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Joan Iverson Nassauer



MLA, Iowa State University (landscape architecture)

BLA, University of Minnesota (landscape architecture)



Joan Iverson Nassauer is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School for Environment and Sustainability. She was named Fellow by the American Society of Landscape Architects (1992), Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (2007), and Distinguished Practitioner of Landscape Ecology in the US (1998) and Distinguished Scholar (2007) by the International Association of Landscape Ecology. She focuses on the cultural sustainability of ecological design in human-dominated landscapes.  Her research offers knowledge and strategies for basing ecological design on cultural insight, strong science, and creative engagement with policy. Her teaching and recent projects apply this approach to brownfields, vacant property, exurban sprawl, and agricultural landscapes.

  • 2016-19   University of MI Water Center:  Erb Family Foundation. $1,116,999. Improving water quality and well-being in Detroit: A multidisciplinary partnership to design and assess socio-environmental performance of green infrastructure on vacant land.
  • 2014-16  University of MI Water Center. $284,993. Improving water quality and well-being in Great Lakes post-industrial cities: A multidisciplinary partnership to assess Detroit’s green infrastructure (with sponsor-PI Natalie Sampson).
  • 2014  Argonne National Laboratory. $66,671. Socio-economic sustainability of biofuel production in Central Illinois.
  • 2011-13   National Science Foundation.  Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Annapolis, Maryland. $27,500,000. (PI Margaret Palmer, U of MD). (Sub Award for Social Science Innovation Director, JI Nassauer, Uof MI,$138,000.)
  • 2008-12 National Science Foundation CNHS collaborative grant. $1,166,066.Spatial Land-Use Change and Ecological Effects: Interactions of Exurban Land Management and Carbon Dynamics. (with D. G. Brown, W. Currie, S. E. Page, and D. Parker).

  • Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Sustainability, University of Michigan, 2013-15.
  • Rackham Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan. 2012.
  • Distinguished Scholar, International Association for Landscape Ecology, 2007.
  • Fellow of American Society of Landscape Architects, 1992.
  • Distinguished Landscape Ecologist, US-International Association for Landscape Ecology, 2010.

Select publications: 
  • Nassauer, J. I. 2017.  Greening Sprawl:  Lawn Culture and Carbon Storage in the Suburban Landscape.  In Infinite Suburbia.  A. Berger & J. Kotkin, eds.  Princeton Architectural Press.  
  • Visscher, R. S., Nassauer, J. I., Brown, D G , Currie, W. S. and Parker,  D.C.  2014. Exurban residential household behaviors and values: Influence of parcel size and neighbors on carbon storage potential. Landscape & Urban Plan 132:37-46.
  • Nassauer, J. I. 2013. Landscape as medium and method for synthesis in urban ecological design.  In  Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design. S. Pickett, M. Cadenasso, B. McGrath, eds. Springer Press. Pp.79-98.
  • Nassauer, J. I. & Raskin, J. 2014. Urban vacancy and land use legacies: A frontier for urban ecological research, design, and planning. Landscape & Urban Plan.  125: 245-253.
  • Nassauer, J. I. 2011. Care and stewardship:  From home to planet. Landscape & Urban Plan. 100: 321-323.

Read more publications here.

  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, Landscape and Urban Planning
  • Steering Committee, US EPA Final Ecosystems Goods and Services.
  • Chair, US- IALE Taskforce on Public Policy (2010-2013).
  • Secretary, National Academy of Environmental Design (2009-2012).