
Frances Ming Kuo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Urban Ecology and Healthy Habitat for a Key Species: Homo sapiens"

12:45 – 3:30     






Urban Infrastructure and Metabolism
Panel Discussion moderated by Professors Julie Zimmerman  and Alex Felson, Yale F&ES

Arpad Horvath, University of California, Berkeley: "What is Next for Urban Infrastructure Design and Operation?"
Austin Troy, University of Vermont: "The Urban Transportation Energy Appetite:Why Some Cities Are Hungrier Than Others"

Coffee Break (1:50 - 2:00)

Emily Zechman, North Carolina State University: "Cities and Water: Sociotechnical Simulation for Managing Urban Water Resources and Infrastructure"
Kevin Krizek, University of Colorado: "Urbanization and the Prospects for the Planning and Use of Sustainable Transport Infrastructure"

 3:30  – 3:45      Closing Remarks – Professor Thomas Graedel, Yale F&ES


Guest Speaker Biographies

Dr. J. Morgan Grove is a Social Ecologist and Team Leader for the USDA Forest Service's Baltimore Field Station. He is a Co-Principal Investigator in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) LTER. Grove was a dual major in Architecture and Studies in the Environment from Yale College (B.A.), a M.F.S. in Community Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Social Ecology from Yale University.

Grove has worked in Baltimore since 1989 and was a founding member of the BES LTER. Grove leads the social science team for BES, where his research focuses on long term dynamics of property regimes, land management, and watersheds. Grove is the science lead for the Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) software tools. In 2001, for his work in Baltimore, Grove was the first social scientist in the U.S. Forest Service to every receive the President’s award for early career scientists.

Dr. Christopher Boone is Professor and Associate Dean in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He is presently a visiting professor at Georgetown University.

For more than a dozen years, he has participated in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study examining the long term social and environmental drivers and consequences of urbanization. His research contributes to ongoing debates in sustainable urbanization, environmental justice, vulnerability, and global environmental change. He is a co-PI for the Central Arizona Phoenix LTER, Baltimore Ecosystem LTER, two Urban Long Term Research Area projects (DC, Los Angeles) and the PI for a comparative ULTRA award (Phoenix, Albuquerque, Las Cruces) all supported by the National Science Foundation. For the past three years he has sat on the scientific steering committee for the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change project, a core initiative of the International Human Dimensions program, and also participated in the US Global Change Research Program's US National
Climate Assessment for Cities. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Toronto in 1994.

Dr. Deborah Balk is Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY)’s Baruch School of Public Affairs and the CUNY Graduate Center (in the Sociology and Economics Programs) and Associate Director of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research. Her expertise lies in spatial demography and the integration of earth and social science data and methods to address interdisciplinary policy questions. Her current research focus is on urbanization, population, poverty, and environmental interactions (such as climate change). Prior to joining CUNY in 2006, she was a research scientist Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network where she was also lead Project Scientist for the NASA-funded Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center. She received her Ph.D. in Demography from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy, and A.B. in International Relations, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has recently completed service on an National Research Council panel on Himalayan Glaciers, Hydrology, Climate Change, and Implications for Water Security and co-authored a paper on city population forecasts and water scarcity in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Paty Romero-Lankao is a "multidisciplinary sociologist" by training leading the Urban Futures Initiative at NCAR (http://www.ral.ucar.edu/staff/prlankao-staff.php), US where she is a research scientist since 2006. Her work has focused on crucial intersections between urban development and the environment. In particular, she has studied key issues of (a) how particular cities attempt to meet the challenges of reducing emissions while improving their capacity to respond to environmental impacts; (b) how urban development impacts the environment; and (c) what societal factors explain cities' vulnerability/resilience to environmental hazards. In addition to research supported by academic awards, she has participated in global and local endeavors promoted by IPCC, UNDP and UN-HABITAT. She was co-leading author to Working Group II of the Nobel prize-winning IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and is currently convening author of the AR5 North American chapter.

Dr. Frances E. “Ming” Kuo is a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she directs the multidisciplinary Landscape and Human Health Laboratory. She holds appointments in both the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and in the Department of Psychology.  Her background is in cognitive psychology and environmental psychology, with degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.).

Ming Kuo is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist examining the impacts of urban landscapes on human health. Her research focuses on how the presence of trees, grass, and other natural elements within the settings of daily life supports healthy human functioning in both individuals and communities. Starting in 1993, she led a series of studies on the impacts of green residential spaces on human functioning in inner city Chicago, for which she and her collaborators received the Environmental Design Research Association’s Achievement Award. Subsequently, she and her former student Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor began examining the impacts of green spaces on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD); that line of investigation has yielded both rigorously controlled evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between physical environments and AD/HD symptoms, as well as a large, national study documenting the generalizability of this relationship.  Currently, in addition to her AD/HD work, Dr. Kuo is investigating positive impacts of schoolyard environments on students’ academic achievement (as measured by standardized test scores), and the impacts of green space on physical health.  Dr. Kuo’s work has convincingly linked healthy urban ecosystems to stronger, safer neighborhoods, lower crime, reduced AD/HD symptoms, reduced aggression, and an array of mental health indicators.  

Dr. Arpad Horvath is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/~horvath), head of the Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate Graduate Program, Director of the Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing, and Director of the Engineering and Business for Sustainability certificate program (http://sustainable-engineering.berkeley.edu). His research focuses on life-cycle environmental and economic assessment of products, processes, and services, particularly of civil infrastructure systems and the built environment. He was Conference Chair of the 6th International Conference on Industrial Ecology in 2011. Professor Horvath is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Infrastructure Systems. He is a member of the, Environmental Engineering Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.

Dr. Austin Troy is Associate Professor at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Director of UVM's Transportation Research Center. He has a secondary academic appointment in Computer Science. He addresses issues at the intersection of urban and regional planning and environmental sustainability using tools such as Geographic Information Systems, spatial econometrics, and dynamic modeling. He is author of the book The Very Hungry City (Yale University Press, 2012), which is about how cities consume energy, what rising global energy prices will mean for cities in the future, and what cities can do today reduce their energy footprint without compromising their quality of life. He also lead-edited and co-authored the book Living on the Edge: Economic, Institutional and Management Perspectives on Wildfire Hazard in the Urban Interface (Elsevier Press, 2007), and has authored dozens of journal articles and book chapters. His work has been covered in numerous media venues, including public radio stations across the country, The Boston Globe, Vancouver Sun, Grist, Baltimore Sun, Atlantic Monthly’s Atlantic Cities magazine, Slate, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, and many others. He is Principal and Co-founder of Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, a California-based environmental consulting firm in operation since 1998. He is a fellow of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics and co-principal investigator of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of the National Science Foundation’s two urban Long-Term Ecological Research projects. In addition, he served for four years as a planning commissioner for the city of Burlington VT. Educated at Yale College (B.A.), Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (M.F.), and University of California Berkeley (Ph.D.), he is originally from Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Emily Zechman graduated with her B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky, and she completed her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University, where her doctorate research developed new systems analysis methodologies to address planning and management for management water resources systems.  Upon completion of her Ph.D. in 2005, she worked at North Carolina State University (NCSU) as a post-doctorate research associate and a research assistant professor. In 2007, Dr. Zechman moved to Texas A&M University as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering.  In 2011, she returned to the NCSU Department of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor.

Dr. Zechman leads the Sociotechnical Systems Analysis Laboratory at NCSU.  The research addresses the question, “How do human behaviors and choices impact the performance of engineered infrastructure systems?”  New simulation and optimization methodologies are developed to study and understand the interconnections among water resources, society, energy resources, and infrastructure. This research program seeks to provide new understanding of urban sociotechnical systems by developing modeling techniques that couple engineering and environmental models with complex adaptive models, including agent-based, cellular automata, and system dynamics simulation tools. New evolutionary computation-based algorithms are coupled with sociotechnical models to develop public policy for managing the sustainability, security, and resilience of water resources.  Dr. Zechman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in water resources engineering, hydrology, and systems analysis for civil engineering.  Dr. Zechman received Best Research-Oriented Paper Awards in 2010 and 2011 for her publications in the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

Dr. Kevin J. Krizek is Professor of Environmental Design and Transport at the University of Colorado (CU) where he also serves as Outreach and Education Coordinator for Sustainability efforts. Krizek heads the Active Communities / Transportation (ACT) Research Group--researchers studying how land use-transportation policies influence household residential location decisions and travel behavior. He is appointed to the bicycle transportation committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and is the Senior Transportation Fellow for the Environmental Center at CU.

From 2007-2012, Krizek was Director of the PhD Program in Design and Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning. He is founding co-editor of theJournal of Transport and Land Use, chaired the inaugural World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research(2011), and from 2006-2012, he was Chair of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Telecommunications and Travel (a division of the National Research Council). Krizek earned a Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning and M.S.C.E. from the University of Washington. His master's degree in planning is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hilland his undergraduate degree is from Northwestern University. Professor Krizek maintains a blog at www.vehicleforasmallplanet.comon active communities, active transportation, and bicycle planning.

Home » Educational Resources and Videos » URBAN Dialogue of Critical Environmental Issues