Prof. Lung-Amam authors Citylab piece on racial justice in a new Biden administration

For many Black and brown Americans, 2021 brought renewed optimism about advancing a racial justice agenda. With a new presidential administration, the racist despot will soon be removed, and the first African, Asian, Caribbean American and female vice president sworn in. Congress will be fully under Democratic control, and with a new mandate for change after a year of anti-racist uprisings that were among the largest protests in American history. Even the horrifying attack on the Capitol offered some rays of hope that honest conversations about the white supremacist roots of the U.S. are possible. As the Covid-19 vaccine began its slow but steady rollout, cheery forecasts emerged for a “v-shaped recovery” that could pull the economy out of an economic crisis often compared to the Great Depression.
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NCSG Hiring Postdoctoral Researcher




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Post-doctoral Researcher Position: Coupled Modeling of Transportation, Land- Use and Land Cover Models for Chesapeake Bay Watershed for

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Term: 2 years


Position Details

A two-year postdoctoral position is available to work with Dr. Sevgi Erdogan with the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) and a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dartmouth College.


This post-doctoral researcher will have a key role in a newly funded, unique multi-disciplinary NSF project that will create a modelling system for the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed that represents human activities such as transportation, land use and land cover change, and their impacts on water quality, including the feedback from impaired water quality that triggers regulatory systems.


For a general overview of the project please see NSF Award Abstract #2009248: and project website


Job description

The Post-doc Researcher will lead model development efforts at the UMD-NCSG team. The UMD-NCSG team has a loosely coupled socio-environmental modeling system developed for the state of Maryland. For this project, the postdoctoral researcher will extend the transportation model to Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The watershed transportation model will be integrated with a land-use model, SILO (Simple Integrated Land Use Orchestrator, to capture the interactions between land-use and transportation systems. This integrated watershed transportation and land-use model will be coupled with the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Land Cover Change model working closely with scientists at the USGS Chesapeake Bay Program Office. This model will form the basis of the built-environment (human) component of our human and estuarine systems model with regulatory feedbacks. Future scenarios will be implemented into this modeling system to reflect various changes in transportation, land-use and land cover due to e.g. climate change, technological changes, political and policy decisions etc. Post-doctoral researcher will be supported by graduate students, and will work closely with other project members from partnering institutions on model integration, scenario development and analysis.

The project will give a unique opportunity to work in a truly multi-disciplinary and multi- institutional team composed of Biogeochemical, Social Ecological Systems, Land Use, Climate, Hydrological, and Geographical modelers. While this position is specific to this NSF project, the candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate in other research and proposal efforts in a dynamic academic environment.



We are looking for highly motivated and self-driven candidates with good interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment. The successful applicant must have:

  • A PhD or equivalent University level diploma in civil engineering-transportation, urban planning, geographical sciences, computer science, earth sciences, or other related
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills supported by strong programming experience. Knowledge and experience in Java and Python programming languages are
  • Expertise and experience in travel demand modeling, and software such as Cube Voyager (preferred), TransCAD, VISUM; familiarity with advanced transportation modeling open- source software such as MATSim (preferred), DTALite; and Land-use models e.g. SILO. Experience and familiarity with graphical user interfaces, GIS, data processing software is preferred.
  • Ability to understand and work with existing codes and open source software e.g. making necessary improvements, modifications, additions as needed and ability to implement scenarios in the
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and strong communication skills, both personal and


Due to the ongoing pandemic in the United States, applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be given priority but all applications will be given consideration.


How to Apply

Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 15, 2021 but review of applications will start immediately. Please submit your application material online to including the following documents: (1) a current CV, (2) a letter of motivation describing your interest, relevant experience and research plans in relation to this project, (3) names and contact information for at least 3 professional references. For questions regarding application process, information on the project details, position details, etc. please contact Sevgi Erdogan at serdogan at

The position is available immediately after position is filled. The initial appointment is for 1 year, and then renewable for a second year based on performance. After the second year, the continuation is contingent upon funding availability.


About the Center

The National Center for Smart Growth has an innovative multidisciplinary working environment, with staff expertise in the areas of travel forecasting, land use planning, land use forecasting and economics. The NCSG is affiliated with the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, A. James Clark School of Engineering, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, and School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Further information can be found at

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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Professor Lung-Amam quoted in New York Times about securitization of public space in DC

Professor and Director of Community Development Willow Lung Amam was quoted in the New York Times on January 12th. Read the full story here.
WASHINGTON — The seven-foot-tall metal fencing that has sealed the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol grounds and fortified the Supreme Court across the street is temporary. But it portends lasting change likely to come: In the capital city, there will be more hardening, more barriers, less openness, less access.

For 25 years, Washington has grown ever more conspicuously guarded, first with the bollards and concrete jersey barriers that appeared after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, then the elaborate security protocols that swept federal properties after Sept. 11, 2001. Then there were heightened fears of what could harm the nation’s first Black president, followed by new worries that everyday public spaces — plazas, parks, farmer’s markets — could be targets as much as the monuments were.

“One of the reasons that my husband and I have always loved the city is you can literally walk from the neighborhoods of D.C. — when there were actually Black people living downtown — and access those grounds, the Smithsonian,” said Willow Lung-Amam, a professor of urban studies and planning at the University of Maryland.

When the city had less tourism and its population was still majority-Black, she said, it was like their private secret that African-American residents had intimate access to all of the monumentality of downtown. As federal properties have grown more heavily policed, she recalled a time, about 15 years ago, when her husband tried to take a group of videography students to film scenes on the Capitol grounds. F.B.I. agents later came to their home to question him about it.

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