James A. LaGro, Jr.
Office: 102 Music Hall
Phone: (608) 263-6507
The causes and consequences of land use dynamics and landscape change – especially within the built environment – are Professor LaGro’s primary research, teaching, and outreach interests. His current work focuses on community livability and sustainability, with an emphasis on effective smart growth strategies for retrofitting and/or redeveloping urban and suburban neighborhoods.
LaGro’s graduate degrees, from Cornell University, are in landscape architecture (M.L.A., 1982) and natural resource policy and planning (Ph.D., 1991). Prior to earning his doctorate, he worked in private practice as a professional land planner. A licensed landscape architect in Florida and New York, his project experience includes medical and educational facilities in the Northeastern United States, multi-family housing projects in Switzerland, and planned communities in the Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean.
Professor LaGro frequently teaches service-learning courses, including Site Planning (URPL 601) and Urban Design: Theory and Practice (URPL 606). He also teaches an undergraduate design studio in the Department of Landscape Architecture. His recent book – Site Analysis: A Contextual Approach to Sustainable Site Planning and Design – published by John Wiley & Sons was selected by Planetizen (an online planning and development network) as one of the top planning books in 2008.
Professor LaGro was Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning from 2002 to 2008. He also served on the U.S. Region’s Executive Committee of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (www.landscape-ecology.org) and on working groups assembled by “The Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment” in Washington, D.C. The Heinz Center work contributed to The State of the Nation's Ecosystems assessment initiative. He currently serves on the Science Council of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).
Professor LaGro recently returned from Washington, D.C. where he served as a 2008-09 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Environmental Assessment – Global Change Research Program.