Urban and Regional Planning
Current Research Activities
My primary aim is to understand urban experimentation in the desert. My graduate work was on Black Rock City, Burning Man’s annual manifestation in the Northern Nevada desert. Now my research more broadly addresses why anyone would intentionally call these harsh landscapes home. Historically, desert dwelling sat on the societal fringe, but today several sites are prime canvases for experimental development, and the places that form in the perceived absence of life often face similar cultural complexities as traditional cities, even if only ephemerally.
Research Connections to Current Events
At year two I still consider myself relatively new to SJSU. Teaching has been my primary focus, and though I have received conference, travel, and workshop funding, I have not been able to engage students in my larger research yet, but please come help!
Personal Connections to Research
Part of my early career was spent working in city planning before discovering geography. Applied practice offered first-hand knowledge of entrenched challenges of proposed sweeping changes in established places. As I learned about people who just went out and made their own built worlds at Black Rock Desert and beyond, I was compelled to be a part of it.