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April 27, 2017

MSU associate professor named Fulbright Scholar

Peilei Fan, associate professor of urban and regional planning in both the School of Planning, Design and Construction and MSU’s Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, has been named a Fulbright Scholar.

Fan will compare and analyze the urbanization and environmental change in two megacities in the Asia-Pacific, factoring in institutional change, globalization and historical and cultural influences. Her nearly nine-month project will begin in December in Taipei, Taiwan, and conclude in Shanghai, China, in August 2018.

Taiwan experienced rapid urbanization in the 1960s and 1970s when it industrialized, and China began to see unprecedented urban growth in 1978. Fan’s research will focus on changes of the urban landscape over space and time, including the social and environmental consequences.

“This project can make a unique contribution to the field of urban studies and environmental sustainability,” Fan said. “It will analyze urbanization beyond the traditional natural and market factors, and look at institutional factors that are unique for newly industrializing economies.”

Her research will also utilize the concept of telecoupling, a scientific tool with deep roots in MSU that enables natural and social scientists to generate information for managing how humans and nature coexist.

Fan, who is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, led two research projects funded by NASA on urbanization and sustainability in the Asia-Pacific. She received her doctorate in economic development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003.

The highly coveted Fulbright grants are issued by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to foster international academic exchange.

The Fulbright is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and of other countries. Each year, about 1,200 U.S. scholars study in 155 countries.

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