Robert J. Mason holds an MA in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto, and  received his PhD in Geography from Rutgers University in 1986.  He joined Temple’s Department of Geography and Urban Studies in 1986, following a short period as visiting lecturer at Ohio State University. He taught for several years at Temple University Japan in Tokyo.  After returning to the Main Campus in Philadelphia, he became Director of the new program in Environmental Studies. During the 2004-05 academic year, Dr. Mason was on leave from Temple, holding the Bryant Drake Guest Professorship in the Department of Biosphere Sciences at Kobe College in Nishinomiya, Japan.

Dr. Mason’s research and teaching focus on environmental policymaking and land-use management. He is the author of Collaborative Land Use Management: The Quieter Revolution in Place-Based Planning (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), Contested Lands: Conflict and Compromise in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens (Temple University Press, 1992) and–with cartographer Mark Mattson–the Atlas of United States Environmental Issues (Macmillan, 1990). Professor Mason also has written articles and book chapters about greenline parks (parks with a mix of public and privately-owned lands), land trusts, and management issues in New York State’s Adirondack Park and New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve.  His current interests include evolving policy responses to environmental shocks, Delaware River watershed issues, metropolitan growth management, suburban sprawl, and protected areas at the state (New Jersey, Pennsylvania), regional, and national levels in the United States. Additional Japan and China interests include the emerging role of Japan’s citizen environmental organizations at the national level, metropolitan land use and sprawl issues in China, and management of Japan’s Shirakami Sanchi World Heritage Area. Shirakami Sanchi is an area of ancient beech forest situated in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. 

Professor Mason teaches courses in basic human-environment interactions, environmental policy issues in the United States, environmental problems in Asia, political ecology, environmental impact assessment, and environmental aspects of tourism. 


Recent Articles and Book Chapters (for full listing, see “Curriculum Vitae” tab):

Mason, Robert J. 2015. Urban Sustainability: Promise, Perils, Parochialism across Space. In
David Wilson, ed., The Politics of the Urban Sustainability Concept (Champaign, IL: Common
Ground Publishing), 36-64.

Mason, Robert J. and Liliya Nigmatullina. 2015, forthcoming. Dachascapes and Dystopias. In
Alan Berger and Joel Kotkin, eds., Infinite Suburbia (New York: Princeton Architectural Press).

Mason, Robert J. 2015. forthcoming. Sprawl. In Greater Philadelphia Encyclopedia.

Tang, Ying, Robert J. Mason, and Yubo Wang. 2015. Governments’ Functions in the Process of
Integrated Consolidation and Allocation of Rural-Urban Construction Land in China. Journal of
Rural Studies 42: 43-51.

Zou, Yonghua, Wanxia Zhao, Robert Mason, and Meizhen Li. 2015. Comparing Sustainable
Universities between the United States and China: Cases of Indiana University and Tsinghua
University. Sustainability 7(9): 11799-11817.

Mason, Robert J. 2015. Preservation and Preemption in Northern Japan’s Shirakami Sanchi World Heritage Area. Management of Environmental Quality 26(3): 448-465.

Zou, Yonghua, Robert Mason, and Ruijun Zhong. 2015. Modeling the Evolution of Post-Olympic Beijing: An Empirical Analysis of Land Prices and Development Intensity. Urban Geography 36.

Mason, Robert J. 2014. Japan’s Evolving Civic Environmentalism. In Liam Leonard and Sya Kedzior, eds., Occupy the Earth: Global Environmental Movements (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing), 37-61.

Zou, Yonghua, Wanxia Zhao, and Robert J. Mason. 2014. Marketization of Collective-Owned Rural Land: A Breakthrough in Shenzen, China. Sustainability 6: 9114-9123.

Mandarano, Lynn and Robert J. Mason. 2013. Adaptive Management and Governance of Delaware River Water Resources. Water Policy 15(3): 364-385.

Mason, Robert J. 2012. Metropolitan Philadelphia: Sprawl, Shrinkage, and Sustainability. In Brian C. Black and Michael J. Chiarappa, eds., Nature’s Entrepôt: Philadelphia’s Urban Sphere and its Environmental Thresholds (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), 187-206.

Gladfelter, Sierra and Robert J. Mason. 2012. Beyond Boundaries: An Assessment of the Yosemite National Park Geotourism Initiative. Special Issue of Tourism Planning & Development on Rural Tourism 9(4): 355-368.

Ying, Tang, Robert J. Mason, and Ping Sun. 2012. Interest Distribution in the Process of Coordination of Urban and Rural Construction Land in China. Habitat International 36(3): 388-395.

Mason, Robert J. 2011. Ecoregional Planning: Retreat or Reinvention? Journal of Planning Literature 26(4): 405-419.

Mason, Robert J. and Liliya Nigmatullina. 2011. Suburbanization and Sustainability in Metropolitan Moscow. Geographical Review 101(3): 316-333.

Recent Book Reviews:

Thomas Patin, ed., Observation Points: The Visual Poetics of National Parks (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). In Visual Studies 28(1): 106-107, 2013.

Brian Ladd, Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). In Urban Geography 34(1): 151-152, 2013.

Candacy A. Taylor, Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress (Ithaca: Cornell University Press). In Visual Studies 26(1): 82-84, 2011.



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