Environmental Policy

Scott Spak

  • Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Policy Research Program
  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Associate Professor, School of Planning and Public Affairs


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

Educational Background

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