BiographyMy two-pronged career track was launched while a grad student at the University of Minnesota. At that time, the U.S. was at war in Vietnam and the environmental movement was underway, considered by some a radical movement. The prominence of headline news associated with both realities captured the hearts and minds of many and forged efforts to understand and create an informed and needed societal course correction. It became crystal clear to me at that time that we could not survive as a society if we continued to operate as we have relying heavily on extracted natural resources to meet our needs while flaunting the laws of nature and unconsciously limiting the choices we leave for future generations. With an education in journalism and mass communications research theory and methodology, I was determined to use these research skills as well as knowledge of the media to address the global issues I found compelling.
My career started as a transportation planner in Santa Barbara CA where I joined a team developing what became an award-winning citywide bikeway system. I subsequently moved into the role as urban planner in Santa Barbara and then Santa Cruz CA where, in both communities, land use remains a permanent focus of debate and controversy. Additionally, both communities were pioneering sustainable community development. Following the Loma Prieta earthquake in Santa Cruz in 1989, I was assigned to a major redevelopment effort; at that time, I came across Paul Hawken’s Ecology of Commerce which served as a major inspiration and portal to the field of sustainable community development. I subsequently moved into the arena of higher education (Northland College, University of Wisconsin) as faculty and administrator with a focus on sustainable community development, including sustainable business, most recently with Bainbridge Graduate Institute, which pioneered the Sustainable MBA and is in its 11th year. My work as an author reflects a life-time interest in building sustainable communities (see publications).
Planner Cities of Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz CA and as consultant
Municipal comprehensive plans and land use planning, including parks and open space planning, waterfront planning, area plans; wetlands management plans, shore land development standards, bikeway master plans, economic development plans, growth management plans, land disposition studies; major re-writes of municipal zoning ordinances; Main Street Program planning and design review, Eco-municipality development, local coastal program review and implementation; post-natural disaster municipal planning, land use policy and code development, natural resource planning, housing rehab program administration, grant writing and grant administration
Educator Sustainable Community Development
Northland College, University of Wisconsin, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Facilitator, consensus builder, writer, teacher and public speaker; broad experience with public involvement, charettes, community surveys and data analysis
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Sustainable Community Development
flying (soaring) and all non-motorized activities outdoors; poetry; animal communication