I am interested in the human dimensions of the relationship between societies and their natural environments and the ecological principles that are necessary to understand cultural, social, political, and economic questions at a variety of geographic scales. In relation to all three aspects of the environment – natural, built, and social – my broad research agenda is to study how local socio-economic-environmental dynamics and global processes may influence human-environment interaction and vice versa. I have used sustainability, urban social ecology, and social-environmental justice as overarching concepts to define my recent research projects. Specific topics of these projects have included green stormwater infrastructure, food systems and urban agriculture, emergency hunger relief, urban land use and growth management, digital civic engagement, built and natural environmental resources, watershed management, and sustainable development. I use mixed-methods research techniques and tools, including GIS analysis and visualization, surveys, interviews, focus groups, field observations, and participatory visual methods.

Research Experience

Rowan University

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  • 2018 – 2019: Principal Investigator, Geo-spatial Planning and Design for Camden County’s Green Infrastructure ($53,175 – Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority)
  • 2017 – 2018: Principal Investigator, EPA STAR Equitable Distribution of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects in Philadelphia ($41,020 – US EPA through a subaward from Temple University; Lead PI – Toran)
  • 2017 – 2018: Principal Investigator, Using Immersive and Multisensory Virtual Reality in Participatory Planning ($10,000 – Rowan University)


  • 2017 – 2018: Co-Investigator, NJ MAP and Watershed Explorer ($82,000 – Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Kirby Foundation, PI – Hasse)
  • 2018: Co-Principal Investigator, Watershed Storytelling: Experiential tools for connecting people, place, and water ($5,000 – New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Lead-PI – Kitson)
  • 2017 (completed): Principal Investigator, The Montessori School Stormwater Management and Landscape Master Plan ($14,000 – Montessori School and PA DEP’s Growing Greener program through a subaward from Partnership for the Delaware Estuary)


Temple University (Selected)

2015 – 2016: Principal Investigator, Community Engagement in Re-Visioning Philadelphia’s Lower North Delaware Industrial District ($25,301 – US EPA)
2014 – 2016: Principal Investigator, Visioning Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects through a Community-Driven Geodesign Process ($60,000 – US EPA)

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2014 – 2016: GIS Analyst, An Integrated Strategy to Improve Green Infrastructure Approaches in Philadelphia ($1 million – US EPA; PI – Featherstone)
2014 – 2016: GIS Analyst, Watershed Protection in Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster ($1.235 million – William Penn Foundation; PI – Featherstone)
2012 – 2014: Principal Investigator, Watershed-Based Stormwater Management Plan to Improve Water Quality through Community Engagement: Ambler Area Watersheds ($60,000 – US EPA)

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2010 – 2012: Principal Investigator, Impact Assessment of Projected and Alternative Land Use Development Patterns in Pennypack Creek Watershed ($50,000 – PA DEP)
2010 – 2011: Principal Investigator, Food Insecurity and Spatial Inequality in Lower-Income Urban Neighborhoods: Analyzing the Role of Community Gardens ($40,000 – PA DCED)
2010 – 2014: Co-Investigator, Wissahickon Creek Watershed Study ($500,000 – Philadelphia Water Department or PWD, Montgomery County Community Development Block Grant, PA DEP Safe Water, and participating municipalities; PI – Featherstone)
2010: Co-Investigator, Sustainable 19125 Performance Measures Study ($20,000 – New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Philadelphia; PI – Mandarano)
2007 – 2009: Principal Investigator, 3D GIS Visualization: Fort Washington Office Park Revitalization Project ($175,000 – PA DCED)
2006 – 2009: Principal Investigator, Philadelphia Community Food Access: The Need and Access to Hunger Relief Services ($104,000 – Philabundance, Pennsylvania)
2008 – 2010: Co-Investigator, Act 167 Plan for Pennypack Creek Watershed ($120,000 – PWD; PI – Featherstone)
2007 – 2008: Principal Investigator, Upper Dublin Environmental Resources Inventory ($16,000 – Upper Dublin Township, Pennsylvania)