Judith Mayer, Ph.D., AICP

Lecturer - Environmental Planning

Environmental planning skills and worldviews are crucial for informed and empowered citizenship and community action, as well as for responsible and effective professional environmental protection work and community-building. Critical thinking, interdisciplinary analysis, and attention to “why” as much as “how” inform my teaching approach..

I bring perspectives to Humboldt from professional practices at local, state, and federal levels, and from research and community action in the US and Southeast Asia.  I have taught courses related to environmental planning, policy, and law in  Humboldt undergrad and graduate programs including Environmental Science and Management, Geography, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and the Masters in Social Sciences Environment and Community program.  I have also taught in Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning undergrad and graduate programs.

My planning research links critical social and policy analysis with community-based and collaborative environmental problem solving. Over 30 years of research and practice in the US and abroad, I focus on sustaining local environments and resources that sustain community livelihoods and resilience.  I have served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Arcata since 2007, and as a member of Arcata’s Economic Development Committee. I serve on the board of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). As a founding member of The Borneo Project of Earth Island Institute, I have served on its board/steering committees since 1991, and its Director / Coordinator (2007 to 2010), supporting Borneo community initiatives for sustainable livelihoods and environmental justice.

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) member 


Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 1996
M.S., Urban and Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1982
B.A., History, Swarthmore College, 1977.

Courses Taught

Local Government Planning
Environmental Law & Regulation
Planning & Politics: Community Visions (Environment & Community graduate seminar)
Community, Ecology & Social Action (Sociology graduate seminar)
Introduction to Natural Resource Planning
Natural Resource Planning Methods (LAB)
Landscapes, Cultures & Planning (Geography)