Skip to main content
Stephen Mainzer PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor
Photo of Stephen Mainzer
Penn State Landscape Architecture
229 Stuckeman

Stephen Mainzer is a designer, educator, and researcher who’s work engages a socio-ecological systems approach to exploring decision dynamics of coupled human and natural environments. He studies ways in which the biophysical landscape – urban form, physiography, and ecology – intersect with the behaviors of individuals and communities toward energy use, conservation, planning, and pro-environmental voting actions. His methods build upon six years of professional practice and a transdisciplinary Ph.D. degree to employ GIS, statistics, and qualitative techniques that advocate for evidence-based strategies. Stephen’s comprehensive approach has been recognized by Architectural Research Centers Consortium’s national Dissertation Award and Penn State University’s Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Stephen has taught across a nationally-ranked landscape architecture curriculum, with a focus on introductory design and communication and landscape systems studios.

 

Education

  • Ph.D. (dual-title) Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment. 2017. Pennsylvania State University.
  • MS Landscape Architecture. 2011. Pennsylvania State University.
  • BLA. 2005. Pennsylvania State University.

Courses Taught

Undergraduate

  • LARCH 450      Geodesign: Geospatial Technology for Design
  • LARCH 414      Design and Theory V: Advanced Landscape Architectural Design (Climate Change Studio)
  • LARCH 382      Professional Practice
  • LARCH 256      Skills Lab IV: GIS
  • LARCH 216      Design IV: Expanded Use, Scale, and Context
  • LARCH 155      Skills Lab I: Hand & Digital Graphics
  • LARCH 115      Design I: Introduction to Spatial Composition
  • LARCH Summer Intensive Program

Graduate

  • LARCH 530      Design and Theory III: Regional Planning and Landscape Systems
  • GEODZ 826      Representation & Change
  • GEODZ 511      History, Theory, & Principles

Research

Decision dynamics of coupled human and natural environments, specifically energy planning and voting actions

Honors + Awards

Awards

  • Architecture Research Centers Consortium Dissertation Award, 2018
  • Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award Finalist, 2017 Distinguished Doctoral Scholar, Penn State University, 2017
  • Best Student Paper Award, Environmental Design Research Association Conference, 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects, Student Honor Award, 2011
  • Penn State University College of Arts and Architecture, Creative Achievement Award, 2011 Landscape Architecture Foundation, University Olmsted Scholar, 2011

Recognized Student Work

  • Oral and Performance Award, Second place. Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Penn State University. Thomas Wert, College of Arts and Architecture. “Re-envisioning Johnston Square.” (Faculty sponsor). 2018.
  • Oral and Performance, Award Third place. Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Penn State University. Lucas Tranchita, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “Potential Wetland Sites to Reduce Flooding along the Buffalo Bayou in Houston, TX.” (Faculty sponsor). 2018.
  • Library Literary Award, Third place. Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Penn State University. Lucas Tranchita, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Cristina Frass, College of Arts and Architecture. “Tackling Flooding Issues in Houston.” (Faculty sponsor). 2018.

Exhibitions + Presentations

  • Mainzer, Stephen & Kendall Mainzer. Team-teaching strategies and effectiveness in design pedagogy: a pilot study. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Conference. March 2018. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA.
  • Cole, Charles Andrew, Mainzer, Kendall & Stephen Mainzer. E+D: Ecology and Design - Improving the ecological function of the designed world. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Conference. March 2018. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA.
  • Mainzer, Stephen. Community and Landscape Driven Pro-Environmental Behavior: preliminary findings of household energy consumption in two rural towns. Psychology of Architecture Conference. December 2016. Austin, TX.
  • Mainzer, Stephen. Towards a transdisciplinary action research design studio: adapting a human dimensions of natural resources education structure. Environmental Design Research Association. May 2016. Raleigh, NC.
  • Barrett, Austin, Lauren Abbott, Sarah Eissler, Carolyn Fish, Lacey Goldberg, Stephen Mainzer, & Max Olsen. 2015. Community perceptions of local food: a mixed methods approach. International Symposium on Society and Research Management. June 2015. Charleston, NC.
  • Zawadzki, Stephanie J., Stephen Mainzer, & A.E. Luloff. 2015. Close, but not too close: landmarks and their influence on housing values. International Symposium on Society and Research Management. June 2015. Charleston, NC.
  • Mainzer, Stephen & Timothy Murtha. 2011. Creating resilient neighborhoods: the relationship between ecologic principles and private development in Greendale, WI. Council of Educator in Landscape Architecture Conference. March 2011. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Mainzer, Stephen. 2010. Creating accessible suburbs: a background on suburban housing and public housing projects in the U.S. No)Boundaries Geography Student Conference. March 2010. Pennsylvania State University. State College, PA.

Publications

Refereed Journals

Dissertation, Thesis, & Monographs

  • Mainzer, Stephen. A community landscape theory of pro-environmental behavior: the effects of landscape and community interaction on residential energy consumption in two Pennsylvania towns. Diss. The Pennsylvania State University, 2018. https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/catalog/13737.

  • Barrett, Austin, Lauren Abbott, Sarah Eissler, Carolyn Fish, Lacey Goldberg, Stephen Mainzer, & Max Olsen. 2015. Community perceptions of local food: a mixed methods approach in State College, PA. State College, PA. The Hamer Center for Community Design. The Pennsylvania State University. ISBN 978-1-941659-04-5. http://sites.psu.edu/hamercenter/2016/01/15/community-perceptions-of-local-foods-monograph/.

  • Mainzer, Stephen. Measuring structural heterogeneity in neighborhoods: the relationship between ecologic principles and physical design attributes in Greendale, W.I. MS Thesis. The Pennsylvania State University, 2011. https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/catalog/11807.

Selected Technical Reports

  • Space Coast Long Range Transportation Plan, Renaissance Planning Group, 2014.
  • Pompano Beach Vision Plan, Renaissance Planning Group, 2014.
  • Space Coast Bicycle and Pedestrian Masterplan, Renaissance Planning Group, 2013.
  • Manatee County Complete Streets Policy. Renaissance Planning Group, 2012.
  • Installation Design Guidelines at Fort Drum, Fort Meade, Fort McNair, & Tobyhanna Army Depot, PBS&J, Inc., 2009

Built Works

  • Potomac Yard Neighborhood, Alexandira, VA. LandDesign, Inc., 2008
  • The Alexan at Carlyle, Alexandria, VA. LandDesign, Inc., 2008
  • The Groveton, Owning Mills, MD. LandDesign, Inc., 2008
  • Long Bridge Park, Arlington County, VA. Hargreaves Associates., 2006

Service

Service

  • Ecology + Design center-in-development, Stuckeman School, 2017 - Graduate Affairs Committee, Stuckeman School, 2017 -
  • Chair, Stuckeman School Career Day Faculty Committee, Penn State University, 2015 - 2016. Career Adviser, Stuckeman School, 2015 - 2016.
  • Judge, Penn State University Undergraduate Research Exhibition, 2015.
  • Webinar Panelist, Directions Magazine. Geodesign as a Methodology for Land Use Planning, 2013.

Reviewer

  • Landscape Journal, 2017 -
  • Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference, 2010 - 2012, 2017 -
  • Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Conference, 2017 -

 

CV + Files + Links