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School of Architecture + Planning


Caroline Scruggs

Banner Photo for Caroline Scruggs

Photo: Caroline Scruggs

Caroline Scruggs
Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning


"My research and teaching primarily fall within CRP’s Environmental Planning concentration, and I’m also affiliated with the Water Resources Program, the Center for Water & the Environment, Geography & Environmental Studies, and Sustainability Studies at UNM."


I’m an Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning (CRP) in the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). My research and teaching primarily fall within CRP’s Environmental Planning concentration, and I’m also affiliated with the Water Resources Program, the Center for Water & the Environment, Geography & Environmental Studies, and Sustainability Studies at UNM. 

I earned BS and MS degrees in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech and an interdisciplinary PhD in Environment and Resources from Stanford University. Through previous work in the private sector, I have extensive experience with water and wastewater treatment and water reuse projects. Further academic experiences and work with groups such as the Swedish Chemicals Agency, the International Chemical Secretariat (a nonprofit), and the United Nations Environment Program provided me with a deeper understanding of the social, business, economic, and policy aspects of environmental problems and potential solutions. In line with the SA+P’s aim, I strive to engage local issues that have global significance, conducting rigorous interdisciplinary research that can inform policies to advance ecosystem and public health. I use an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching that employs mixed methods to investigate environmental problems from multiple angles, and often involves partnerships from across the UNM campus and the community. 

My interdisciplinary doctoral research on chemicals management and policy was supported by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR fellowship, a Udall Foundation doctoral fellowship, and multiple Stanford University fellowships. Current funding sources for my research are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NMWRRI). My research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed outlets, such as Environmental Science and Policy, the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, the  Journal of Cleaner Production, and the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.