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Stephen Mainzer
Instructor
Photo of Stephen Mainzer
Department of Landscape Architecture
229 Stuckeman

Stephen Mainzer is a designer whose research, pedagogy, and practice engage the intersection of place, community, and natural resources.

Mainzer teaches graduate geodesign courses, undergraduate professional practice, and an introductory design studio. He encourages students to learn by doing with an emphasis on design as a problem-solving process and context-sensitive approaches.

His interests revolve around illustrating complex human dimensions of natural resources through mixed methods and deep collaboration with allied disciplines. Stephen strives to contribute to such collaborations by adding place-based and a community perspective to research inquiries by coupling spatial modelling to traditional quantitative and qualitative techniques. Recently he has employed these methods to the study of local food and energy consumption challenges.

Mainzer has over 8 years of professional practice in a wide variety of offices throughout the United States. He has contributed to the design, planning, development, and construction of countywide mobility plans, multimodal policies, neighborhoods, university and military base plans, and multi-family housing projects.

Education

  • Ph.D. (dual-title) Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment. 2017. Pennsylvania State University.
    Advisers: Dr. C.A. Cole & A.E. Luloff. Dissertation: A community landscape theory of pro-environmental behavior: the effects of environmental values and community interaction on residential energy consumption in two Pennsylvania towns.
  • MS Landscape Architecture. 2011. Pennsylvania State University.
    Thesis: Measuring heterogeneity in neighborhoods: the relationship between ecologic principles and physical design attributes in Greendale, WI.
  • BLA. 2005. Pennsylvania State University.

Courses Taught

  • GEODZ 826: Representation and Change Models
  • GEDOZ 511: History, Theory, and Principles
  • LARCH 382: Professional Practice
  • LARCH 112: Introductory Design Studio
  • LARCH Summer Intensive Program

Research

  • Transdisciplinary action research design
  • Human dimensions of natural resources
  • Community and place interactions
  • Spatial geodesign methodology
  • Mixed methods

Honors + Awards

  • 2017 Distinguished Doctoral Scholar, Penn State University
  • 2016 Best Student Paper Award. Environmental Design Research Association Conference
  • 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects, Student Honor Award
  • 2011 Penn State University College of Arts and Architecture, Creative Achievement Award
  • 2011 Landscape Architecture Foundation, Penn State University Olmsted Scholar

Exhibitions + Presentations

  • 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
  • Zawadzki, Stephanie J., Stephen Mainzer, Rae Anne McLaughlin, & A.E. Luloff. Close, but not too close: landmarks and their influence on housing values. Journal of Land Use Policy. 62. 351-360.
  • Mainzer, Stephen & A.E. Luloff. (In press). Informing environmental problems through field analysis: toward a community landscape theory of pro-environmental behavior. Community Development.
Monographs
  • 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.
In-progress (working titles)
  • Mainzer, Stephen & Anthony John Agnello. The roles of place and community in virtual gaming environments.
  • Mainzer, Stephen & Kendall Mainzer. Effective team teaching pedagogies in a design curriculum.
  • Mainzer, Stephen. The results of multimodal survey distribution in a rural town: a research note.
  • Mainzer, Stephen. The effects of landscape and community interaction on residential energy consumption.
  • Mainzer, Stephen & C.A. Cole. Deep Decarbonization and Renewable Energy in the Appalachian Mountains.
Conference Presentations
  • 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 ResearchManagement. 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.
Professional Reports
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan. Brevard County, FL. 2013. Final report to Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization. Completed as an employee of Renaissance Planning Group.
  • Manatee County Complete Streets Policy. Manatee County, Fl. 2012. Final report to Manatee County Government. Completed as an employee of Renaissance Planning Group.

Built Works

  • The Alexan at Carlyle (built), LandDesign, Inc.
  • The Groveton (built), LandDesign, Inc.
  • Potomac Yard neighborhood design development (built), LandDesign, Inc.
  • The Duke (built), LandDesign, Inc.
  • Long Bridge Park (North Tract Park - built). Hargreaves Associates

Service

  • 2015–2016 Chair, Stuckeman School Career Day Faculty Committee
  • 2015–2016 Career Adviser, Stuckeman School.
  • 2015 Judge, Penn State University Undergraduate Research Exhibition
  • 2013–2015 Advisory Board Member, Geodesign Graduate Program , Penn State University
  • 2013 Webinar Panelist, Directions Magazine. Geodesign as a Methodology for Land Use Planning.
  • 2010–2012 Reviewer, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Conference
  • 2005 Graphic Workshop Coordinator, Department of Landscape Architecture, Penn State University