Stephen McCauley is a geographer whose work focuses on exploring how cities change and how urban futures can be inclusive, green and resilient. His broad substantive interests include climate change preparedness, urban resilience, energy system innovation, community participation in environmental decision-making, citizen science, and GI Science for urban planning. His current work addresses urban heat island dynamics and green infrastructure and other planning interventions that can mitigate the vulnerabilities associated with extreme heat in cities. At WPI, Stephen co-directs (with Lorraine Higgins) the Melbourne Project Center, which coordinates action-research projects that pair WPI student and faculty teams with civic organizations in Melbourne to address issues at the interface of technology, society and the environment, including marine ecosystem management, public transit planning, job readiness for marginalized youth, and support for emergency services. He also co-directs (with Lesley Dodson) the Global Lab in the Foisie Innovation Studio, a collaborative that works to elevate the impacts of action-research collaborations through creative scholarship, storytelling, and research coordination across WPI’s global network. He advises off-campus project-based learning experiences, and teaches a field methodologies course that emphasizes community engagement, project management and human-centerd design. He also enjoys working on initiatives around environmental and social justice, STEM + Arts, diversity and inclusion, and dialogic practice, and he is enthralled with the deeply collaborative and integrative nature of work at WPI with students, faculty and staff colleagues and project partners.
Why are some areas in a city so much hotter than others during a heat wave? WPI Associate Professor Steve McCauley, Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS), discusses “heat islands” with the Telegram & Gazette. According to WPI's Global Lab, neighborhoods in Worcester can be as much as 17 degrees warmer than the air in neighboring towns, particularly in the afternoon and after sunset. The article is part of an extensive USA TODAY Network reporting project on climate change.
The New York Times featured WPI’s study abroad program, including students in Albania, Singapore and Kyoto, in this article. “This is about solving an open-ended problem in an entirely different culture, in an entirely different location without friends and family,” President Leshin told The Times, which referred to study abroad as a “boots-on-the-ground” experience with challenge and purpose.