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Regular Faculty and Academic Staff:

Kenneth Genskow

Associate Professor and Chair*

"My interests address issues of environmental planning and policy, watershed planning, and collaborative and participatory approaches to resource management. My research and applied work have explored the evaluation and assessment of collaborative watershed management, watershed governance, and the effectiveness of educational and technical assistance programs on land management."

Aslıgül Göçmen

Assistant Professor*

"My primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of urban environmental sustainability, the role of planners in promoting environmental stewardship, and the application of spatial analysis and geographic information science and systems in urban, environmental and regional planning."

Harvey M. Jacobs


"My current interests focus on (1) the rise and impact of the private property rights (anti-environmental) movement in the U.S., especially as it exemplifies social conflict over competing concepts of property rights, (2) the transformation of private property as a social and legal institution in western Europe, and (3) the development of peri-urban (urban fringe) land policy for developing countries. Overall I am interested in the social content of land use and environmental policy, and in how debate over such policy serves as a proxy for more fundamental social discourse."

James LaGro


"My interests include land use change, landscape ecology, and the spatial analysis of landscape fragmentation in the United States. My research in Wisconsin has examined the conversion of prime farmland to residential development, the land use impacts of local onsite sewage disposal system policies, and the effects of subdivision ordinances on land development patterns. I teach courses in urban planning and design, and landscape architecture."

David W. Marcouiller


"My research, teaching, and outreach programs examine economic linkages and public policies that address the nexis between natural resource management and community development. In addition, my work examines the role and impact of outdoor recreation and tourism in the multi-functionality of rural landscapes. Long-standing interests include resource dependency, forestry issues, and rural amenity-driven residential developmnet with particular focus on resulting tradeoffs and alternative land use compatibilities. In addition, I have worked with various regional economic and social models to assess the impacts of policy and economic change in rural areas."

Alfonso Morales

Associate Professor

"My research analyzes the social organization and institutional context of entrepreneurship. The research context is the street market and the business organizations and households found in markets and other non-retail means of earning income. My work analyzes the social, political and economic processes that produce street-level businesses. My research was inspired by pragmatist theory and an interest in public policy. I pursue this interest in the social organization and institutional context of entrepreneurship through three interrelated strands of research: Decision-making in Organizational and Institutional Context; Transformations of Self and Society, and Entrepreneurship in Organizational, Institutional and Policy Context.  My research webpage is"



Brian Ohm


"My research, teaching, and outreach efforts relate to the institutional and legal framework for managing community growth and change.  I am particularly interested in the need to revise and update state enabling laws that govern local planning, the impact of local laws on "new urbanism", and the "takings" issue. I lend my expertise to a variety of governmental and private organizations."

Kurt Paulsen

Associate Professor

"My research and teaching focuses on urban land use change, comprehensive planning and housing. The majority of my research in land use seeks to understand the causes and consequences of land use change and to evaluate planning, governance, and institutional processes to manage and shape spatial patterns. I have also more recently focused research on understanding housing as a land use issue, asking questions of exclusion and affordability."

Revel Sims

Honorary Fellow

"My current research approaches the dynamic of urban change through the lens of gentrification. Through this perspective, I attempt to uncover the way in which urban change occurs by way of the process of displacement and eviction. My work draws attention to the role that property owners, financial institutions, and the state perform in the process of urban displacement and gentrification more generally."

Adjunct Faculty:

Howard Bellman

Adjunct Associate Professor

Over the years since 1965, Mr. Bellman has mediated in nearly every category of dispute. His work has ranged from the most ordinary civil and labor matters to international diplomacy. A significant portion of his practice has included high-profile, multi-party cases of public concern such as controversial land-use determinations, large-scale environmental remediations, school district desegregation, state-wide education financing litigation, and Indian land claims. He has been appointed as a Master, or other court adjunct, by Federal and State Courts, including the Supreme Court of Ohio. He received the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. Mr.Bellman has mediated in rule-making negotiations for a number of States as well as the US EPA, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Recent mediation cases include Kalamazoo River Superfund Site Cleanup Negotiations, Klamath River Hydroelectric Facilities Relicensing Negotiations, negotiations in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Mediation System of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, employment discrimination litigation settlement negotiations in an urban police department

Spencer Black

Adjunct Assoc. Professor

Spencer Black represented the 77th Assembly District for 13 terms in the State Legislature.  He served as Assembly Chair of the Natural Resources and was the Assembly Minority Leader. During his tenure, Black was considered to be the Legislature's leading environmental advocate. He was a leader in a number of other policy areas including consumer protection, health care, education, transportation and senior citizen issues.Rep. Black is author of numerous environmental laws including the Stewardship Fund, the largest conservation effort in Wisconsin's history, the Mining Moratorium Bill, the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, the statewide recycling program, and the endangered species match grant. Black is currently the Vice President of the national Sierra Club, the nation's largest environmental organization.  He is also a columnist for The Capital Times newspaper.




Zia Brucaya

Adjunct Lecturer

Zia Brucaya is an associate planner with Urban Assets consulting firm in downtown Madison. She received her M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the UW-Madison in 2010 and has a background in active transportation, sustainable development, placemaking and public engagement. Before moving back to Madison in 2014, Zia coordinated the Indiana Complete Streets Coalition in Indianapolis, where she facilitated Active Living Workshops for communities throughout the state. Zia has also worked with public, private and nonprofit stakeholders at all levels of government, including tribal, in Wisconsin, New York and Alaska. Her interests lie in exploring the connections between land use, transportation, public health, social vitality, economic development and environmental sustainability. She loves to walk, bike and take public transit whenever possible.

Dave Cieslewicz

Adjunct Assoc. Professor

Dave Cieslewicz served as mayor of Madison from 2003 until 2011. Before serving as mayor, he was cofounder and first executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, the state's leading land use and transportation policy advocacy organization. Earlier in his career he worked for State Rep. Spencer Black, who now also teaches at URPL, and for the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Dave has taught a number of courses on the UW campus, including "Introduction to the City", "The Politics & Policy of Green Urbanism" and "Advanced Public Management." He taught two short courses in URPL when he was mayor. He's a 1981 graduate of the UW where he was a political science major. Dave and his wife Dianne live in the Regent neighborhood with their dog Calvin. Twice a month you'll find him playing the venerable German card game Sheepshead at the Memorial Union.

Donna Erez-Navot

Adjunct Lecturer

Donna Erez-Navot is the founding Director of the Mediation Clinic at University of Wisconsin Law School. Before moving to Madison in 2009, she was employed as a mediator in the Child Permanency Mediation Program in the NYC Family Court, where she mediated issues surrounding placement of children in foster care, including relationships and communication between parties, custody/visitation/guardianship petitions, conditional surrenders and other issues. She is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York where she was a member of the Cardozo Mediation Clinic with Professor Lela Love. After attaining her undergraduate degree at Emory University, Donna studied Social Work at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Chris Spahr

Adjunct Lecturer

Chris Spahr, AICP is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning with a research focus in transportation and public health. He also serves as a Multi-setting Analysis Project Assistant with the Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Initiative. From 2012 until 2015 Chris served as a Project Assistant at the State Smart Transportation Initiative working with states to promote environmental sustainability and equitable economic development, while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency. Chris has also worked as a Planner for Michael Baker International in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where he provided consulting services to state departments of transportation in the areas of transit and rail planning as well as National Environmental Policy Act reporting from 2009 until 2014. Chris served as a Municipal Service Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay from 2005 until 2008. He holds an MS in Geoenvironmental Studies from Shippensburg University, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a Graduate Research Fellow with the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.

Wade Thompson

Adjunct Lecturer

Wade has worked in the land use and community development planning profession in the public sector at the state, county, and city level, as well as in the private sector. His professional interests include open space, natural resource, and agricultural planning. He currently works for the City of Fitchburg, Wisconsin with his duties including local food systems planning, focused on development of small-scale agriculture and agriculture tourism.
Wade has bachelor degrees from UW-Madison in both Geography and International Relations and a masters degree in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He fills his personal time with travel, downhill skiing, and fixing up his bungalow on Madison’s near east side.

* Also serves as State Extension Specialist with UWEX Division of Cooperative Extension


Affiliated Faculty and Staff

Emeritus Faculty