My research is in overcoming perceptual barriers to coastal flood resilience, with interests spanning across alternative dispute resolution, urban ecology, decision making under uncertainty, resilience and regime shifts, coupled socio-ecological systems, human values and worldviews, vulnerability, and coastal flooding.


PhD Candidate, Interdisciplinary Doctorate Program
Tufts University, Medford, MA. Fellowship – Water Diplomacy IGERT

Masters of Urban Planning (Winter 2007)
University of Washington, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Seattle WA

Masters of Landscape Architecture (Summer 2006)
University of Washington, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Seattle WA

Bachelors of Science in Resource Ecology and Management (Spring 1999)
University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Fellow, National Science Foundation IGERT Water Diplomacy Program, Tufts University (2013-2015)

PRimary research applications

  • Scenario planning
  • Spatial analysis
  • Climate adaptation
  • Conceptual mapping
  • Visual communication of scientific data

Research Experience

Urban Ecology Research Laboratory (UERL), Seattle, WA, Director Marina Alberti                                                                Projects:

  • Snohomish Basin 2060 Scenarios, Funding: Bullitt Foundation.
  • Puget Sound Future Scenarios, Funding: US Army Corps of Engineers.
  • CTED Landscape Benchmarks Assessment, Funding: WA Department of Commerce.
  • BioComplexity I, Funding: NSF

Center for Urban Simulation and Policy Analysis, Seattle, WA, Director Paul Waddell

  • Salt Lake City Utah Urban simulation. Funding: Salt Lake City Regional Council.

Professional Experience

  • Sasaki Associates Watertown, MA. Urban Planner May (2008 – 2009)
  • Advances in Urban Ecology Seattle, WA. Graphic Illustrator (2007)
  • ENP & Associates, Ann Arbor, MI. Design Consultant and Community Facilitator, (January 2001 – March 2003)
  • Washtenaw County Metropolitan Planning Commission Ann Arbor, MI. Associate Planner (2000 – 2003)

Speaking engagements & conferences

Water Seminar, UW Seattle. Nov 2012. Russo, M. and Alberti M. Snohomish Basin 2060 Scenarios: Decision Support for Long Term Provision of Ecosystem Services in the Snohomish Basin, WA.

Inland Empire American Planning Association. Priest Lake, Idaho. June 2012. M Russo and Alberti M. Snohomish Basin 2060 Scenarios: Supporting long term decisions to maintain ecosystem services.

Three Degrees Projects. Friday Harbor Labs, San Juan WA. Sept 2011. M Russo and Alberti M. Snohomish Basin 2060 Scenarios.

Community, Environment and Planning (CEP) 302, Environmental Response, UW Seattle. February 2011, 2012.

M Russo. Decision making under uncertainty exercise: protecting water quality in the Snohomish Basin. Introduction to Urban Planning, UW Tacoma Nov. 2011. Decision making under uncertainty exercise: protecting water quality in the Snohomish Basin.

Resilience 2011 Meeting in Tempe, AZ. 2011. Alberti, M, EK Larson, and M Russo. Resilient Patterns in Hybrid Ecosystems. Georgia Basin-Puget Sound Research Conference, Vancouver BC. March 2007. Driving Forces, Uncertainty, and the Nearshore: Scenarios for the Puget Sound Nearshore.

Landscape Architecture 212 Designing the Future, UW Seattle. May 2011. Scenarios and Adaptation. Landscape Architecture 363, Eco Design and Planning, UW Seattle. May 2010, 2011. How we think about the future: Conceptualizing and evaluating critical decisions.

Landscape Architecture 302, Site Design in the Urban Context, February 2010. M. Russo. The Urban Ecology of Dog Parks in Seattle, WA.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA. Oct 3009. M. Alberti and M. Russo. Scenario casting as a tool for dealing with uncertainty.


M. Alberti, J. Hepinstall, B. Coburn, M. Russo, S. Coe, and D. Spirandelli. 2005. Developing Landscape Benchmarks to Monitor Urban Growth in Puget Sound. Washington State CTED. Olympia, WA.