Culture and Policy
Alex Hinds, Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities, SSU
Area of Water Expertise: Sustainability planning, climate change, smart growth and water friendly development strategies
Water-Related Courses Taught: Sustainability and Green Building: What You Need to Know (ENSP800 3962); Mainstreaming Sustainability: Plans, Codes and Urban Design ENSP800 3963; Preparing and Enacting Climate Action and Energy Plans (ENSP800 3965); Act Now: Funding and Implementing Sustainable Community Strategies (ENSP800 3967)
Water-Related Research: My colleagues and I at SSU's Center for Sustainable Communities consist of "recycled" public sector professionals, faculty and students who assist communities in the development of sustainable strategies. We are currently working for the California Department of Water Resources in the development of an integrated water management - land use tool that calculates the costs and benefits of water friendly development practices.
Water-Related Community Connections: I have directed California planning, building and environmental health departments for over 24 years in Marin, San Luis Obispo, and Lake Counties. My legacy project was completion of Marin County's highly regarded general plan and sustainability programs which received numerous state and national awards. I was a founding member of Green Cities of California, past president of the California Planning Foundation and the California County Planning Directors Association. I am currently a member of the California Planning Roundtable and an international director for the American Planning Association's Northern California Section .
Thomas Jacobsen, Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, SSU;
Director SSU’s Institute for Community Planning Assistance;
Interim Director SSU’s Sustainable Communities Program
Area of Water Expertise: sustainable development, environmental regulation
Water-Related Courses Taught:
Water-Related Research: My research and professional interests are planning and regulation for sustainable development, growth management, property rights and environmental regulation, and development “impact” fees.
Water-Related Community Connections: The Institute for Community Planning Assistance (ICPA) is a non-profit research center sponsored by the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University. The main purposes of ICPA are:
- To engage in community service by making needed services available to local agencies at low-cost
- To provide a mechanism for faculty and student research in the areas of community and environmental planning
- To further the education and professional development of planning students by complementing their classroom and internship experience
- To provide financial assistance in the form of wages to student employees who are hired on an as-needed basis to fill various research and support roles.
Studies undertaken by ICPA are directed by University faculty who often donate the majority of their services. Student Assistants are carefully screened in order to match skills and interests with the unique needs of each project. The Institute has been extremely busy in the last few years, employing ten students while handling almost $250,000 in contracts with local non-profits and governments. Sample projects include the Keller Canyon Property Valuation Study (Contra Costa County), Design Guidelines for Crow Canyon Area (City of San Ramon), a Petaluma Tree Inventory, and a Napa County Sign Inventory.
Rocky Rohwedder, Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, SSU
Area of Water Expertise: Low impact water purification in developing countries, water education and teacher training.
Water-Related Courses Taught: Energy, Technology and Society (ENSP 330); Sustainable Communities (ENSP 418); Freshman Interest Group: Leadership (UNIV 102)
Water-Related Research: My current research focuses on ways to help lift people out of poverty with a low ecological footprint. Water security and quality is obviously of critical importance.
Water-Related Community Connections: I was the lead consultant and facilitator in the Middle East Peace Process during the Clinton Administration. In that role I helped to develop a water education program for youth, working with high level representatives from the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan and Israel. Many of my students have left Sonoma State University to work for the Sonoma County Water Agency across a variety of areas including planning, education and research.
Laura A. Watt, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Planning Department, SSU
Area of Water Expertise: environmental history, policy, and planning, particularly regarding public lands management and restoration
Water-Related Courses Taught: Environmental History (ENSP 307); Environmental Planning (ENSP 416); Landscape History of the American West (ENSP 421); Restoration and Society (ENSP 425)
Water-Related Research: My long-term research agenda is to explore the history of protected landscapes to bolster their long-term sustainability in terms of both natural and cultural systems. In contrast to most land policy research, I use landscape as a tool for understanding the complex interactions between people and their environments, tracking historical changes in protected areas as indicators of shifting social dynamics and structures. A firm grounding in property theory contributes to my interest in the interplay between public and private ownership in protecting rural landscapes.
Water-Related Community Connections: Research work on Point Reyes National Seashore and the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project; contract work as a planner with the Arcata (King Range) and Ukiah BLM offices