Scott Spak

Title & Affiliation
Senior Research Fellow Environmental Policy Research Program
Associate Professor Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Professor School of Planning and Public Affairs


  • PhD, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009

Scott Spak teaches courses on U.S. and international environmental policy, dynamic systems modeling, and urban growth. Spak develops and applies numerical models to study the intersection between human activities and environmental change. His research informs decision-making by

  1. identifying tipping points in linked Earth systems, including atmospheric aerosols, chemical pollution, and regional climate
  2. understanding the roles of technology, policy, and societal change in projecting future human impacts on the environment
  3. developing new ways to embed Earth System modeling in environmental policies and urban planning

Research Interests

  • Aerosol impacts on climate
  • Air toxics
  • Effects of urban form and policy on air quality
  • High resolution coupled earth and human systems modeling