Frans J.G. Padt, Ph.D.

Frans J.G. Padt, Ph.D.

  • Teaching Professor
214 Armsby
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental Governance
  • Community Development
  • Landscape Systems Design


  • Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences of the Environment, Radboud University Nijmegen (2007)
  • M.Sc. in Environmental Hydrology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (1988)

Research Interests

Frans Padt has more than 25 years of experience in community and regional environmental planning and design as a researcher, educator, policymaker, consultant, and volunteer. He teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level.

His research and teaching include:

  • The social and political dimensions of land use planning;
  • Environmental sociology;
  • Community science, planning, and design;
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS) studies and public policy.

Member of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR),  the Regional Studies Association (RSA), and Gamma Sigma Delta, The Honor Society of Agriculture.

Current research: "An Engagement Tool for Community Science, Planning, and Design" (College of Arts and Architecture, PI) and "Teaching Critical Reflexivity in Science-Citizen Interaction" (Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, PI).

Current and Recent Courses


  • CED 409 - Land Use Planning and Procedure
  • CED 309 - Land Economics and Policy
  • CED 327 - Environment and Society
  • CEDEV 500 - Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice
  • CEDEV 509 - Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance 

Past (selection):

Advising: CEDEV, LArch MLA and MsLA, HDNRE, Schreyer Honors.

Recent Selected Publications

Padt, F.J.G., M. Bose & A.E. Luloff (2020). Teaching public engagement in research using the Engagement Tool. Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Padt, F.J.G. (2019). Sociology of Science and Public Policy Primer.

F.J.G. Padt, A. Gurklis, N. Korostoff, & T. Alter (in preparation). The politics of scale in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. A teaching case.

Padt, F.J.G. and A. Pradhapan (2019). The Engagement Tool. Testing student readiness for engaged scholarship in planning and design. Research Report.

Padt, F.J.G. (2015). How to scale a territory: Experiences from the United States. Invited contribution to J. Dessein, E. Battaglini & L.G. Horlings (eds.), Cultural Sustainability and Regional Development. Theories and practices of territorialisation, pp. 162-175. Routledge.

Padt, F.J.G., Opdam, P., Polman, N., Termeer, C. (eds.) (2014). Scale-sensitive governance of the environment. Edited volume. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Padt, F.J.G. & B. Arts (2014). The concept of scale. In: Padt, F.J.G., Opdam, P., Polman, N., Termeer, C. (eds.), Scale-sensitive Governance of the Environment, pp. 1-16. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Padt, F.J.G., Opdam, P., Polman, N., Termeer, C. (2014). Synthesis and perspectives for a new research field. In: Padt, F.J.G., Opdam, P., Polman, N., Termeer, C. (eds.), Scale-sensitive Governance of the Environment, pp.302-317. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Padt, F.J.G. & J.C. Sanchez (2013). Creating new spaces for sustainable water management in the Senegal River Basin. Natural Resources Journal, 53 (2), 265-284.

White paper for the Changing Landscape workshop at the Academic Research Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, May 30-31, 2012, part of the NSF-funded Marcellus Matters Project at Penn State.

Padt, F.J.G. (2012). Leadership and scale. Invited contribution to M. Sotarauta, I. Horlings, J. Liddle (eds.), Leadership and Change in Sustainable Regional Development. Routledge.

Padt, F.J.G. & J. Westerink (2012). Addressing scale in open space preservation: learning from The Hague Region in the Netherlands. Journal of Economic and Social Geography, 103, 601-614.

Padt, F.J.G. & A.E. Luloff (2011). A Critical review of a managerial approach to 'green' community planning in the USA and the Netherlands. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 54 (4), 445-456.

Horlings, I. & F.J.G. Padt (2011). Leadership for sustainable regional development in rural areas: Bridging personal and institutional aspects. Sustainable Development. Published online June 13, 2011. DOI: 10.1002/sd.526.

Jagt, P. & F.J.G. Padt (2010). Conservation with justice: A rights-based approach applied to The Hague Region, the Netherlands. Case study for the IUCN Right-Based Approach Portal.

Padt, F.J.G. & A.E. Luloff (2009). An institutional analysis of rural policy in the United States. Community Development. Journal of the Community Development Society, 40 (3), 232-246.

Padt, F.J.G. (2008). Scaling-up water management practices. White paper for the IUCN Water & Nature Initiative.

Padt, F.J.G. (2007). Green planning. An institutional analysis of regional environmental planning in the Netherlands. Dissertation Radboud University Nijmegen. Delft: Eburon.

Padt, F.J.G. (2006). Regional environmental planning in the Netherlands. An unstable settlement of policy arrangements. In: B. Arts & P.Leroy (eds.), Institutional Dynamics in Environmental Governance. Environment & Policy (pp. 203-223), Vol. 47. Heidelberg: Springer.

Recent Presentations

Padt, F.J.G., An Engagement Tool for community science, planning, and design. 12th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, March 8-10, 2018.

Padt, F.J.G. & M. Bose, Teaching critical reflection in science-citizen interaction, International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, June 19-22, 2017 in Umeå, Sweden.

Padt, F.J.G., A.E. Luloff, J. Bridger & M. Bose, Leadership in knowledge exchange for regional development: An educational perspective. Seminar "Exploring Varieties of Leadership in Urban and Regional Development", November 12-13, 2015, University of Birmingham, UK.

Padt, F.J.G., Territorialization as a tool for change. 21st International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, June 13-18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Padt, F.J.G, Scale research in an interdisciplinary setting, keynote at the 2014-15 Annual Symposium of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning, May 7, 2015 at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Korostoff, N. & F.J.G. Padt, Scalar narratives in Turkish irrigation practices. International conference “Irrigation, Society, Landscape; Tribute to T.F. Glick) from September 25-27, 2014 at the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain).

Padt, F.J.G., The scale of engagement, Penn State Community and Economic Development Graduate Program 2014 Summer Institute, July 17, 2014.

Padt, F.J.G., Scale-sensitive governance of the environment. M.E. John seminar, April 4, 2014, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Penn State University.

Padt, F.J.G., A.E. Luloff & J. Bridger, Science and citizenship in natural resources education. 10th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources (BCUENR), March 13-15, 2014 at Auburn University, AL. 

Padt, F.J.G. & Luloff, A.E., Organized session: "Using science in natural resources management", 19th International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, Estes Park Center, Colorado (USA),  June 4-8, 2013. 

Padt, F.J.G & A.E. Luloff, Contested knowledges in natural resource management, 18th International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), June 17-21, 2012.

Panelist "What is community sustainability?," Penn State Community and Economic Development Graduate Program 2012 Summer Institute, May 14, 2012.

Padt, F.J.G., The governance of landscapes and livelihoods. What can citizens do?, 16th International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, Madison, Wisconsin (USA), June 4-8, 2011.

Padt, F.J.G., Doing scaling and governance analysis, Scaling and Governance Conference, Wageningen UR (Netherlands), November 10-12, 2010.

Weigle, J., A.E. Luloff & F.J.G. Padt, Scale-sensitive policies towards natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania, USA, Scaling and Governance Conference, Wageningen UR (Netherlands), November 10-12, 2010.

Panelist "Scale in Multilevel Governance," Université de Genève (Switzerland), June 16, 2010.

Padt, F.J.G. & J. Westerink, Scaling and governance in peri-urban areas. Matching operational, observational and interpretative scales for effective governance in a case study in The Netherlands, 16th International Symposium on Society & Resource Management, Corpus Christi, Texas (USA), June 6-10, 2010.

Horlings, I. & F.J.G. Padt, Leadership for sustainable rural development in a globalizing world, 15th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in Vienna (Austria), July 5-8, 2009.

Padt, F.J.G., Integrated water resource management in semi-authoritarian regimes: Lip-service or real progress?, workshop Water Policy Dynamics in State-Centric Regimes, Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (Germany), March 24-25, 2009.

Trainer for the course How to institutionalize 'best' water management practices? Training course developed for the 5th World Water Forum Learning Centre in Istanbul (Turkey), March 16-22, 2009.

Moderator workshop Best practices in international water management, International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN), Barcelona (Spain), October 2-3, 2008.

Moderator session Environmentalism and the United States at the 16th National Amerikanistendag at Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands), March 17, 2008.

Padt, F.J.G. & A.E. Luloff, A critical review of a managerial approach to community and resource development in the USA and the Netherlands, the XXII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress in Wageningen (the Netherlands), 20-24 August, 2007.