just joeI am an independent consultant and writer working with people and organizations dedicated to increasing community sustainability and resilience through civic engagement and the preservation of cultural and natural resources.

Trained as a welder, I have been a sheet metal worker, a journalist, a hydrogeologist, and a nonpartisan science advisor to the Michigan Legislature with the Legislative Service Bureau. I recently finished a 21-year stint as the founder and Executive Director for LIAA, a nonprofit community service organization. LIAA is well known across Michigan for its efforts in brokering and supporting cooperative intergovernmental planning for more sustainable and resilient communities. Additionally, LIAA manages a number of community service programs in the Grand Traverse Region including the UpNorth Media Center, Northwest Michigan’s only public access and government access television stations.

I hold a B.A. in English and creative writing as well as a B.A. and M.S. in earth science and hydrogeology from Western Michigan University. I have also received my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy winning the Ayers Brinser Award for my research in land-use policy and the applications of geographic information systems (GIS).

Over the years, I’ve given hundreds of presentations on civic engagement, building a sense of place, resilient communities, and climate change. I also have also published numerous articles and reports on land use planning, resource management, intergovernmental cooperation and a wide range of science and technology topics. Last, but certainly not least, I write creative nonfiction and poetry, including pieces published by the Dunes Review.