Environmental Protection, Climate Action, & Urban Resilience

Cal Poly City & Regional Planning

Classes and Research in:

Environmental Protection, Climate Action, & Urban Resilience

Cal Poly city & regional planners are committed to protecting and conserving the environment. Faculty and students work together to solve the climate change challenge by creating resilient, low-carbon communities. We insure environmental quality by applying best practices in site design, environmental impact assessment, and hazard mitigation. And we make California communities safer by mitigating the impacts of natural disasters through smart land use planning and public policy.


CRP 545 Principles of Environmental Planning

CRP 440 Climate Action Planning

CRP 445 Planning and Urban Ecology

CRP 458 Local Hazard Mitigation Planning and Design

CRP 438 Pollution Prevention and Control

CRP 404 Environmental Law

CRP 408 Water Resource Law and Policy

>>Click here for course descriptions<<


Michael R. Boswell, Ph.D., AICP
Dr. Boswell works on issues such as climate action planning, hazard mitigation, adaptive management and governance, local government planning and decision-making, and sustainable development. He is lead author of the book Local Climate Action Planning. Dr. Boswell currently serves as an expert advisor on ’Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning’ for the UN-Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative and attended the UN climate conference in Paris (COP 21) to launch the report. His previous work includes examining the effectiveness of local stormwater management programs and the restoration of large-scale ecosystems.

Adrienne Greve, Ph.D.
Dr. Greve focuses on climate action planning, resilience, green infrastructure, and local planning. She collaborates with a World Bank team working on climate-smart capital investment planning in Uganda and Tanzania. She served as a Visiting Research Professor at the Research Center for Disaster Reduction Systems at Kyoto University in 2013 & 2014. Prior to her time in Japan, Adrienne served as project director for development of a Climate Adaptation Planning Guide for the California Office of Emergency Services and co-authored a book titled titled Local Climate Action Planning (2012). Dr. Greve has led development of climate action plans (CAPs) as part of the two-quarter studio sequence for the City of   Benicia, CA; City of San Luis Obispo, CA; and California Polytechnic State University. In the past, Dr. Greve worked as a hydrologist and continues to conduct research on stormwater management.

William Siembieda, Ph.D., AICP

Dr. Siembieda applies urban planning principles to the study of resiliency, risk reduction and hazard mitigation. His policy interest is how best to integrate complex public and private actions in the management of resilient and safe urban places. Transnational describes his professional practice, hazard, and risk reduction efforts. Plan work includes, preparation of the State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan for the Governor of California (2007, 2010, 2013) and resettlement planning in Central America. As a member of the GEER team (2014) he provided policy guidance on storm water system improvements for impacted earthquakes areas of Christchurch, NZ. He has served as subject matter expert to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Chilean National Center for Integrated Management of Disaster Risk, and New Zealand’s Joint Center for Disaster Research.

Projects & Research

State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

Cal Poly CRP faculty and students have supported preparation of the State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan for the governor for more than 10 years. Over 20 students have worked as research assistants on this project to gather and analyze data, prepare sophisticated analyses, develop GIS maps, and write statewide policy. This learn-by-doing opportunity has catalyzed the careers of numerous alums in the emergency management and hazard mitigation fields.

California Adaptation Guide

The California Office of Emergency Services and California Natural Resources Agency developed an Adaptation Policy Guide (APG) to provide a decision-making framework for use by local and regional stakeholders to aid in the interpretation of climate science and develop a systematic rationale for reducing risks caused, or exacerbated, by climate change. This project was supported by Cal Poly CRP faculty and students who did much of the research and writing of the documents. The APG helps implement the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) and California Climate Adaptation Strategy (CAS) by providing straightforward, yet flexible, guidance for communities to begin taking direct actions in response to climate impacts.

Cal Poly Climate Action Plan

Over the 2015-16 academic year, the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department worked the campus Facilities Operations division to create Cal Poly's first Climate Action Plan. A team of 27 students in the CRP 410/411 studio, led by Professors Adrienne Greve, Chris Clark, and Billy Riggs performed a comprehensive transportation survey, GHG inventory, background report, GHG dashboard and wrote the plan.


California Climate Action Planning Conference

Every two years Cal Poly hosts the California Climate Action Planning Conference which attracts over 200 climate action planning professionals from around California and the U.S. It is the only statewide conference to focus solely on the practice of local and regional climate action planning in California. Students attend for free and have the opportunity to network with the top professionals in the field.

Central Coast Climate Collaborative

The Central Coast Climate Collaborative is a membership organization fostering a network of local and regional community leaders throughout six Central Coast counties to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Collaborative involves representatives from local and regional government, business and agriculture, academia, and diverse community groups to share information and best practices, leverage efforts and resources and identify critical issues and needs. Students are able to participate in Collaborative events and can work with partners on research and internships.

Resilient Communities Research Institute

The Resilient Communities Research Institute (RCRI) in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) is an applied research unit devoted to advancing the application of knowledge and practice that improves the quality and safety of the built environment. The RCRI is a catalyst for creating effective and productive applied research partnerships. The RCRI is where answers to real world questions are formulated, where partnerships with the civil society yield community benefits, and where the next generation of student leaders become involved in research and solutions based design.


Our alumni are leaders in the field…

Danielle Althaus (MCRP ’14) Lead Environmental Planner at Insignia Environmental specializing in CEQA/NEPA documents and CPUC PEA preparation, environmental planning, regulatory permitting, and environmental compliance program management. Her professional interests include renewable energy, natural resources, recreation planning, hazard mitigation, public health, climate action/adaptation planning, and urban agriculture.

Corinne (Rosenblum) Bartshire, AICP, CFM (MCRP ’05), Bay Area UASI Regional Project Manager. Corinne’s responsibilities include oversight and direction of projects designed to improve the Bay Area’s resilience and recovery planning. She brings national experiences in all hazards planning, exercise design, and stakeholder group facilitation.

David Flamm (MCRP ’09) Emergency Management Deputy Director at Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services. David has fifteen years of experience as an emergency manager. In addition to the nearly three years he served as the Deputy Director of the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services he served six years as an Air Force emergency manager, four years as an emergency manager for Santa Barbara County at the operational area level, a year in San Luis Obispo County's bio terrorism department, a year doing research and publishing a hazard mitigation study for the California Emergency Management Agency (later used during a congressional hearing on hazard mitigation funding), and a short six month stint as a private hazard mitigation consultant, and several years in emergency management academia.

Matt Kawashima (BSCRP ’13), Environmental Analyst II at Contra Costa County Public Works. Matt works on a variety of environmental planning projects for the county.

Eli Krispi (MCRP ’11), Associate Climate Action and Resiliency Planner at PlaceWorks. Eli works at the nexus of the natural and built environments, enabling communities, organizations, and individuals to operate sustainably. His career in sustainability has included work for public governments, institutions, and private companies. Eli combines a data-driven and science-based practical approach with experience in implementing sustainability policy at all levels, ranging from offices of a dozen people to regions with 1.3 million residents

Hannah Kornfeld (MCRP ’16), Air Quality and Climate Change Specialist at Ascent Environmental, Inc. Hannah conducts technical analyses for climate action and adaptation plans. She prepares greenhouse gas, air quality, and noise sections for CEQA and NEPA documents. And she models emissions and noise impacts for environmental reports.

Chris Read (MCRP ‘11), EnergyWise Program Coordinator at County of San Luis Obispo. Chris assists with managing a variety of comprehensive and environmental planning projects with an emphasis on climate change and sustainability, climate change adaptation, hazard mitigation, community engagement, housing, and land use planning

Leeanne Singleton (BSCRP ‘10), Environmental Analyst at the City of Hermosa Beach. Leeanne specializes in long-range planning, community engagement, transportation planning, and sustainability policy development. Working in the City Manager’s office, Leeanne works across departments to implement initiatives that improve operational efficiency and align with the community’s vision and values. With each initiative, she leads efforts to craft innovative tools and strategies to increase opportunities for public participation and enhance the decision-making process. As a LEED Accredited Professional with an eye for visual composition and graphic design, she works to integrate sustainability principles and graphic consistency into all aspects of city operations.



Cal Poly and the local environment is a beautiful place to get outside and study environmental planning!

Related Content

Our MCRP Program

Video for MCRP Program

MCRP Program Video

Support Us


Consider a gift