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Anna Wolf, Environmental Planning & Policy

view Anna's paper, Planning for Sustainable Aquaculture: Tilapia farming in the United States, China, and Honduras (co-authored with Marcella Bondie). The paper was prepared for the required specialization course UPP 570: Environmental Planning & Policy.

What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?

After obtaining a B.A. in Spanish and International Development from Indiana University, I lived on a small permaculture farm in Southern Indiana, worked a variety of odd jobs, and obtained certification as a volunteer naturalist for the State of Ohio.

What attracted you to planning and made you decide you wanted to be a planner?

I’ve always been intrigued by the relationship between natural and built environments. This interest was further intensified after a semester in Barcelona, studying urban form and Gaudí’s modernist architecture; and living on a farm with very intentional design principles tied into food production.

I’m very interested in multi-stakeholder management and planning applications, and am inspired by the unique role that planners have in development processes: thinking on a large scale, but having the vocabulary and skills to implement on the small scale and arbitrate between public interests and policy maker interests.

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Why did you want to study planning at UIC?

I grew up in the Midwest, and loved the idea of studying planning in one of the most exciting, diverse, and complex cities in the region. I was looking for a school that offered courses in environmental planning, that had a strong research presence in the surrounding community/city, and that offered international study and research opportunities: UIC fit the bill!

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What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?

I particularly enjoyed the skills learned from UPP 460: Intro to Geospatial Analysis and Visualization. The proficiency I gained in numerous design software programs has proven immensely useful during my second semester, and I know that it will continue to be so. I’m currently studying abroad in Dublin for the semester, and the exchange opportunity has been unparalleled. Knowledge of the Irish planning system will be beneficial for global comparisons in a number of different issues.

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’ve recently become very interested in urban adaptation and resilience planning, especially with regard to green infrastructure and ecosystem services, and would love to be working as a consultant or planner at the local/regional scale within that capacity in the coming years. Also of interest is urban farming. I hope to be a part of the development of urban/suburban aquaculture operations in Chicago communities.

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