Assistant Professor
Hamilton Award, Best Research Paper, The University of Texas Co-op. Muller, E. and Dooling, S. (2011)
Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities. (2009)

My work draws inspiration from the idea that ecological change is never socially neutral, and social change always has ecological consequences.  Much of my work focuses on the social and ecological dynamics of vulnerability associated with current and future conditions and landscapes.  Understanding the dynamics of vulnerability is crucial for developing strategies that create more socially equitable and ecologically vibrant cities, which are able to persist in the face of significant social and ecological transformations.  I have developed three mutually informing research topics: ecological gentrification; vulnerability assessment; and novel systems in planning and design education.  My research interests build off these topics and reflect a commitment to understanding the production of urban vulnerabilities through environmental planning efforts. My current research goals are invested in finding ways to minimize the disproportionate distribution of burdens and benefits associated with regulation and urban design, and applying the concept of novel landscapes to investigate long term ecological persistence in rapidly changing urban environments.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Urban Ecology, Research Design, Urban Ecological Infrastructure, Topics in Sustainable Development 


  • 2008 University of Washington, Interdisciplinary PhD Urban Design and Planning
  • 2002 University of Maine, Masters in Social Work
  • 1993 University of Maine, Bachelors of Science, Wildlife Management


Graybill, J.K., Dooling, S., Shandas, V., Withey, J., Greve, A., Simon, G. (2006). A rough guide to interdisciplinarity: Graduate student perspectives. BioScience 56(9): 757-763.

Dooling, S., Simon, G, Yocom, K. (2006). Place-based urban ecology: A century of park planning in Seattle. Urban Ecosystems 9(4):299-321.

Dooling, S., Graybill, J., Greve, A. (2007). Response to Young and Wolf: Goal attainment in urban ecology research. Urban Ecosystems 10: 339-347.

Dooling, S. (2008) Ecological gentrification: Re-negotiating justice in the city. Critical Planning 15: 41-58. *Paper nominated by the Editorial Board for the Ed Soja Prize.

Dooling, S.  (2009). Ecological gentrification: A research agenda exploring justice in the city.  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33(3):621-639. 

Dooling, S. and Mueller, E.  (2011). What about social equity: The challenge to urban sustainability planning. National Science Foundation: SBE 2020: Rebuilding the Mosaic: Fostering Research in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation in the Next Decade.  

Mueller, E., and Dooling, S.  (2011).  Sustainability and vulnerability: Integrating equity into plans for central city redevelopment.  Journal of Urbanism 4(3): 201-222.  

Dooling, S., and Simon, G. (eds.) (2012).  Cities, Nature and Development: The politics and production of urban vulnerabilities. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing House. 214 pgs. 

Dooling, S. (2012). Sustainability planning, ecological gentrification and the production of urban vulnerabilities.  Pgs. 101-119. In Cities, Nature and Development: The politics and production of urban vulnerabilities, Sarah Dooling and Gregory Simon (eds.).  Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing House. 214 pgs. 

Dooling, S. (2012).  Urban ecological accounting: A new calculus for planning urban parks in the era of sustainability.  Pgs. 179-201. In The future of sustainable cities, John Flint and Mike Raco, (eds.). Bristol, UK: Policy Press. 261 pgs.  

Simon, G. and Dooling, S. (2013).  Flame and fortune in California: The material and political dimensions of vulnerability.  Global and Environmental Change 23: 1410-1423. 

photo of Sarah Dooling
  • Urban ecology
  • Urban Vulnerabilities
  • Ecological Gentrification
  • Novel landscapes and design education
  • Interdisciplinary Education