Robert Hobbins is a sustainability scientist working to build more sustainable and resilient urban futures through knowledge and governance innovations. Robert received his BS in Physics and a Master of Education from The Ohio State University. Robert received his MS in Community Resources & Development – Sustainable Communities and is currently a PhD Candidate in Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Robert’s scholarly pursuits collectively contribute to unmasking the essential knowledge practices and innovations needed to build the resilience of urban infrastructure and communities to extreme weather events and coastal floods across US, Latin American, and Caribbean cities. Knowledge innovation refers to a redesign of knowledge systems (Feagan et al., 2019) that determine how knowledge gets produced, validated, communicated, and applied to policy and decision making for urban resilience. For instance, Rosenzweig et al. (2019) present how several cities have updated their knowledge systems to build resilience to high-intensity and short-duration flood events called cloudbursts that are often ignored in typical urban stormwater management and design. For his dissertation, Robert is mapping several prominent flood risk knowledge systems in the United States, such as the FEMA flood maps from the National Flood Insurance Program, to show how cities are making knowledge and governance innovations to improve flood risk production and use for urban resilience decisions (Hobbins, Muñoz-Erickson, & Miller, under review).

Robert is also a Research Intern sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry. Robert is working with several researchers at the Forest Service and University of Puerto Rico as well as with several local civic and governmental organizations in San Juan (Puerto Rico) to research and implement strategies to build a more sustainable and resilient city – especially to river and coastal flood hazards. Robert is collaborating on several IITF research projects including the The San Juan Urban Long-Term Research Area (ULTRA) and the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) projects.

Selected Publications:

  • Feagan, M., Matsler, M., Meerow, S., Muñoz-Erickson, T., Hobbins, R., Gim, C., Miller, C. (2019). Redesigning knowledge systems for urban resilience. Environmental Science and Policy, 101, 358-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2019.07.014
  • Rosenzweig, B., Ruddell, B., McPhillips, L., Hobbins, R., McPhearson, T., Cheng, Z., Chang, H., Kim, (2019). Developing knowledge systems for urban resilience to cloudburst rain events. Environmental Science and Policy, 99, 150-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2019.05.020
  • Hobbins, R., Muñoz-Erickson, T., Miller, C. (under review). Producing and communicating flood risk: A knowledge system analysis of FEMA flood maps in New York City. In Z. Hamstead, M. Berbés-Blázquez, E. Cook, D. Iwaniec, T. McPhearson, & T. Muñoz-Erickson (Eds.), Resilient Urban Futures. Springer.
  • Muñoz-Erickson, T., Selkirk, K., Hobbins, R., Iwaniec, D., Miller, T., Cook, E., Miller, C. (under review). Anticipatory resilience: Bringing back the future into urban planning and knowledge systems. In Z. Hamstead, M. Berbés-Blázquez, E. Cook, D. Iwaniec, T. McPhearson, & T. Muñoz-Erickson (Eds.), Resilient Urban Futures. Springer.

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