Introducing New Instructors for Spring 2021

The fall semester at Tufts is drawing to a close, and on top of the faculty who recently joined UEP‘s growing roster, we’re excited to announce three new additions for the spring. Environmental justice attorney Amy Laura Cahn will oversee Climate Change Policy and Planning, while economics expert Patrick Kanza, together with UEP alum and lecturer Erica Walker, will co-teach UEP core course Economics for Policy and Planning. Finally, data science specialist Uku-Kaspar Uustalu will take on a new class – Geospatial Programming with Python.

Learn more about Spring 2021 offerings here, and read more about each instructor below.

Climate Change Policy and Planning

Amy Laura Cahn is an environmental and climate justice attorney. Through movement lawyering practice and scholarship, Amy Laura collaborates with organizers and communities to confront the cumulative effects of racial segregation, neighborhood disinvestment, and environmental risk–designing new models for governance, expanding mechanisms for community control of resources, and creating pathways to resilience and self-determination. She currently serves as a Senior Attorney and Interim Director of the Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice Program at the Conservation Law Foundation. Amy Laura joined CLF from the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia, where she was a Skadden Fellow and founding Director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative—the nation’s first urban agriculture law clinic. For five years, Amy Laura served as legal counsel to residents in the frontline floodplain community of Eastwick in addressing the legacy injustices of this country’s largest urban renewal project.

Amy Laura has served as a co-chair of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Food Policy Advisory Council and has served on the boards of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (New Orleans), Neighborhood Gardens Trust (Philadelphia) and Bread and Roses Community Fund (Philadelphia). She currently sits on the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Advisory Board for Inclusion & Engagement. Amy Laura is a longtime community organizer and co-founder of Lower Manhattan’s Bluestockings Bookstore.

Expertise in:

  • Climate change and environmental law and policy
  • Climate, environmental, land, and food justice
  • Urban policy, just cities, and the commons

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Economics for Policy and Planning

Patrick Kanza is a new lecturer in Economics in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University, where his doctoral thesis focused on the inefficiency of food production in sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Western Illinois University, and an MBA from George Washington University with a concentration in Finance and Data analytics.

A native of the Congo, Patrick graduated with distinction from the University of Kinshasa with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Dr. Kanza has taught Economics and Data Science in several universities and colleges in the Greater Boston area and the Washington, D.C., area. He has also consulted with a number of international organizations such as Oxfam America.

Expertise in:

  • Development Economics
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Food Security

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Geospatial Programming with Python

Uku-Kaspar Uustalu is a Data Science Specialist on the Research Technology team at Tufts Technology Services (TTS). Most of his time is spent consulting faculty, staff, and students on the computational and data-intensive aspects of their research, along with performing scientific programming and application development for select research projects across the university. With a background in both computer science and geography, he enjoys applying machine learning and computational methods towards solving problems with a spatiotemporal or geostatistical focus. Even more so, he loves empowering others with the ability to utilize computational technologies to advance their own research. He teaches numerous introductory programming and data science workshops at the Tufts Data Lab and is a frequent guest lecturer at the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. As an urban planning enthusiast with an interest in transportation and mobility, he is excited to be teaching a course that combines programming with geospatial analysis at the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Learn more about his work by visiting his personal website on Github, and preview the course website here.

Expertise in:

  • Computational methods
  • Data science
  • Geospatial analysis

Get in touch: