Center for Urban Resilience, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Dr. Kamran Zendehdel
Acting Director of Center for Urban Resilience, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Dr. Kamran Zendehdel is the acting Director of Center for Urban Resilience, Innovation, and Infrastructure, in College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). He obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Decision Making from Ghent University in Belgium. Kamran research focuses on the intersection of environmental and social aspects of urban resilience, environmental justice, and development studies. He leads several urban stormwater management grants and collaborates with several city agencies and non-profits in Washington DC to implement urban sustainability projects. Kamran teaches Environmental Sustainability courses at UDC and published widely on the impacts of urban sustainability programs on communities. Prior to joining UDC, he worked as an Environmental Scientist at Tetra Tech Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia, where he coordinated the Chesapeake Bay nonpoint source pollution prevention project. Prior to his Ph.D., he worked for more than 7 years as a Natural Resources Conservation Expert in Forest Service.
Dr. Elizabeth Gearin
Project Specialist in Environmental Planning
Dr. Elizabeth Gearin is a policy and planning expert capable of effectively linking professional and academic planning disciplines. She is currently serving in a range of professional capacities, including as a policy and planning consultant; and as Chair of the Arlington County Planning Commission.
Prior to her current work, Dr. Gearin served as an NSF-funded graduate researcher at the University of Southern California. Before graduate school she served in a range of professional planning capacities, including as Housing Coordinator for the City of Livermore, California; as a Community Development Planner for the Contra Costa County California Redevelopment Agency; and as a Community Organizer in Chicago, Illinois for the Southwest Parish and Neighborhood Federation.
Dr. Gearin received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree from the California Polytechnic State University-San Louis Obispo, and a doctorate (PhD) in Public Policy and City and Regional Planning from the University of Southern California (USC). Her dissertation focused on assessing the child-friendliness of three iconic suburbs in the Washington D.C. metro area. Dr. Gearin is a member in good standing of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), holds a graduate certificate in Sustainable Cities from the University of Southern California, and a professional certificate in Housing Development Finance from the National Development Council. She has taught at USC and in the Wilder School at the Virginia Commonwealth University as well as The College of Professional Studies at George Washington University. She is certified as both a Master Naturalist and an Audubon at Home Ambassador by Virginia Cooperative Extension. Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, Dr. Gearin spent her middle and high school years living in Taipei, Taiwan; Manila, Philippines; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Bangkok, Thailand. She lives with her family in Arlington, Virginia.
Project Specialist in Green Infrastructure
Harris Trobman is a Project Specialist for Green Infrastructure in the Center for Sustainable Development + Resilience. As a trainer for the National Green Infrastructure Training program through DC Water and Sewer Authority, Trobman is responsible for teaching, conducting research, and program extension work related to green infrastructure and urban sustainability in the District. Trobman specializes in the restoration of urban systems, with a concentration on diverse and complex systems. Trobman also has an affinity for socially responsive design, community engagement, landscape architecture, urban design, and horticulture. In particular, his interests focus on food and water. Trobman’s work investigates the adoption and impacts of green infrastructure and urban food systems to help to meet the unprecedented 21st-century human health and natural resource challenges. Trobtman was named one of only three prestigious National Olmsted Scholar Finalists by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and he and his teammates placed first in the 2014 EPA Rain-works Demonstration Project. Trobman earned a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design from Delaware Valley University.
Staff Assistant CSDR
Danyal Eisenbrandt is the current Staff Assistant to the Acting Director of the Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia. Danyal provides administrative support directly to the acting Director by promptly fulfilling his duties until completion. These duties include travel arrangements, meeting logistics, correspondence, data and office records management, event planning, special projects, etc., as required by the Acting Director. Danyal joined the UDC staff on August 3, 2020. Prior to continuing his career with UDC Danyal worked as an ESL instructor and Youth in Development Specialist with the Peace Corps in Northern/Northeastern Thailand. He served an extended 39 months with PC specifically developing and facilitating water safety, and bike safety programming with the community. He has 4 years of experience with youth leadership/capacity building, resource development, event programming, and community organizing. Danyal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology and Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior from the University of Washington Bothell. Danyal enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, all manners of movement and exercise, and reading.
Research and Logistics Coordinator for Agriculture and Entrepreneurship
Thomas Wheet manages the Bertie Backus Food Hub as the Research and Logistics Coordinator for Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. His project–focused on assessing the viability and impact of small-scale, soilless agricultural production–provides educational resources, volunteer opportunities, and fresh produce throughout the community. Through his research, Thomas aims to demonstrate the CEA is the most productive and efficient way to broaden nutritional access to all DC residents in an affordable and sustainable manner. In addition to his role at U.D.C., Thomas serves as a Policy Analyst for the Aquaponics Association and is a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (S.A.R.E.) Fellow.