What do planners do? How can I connect?

Environmental planning

Career advice

  • Video: Careers in Urban and Environmental Planning - Panel discussion from ASU Planning Career Fair 2019, with Greg Davies (Senior Transportation Planner, City of Scottsdale), Nancy Favour (Environmental Planner, US Bureau of Land Management), Lyssa Hall (Planner, Espiritu Loci) and Carol Hu (Director of Research & Strategy, Greater Phoenix Economic Council)
  • Career Advice for Emerging Planners - Here's career advice based on a survey of 834 planners across the US (conducted by the Arizona chapter of the American Planning Association)
  • ASU's Career and Professional Development Services - Explore your interests, get advice on all aspects of building a career and searching for a job or internship

Meet our urban planning alumni

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“Jump on opportunities that come your way. Whether it's a class, internship or career fair, it can shape the vision for your career path and lead to new connections that will expand your professional network.”

Marcela Mora-Yatko, Planner, Matrix Design Group, Inc.
BS Planning and BA Sustainability, GIS Certificate, 2015

 Marcela began her position at Matrix Design shortly after graduating. Her work focuses on comprehensive and compatibility planning. She combines community outreach, research, and data analysis to develop plans, including policies and recommendations, for a wide variety of communities across the United States. Marcela’s decision to get degrees in both Sustainability and Urban Planning began with an introductory course that emphasized the relationship between the built environment and the community -- how sustainable communities entail diverse factors that must work together to make a community livable.  She began her professional experiences with an internship with the City of Phoenix Mayor’s Office, followed by a second internship with the city’s Planning and Development Department.

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“I love working as a development planner for the National Park Service. It gives me the ability to address the urban and natural interface necessary to help communities achieve their goals."

Brandon Stocksdale, Community Planner, National Park Service
MUEP 2014

Brandon works in Orem, Utah, as part of the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program team. By partnering with community groups, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and state and local governments, this program enables communities to conserve and protect more than 50,000 acres of parkland, wildlife habitat, and open space each year. Brandon specializes in developing urban-natural boundary protection solutions for the program and designing community conservation opportunities and outdoor recreation projects.

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“I think that in an increasingly global world, intercultural exchanges are one way we can bridge the gap between problems and solutions. Education is perhaps the best investment because it usually pays for itself in the form of the new ideas, solutions and inventions it generates many times over.”

Andrew Rogge, Senior Planner, City of Sheridan, CO 
BS Planning 2016

As a senior planner for the City of Sheridan in the Denver area, Andrew has contributed to a number of long-range projects, including creation of a new mixed-use zoning district, grant writing for a bus stop improvement program, and developing regulations for accessory dwelling units.  He interacts daily with residents and business owners to answer questions related to zoning and economic development, and processes and manages land development inquiries.  In addition, Andrew is active as a resident of Denver, serving as a board member on the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Board. 

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“My current position challenges me to find solutions to financial, political, and cultural barriers and applies a multitude of the principles that I studied at ASU."

Lynn Coppedge, Sustainability Planner, City of Lakewood, CO
BSP 2013, MUEP 2014 (4+1)

Working as a sustainability planner for the City of Lakewood, Lynn develops creative programs and outreach events to help make Lakewood a better place to live. Coppedge discovered the 4+1 program while pursuing a double major in urban planning and sustainability. She cites several key experiences that allowed her to make quick strides in her chosen field – the mentorship program that pairs planning students with professional planners, her internship, and the capstone project she completed in her last semester. 

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"Be prepared to think outside the box. We are not planning what already works. We are planning to make the existing things better -- and that requires an open mind and lots of creativity."

Scott Lau, Transportation Planner, California Department of Transportation
BS Urban Planning, 2017

Scott Lau wears several hats in his position with Caltrans.  As Transportation Planner, he reviews development proposals from agencies, firms and individuals, researches their possible impacts on the California highway system, and identifies mitigation strategies.  He's also one of a group of Grant Managers for Sustainable Communities -- a role in which he helps rural and disadvantaged cities in his district to receive and manage grants that fund road maintenance and improvements.  Finally, Scott has used his GIS skills to develop a GIS software tool that helps engineers, architects and planners be aware of historical and present development, road conditions, and future initiatives.