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Graduate Degree Programs
Policy, Planning, Communication and Society (PPCS)

The Policy, Planning, Communication and Society area of study focuses on people's relationships and interactions with natural and built environments, and examines how we value, communicate, educate, plan, design, manage, and make decisions about such spaces and their respective resources. This area of study also explores the design, creation, maintenance and change of human institutions as well as researching the complexities of social, cultural, and biophysical system interactions. This area incorporates knowledge from the social sciences, humanities, and biophysical sciences.

  • PPCS Study Area Leader: TBD

Examples of the tools and concepts that are commonly used in Policy, Planning, Communication and Society Study Area include:

  • Advocacy and Conflict Management
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Policy
  • Human Dimensions of Natural and Built Environments
  • Environmental Communication and Participatory Processes
  • Environmental and Community Land Planning
  • Environmental Health and Justice
  • Environmental Systems Management
  • Landscape Design
  • Environmental Interpretation and Education
  • Urban and Rural Food Systems

Participating Faculty in Policy, Planning, Communication and Society (PPCS)

Name Email Research Keywords
Aidan Ackerman design of cultural, historic, and ecological landscapes, 3D modeling, rendering, virtual reality, digital fabrication, GIS, BIM, CAD
John Auwaerter historic preservation planning, landscape history and graphic documentation, design in historic landscapes
Margaret Bryant urban planning, climate resilience, neighborhood-scale planning and design, design and science, professional practice
Emanuel Carter urban planning, urban design, rural planning and design
Mariela Cavo  Watershed management, environmental economics, forest economics, valuation of ecosystem services, payment for ecosystem services, rural development. 
Jonathan Cohen adaptive management and structured decision making for wildlife
Josh Cousins environmental governance and decision-making, water and energy policy, climate change adaptation planning, political ecology, urban sustainability

Dan Cronan  Alternative Futures Analysis, Scenario Planning (Urban and Regional), GIS and Geospatial Analysis, Urban Sustainability, Stormwater Green Infrastructure
Shari Dann environmental education, interpretation, citizen science, science education, natural resources stewardship, conservation, human dimensions
Stewart Diemont food systems, security, sovereignty, and justice; agroecology; urban ecosystem design; sustainability analysis
Joshua Drew coupled human natural systems, coastal communities, ethnobiology
Andrea Feldpausch-Parker environmental and science communication, public participation, conflict management, decision-making, social movements
Anne Godfrey photography for environmental design decision making, diversity in the representation of landscape systems, diversity of cultural value systems
Paul Hirsch decision-making, leadership, navigating complex trade-offs, environmental ethics, environmental cognition, public engagement, deliberative democracy
Jean Kayira  Indigenous knowledge systems, decolonizing methodologies, community-based research and food sovereignty
Robin Kimmerer indigenous peoples, biocultural restoration, ethnobotany
Patrice Kohl science and Environmental Communication; Journalism; Science and Technology Studies; Public Perceptions, Attitudes and Beliefs
Eun Kyung Lee  Racial and socioeconomic health disparities; chronic disease prevention; environmental health disparities & environmental justice; place-based disparities; food systems; causal inference methods; community-level interventions & public policy
Christina Limpert gender, culture, and environment, critical cultural studies, participatory action research, ecocinema studies
Valerie Luzadis social-ecological systems, ecological economics and policy, natural resources values and policy, sustainability foundations, indicators, and values
Stacy McNulty social-ecological systems, land use planning, recreation, natural resource policy, forest management, organizational governance
Michael Mikulewicz Climate justice, Equitable adaptation & resilience, Vulnerability, International development, UNFCCC process, Urban sustainability, Public health, Climate finance, Critical theory (political economy, political ecology, postcolonial, feminist & queer theory), Participatory methods
Sharon Moran human dimensions of water issues, environmental equity and justice, political ecology, socioecological systems, watershed restoration
Lee Newman nature deficit, horticultural therapy, urban land use and gardening, living walls
Madeline Nyblade  Water justice; community-based participatory research; climate and landcover change impacts and adaptation; Indigenous Nation - University collaborations; research ethics; critical history of earth science
Tania Ploumi  environmental psychology, socio-ecological systems, ecosystem services, ecological economics, psychological resiliency, inner development goals, ecological grief, climate anxiety, sustainability, and behavior change, participatory methods, mental health benefits from nature. 
Theresa Selfa environmental Governance, social implications of biotechnology in agriculture, public participation in environmental decision making
Scott Shannon sustainable Design & Planning, Green Infrastructure Design & Planning, Urban Design, Climate Resiliency Planning, Environmental Planning
Jamie Shinn  Environmental governance and policy, climate change adaptation, water-society relationships, flooding,  political ecology, disaster response and recovery
Jill Weiss socio-ecological systems, networks, governance, communication, education, behavior, recreation, strategic planning
Ellen White  Urban planning, Public policy, Transportation planning & policy, GIS, Spatial analysis, Data science, Interdisciplinarity & decision-making, Landscape history