Zoé Hamstead

Dr. Zoé Hamstead is an Assistant Professor of environmental planning at the University at Buffalo. Building on interdisciplinary approaches in urban planning, geography, urban ecology and landscape ecology, Zoé’s current work explores vulnerability to extreme heat and cold events. Her research supports equitable climate adaptation planning approaches through vulnerability mapping in communities. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities program, Environmental Protection Agency STAR program, the RENEW Institute and the National Science Foundation IGERT program. Zoé teaches courses in environmental planning & policy, environmental justice and geographic analysis of environmental problems. Dr. Hamstead holds a Ph.D. in Urban & Public Policy from The New School, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts from St. John’s College.


Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA

Nick is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo in the Department of Architecture. His research investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change in buildings and communities. Prior to earning a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, he was a Senior Program Engineer at the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company Customer Energy Efficiency Department. At PG&E, he was responsible for coordinating a new Zero Net Energy Pilot Program. He has a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.


Grace DeSantis

Grace is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Urban Planning program. She graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Environmental Planning and Management and minors in Geographic Information Systems and Spanish. She has developed flood resiliency maps for the SUNY Research Foundation and Lake Champlain Research Institute, participated in green infrastructure research as an intern with the EPA, and assisted engineers at Cx Associates in their efforts to enhance building performance. The culmination of her experiences in environmental science and building design and construction inspired her interest in built environments and the opportunities they offer for improving environmental and human health. At the Community Resilience Lab, Grace works on climate resilience research.


Allison Leet

Allison is native of Buffalo, New York and a 2nd year Geography student in UB’s Department of Geographic Information Systems. She earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems Science and International Business and Trade from the University at Buffalo in 2016.

As a Research Assistant in the Community Resilience Lab, she conducts thermal vulnerability analyses for the Scenarios Working Group of the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network. Allison is also a Research Associate within the Landscape-based Environmental Systems Analysis & Modeling Lab developing watershed analyses related to soil erosion and eutrophication in the Cattaraugus Creek Watershed. Her primary interest is using landscape modeling to leverage environmental processes in decision-making of sustainable climate change adaptation strategies. Her time as a Vice Chairwoman of the non-profit organization Designing to Live Sustainably has solidified her desire to propel Buffalo, NY towards thriving in the face of climate change. Her primary passion and career goal is the growth of this organization into a climate action and adaptation leader within the Western New York Region.


Lauren Darcy

Lauren is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at the University at Buffalo focused on environmental planning. Lauren's academic and professional interests are in the interaction between land uses, urban systems and water quality, particularly in the Great Lakes Region.

While at UB, Lauren has worked on projects related to extreme weather and vulnerability as a research assistant, storm and waste water infrastructure as an intern with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, and suitability for solar installations across the city of Buffalo as part of an Urban Planning Studio.

Before coming to Buffalo, Lauren received a Bachelor of Arts in History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.


Will Siegner

Will is in his second year in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Buffalo. Specializing in environmental planning, Will’s primary interests focus on environmental justice issues, walkability and implementation of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in planning. He earned his BA in History, Sociology and Environmental Studies from Canisius College in 2015. Upon graduation from Canisius, Will spent 14 months as an Americorps service member in the Buffalo Public School System.

Prior to joining the Community Resilience Lab at UB, Will served as an intern at Solar by CIR using GIS to aid solarize marketing campaigns. Since joining the lab in fall 2017, Will has served as a research assistant on a project focused on extreme heat and cold vulnerability within Erie County, NY.

Having spent a majority of his life in the greater Buffalo region, Will spends as much of his free time as possible enjoying the local nature preserves throughout Erie County. An avid hiker and snowshoer, there aren’t many weekends you won’t find Will out and about with his two dogs.