Associate Dean for Research and Technology
Potter Rose Professorship in Urban Planning

Allan W. Shearer is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Technology.  He teaches graduate level landscape planning and design studios and courses that bridge the Landscape Architecture and the school's other planning and design programs.

His research centers how individuals, communities, and societies create scenarios of the future and how these descriptions of possible tomorrows are used to inform present day decisions. Focusing on issues relating to the built environment, his work engages the expansion of the conceptual frameworks of scenario-based studies and also the methodology by which they are developed. A particular application of his research has been understanding the long-term role of military lands, which contribute to both national security—by providing training and testing areas—and environmental security—by sustaining the natural processes that contribute to a society's well being, such as clean air, clean water, and native biodiversity.

Dr. Shearer is co-author of Land Use Scenarios: Environmental Consequences of Change; Gaia's Revenge: Climate Change and Humanity's LossAlternative Futures for Changing Landscapes: The San Pedro River Basin in Arizona and Sonora; and Biodiversity and Landscape Planning: Alternative Futures for the Region of Camp Pendleton, California. His writings have also appeared in journals including the Landscape and Urban Planning, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Landscape Journal, and the multidisciplinary Futures and in several books including Strategies and Technologies for a Sustainable Future, Achieving Ecosystem Security, and Warfare Ecology.

His most recent writings are, "The Paradox of Security," which was published in the book Design with Nature Now and excerpted online in Places, and "Roleplaying to Imrprove Resilience," which appeared in a special issue on design teaching in Architecture_MPS.

During the 2014–2015 academic year, he was a Fellow of the University's Humanities Institute and a Fellow of the Landscape Architecture Foundation's Case Study Investigation program.  He has been a visiting scholar at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University and was a Donald D. Harrington Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2012, he received the School of Architecture's Outstanding Teacher Award for studio instruction and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture's international award for Excellence in Research and Creative Works for a junior faculty member. He was listed among the Most Admired Educators by the Design Futures Council in 2013 and received a mid-career research fellowship from the James Marston Fitch Foundation.

He graduated from Princeton and received his Master of Landscape Architecture with Distinction in 1994 and his Ph.D. in 2003 from Harvard. He previously taught at Rutgers University and the Boston Architectural Center.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003
  • A.M., Harvard University, 2001
  • M.L.A. with Distinction, Harvard University, 1994
  • A.B. (Art History), Princeton University, 1988
photo of Allan W. Shearer
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