• Peter Marcotullio, Ph.D., Institute Director

    Peter Marcotullio is Professor of Geography at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). His research interests include urban sustainable development, urban environmental transition theory, globalization and cities, urban and regional environmental planning and the relationship between urbanization and environment change. He has been affiliated with the United Nations University, the International Human Dimensions Programme and ISCU’s Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Prof Marcotullio has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report, a Coordinating Lead Author for the CBD Urbanization and Biodiversity Global Assessment Report and a Contributing Author for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

    Continue reading →

  • Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Ph.D., AICP, Deputy Director & Director, Urban Sustainability Extension Service

    An architect by training, Laxmi holds a Master in City Planning degree from MIT (1991) and a PhD in Architecture from UW-Milwaukee (1998).  After completing post-doctoral research positions in Australia and New Zealand, she returned to the United States to direct the Urban Data Visualization Lab at UI-Chicago (2002–2004) before joining the faculty of Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning and a member of the doctoral faculty in the Environmental Psychology Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Laxmi directs the Hunter College Urban Sustainability Extension Service (USES), a community-university partnership program focused on solving contemporary problems using evidence-based research. USES emphasizes participatory planning, low cost interventions, and highly customized solutions that are carefully aligned to address stakeholders’ needs and interests.

    In 2013-2014, Laxmi was selected to become a Fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE). The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

    Laxmi’s Fellowship Project is to develop a program and business plan to sustain the Urban Sustainability Extension Service (USES) at Hunter College, specifically to create a coherent brand identity and a university-wide commitment to urban sustainability and sustainability outreach and develop a program that is itself sustainable (resources, staffing, and a strong advisory council that brings stakeholders together).

    Continue reading →

  • Allan Frei, Ph.D., Deputy Director

    Dr. Frei, the Deputy Director of CISC, is an associate professor in the Geography Department at Hunter College, CUNY. After receiving his Ph.D. from Department of Geography at Rutgers University in 1997, he spent four years at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. In 2001 Dr. Frei moved to Hunter College. Dr. Frei is a climatologist whose research interests include issues related to climate change, including links to snow cover and sea ice across the Northern Hemisphere, as well as water resources in the New York City watershed region.

    Continue reading →

  • William Solecki, Ph.D., Founding Director

    Dr. William Solecki is Professor in the Department of Geography at Hunter College – CUNY. His research interests include urban environmental change, and climate impacts and adaptation. He has served on several U.S. National Research Council committees including the Special Committee on Problems in the Environment (SCOPE).  He is a founding member of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, and the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project. He served as the co-leader of several climate impacts and land use studies in the New York metropolitan region, including the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) and the Metropolitan East Coast Assessment of Impacts of Potential Climate Variability and Change and was recently selected as a lead author of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Urban Areas chapter (chapter 8). He holds in degrees in Geography from Columbia University (BA) and Rutgers University (MA, Ph.D).

    Continue reading →

  • Douglas Price, Program Manager

    Douglas Price joined the Institute as Program Manager in 2014. He focuses on program development, fundraising and grant writing, and serves as project manager to CISC research projects. Douglas is also engaged in CISC research projects related to material and energy flows in the New York City metropolitan region, with particular emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions. He received his MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and his BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan.

    Continue reading →

  • Justin Garson, PhD, Institute Fellow

    Justin Garson received his PhD in Philosophy and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Texas at Austin in 2006. His areas of specialization are the Philosophy of Biology, with an emphasis on neuroscience and psychiatry; and Environmental Philosophy. His research has been on the relationship between neuroscience and psychiatry, the concepts of function and information in neuroscience, and on the limits of mechanistic explanation in biology. He has also published scientific research in conservation biology and works with the Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory at the University of Texas. In 2008, he and his family lived in Gulu, Northern Uganda, and worked with organizations such as Child Voice International and St. Jude’s Children’s Home to provide capacity training and medical assistance for people affected by war. Justin recently co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. This collection includes contributions from scientists, philosophers, and lawyers, and explores questions such as, what isbiodiversity, why should we protect it, and how can we protect it while respecting the demands of social and global justice? He also writes about how advances in biology can help us understand traditional problems of human nature.

    Continue reading →

  • Simon Gruber, Institute Fellow

    Simon Gruber is an environmental planning and communications consultant specializing in water resources planning and protection, energy efficiency, high performance building and site design, and sustainable infrastructure. Since 1986 he’s worked with local and county government, non-profit organizations, and businesses in the Hudson Valley. Completed and ongoing projects include a county-wide stream bio-monitoring program, a decentralized wastewater planning and demonstration initiative, the Moodna Creek watershed planning process, and development of regional green building and energy education programs. Recent initiatives include green infrastructure planning for watershed restoration and community revitalization, state energy policy research and communications, and several water policy projects. His work has a growing focus on job opportunities in these sectors and developing relevant training resources. His collaboration with CISC began in 2006 with a regional initiative to address climate change impacts on water resources. Contact sgruber100@verizon.net or go to the Green Infrastructure Resources page at www.hudsonvalleyregionalcouncil.com for more.

    Continue reading →

  • John Waldman, Ph.D., Institute Fellow

    Dr. Waldman is the leading researcher on the City by the Coast Core Program Area. He is professor of biology at Queens College, City University of New York. Prior to this appointment in 2004, he was employed for 20 years by the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research. He received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the Joint Program in Evolutionary Biology between the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York. His research interests focus on the ecology and evolution of fishes, particularly diadromous forms, urban aquatic environments, and historical ecology. He also is author of several popular books, including Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor.

    Read Dr. Waldman’s extended bio at Queens College: http://qcpages.qc.edu/Biology/Waldman/index.html

    Continue reading →

  • Richard Reiss, Institute Fellow

    Richard Reiss is a research fellow in communications, and is the co-founder and editor of City Atlas, the Institute’s partnership for public communications about the future of New York City. City Atlas launched with a Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund award in October, 2011. Over 100 interns from schools including CUNY, NYU, Columbia, Barnard, Princeton and Yale have worked on City Atlas since then, and the project contains over 900 posts about the past, present and future New York City. Richard is also a founder of Artist As Citizen, a nonprofit arts organization that links top young creative talent with projects in the public interest (and which provided teams for the development of City Atlas). Prior to developing nonprofit media, Richard worked as a director of television commercials, and is a member of the DGA. He received a BA in Architecture from Yale University, he is a board member of the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance, and he is currently collaborating with students at Yale in developing the Yale Decarbonization Challenge, which works to educate students and alumni on how to begin to decarbonize their own lifestyles to help meet the 2°C target of the UNFCCC.

    Continue reading →

  • Dylan Gauthier, Research Fellow: Digital Media and Environmental Art

    Dylan Gauthier joined the Institute as Media Coordinator and Webmaster, building the CISC website and facilitating digital media production and development, since late 2010, and currently works with the Institute as a Fellow in Digital Media.  Dylan is a media artist, designer and educator and has worked as a media consultant, graphic, web and video designer and logistical engineer for non-profit and arts organizations and social justice groups in New York and abroad, and has collaborated with Right to the City initiatives and urban food sustainability and educational groups here in New York City.  He received his MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in 2012, and currently teaches courses in the Film and Media Department. In addition to his work as a media artist and designer, Dylan also co-organizes Mare Liberum (thefreeseas.org) which seeks to find new ways to increase public access to and understanding of the city’s complex eco-network of living waterways.

    Continue reading →


Connect with CISC on Social Media

Join the CISC Mailing List


The Institute for Sustainable Cities | CUNY Hunter College
695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Tel: (212) 396 - 6264 | Fax: (212) 396 - 6137
contact form