Ph.D., Georgia Tech
City and Regional Planning, Georgia Tech
Areas of Focus:
Sustainability (Built Environment Resilience)
The core of my research has concerned environmental issues, however I take an integrated, interdisciplinary approach through the planning discipline, working in urban and rural settings. My sustainability work incorporates environmental, social and cultural, and governance aspects, especially community engagement, to create “sustainability science” towards understanding a more sustainable path forward. I also take an “action research” approach in which I create and test new sustainability methods in order to advance sustainability more quickly.
Dr. Frank specializes in planning for sustainability, resilience, and equity. Specific areas include environmental, coastal, rural, regional, neighborhood, and participatory planning. She is the director of the Florida Center for Innovative Communities where she conducts applied, action-research projects to simultaneously assist communities and pilot test innovative planning approaches. At the University of Florida, she has led $1 million in funded research projects, including grants from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, Florida Sea Grant, and the inaugural UF-Gainesville Research Award, with the latter project receiving an Award of Excellence from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. Her recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Planning Education and Research and Planning Theory and Practice, and as book chapters for Routledge.
Dr. Frank teaches courses in Urban and Regional Planning in the on-campus and online master’s programs. Specific courses include URP 6421 Environmental Land Use Planning and Management, and URP 6931 Community Engagement. She also advises doctoral students and teaches a college-wide course, DCP 6931 Doctoral Core 3 (dissertation preparation and writing for publication). She is a long-standing member of the college’s Sustainability Governing Board, and she has taught a course for the undergraduate major Sustainability and the Built Environment (SBE). Currently, she regularly advises SBE senior capstone projects.
Dr. Frank received a doctorate in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech, and a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. Her undergraduate majors were chemical engineering (Georgia Tech) and mathematics (University of Georgia). She previously worked as a planning consultant in Oregon and an environmental engineer in North Carolina. In the distant past, she was an officer in the U.S. Navy and taught at the Nuclear Power School in Orlando (the school’s site is now a traditional neighborhood development, Baldwin Park).