The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Hannah Satein

Hannah Satein

I grew up in rural, western Oregon surrounded by rivers and forests. My love of these natural places led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon, in which I began to explore the dynamic tensions between the environmental benefits and tradeoffs of hydropower. This interest led me to pursue my master’s degree in Water Resources Policy and Management at Oregon State University. There I studied the interaction of traditional and collaborative policymaking to apply a more natural flow regime to a dammed river system in Central Oregon. Following school, I applied my knowledge and skills as a fellow for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. 


Why did you decide to pursue a Ph.D.?

I decided to pursue a PhD because I am still fascinated by and passionate about utilizing the tools of planning, policy, and now, dispute resolution to help address our most pressing environmental problems. My master’s thesis left me with so many questions and ideas I wanted to continue exploring, as well as additional methodological skills I wanted to acquire. My hope, and intent, is that I will be able to help advance problem-solving while I am exploring these lines of inquiry during my PhD, and I will leave ready to build off the knowledge and skills I’ve gained to continue doing this work.


Why did you choose the University of Utah?

I initially found out about the program after hearing Dr. Danya Rumore speak about her research at Oregon State University. I was incredibly inspired by Dr. Rumore’s applied research methods and topical foci, and left the seminar thinking, that’s the kind of research I want to do. Through conversations with Dr. Rumore and as I began to think more deeply about coming to the U, I was excited about the ability to work with the Environmental Dispute Resolution program, the Global Change and Sustainability Center, and the amazing faculty in the CMP department. Furthermore, as a student and scholar of water resources management in the American West, being at the U places me at the heart of these issues, and I am happily pursuing a proposal to focus my doctoral work on the watery icon of the region, the Great Salt Lake. 


Tell us about recent accomplishment.

I spent six months living in Mérida, Mexico learning to speak Spanish. 


Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. 

I consider myself a pretty fine chewy cookie baker; classic chocolate chip is my specialty.