University of Minnesota
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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

Assistant Professor Carissa Schively Slotterback of the Humphrey Institute

Carissa Slotterback

Associate Professor

Chair, Urban and Regional Planning Area; Director, Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program
Phone: 612-625-0640
Office: 295B Humphrey School

Areas of Expertise

Environmental and land use planning; public participation; planning decision-making; plan implementation; sustainable development


Carissa Slotterback, Associate Professor, teaches courses in environmental planning, public engagement, and sustainability planning. She currently serves as Director of the Urban and Regional Planning Program in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Her research is focused on stakeholder involvement and decision-making related to environmental, land use, and transportation planning. She has a particular interest in how stakeholders perceive impacts and use information in making decisions, focusing on impact assessment, collaborative decision-making, and sustainability planning approaches.

Her current projects include research on collaborative modeling and visualization around biomass production and water quality in agricultural landscapes, funded by the University of Minnesota’s MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program and previously by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is also examining the intersection of land use and water quality planning and policy in urban areas as part of collaborative research project focused on Improving Urban Vegetation for Water Quality, funded by the Institute on the Environment on the Environment. In addition, she is a U.S. representative to an international collaborative convened by the International Energy Agency to identify and advance best practices related to energy and climate change planning and policy at the community scale. Finally, she is studying public engagement experiences and strategies among the Somali Diaspora in the Twin Cities, with funding from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Additional recent projects include a study of complete streets planning and implementation in communities across the U.S., which resulted in the Complete Streets from Policy to Project report. Additional recent projects addressed topics including participatory scenario planning for transportation, sustainability indicators, climate change in environmental impact analysis, flexible zoning approaches, and integrating health into urban plans and policies.

Dr. Slotterback is the founder and faculty director of the University of Minnesota Sustainability Faculty Network, a collaborative of faculty teaching in sustainability and focused on enhancing sustainability curricula and networks at the University. A key initiative of the Network is the Resilient Communities Project, which is focused on building community – university partnerships to advance sustainability. Carissa developed and leads this program, with support from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and Institute on the Environment. The Resilient Communities Project matches UMN graduate courses with locally-identified projects in a MN partner community, creating opportunities for student learning and advancing the practice of sustainability.

She maintains strong inter-disciplinary connections, serving as member of the graduate faculties in Conservation Biology and Natural Resources Science and Management, and as an adjunct faculty member in Landscape Architecture. She is a Resident Fellow in the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and a Faculty Scholar in the Center for Transportation Studies.

She is an elected member of the Governing Board for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and serves as co-chair of the environmental planning track for the Association's annual conference. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Slotterback also engages extensively with the planning practice community, serving as a Faculty Liaison to the American Planning Association (APA) Minnesota chapter. Before joining the Humphrey School in 2004, Slotterback worked as a long-range planner in Las Vegas and as a planning consultant in Minneapolis. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

She holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Florida State University, a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Clemson University, as well as an undergraduate degree from Winona State University.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

  • Bryson, J., K. Quick, C.S. Slotterback, . 2012. Designing public participation processes. Public Administration Review 73(1): 23-34.
  • Jordan, N.R., C.S. Slotterback, 2011. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: A communicative and systemic approach. Environmental Management 48(1): 1-12.
  • Slotterback, C.S. 2011. Addressing climate change in state and local environmental impact analysis. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 54(6): 749-767.
  • Slotterback, C.S., A. Forsyth, K.J. Krizek, A. Johnson, and A. Pennucci. 2011. Testing three health impact assessment tools in planning: A process evaluation. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31(2): 144-153.
  • Schively, C.S. . 2007. A quantitative analysis of consensus building in local environmental review. Journal of Planning Education and Research 27(1): 82-98.

Courses Taught

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For syllabi for the current or upcoming semester, please visit the University of Minnesota's Course Guide and look for the syllabus icon. If the syllabus is not there, contact the instructor directly. Syllabi are available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Stacey Grimes at or 612-626-1329 for assistance.

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