Wetmore Visiting Practitioners

2010-2011 Visiting Practitioners

Michael Sand image Michael Sands
30 March 2011

With 30+ years of experience in sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and community based economic development, Mike has worked on a broad range of innovative projects. Now a Senior Associate of the Liberty Prairie Foundation (LPF), he has served for the past 15 years as Executive Director of the LPF. This small private operating foundation is dedicated to providing leadership in natural resource management and land conservation in northern Illinois. Current programs are focused on the integration of economically prosperous, ecologically sensitive farms and high quality natural into vibrant protected, working landscapes. He founded and runs the Farm Business Development Center, a business incubator for beginning organic farmers. Together with a partner land trust, Liberty Prairie Conservancy, the Foundation is developing a land plan and business model for protecting high quality farmland and developing a thriving beginning farmer community to steward and manage that land.

Mike also sits on the founding steering committee of Fresh Taste, a new collaborative effort encouraging diverse local agriculture and healthy eating for all in Chicago and across Illinois.

As Environmental Team Leader at Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, IL. Mike provided leadership in the design and management of natural resources and farm lands in an innovative conservation community. He coordinated the project's ecological and design consultants and designed the environmental education programs for general public and and community members.

Schedule of Events with Michael Sands

  • 12:00 - Presentation, "Opportunities and Challenges for Local Food Production in the Suburban Landscape", in room 225
  • Other events TBA

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Edward Feser, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-333-3890.

Jeff Herbert image Jeff Hebert
17 March 2011

In his role at the City of New Orleans, Jeff is a member of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Place-Based Planning and Development team and oversees Blight Policy and Neighborhood Revitalization programs for the City. In this capacity, Jeff advises the administration on the City’s community development priorities and programs, planning and urban design issues, and blight reduction strategies. In addition, Jeff directly manages the newly created Code Enforcement and Hearings Bureau. Jeff also serves as the Chair of the Mayor’s Blight Reduction Transformation Task Force and is a member of the Mayor’s Permitting Transformation Task Force. Outside of the office, Jeff serves on the boards of the Young Leadership Council, Second Harvest Food Bank, Transport for NOLA, and the local United Way Vision Council. Jeff has also served as a resource team member for the Governors’ Institute on Community Design and the Great Schools by Design program of the American Architectural Foundation.

A native of Louisiana, Jeff returned home from New York in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina  and Rita to work for the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) where co-managed the Louisiana Speaks state-wide planning process and served as the state’s representative to the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) leadership team. Jeff created the $700 mil Long Term Community Recovery Program targeted to finance community-driven local recovery plans and the $3 mil Planning Capacity Building Program to fund additional municipal planning staff in communities affected by the storms.

Schedule of Events with Jeff Herbert

  • 11:15 - box lunches with students in Room 223
  • 12:30 - Presentation, "Rebuilding New Orleans Block by Block: Approaches to Disaster Recovery and Neighborhood Revitalization", in room 225
  • 2:00 - visit to UP 510
  • 4:00 or 5:00 — informal Q&A
  • 6:00 - dinner with faculty
  • 8:00 - happy hour with students

Flyer for Lecture

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Rob Olshansky, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-333-3890.

Mike Blue image Mike Blue
24 February 2011

Michael Blue has over 20 years of experience in private and public planning practice, in addition to being actively involved in the American Planning Association. Since 2002, Mr. Blue has been the Director of Community Development for the City of Highland Park. His current work includes long range planning, review and approval of proposed development projects, building permit approval, code enforcement, and support of City council and Commission activities. His department serves as staff to 9 city commissions that address a wide range of issues including development, housing, historic preservation, cultural arts, and the city's natural environment. Blue served as a planning consultant for the Chicago-based land use consulting firm of Camiros, Ltd. for 12 years, then served as the Deputy Community Development Director for the Village of Mount Prospect. Actively involved in local and national leadership of the APA, Mr. Blue is Past Chair of the APA Chapter Presidents Council and is the Planning Officials Development Officer for the IL–APA. He is also a BAUP '84 and MUP '97 DURP alum.

Schedule of Events with Mike Blue

  • February 24, Wetmore Lecture: Planning in the Public Sectors-Two Sides of the Same Coin, 12:30pm, Rm 225, Buell Hall

Flyer for Lecture

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Alice Novak, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-333-3890.

David Orr
26-27 January 2011

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor at large at the University of Vermont. He is the author of five books, including Design on the Edge: The Making of a High Performance Building (MIT Press, 2006) and 150 articles in scientific journals, social science publications, and popular magazines. He is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and ecological design.

Orr is the recipient of a Bioneers Award (2003), a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation, a Lyndhurst Prize awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation "to recognize the educational, cultural, and charitable activities of particular individuals of exceptional talent, character, and moral vision." He was named "an Environmental Hero for 2004" by Interiors & Sources Magazine. He holds three Honorary Doctorates and has been a distinguished scholar in residence at University of Washington, Ball State University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In a special citation, the Connecticut General Assembly noted Orr's "vision, dedication, and personal passion" in promoting the principles of sustainability. The Cleveland Plain Dealer described him as "one of those who will shape our lives."

Most recently, Orr is leading the Oberlin Project, a planned green redesign of the Oberlin community that is a collaborative effort of the college and the city. The vision of the project joins the many strands of sustainability—urban revitalization, green development, advanced energy technology, sustainable agriculture, green jobs, and education—into an integrated response to the burgeoning crisis of climate destabilization, environmental deterioration, and economic turmoil. At the heart of the Oberlin Project is the revitalization of a 13-acre block near the Oberlin city center that will include the development or renovation of a dozen buildings during the next five to seven years. The investment in construction, renovation, and energy technology is intended to stimulate the expansion of existing businesses and create new enterprises.

Orr will visit the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, campus, and community to talk about design, sustainability, and the Oberlin Project. He will participate in a meeting of campus and community leaders to exchange ideas about how Champaign-Urbana might move toward its own community climate action plan.

Schedule of Events with David Orr

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Brian Deal, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-333-1911.

Miriam Chion image Miriam Chion
15 November 2010

Miriam Chion’s planning practice and research focus on community development, urban and regional planning, land use and economic policies, and international development. Her work has primarily addressed planning and development processes in the US and Latin America.  In 2009, she joined the Association of Bay Area Governments as deputy planning director in charge of coordinating local government efforts on sustainable and equitable development.  Between 2004 and 2009, she was a faculty member at the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.  Between 1990 and 2004, she worked for the San Francisco Planning Department on major community planning and economic development projects. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley and her architectural degree in Lima, Peru.

Schedule of Events with Miriam Chion

  • November 15, UP199KS class visit, 9:00-10:20am, Rm 223, Buell Hall
  • November 15, Wetmore Lecture: Addressing Equity in San Francisco Bay Area Regional Planning
    12 noon - 1 pm, Temple Buell Hall Room 225
  • November 20, after dinner social mixer, TBA

Flyer for Lecture

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Ken Salo, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-244-5377.

Jim Peters
13 Septmenber 2010

Jim Peters has served as President and Executive Director of Landmarks Illinois, a 40-year-old statewide historic preservation advocacy group, since July 2008.

Prior to that, he had been the organization's Director of Preservation Planning, as well as an adjunct professor in the master's degree program in historic preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in the master's degree program in urban planning at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

From 1991 to 2001, Jim worked at the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, where his duties included Director of Central Area Planning and Deputy Commissioner. His professional experience also includes the American Farmland Trust, Camiros Ltd., Planning magazine, and the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development. He has written and lectured widely on planning and historic preservation.

He has an architecture degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a former member of the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB).

Schedule of Events with Jim Peters

  • September 13, Wetmore Lecture: Planning and Preservation: Navigating Chicago Politics, 12 noon - 1 pm, Temple Buell Hall Room 225

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Alice Novak, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,, 217-244-2402.

Wetmore Visiting Practitioners Archive: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12