Gary Taylor is the Director of the Community and Economic Development program of ISU Extension and Outreach, and the Associate Director of the Institute for Design Research and Outreach in the ISU College of Design. Gary is also a Professor in the Department of Community & Regional Planning. He publishes, conducts workshops and provides technical assistance to citizens and government officials in Iowa in a variety of subject areas, including land use and local government law, land use planning, and intergovernmental relations. Prior to joining ISU Mr. Taylor was an Extension Specialist with Michigan State University and an attorney and planning consultant with firms in Oregon and Washington. Mr. Taylor is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He holds a law degree from the University of Nebraska and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University.
Eric Christianson is a Local Government Field Specialist with the Community and Economic Development program of ISU Extension and Outreach. Eric conducts workshops and provides technical assistance to citizens and government officials in Iowa in a variety of subject areas, including land use and local government law and land use planning. Prior to joining ISU he spent two years researching rural development in Morocco on a Fulbright research grant and managed a non-profit urban farm in Cedar Rapids. He holds a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. He lives in Iowa City with his wife, daughter, and dog. In his free time he enjoys hiking, playing the mandolin, and getting in touch with his Norwegian roots.
Current and past student contributors:
2014-2016. Hannah Dankbar, from Johnston, Iowa, received her Master’s degrees in Community and Regional Planning and Sustainable Agriculture in December 2016. After graduation Hannah went to work for the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) as a community and environmental planner in Astoria, Oregon.
2015. Andrea Vaage graduated from ISU in 2015 with her Masters degrees in Community and Regional Planning and Sustainable Agriculture . She holds a degree in Environmental Science from Central College in Pella, Iowa and a certificate in Entrepreneurial and Diversified Agriculture from Marshalltown Community College. Her masters research focused on factors influencing ordinance adoption to promote urban agriculture. Andrea is working as an environmental planner in Washington state.
2012-2014. Kaitlin Heinen, from Eldridge, Iowa, graduated in Spring of 2014 with a double degree in Chemistry and Political Science from Iowa State University. She enrolled in the Boston University School of Law Fall 2014 with an interest in pursuing a career in patent and intellectual property rights law.
2011-2012. Victoria Heldt, from Emmetsburg, Iowa, graduated in Spring of 2012 with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Spanish from Iowa State University. After graduation Tori went to work with Wells Fargo, and is now located in San Francisco.
2010-2011. Melanie Thwing, from Kenosha, Wisconsin graduated Spring 2011 after studying political science, criminal justice and sociology at ISU. She was President of Sigma Kappa sorority. Melanie enrolled in Drake law school in Des Moines, Iowa and is now working as an Assistant Public Defender in Waterloo.
2009-2010. Allison Arends graduated from ISU in 2010 with degrees in Political Science and History. She grew up in St. Charles, Illinois. While at ISU Allison was in the Chi Omega sorority, and planned to attend law school after graduating from ISU.