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Todd Schenk

Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP)
  • Affiliated Faculty, Global Change Center (GCC)
Todd Schenk
212 Architecture Annex
140 Otey St
Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Ph.D., Public Policy and Planning, MIT, 2015
  • MURP, Environmental Policy & Planning, MIT, 2009
  • B.A. (Hons), Geography, University of Guelph (Canada), 2002
  • ·       Collaborative Governance
  • ·       Public Sector Dispute Resolution
  • ·       Civil Discourse
  • ·       Serious Games
  • ·       Environmental Policy & Planning
  • ·       Sustainable Development
  • ·       Climate Change Adaptation
  • SPIA 2554: Collaborative Policy-Making & Planning
  • UAP 3354: Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning
  • UAP 5084: Collaborative Planning and Community Involvement
  • UAP 3954: Sustainable Policy-Making & Planning in Europe


  • Schenk, T. (2018). Adapting Infrastructure to Climate Change: Advancing decision-making under conditions of uncertainty and complexity. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Matsuura, M. & T. Schenk, eds. (2017). Joint Fact Finding in Urban Planning and Environmental Disputes. London and New York: Routledge.


  • Barney, J.N., T. Schenk, D.C. Haak, S. Salom, B. Brown & E.R. Hotchkiss (2019). Building Partnerships and Bridging Science and Policy to Address the Biological Invasions Crisis. Invasive Plant Science and Management, 1-5. doi:10.1017/inp.2018.33
  • Chu, E., T. Schenk & J. Patterson (2018). The Dilemmas of Citizen Inclusion in Urban Planning and Governance to Enable a 1.5 °C Climate Change Scenario. Urban Planning, 3(2): 128–140.
  • Edelenbos, J., I. van Meerkerk & T. Schenk (2018). The Evolution of Community Self-Organization in Interaction With Government Institutions: Cross-Case Insights From Three Countries. American Review of Public Administration, 48(1), 52-66. doi:10.1177/0275074016651142.
  • Rumore, D., T. Schenk & L. Susskind (2016). Role-play simulations: A tool for climate adaptation education and engagement. Nature Climate Change, 6: 745-750.
  • Schenk, T., R.A.L. Vogel, N. Maas & L. Tavasszy (2016). Joint Fact-Finding in Practice: Review of a Collaborative Approach to Climate-Ready Infrastructure in Rotterdam. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 16(1): 273-293.
  • Virginia Tech Invasive Species Working group – Interdisciplinary group focused on bridging the science and policy of invasive management in order to better understand barriers and opportunities and advance best practices. Internal funding from Fralin Life Sciences Institute and the Policy Destination Area.
  • Policy for STEM-H students – Chair curriculum committee of VT’s Policy Destination Area, leading development of new Science, Technology & Engineering in Policy (STEP) program. Destination Area funding for program development and associated research.
  • Renewable Energy Facilities Siting Project (VT-REFS) – Associate Director of this initiative, which is working to advance best practices in the siting of renewables including better public participation, visualization, and fact-finding methodologies. Various funding streams.
  • Climate adaptation planning – Governance approaches to better engage stakeholders in adaptation planning. Currently part of a funded project exploring stakeholders’ understanding of climate information and how it can be improved (Dynamic Data Visualization to Improve Foundational Statistical Understanding, 4-VA, $98,050).
  • Frenemies Project – Action research project working to advance and advance best practices in civil discourse. Various workshops run on and off-campus.
  • Environmental policy/governance – Working with various multi-disciplinary teams tackling pressing environmental challenges. This includes an NSF planning grant to develop a research agenda to tackle freshwater salinization; internal funding to examine the efficacy of green infrastructure to concurrently meet pollution reduction and other objectives; and an NSF proposal to enhance species conservation in times of change.
  • Collaborative governance at the science-policy interface
  • Civil discourse to build empathy and understanding
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Serious games for action research