Peter Stempel

Photo of Peter Stempel Associate Professor
Pennsylvania State University
324 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, Pennsylvania 16801
Phone: 435-668-88348

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Research Disciplines: Research Interests:

Public Engagement, Visualization, Risk Communication, Natural Hazards

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Biographical Sketch

Peter Stempel is an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and is affiliated with the Penn State Institutes of Energy Environment, Water Faculty Initiative, and the Ecology Plus Design: E+D Initiative. His research is focused on realizing the transformative potential of realistic visualization for hazard and risk communication and public engagement with climate related impacts. His work links physical models such as hydrodynamic and wind models to qualitative data gathered from stakeholders and visualizations. He is part of interdisciplinary teams working on projects for the National Park Service and the US Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Coastal Resilience. This applied work is complimented by social science research designed to improve visualization practices and inform the development of new paradigms for the use of realistic visualizations.



  • PhD, University of Rhode Island, 2018
  • BARCH, Rhode Island School of Design, 1993
  • BFA Rhode Island School of Design, 1993

Peter’s multi-domain expertise builds on a diverse career as a sculptor, architect, activist, and non-profit leader conducting public engagement. He spent most of his career working in the rural southwest United States prior to pursuing a PhD in Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. He draws on these broad experiences to inform his teaching. He is developing inclusive curriculum in water related resilience and training designers to collaborate more effectively with scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders to equitably address complex societal issues like climate adaptation. Peter has over 25 years of design teaching experience and is committed to applying innovative asset-based pedagogies that recognize and build on the unique skills and abilities of every student.

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