Michael Rios, Ph.D.

Michael Rios, Ph.D.

Rios, Michael

Position Title

  • Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design
179 Hunt Hall

Michael Rios is Professor of Urban Design and Vice Provost of Public Scholarship. Michael has taught in the Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design program since 2007, served as Chair of the Community Development Graduate Group from 2011-2015, and is a member of the Community Development, Geography, and Cultural Studies Graduate Groups. As Vice Provost in the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, he is leading university efforts to reward and recognize public scholarship in research, teaching, and creative practice.

Michael’s research focuses on community engagement, placemaking, and the social practice of urban design. He has authored or co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters, and has also co-edited several books including Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities (2013) and Community Development and Democratic Practice (2017). His articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals in architecture, community development, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. Recent publications include “Foundational Knowledge and Skills in Community Development” in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, and “Culture, Citizenship, and Emplaced Practice” in The Routledge Handbook of People and Place in the 21st-Century City.

Michael has also served as a PI and Co-PI on numerous grants and contracts including a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant to assess the current state of community development education in the U.S. (2018-2020), leading the development and implementation of a curriculum on fair housing and social inclusion for the CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development (2016-2017), organizing a participatory action research initiative on changing the narrative of affordable housing in the Sacramento region for CA AARP (2015-2016), and a US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education Grant to facilitate an international community-based student learning exchange program between several US and Brazilian universities (2002-2005).

Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a B.A. degree in Architecture and Urban Studies from Lehigh University, Master of Architecture and Master of City Planning degrees from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. degree in geography from Penn State University.

Ph.D. 2006. The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geography: “Scale, Governance Coalitions, and the Branding of Collective Action: The Politics of Obesity in Pennsylvania”
M.C.P. 1997. University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning
M.Arch. 1997. University of California, Berkeley, Department of Architecture
B.A. 1991. Lehigh University, Urban Studies and Architecture (double major)


July, 2019 – Present. Vice Provost of Public Scholarship, Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, University of California, Davis, Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
July, 2018 – Present. Professor (tenure), University of California, Davis, Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design Program, Department of Human Ecology
July, 2018 – June, 2019. Founding Director, Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, University of California, Davis, Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
July, 2017 – June, 2018. Faculty Advisor to the Provost, University of California, Davis, Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
July, 2010 – June, 2018. Associate Professor (tenure), University of California, Davis, Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design Program, Department of Human Ecology
July, 2011 – August 2015. Chair, Community Development Graduate Group, University of California, Davis
July, 2007 – June, 2010. Assistant Professor (tenure-track), University of California, Davis, Landscape Architecture Program, Department of Environmental Design
July, 2003 – June, 2007. Assistant Professor (tenure-track), The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Landscape Architecture (tenure awarded in 2007)
July, 1999 - June, 2003. Assistant Professor (fixed-term), The Pennsylvania State University, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Rios CURRICLUM VITA

2015-2018. Associate Urban Designer, Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA
2010-2014. Associate Community Planner, Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA
2007-2010. Assistant Community Planner, Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA
1999 – 2007. Director, Hamer Center for Community Design, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
1997 – 1999. The Spanish Speaking Unity Council, Oakland, CA Program Manager, Fruitvale Recreation & Open Space Initiative Team Leader, Union Point Park Master Plan Urban Design Advisor, Fruitvale BART Transit Village
1996 – 1997 (intermittently). Urban Ecology, Oakland, CA Director, Community Design Consulting Program Project Advisor, Mission Street Corridor Study Consultant and Team Leader, 16th Street BART Community Design Plan
1995. ROMA Design Group, San Francisco, CA Urban Design Assistant, Treasure Island Re-Use Plan
1994 - 1995. Solomon Architecture & Urban Design, San Francisco, CA Project Designer, Diablo Green Transit Village Study Project Design Assistant, Roulac Residence
1993 - 1994. Brady and Associates, Berkeley, CA Planner, Rockridge Area Plan Assistant Planner, City of Gonzalez General Plan
1992. Environmental Simulation Center, New School for Social Research, NY, NY Researcher, Grand Central Station TDR Study Researcher, Riverside South Urban Design Study
1991. Department of City Planning, NY, NY Project Assistant, Upper East Side Residential Zoning Study


Lachapelle, P, & Rios, M. (Eds.) (2018). Community development and democratic practice: London: Routledge.
Lachapelle, P, & Rios, M. (Eds.) (2015). Community development and democratic practice: A special issue. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society 46, 4.
Rios, M., & Vasquez, L. (Eds.) (2012). Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities. London: Routledge. Peer-Reviewed Publications
Rios, M., & Parker, C. (submitted). Sensing Justice in Urban Design. Journal of Planning Literature.
Rios, M., & Saco, L. (submitted). Faculty motivation for pursuing engaged scholarship: A social ecological framework. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.
Rios, M. (under review). Urban design praxis: A responsibility for justice. In K. Goh, A. Loukaitou-Sideris, & V. Mukhija (Eds.), Just Urban Design. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Rios, M. (accepted). Diaspora. In L. Lees & D. Demeritt (Eds.), Concise Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Chetenham amd Camerley: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Rios, M., Hains, B., Koundinya, V., Abrams, C., & Stanard, V. (2021). Foundational knowledge and skills in community development: A comparison of educator perspectives. Journal of Planning Education and Research 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X21997901
Stanard, V., Hains, K., Knobloch, N., O’Leary, C., Reinhard, A., Hains, B., & Rios, M. (2021). Towards a more connected field of community development education: Encouraging communinty well-being through an engaged symposium. International Journal for Community Well-Being 4, 161–179. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42413-021-00113-x
Stanard, V., & Rios, M., (2021). Community development education: Emerging approaches to community well-being. International Journal for Community Well-Being 4, 143–159. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42413-021-00128-4
Hains, K., Rios, M., Hains, B., Koundinya, V., Abrams, C., & Stanard, V. (2021). An explorarion of community development higher education in the United States: A programmatic study. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society https://doi.org/10.1080/15575330.2021.1874457
Hains, K., Hains, B., White, S., Stanard, V., & Rios, M. (2020) Skills, knowledge and values essential for effective community development practice: A Delphi study. Journal of Community Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2020.1838021
Rios, M. (2020). Culture, citizenship and emplaced practice. In K. Bishop & N Marshall (Eds.), Routledge handbook on people and place in the 21st century city. London: Routledge.
Rios, M., & Napawan, N. C. (2019). Diversity and inclusion by design: A challenge for us all. Landscape Journal 37, 1, 1-8.
Rios, M., Hains, B., Hains, K., & Abrams, C. (2019). Civic-university synergy: Addressing fair housing through engaged community programming. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education 1, 3, 48-57.
Rios, M., Campbell, D., & Adamy, H. (2018). Engaged scholarship & learning: UC Davis at an institutional crossroads. Public: A Journal of Imagining America 5, 1.
McIvor, D., & Rios, M. (2016). Assets, capacities, and public talk: How communities create and negotiate power. Dayton: Kettering Foundation.
Rios, M. (2015). Negotiating culture: Towards greater competency in planning. In M. Burayidi (Ed.), Cities and the politics of difference. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Rios, M., & Lachapelle, P. (2015). Community development and democratic practice: pas de deux or distinct and different? Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society 46, 3, 190-197.
Rios, M, & Watkins, J. (2015). Beyond ‘place’: Translocal placemaking of the Hmong diaspora. Journal of Planning Education and Research 35, 2, 209-219.
Rios, M. (2014). Learning from informal practice: Implications for urban design in American cities. In V. Mukhija & A. Loukaitou-Sideris (Eds.), The informal city: From taco trucks to day labor. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Rios, M. (2013). From a neighborhood of strangers to a community of fate: The Village of Market Creek Plaza. In J. Hou (Ed.), Transcultural cities: Border-crossing and placemaking. London: Routledge.
Rios, M. (2013). Marginality and the prospects for urbanism in the post-ecological city. In A. Duany & E. Talen (Eds.), Landscape urbanism and its discontents: Dissimulating the sustainable city. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers.
Rios, M. (2012). Emplacing democratic design. In R. Shiffman, R. Bell, L.J. Brown, & L. Elizabeth (Eds.), Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of assembly and the occupation of public space. Oakland: New Village Press.
Rios, M., Vasquez, L., & Miranda, L. (2012). Place as space, action, & identity. In M. Rios, M, L. Vasquez (Eds.), Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities. London: Routledge.
Rios, M. (2011). Operative sites for dialogue and reflection: The role of praxis in service learning.” In T. Angotti, C. Doble, & P. Horrigan (Eds.), Service learning in design and planning. Oakland: New Village.
Rios, M. (2011). Toward a social ecology of scale: Collective action, design for health, and landscape praxis.” Landscape Journal 30, 1, 106-120.
Rios, M. (2009). Claiming Latino space: Cultural insurgency in the public realm. In J. Hou (Ed.), Insurgent public space: Guerilla urbanism and the remaking of contemporary cities. London: Routledge. (In Press)
Rios, M. (2009). Public space praxis: Cultural capacity and political efficacy in Latina/o placemaking. Berkeley Planning Journal 22, 92-114.
Rios, M. (2008). The limits of New urbanism in post-disaster planning: The case of East Biloxi. Batture: The LSU School of Architecture Journal, 4, 12-23.
Rios, M. (2008). Envisioning citizenship: Toward a polity approach in urban design. Journal of Urban Design, 13(2), 213-229.
Elmendorf, W., & Rios, M. (2008). From environmental racism to civic environmentalism. In C. Wilmsen, W. Elmendorf, L. Fisher, J. Ross, B. Sarathy, & G. Well (Eds.), Partnerships for empowerment: Participatory research for community-based natural resource management (pp. 69-104). London: Earthscan.
Aeschbacher, P., & Rios, M. (2007). Claiming public space: The case for proactive, democratic design. In B. Bell (Ed.), Expanding architecture: Structures for inclusion. (pp. 84-91) Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press.
Rios, M. (2006). Governance coalitions and the role of scale in multi-sector partnerships. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 24 (1), 56-83.
Rios, M. (2006). Where do we go from here? An evaluative framework for community-based design. In M. Hardin (Ed.), From the studio to the streets: Service learning in planning and architecture (pp. 47-58). Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Riley, D., Rios, M., Wing, S., & Workman, B. (2006). Beyond boundaries, weaving connections: Reflections on the American Indian Housing Initiative. In M. Hardin (Ed.), From the studio to the streets: Service learning in planning and architecture (pp. 115-126). Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Hou, J., & Rios, M. (2003). Community-driven place making: The social practice of participatory design in the making of Union Point Park. Journal of Architectural Education, 57(1), 19-27.
Rios, M. (2003). Timely tactics: The strategic role of participation in community design. In B. Bell (Ed.), Good deeds, good design: Community service in architecture (pp. 45-52). Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press.


Technical Reports & Publications of Limited Distribution
Rios, M. (2019). Community development education summit summary report. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M., Abrams, C., Hains, B., & Hains, K. (2018). Fair housing and social inclusion fellowship program: A final report to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M. (2016). Changing the narrative of affordable housing. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M., (2015). Democratic design: A conversation about design as a resource for communities to gain power, build capacity, and democratize development. Oakland, CA: Neighborhood Funders Group.
Rios, M., (2015). Capitol Mall urban design study. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M., (2013). Lower Broadway: An urban design study. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Wadsworth, G., Rios, M., & Mosquera, V. (2012). Heat stress: Community and residential site assessment report. California Institute for Rural Studies.
Rios, M., (2011). A citizen’s guide to South Sacramento. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M., & Adviv, N. (2009). Geographies of diaspora: A review. Davis, CA: University of California, Center for Regional Change.
Rios, M. (2007). A citizen’s guide to East Biloxi. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design.
Rios, M. (2005). Belmont Commons: A vision for a neighborhood park. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design.
Rios, M. (2002). Youthscapes program feasibility and needs assessment analysis: Pennsylvania teacher survey. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design and Cooperative Extension, Children, Youth, and Families.
Marts, C., and Rios, M. (2002). Youthscapes: Design the future of Pennsylvania’s communities. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design.
Rios, M. (2001). Circleville Farm feasibility study. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design.
Gorby, C. and Rios, M. (2000). Lewistown: Framing issues for downtown revitalization. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design. Book Reviews
Rios, M. (2017). “Ethno-Architecture and the Politics of Migration” by Mirjana Lozanovska (Ed.) in Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 24(1).
Rios, M., & Boulware, J. (2014). “Collaborative futures: Critical reflections on publicly active graduate education” by Amanda Gilvin, Georgia M. Roberts, and Craig Martin (Eds.) in Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(1).
Rios, M. (2010). “Whose public space: International case studies in urban design and development” by Ali Madanipour (Ed.) in Urban History 37(7).
Nelson, A., Hinder, C., and Rios, M. (2009) “Participatory action research approaches and methods: Connecting people, participation, and place” by Sara Kindon, Rachel Pain, and Mike Kesby (Eds.), in Area 41(3).
Rios, M. (2007). “Designing small parks: A manual for addressing social and ecological concerns” by Ann Forsyth and Laura Musacchio in Landscape Journal, 26(2).


Creative Accomplishments - Featured in Exhibitions
Heyden, M. & Schaber. (2013). Where if not us: Participatory design and its radical approaches. Chicago: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Installation of Original Works
Rios, M. & B. Spang (2003). Chief Dull Knife College campus courtyard installation. Lame Deer, MT, July, 2003. (Collaborators) Production of Original Works of Electronic Media
Hou, J. & Rios, M. (2014). What is insurgent public space? Agora 2014. Bordeaux: Architecture & Urbanism Biennale.
Aeschbacher, P., Rios, M., & Rosas, C. (2006). Claiming public space: An information commons for the public interest art, architecture, and design community. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design. (Co-Principal Investigators)
Foster, K., & Rios, M. (2005). Keystone healthy routes to school tool kit. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design. (Co-Principal Investigators)
Foster, K., Johnson, T., Rios, M., & Wing, S. (2003). PennSCAPEs: Pennsylvania strategies, codes, and people environments. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, Hamer Center for Community Design. (Co-Principal Investigators)


Rios, M. (2021, June), Mexicans, city and history on both sides of the border. México Consulate General. Sacramento, CA. (invited panelist)
Rios, M. (2021, March), Decolonizing landscape architecture education: Cultural and institutional transformation. In M. Bose & J. Hou (Session organizers) Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Annual Meeting. (invited panelist)
Rios, M. (2020, November), Clarifying our purpose, setting our course: Engaged scholars reflect on how the current moment is shaping their professional identities, commitments, practices, and relationships. International Association for Research on Service-Learning & Community Engagement. (invited panelist)
Rios, M. (2019, May), Just urban design? Ethics, politics, praxis. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Los Angeles, CA. (lecture)
Rios, M. (2019, April), Placemaking in the uncanny spaces of marginality. In M. Piazzoni & (Session organizer) Out of Place: Immigrant Urbanisms and the Struggle for Recognition. 49th Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association. Los Angeles, CA. (presenter)
Rios, M. (2019, October), Design thinking to create institutional change. Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference. (presenter)
Rios, M. (2019, October), Building capacity through multi-institutional collaboration and community engagement. Engagement Scholarship Consortium. (co-presenter) Rios, M. (2019, March), Educating design activists. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Annual Meeting. Sacramento, CA. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2017, June), Designing the spaces of community development governance: A case study of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Community Development Society Annual Meeting. Big Sky, MT. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2017, April), From research and planning to practice. AARP Age-Friendly Communities Conference. Pasadena, CA. (presenter)
Rios, M. (2016, March), Curating and displaying images of urban interventionism. In K. Foo (Session organizer), Undisciplined Environments? At the International Conference of the European Network of Political Ecology. Stockholm, Sweden. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2015, December), Giving Law Space: A legal geography symposium. Davis, CA. (discussant).
Rios, M. (2015, July), Negotiating the place of culture and the culture of place, Community Development Society Annual Meeting. Lexington, KY. (keynote speaker)
Rios, M. (2015, April), Curating the city: Activism, aesthetics, and the representational spaces of democratic practice. In M. Zebracki & S. Warren (Session organizers), Creative Place-Making and Its Micropublics at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Chicago, Ill. 
(paper presenter).
Rios, M. (2015, March), Community engaged design, The Neighborhood Funders Group and Surdna Foundation, Centre for Social Inclusion, New York, NY. (presenter)
Rios, M. (2015, February), Participatory design and questions of visual representation, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. (invited panelist)
Rios, M. (2015, February), Protest in progress: Resistance in the 21st century, Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. (panelist).
Rios, M. (2014, November), The legacy of participatory design and advocacy planning, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2014, July). A renaissance in community education: Re-examining philosophical, educational, and professional practices. Community Development Society Annual Conference, Dubuque, Iowa. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2014, June). Packaging the poor in our own image and likeness? Emerge: Association of Community Design Annual Conference, Detroit, MI. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2014, May). Spirited topographies: Urban refabulations, underscapes, and mobilities. University of California, Davis, CA. (discussant)
Rios, M. (2013, November). Emplacing democratic design. Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. (lecture)
Rios, M. (2013, October). Placemaking in Latino communities. Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. (lecture)
Rios, M. (2013, August). Whre if not us? Participatory design and its radical approaches, Graham Foundation for the Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago, Ill. (discussant)
Rios, M. (2013, July). What does scale have to do with it? Toward a social ecological model of transterriorial governance. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Community Development Society, Charleston, SC. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2013, April). Planning for people and places. Association of Bay Area Governments. Oakland, CA. (plenary speaker)
Rios, M (2012, May). Service Leaning in Design and Planning. Architecs/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility. San Francisco, CA. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2012, February). Place as a site of world-making. In V. Muhkhija and A. Loukaitou- Sideris, Informal City Speaker Series, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Los Angeles, CA. (lecture)
Rios, M. (2011, November). The negotiative spaces of displacement. Conference on Critical Refugee Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI. (plenary speaker)
Rios, M. (2011, October). Latino Urbanism. In G. Sandoval (Session organizer) at the annual conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Salt Lake City, UT.(discussant)
Rios, M. (2011, May). From Latino urbanism to placemaking in Latino commnuities. In E. Talen (Symposium organizer), Latino Urbanism: Defining a Cultural Urban Form. Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2011, April). Placemaking as citizen-making. In J. DeFilippis & D. Imbroscio (Session organizers), Rights, Space, and Places. At the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers Seattle, WA. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2011, April). The scholarship of transdisciplinary research. In S. Therring (Session organizer). At the annual meeting of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, Los Angeles, CA. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2011, February). Marginality and the prospects of placemaking in transcultural cities. In T. Way & M. O’Mara (Seminar organizers), Now Urbanism: City Making in the 21st Century and Beyond. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. (keynote speaker).
Rios, M. (2010, June). Insurgent public space. In J. Hou (Session organizer), Toward a Just Metropolis. University of California, Berkeley, CA. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2010, April). Praxis in Placemaking. In K. Keenan, D. Fontaine, and A. Cieslik (Session organizers), Changing Places, Urban Spaces: New Theories of Place for the Networked City. At the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2009, August). Placemaking in the city: Identity and the politics of representation in Latina/o communities. In J. Foster & S. Bunce (Session organizers), Marginalized Urban Space and the Contours of Planning Discourses. At the annual international conference of the Royal Geographical Society, University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K. August 26-28, 2009. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2008, October). Moving beyond academic assumptions: Addressing racial, cultural, and class differences between academia and community. At the annual Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life conference, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. October 2-4 27, 2008. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2008, June). Diaspora spaces: Claiming culture and citizenship in the city. At the first annual Open Public Urban Space (OPUS) conference, Stavanger, Norway. June 27, 2008. (keynote presenter)
Rios, M. (2008, May). Community design: Involvement and architecture in the U.S. since 1963. In M. Heyden (Symposium organizer), A design symposium co-sponsored by An Architektur and Art Transponder, Berlin, Germany. May 30, 2008. (keynote speaker)
Rios, M. (2008, May). Scale, governance, & regionalism: Challenges, opportunities, and possibilities. In D. Campbell (Session organizer), Regionalism in California: The Road So Far, and Further. At the first annual conference of the Center for the Study of Regional Change, University of California, Davis. Davis, CA. May 5-6, 2008. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2008, April). Making claims: The role of culture in public space. In I. M. Ruiz (Session organizer), Contested Space: Latinos and Public Space. At the annual conference of the American Planning Association, Las Vegas, NV. April 29, 2008. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2008, April). Climate change and coastal cities. In P. Steinberg (Session organizer) at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA. April 8-12, 2008. (discussant)
Rios, M. (2008, April). (Pro)active bodies and landscapes: The discourse of healthy lifestyles in the United States. In J. Guthman & B. Mansfield (Session organizers), Political Ecologies of Bodies. At the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA. April 8-12, 2008. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2008, April). Operative sites for dialogue and reflection: The role of praxis in service learning. In C. Doble, T. Agnotti, & P. Horrigan (Organizers), Erasing Boundaries-Supporting Communities. Symposium on Interdisciplinary Service-Learning in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, City University of New York, New York, NY. April 4-5, 2008. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2007, April). Scale and the branding of collective action: The governance of obesity prevention in Pennsylvania. In S. Mains (Session organizer), Mobility, Identity and Changing Spaces. At the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, CA. April 15-19. 2007. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2007, April). Claiming Latino space: Enactive, contested, and participative. In L. Vazquez (Session chair), Hispanic/Latino Communities and Urban Spaces in U.S. Cities. At the annual conference of the American Planning Association, Philadelphia, PA. April 14-18, 2007. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2006, October). What a social movement is, what a social movement is not. In B. Bell, M. Cox, K. Dorgan, & S. Goldsmith (Co-chairs), How to Grow a Movement. Symposium conducted as part of Loeb/Bruner Roundtable, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. (discussant)
Rios, M. (2006, June). Multiple publics, citizenship, and the spaces of recognition: Toward a polity model of design practice. At the annual conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, Vancouver, Canada. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2006, June). Scale in obesity prevention: Building a spatial theory of governance and collective action? In N. Verma (Chair), Governance, Place, and Community in a Globalizing World. Doctoral student conference of the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Los Angeles, CA. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2005, November). Scale jumping: Design center as (co)operative practice. In L. Lawson (Session chair) at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture/Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Administrator’s Conference: Surveying the Landscape of Leadership, Baltimore, MD. November 3-6, 2005. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2005, April). Scale, scaffolds, & collective action: Lesson from obesity prevention in Pennsylvania. At the annual conference of the Association for Community Design, New York, NY. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2004, October). The role of community design centers: Past, present, & future. In R. Shiffman (Chair) at a symposium organized by The Pratt Institute Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, New York, NY. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2004, September). Community and neighborhood parks: A cross-cultural critique. In M. McNally & L. Mozingo (Session co-chairs) at the 5th Pacific Rim Conference on Participatory Community Design, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington. (discussant)
Rios, M. (2003, November). PennSCAPEs: Educating about smart growth for healthy lifestyles. At the annual conference of the American Society of Landscape Architects. New Orleans, LA. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2003, April). Smart growth education. At the annual conference of the American Planning Association, Denver, CO. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2003, April). Community building, design, and health. In J. Plumb (Chair) at the Family Medical Research Seminar, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. April 2003. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2002, October). Transcultural perspectives on sustainable urban design. In M. Romero (chair), Consórcio Bilateral em Projeto Sustentável. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the U.S./Brazil Consortium on Sustainable Urbanism, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2002, March). Serving the underserved: Speculations on the social practice of participatory design. In K. Dorgan (Chair), Community Design: Now or Never. Symposium conducted at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2001, June). An evaluative framework for community design. At the annual conference of the Association for Community Design, Indianapolis, IN. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. (2000, October). The Participatory process and community design centers. In B. Bell (Chair), Structures for Inclusion. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. (paper presenter)
Rios, M. Polluted land and community development: Communities of color and brownfields control. At symposium of the J.M. Kaplan Center for New York City Affairs, New School for Social Research, New York, NY. (panelist)
Rios, M. (2000, January). Participatory neighborhood design. At 1st annual conference of the New Partners for Smart Growth, San Diego, CA. (paper presenter)


Reviewer for Refereed Journals
Manuscript 20-0067. Journal of Planning Literature, 2020.
Manuscript 2018-093. Journal of Planning and Education Research, 2018.
Manuscript RJOU-2016-0009.R1 Journal of Urbanism, 2016.
Manuscript JPER-2015-030. Journal of Planning and Education Research, 2015.
Manuscript RJOU-2013-0050. Journal of Urbanism, 2013.
Manuscript 13-003. Landscape Journal, 2013.
Manuscript PG-134OR1. Political Geography, 2013.
Manuscript JCIT-D-00269. Cities: Journal of Urban Policy and Planning. 2012.
Manuscript “The Dog Days of Summer: Park Programming and the Gentrification of North Denver." City & Society. 2012.
Manuscript 12-001. Landscape Journal, 2011.
Manuscript CJUD-2011-0088. Journal of Urban Design, 2011.
Manuscript RJOU-2011-0016. Journal of Urbanism, 2011.
Manuscript PTP223/05. Planning Theory and Practice, 2005.
Manuscript # 04-019. Landscape Journal, 2004. Funded Projects, Grants, and Contracts Completed
Co-Principal Investigator with Bryan Hains and Kristina Hains. 2017-2020. Building Capacity and Diffusing Innovation in Community Development Education. USDA - $730,000.
Principal Investigator. 2016 – 2017. Fair Housing & Social Inclusion. CA Department of Housing and Community Development - $100,000.
Principal Investigator. 2015 – 2016. Changing the Narrative of Affordable Housing. AARP - $20,000.
Principal Investigator. 2014 – 2015. Community Engaged Design. Surdna Foundation - $15,000.
Principal Investigator. 2014 – 2016. Curating the City: Activism, Aesthetics, and the Representational Spaces of Democratic Practice. Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts - $5,000.
Principal Investigator. 2011 – 2013. Assessment of Farmworker Communities and Residential Sites - California Institute for Rural Studies - $15,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with D. Kyle. 2009 – 2010. Sacramento Diasporas Project. UC Davis Academic Senate Faculty - $24,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with C. Benner, D. Campbell, E. Gerraghty, N. Erbstein, J. London, P. Owens, & G. Rodriguez. 2008 – 2010. Multiple Pathways to Youth Success and Regional Vitality. Sierra Health Foundation - $750,000.
Co-Principal with C. Benner, D. Campbell, M. Cadenasso, S. Greco, J. London, P. Owens, and S. Wheeler. California Community and Regional Mapping Laboratory. UC Davis Agricultural Experiment Station - $75,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with D. Kyle. 2008. Valley Homelands: The Making of Global Sacramento. Gifford Center for Population Studies - $10,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with M. Francis. 2007-2008. 2008 European Capital of Culture OPUS (Open Public Urban Space) Project. UC Davis University Outreach and International Programs - $5,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with Brad Guy. 2006 – 2007. Rebuilding After Katrina Using Local Materials. Anonymous Foundation - $215,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with Kelleann Foster. 2005 – 2007. Guidelines for Residential Site Development in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Housing Research Center - $70,000.
Principal Investigator. 2002 – 2005. International Consortium on Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism. Dept. of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education - $209,000.
Principal Investigator. 2003 - Present. Active Community Environments: Tools for Pennsylvania Health Partners, PA Dept. of Health, Division of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion - $44,000.
Principal Investigator. 2003 - 2005. Measuring Barriers to Active Living in African American Neighborhoods. PSU Africana Research Center - $5,000.
Principal Investigator. 2003 - 2004. Active Community Environments: Tools for Pennsylvania Health Partners, PA Dept. of Health, Division of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion - $44,000.
Co-principal Investigator with Bently Spang. 2002 – 2003. Beyond Boundaries, Creating Connections: Northern Cheyenne Youth Restoration Art Project. Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Public Scholarship Award - $10,000.
Co-principal Investigator with Ian Baptise, Lynette Kvasny, Scott Wing, and Lakshman Yapa. 2002 – 2003. Belmont Community University Partnership. Penn State University Office of Undergraduate Education - $10,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with Tim Johnson, Kelleann Foster, and Scott Wing. 2001 – 2003. PennSCAPEs: Pennsylvania Strategies, Codes, and People Environments. PA Department of Environment Protection - $80,000.
Co-Principal Investigator with David Riley and Scott Wing. 2001 – 2002. American Indian Housing Initiative. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction of the Built Environment - $39,000.
Principal Investigator. 2000. Circleville Farm Feasibility Study. Heinz Endowments - $50,000. 


University of California, Davis, Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design

Lower division courses: 
Introduction to Spacemaking (studio)

Upper division courses:
Site Planning and Design (studio)
Urban Design and Planning (studio)
Design Research Methods
Honor’s Thesis (studio)


University of California, Davis, Community Development Graduate Group 

Graduate courses:
Professional Skills in Community Development

University of California, Davis, Geography Graduate Group 

Graduate courses:
Theory & Practice in Geography
Topics in Human Geography
Citizenship, Democracy, & Public Space
Aesthetics & the Geographic Imagination


The Pennsylvania State University, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Lower division courses:
Site Design (studio)
Neighborhood Planning (studio)
Architecture and Planning Theory


Upper division courses:
Urban Design (studio)
Theoretical Perspectives in Architecture
Graduate courses:
Case Studies in Community Engagement
Citizenship, Democracy, & the Public Ream


The University of California, Berkeley, Dept. of City and Regional Planning
Course co-instructor positions:
Community Development (studio)
Community Development Colloquium


Supervision of Graduate Theses
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, University of California, Davis. Reema Cherian. In progress.
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, University of California, Davis, “Narratives of California's Heartland: A Geographic Perspective on the Fictional Literature of the Central Valley,” Stacie Townsend. 2020.
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, University of California, Davis, “North Fork of the American,” Sean Pries. 2019.
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, University of California, Davis. Joshua Watkins, “Deterring Asylum Seekers: Australia’s strategy and practice of preventative border security,” 2017. 
Master of Science, Community Development, University of California, Davis. Ashlei Baker, “The Voices Behind the Bricks: An Evaluation of Youth Participation in the Upper Land Park- Broadway Choice Neighborhoods Initiative,” 2015.
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, University of California, Davis. Tarecq Amer, “In the Law’s Image: San Francisco and the Creation of a U.S. American Imaginative Geography,” 2014.
Master of Science, Community Development, University of California, Davis. Vallerye Mosquera, “Community Leaders but not Political Candidates: Paradoxes of Belonging, Power Relations and Alternatives to Formal Politics in a Majority-Minority California County,” 2012.
Master of Science, Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University. Rocky McLure, “Visual cognition and the architecture of movement,” 2007.
Master of Science, Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University. Christine Brill, “Developing agency through the production of public space: Community design practice of the GroundZero Action Network,” 2007.
Master of Science, Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University. Jun Zhang, “The Dialectical Opposition of Place and Non-place: Implications on the Design of Urban Space,” 2003.
Master of Science, Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University. Norman Horn, “Stormwater Streets: Integrating Strategies for Better Stormwater Management Practices through Street Design,” 2001.



Committee Work – UC Davis
2020 – Present Co-founder, AACT, Anti-racism Action Coordinating Team
2020 Chair, Provost’s Work Group on Public Scholarship
2018-2020 Member, Charting the Future of Experiential Learning at UC Davis
2017 – 2018 Faculty Advisor to the Provost, Engaged Scholarship and Engaged Learning
2008 – Present Member, Community Development Graduate Group Executive Committee
2007 – Present Member, Center for Regional Change Executive Committee 
2015 – 2016 Faculty Representative, Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee
2011 – 2015 Chair, Community Development Graduate Group Executive


2007 – 2009 Member, Landscape Architecture Curriculum Committee
2008 – 2010 Member, Geography Graduate Group Curriculum Committee
2007 – 2011 Member, Geography Graduate Group Executive Committee
2008 & 2011 Member, Landscape Architetcure Undergraduate Applications and Portfolio Review Committee
2011 Chair, Geography Graduate Group Awards & Admissions Committee Committee Work – Penn State University
2000 – 2007 Chair, Hamer Center for Community Design Advisory Committee
2005 – 2007 Member, Department of Landscape Architecture Graduate Curriculum Committee
2002 – 2007 Member, Department of Architecture Graduate Affairs Committee
2003 – 2005 Member, School or Architecture and Landscape Architecture Council
2003 – 2004 Member, Department of Landscape Architecture Head Advisory Committee
2003 – 2004 Member, Department of Landscape Architecture BLA Curriculum Review Committee


Service to the Profession
Rios, M. (2021, May). Co-organizer for one-day webinar on transforming universities for community engaged scholarship, Institute for Social Transformation, UC Santa Cruz.
Rios, M. (2020, October). Co-organizer for faculty forum on anti-racism at UC Davis, UC Davis Anti-racism Action Coordinating Team.
Rios. M. (2019, April). Co-organizer for two-day symposium on community development education, Detroit, MI.
Rios. M. (2019, April). Co-organizer for one-day summit of community development educators, Detroit, MI.
Rios, M. (2015, October). Co-organizer for one-day workshop on affordable housing in the Sacramento region sponsored by the AARP California and the California Endowment, Sacramento, CA.
Rios, M. (2015, March). Co-organizer for two-day convening on community engaged design sponsored by the Surdna Foundation and the Neighborhood Funders Group, New York, NY.
Rios, M. 2013-2014. External Reviewer, Dept. of Community & Leadership Development, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky.
Rios, M. (2005, March). Organizer for three paper sessions on participatory methods and techniques in visualization at the annual conference of the Association for Community Design annual conference, New York, NY.
Rios, M., (2004, June). Conference co-organizer of Community Design: Praxis or Practice? Association for Community Design, Atlanta, GA.
Rios, M. (2002, October) Conference co-organizer of Structures for Inclusion II: Good Deeds, Good Design, Hamer Center and DesignCorps, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.


Active Participation in Professional and Learned Societies
National Advisory Board, Imagining America, 2017-Present
Leadership Advisor, American Planning Association Latinos in Planning Division, 2008-2012.
President, Board of Directors, Association for Community Design, 2002 – 2005.


Service to Public and Private Organizations
2016 – 2018 Member, Research and Documentation Advisory Committee, ArtPlace America Community Development Investments Initiative
2015 – 2019 Member, AARP California Livable Communities Advisory Team
2015 – 2017 Housing Commissioner, City and County of Sacramento
2015 Reviewer, National Endowments Grants Panel
2015 Reviewer, ArtPlace America Community Development Investments Initiative Grants Panel
2008 – 2009 Member, California Energy Commission Subdivision Energy Analysis Tool Advisory Committee
2002 – 2006 Member, PA Land Development Consortium Advisory Committee
2002 – 2006 Executive Team Member, PA Advocates for Nutrition and Activity
2002 – 2006 Chair, Active Community Environments Leadership Team, PA Advocates for Nutrition and Activity
2004 – 2005 Member, State College Civic Design Committee
2003 Design Awards Advisory Board Member, The Commonwealth Design Awards, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
2001 – 2002 Member, Obesity Prevention Task Force, PA Dept. of Health Selected Service to Citizens/Client Groups
2014 – 2015 Member, Housing Task Force, Upper Land Park Broadway Choice Neighborhoods Planning Initiative, Sacramento, CA.
2005 West Campus Plan, Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana.
2005 Belmont Commons, Belmont Improvement Association, Philadelphia, PA
2003 Courtyard Installation, Northern Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club, Lame Deer, Montana.
2002 Lancaster Avenue Corridor Study, The People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Sara Allen Community Workshop, Friends Rehabilitation Program, Philadelphia, PA.


2005 Recipient, Association for Community Design President Service Award
2004 Special Recognition Award; Planning and Analysis, PennSCAPEs: Pennsylvania Strategies, Codes, and People Environments. Pennsylvania / Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Team award with Tim Johnson, Kelleann Foster, and Scott Wing
2003 Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education, American Indian Housing Initiative. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Team award with With David Riley, Sergio Palleroni, and Scott Wing
2002 Recipient, Design Corps Professional Service Award
2000 University of California Chancellor's Award for Community Partnerships. Team award with the Spanish-Speaking Unity Council and the Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley