I’m a lecturer in the department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where I am also the program director for the undergraduate major in Sustainable Community Development.

I recently received my doctorate from the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington.

I teach students who care about places and communities.

The work of making better cities and regions begins in the classroom, and I have been privileged to work with countless intelligent and inspiring students. I am teaching graduate and undergraduate classes at UMass, and was also active in several teaching roles at UW. I have supported students in their learning of research methods, software skills, land use law, urban development, public space, foundations of planning, and planning theory, and I have also co-led community-based design studios. In 2019, UW’s urban planning department honored me with an outstanding service award for my contribution to student mentorship.

I study the politics of urban technologies.

My research investigates how digital technologies shape urban life. Specifically, my dissertation is a qualitative study of new mobility platforms—apps for rides, shared bikes, trip planning, and all the data and infrastructure behind them—from the perspectives of both transportation planners and travelers. I’m interested in how these technologies promise that the city can be known with certainty and its problems can be solved, and in what happens when that promise encounters an inevitably messier reality. My concern is that digital tools fail to teach us how to do the more difficult work of wrestling with political conflict and transforming concrete infrastructures. This work is supervised by Mark Purcell, Branden Born, Sarah Elwood, and Megan Finn. It has been published in the Journal of Urban Technology and Urban Planning, and my dissertation was awarded the outstanding dissertation in digital geographies by the American Association of Geographers.

And I do other things too…

Cities are diverse and unbounded, and so are my interests. I completed a certificate in Science, Technology, and Society Studies, and pursue interests in critical studies of digital technologies beyond their directly urban dimensions. My STS portfolio examines how technology helps us to understand agency and materialism in the city. In a different vein, I’m inspired by work on the politics of public space, especially everyday spaces of encounter and sociability. Much of my introduction to urbanism was through architecture and urban form, and the design perspective continues to inform my view of cities.

In May 2020, I co-organized a symposium on Pandemic Urbanism, which brought together virtually some 50 presenters and 800 attendees for a day of early reflection and speculation about the ways that Covid-19 reveals and reshapes cities. My co-organizers and I examine the event as a sensemaking practice—the tentative and uncertain creation of shared meaning when faced with events that do not fit within existing paradigms—in a chapter published in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes in the Pacific Rim.

I am also interested in hazards planning and community resilience, and recently served as a research assistant for an NSF-funded project studying seismic hazards in the Pacific Northwest. I was also a research assistant for a project convening a diverse group of stakeholders to update state growth management policies in Washington. I served as a mentor to Sensol Systems in their participation in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Program. Prior to entering academia, I worked with local government leaders in positions at the International City/County Management Association and Boston’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council. I’ve also been nurturing a side passion for data visualization and cartography, and some years ago I got some attention for my creative diagrams of transportation systems. Urban landscapes are not the only ones I love; in 2009, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

Take a look at my CV and contact info, and feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more.