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Research In The College Of Humanities And Social Sciences

USU College Of Humanities, Arts, And Social Studies


Department of English
Christopher Cokinos is editor of Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature & Science Writing. Isotope is a nature-and-science writing magazine that publishes work that indirectly promotes sustainability and often specifically addresses environmental questions, including climate change. It uses recycled content paper.

Contact information:
Christopher Cokinos, Editor, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature & Science Writing 3200 Old Main Hill Utah State University Logan, UT 84322-3200
Voice: 435-797-3351
Fax: 435-797-3797

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Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
John K Nicholson is interested in research related to public transit. High oil prices and the resulting increased national interest in public
transportation may help to define new opportunities for landscape architecture professionals. The US Dept. of Transportation’s 2008
budget of $67 billion only includes $1.3 billion for public transit, yet priorities are changing. Landscape architects, with their links to urban
design and urban planning, have the requisite theory and training to contribute to this important national issue. For transit to function
effectively, American cities need to have an environment (urban fabric) which is condusive to pedestrian traffic. Public transportation
“creates” pedestrians yet in many cases the hightly sophisticated and well planned transit system “dumps” passengers into a
substandard pedestrian ”no-man’s land”.

There is really no question that in terms of public transportation, the U.S. is far behind many of the developed countries in Europe.
Research needs to be focused on the successes and failures of public infrastructure to achieve functional “walkable” zones around
transit stops and terminals. I am proposing to collect primary comparitive data (including physical measurements) of pedestrian networks
which function within 500 meter zone around transit stops. Locations will be chosen in Germany and Holland in areas where the overall
density is low (for European standards) matching up with what American cities would call medium density (mixed single and multi family).
Findings will ultimately be compared to American cities and towns.

Michael Timmons. Promoting the sustainable use of land-based resources and stewardship of the land is at the core of the mission of the
Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. It is what we do, and have been doing since long before the term
became fashionable. As such, it is a bit difficult (overwhelming?) to attempt to summarize all of our faculty expertise and research in the field.
Numerous masters theses have been completed by our MLA students that relate directly to the topic, ranging from water-wise planting
design to developing community planning guidelines for sustainability. Our graduate students have hosted an annual Sustainable
Landscapes Conference for the past nine years, featuring noted speakers from across the campus, the region, and the nation. Much more
information including programs from previous years can be found at

We house within the Department, the Swaner Greenspace Institute, chaired by the Sumner Margets Swaner Professor. You can find
information about the GSI at We have recently hired a new faculty member for that position, Dr. Carlos Licon,
who will be assuming the post August 1. Dr. Licon has done considerable work with sustainable development, and authored the Evaluation
Model of Sustainable Development Possibilities, which "defines and builds a graphic model for the measurement and assessment of
sustainable development based on the identification of the development-limiting factors imposed by each of the three known components
of sustainability (economy, environment, and social issues)." I am sure that he will be able to provide you with more details about his work
and interests upon his arrival in Logan.

Malgorzata "Margie" Rycewicz-Borecki is currently researching the perceptions of different types of on-site stormwater Best Management
Practices, assessing their functionality based on plant community composition and trying to secure funding to Develope a Microsimulation
Model of On-site Structural Stormwater Best Management Practices. All of this is related to sustainability (clean water) but not so much
with carbon and/or climate neutrality.