The University of Arizona has leading researchers and degree programs in the areas of sustainability, climate change, and planning and design of the built environment. For current or prospective students interested in the intersection of climate change science and the planning and design of the built environment to increase urban resilience, please feel free to contact me for current opportunities.
I lead the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments degree program, which may be of interest to undergraduates interested in learning to apply sustainability principles to improve the built environment at the building, landscape, and community scales. I am also a faculty member of the graduate Master of Science in Planning program, and affiliated with the PhD in Arid Lands Resource Sciences and PhD Minor in Global Change programs. Information on applying to The University of Arizona can be found here.
Ph.D. in Arid Lands Resource Sciences Candidate
Graduate Research Assistant
Ida Sami is a first year Ph.D. student in Arid Lands Resource Sciences. She is working as a Graduate Research Associate under the direction of Ladd Keith, trying to identify how UTCI is reliable and useful in evaluating outdoor thermal comfort in urban scale. Her research interests include: Climate Sensitive Urban Planning and Outdoor Thermal Comfort Evaluation, Sustainable Development, Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience Planning. Currently, her research explores how climate-sensitive planning strategies deployed as a theory to evaluate the outdoor thermal comfort for pedestrian in hot and arid climate region.
Ida holds a BS (2012) and an MS (2014) both in Architectural Engineering from Islamic Azad University of Tabriz, Iran. She is also a graduate of the University of Georgia with a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Design (2018). During her second master, she was selected to participate in the DEVELOP National Program at the University of Georgia and worked on the Eastern India Eco Forecasting project.
Erika Lynn Schmidt
Master of Architecture Student
Graduate Research Assistant
Erika Schmidt is a graduate student at the University of Arizona who is pursuing her Master of Architecture degree. With a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments (2020), Erika has worked with Dr. Keith during her undergrad to further understand urban heat resilience and adaptation. Her evaluation of Tempe, Arizona’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), as well as her graphic design work, has led to her current position as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Keith’s NOAA-funded research project.
Beyond enhancing her knowledge of urban planning, architecture, and climate change through her education, Erika is fascinated with the theme park industry. More specifically, she is interested in understanding how design, through urban planning and architecture, has the ability to bring imagination into reality. With a career aspiration of working as an architect, urban planner, or show set designer for one of America’s most loved theme parks, Erika hopes to one day utilize her background in architecture and sustainability to assist in the creation of themed environments.
B.S. in Organizational Leadership (2010)
M.S. in Health and Kinesiology (2012)
M.S. in Planning (2015)
Ph.D. in Geography (2021)
Previously a Graduate Research Associate and instructor for the Sustainable Built Environments degree program.
B.S. in Earth System Science
Master of Landscape Architecture Student (2020)
Previously a Graduate Research Assistant, now at Pima County Regional Flood Control District.
B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments (2016)
M.S. in Planning (2017)
Previously a Graduate Research Assistant, now a Senior Research Analyst at ILLUME Advising, LLC