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Katja Brundiers

Katja Brundiers

Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Sustainability


School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Sustainability


Dr. Katja Brundiers brings to her teaching and research in sustainability at Arizona State University multifaceted international research and consultancy experiences from previous positions. These experiences led to two major research trajectories Katja is working on.

In sustainability education, her research and teaching relates to whole-person and project-based educational approaches, professional skills development, and collaborative methods supporting knowledge co-creation among students and practitioners. In this trajectory, she draws on her past experiences as community-university liaison for the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, as head of seed-sustainability at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and her work as a sustainability consultant to the University of British Columbia (Canada) and member of the UNESCO Committee on Education for Sustainable Development.

As a second line of work, Katja focuses on disasters as opportunities for change towards sustainability. This work builds on her dissertation research in Indonesia and New Zealand and her work as a researcher in an international research project commissioned by the Government of Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. She also draws on her planning background having served as a civil servant at the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development and worked as a consultant in a private planning and project management agency in Berne, Switzerland.

Going forward, Katja combines her work in sustainability education with her research on disaster recovery to explore how to leverage change processes in normal and disaster times in order to advance sustainability.

Katja has earned her PhD in Sustainability from the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.


  • PhD, Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2016
  • MS, Geography, Cultural Anthropology, and Agriculture and Econoimcs, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2003


Journal Articles


Brundiers, K. 2018. Disasters as opportunities for sustainability: the case of Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Sustainability Science 13(4):1075-1091. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-017-0523-4. (link )

Brundiers, K. 2018. Educating for post-disaster sustainability efforts. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 27(Mar):406-414. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.11.002. (link )

Brundiers, K. and H. Eakin. 2018. Leveraging post-disaster windows of opportunities for change toward sustainability: A framework. Sustainability 10(3):1390. DOI: 10.3390/su10051390. (link )


Brundiers, K. and A. D. Wiek. 2017. Beyond interpersonal competence: Teaching and learning professional skills in sustainability. Education Sciences 7(1):Art. 39. DOI: 10.3390/educsci7010039. (link )


Bernstein, M. J., A. Wiek, K. Brundiers, K. Pearson, A. Garinger, B. Kay and A. Golub. 2016. Mitigating urban sprawl effects: A collaborative tree and shade intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 21(4):414-431. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2014.965672. (link )


Wiek, A., A. Xiong, K. Brundiers and S. E. van der Leeuw. 2014. Integrating problem- and project-based learning into sustainability programs: A case study on the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 15(4):431-449. DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-02-2013-0013. (link )


Brundiers, K. and A. Wiek. 2013. Do we teach what we preach? An international comparison of problem- and project-based learning courses in sustainability. Sustainability 5(4):1725-1746. DOI: 10.3390/su5041725. (link )

Brundiers, K., A. Wiek and B. Kay. 2013. The role of transacademic interface managers in transformational sustainability research and education. Sustainability 5(11):4614-4636. DOI: 10.3390/su5114614. (link )


Brundiers, K. and A. D. Wiek. 2011. Educating students in real-world sustainability research: Vision and implementation. Innovative Higher Education 36(2):107-124. DOI: 10.1007/s10755-010-9161-9. (link )


Brundiers, K., A. D. Wiek and C. L. Redman. 2010. Real-world learning opportunities in sustainability — from classroom into the real-world. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 11(4):308-324. (link )

Wiek, A. D., R. Ries, L. Thabrew, K. Brundiers and A. Wickramasinghe. 2010. Challenges of sustainable recovery processes in tsunami affected communities. Disaster Prevention and Management 19(4):423-437.

Wiek, A. D., R. Ries, L. Thabrew, K. Brundiers and A. Wickramasinghe. 2010. Challenges of sustainable recovery processes in tsunami affected communities. Disaster Prevention and Management 19(4):423-437. (link )


Brundiers, K. and A. Odermatt. 2002. Analyzing social spatial processes of integration and disintegration by examining the local housing market. A case study of Beirut, Lebanon. The Arab World Geographer 5(4):209-231.


In Press

Brundiers, K., B. Kay and T. Foucrier. Professional Skills for Sustainability – An Introduction to Communication, Teamwork, Project Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Self-Management, and Continuous Learning. School of Sustainability. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Book Chapters


Brundiers, K. 2018. Seizing opportunities for change towards sustainability during disaster recovery -- the case of Aceh, Indonesia. Pp. 217-243 In: Paton, D. and S. Sagala eds., Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia: Environmental, Social, and Cultural Aspects. Charles C. Thomas - Publisher, Itd. Springfield, IL. ISBN: 978-0398092276.


Brundiers, K., E. Savage, S. Mannell, D. J. Lang and A. Wiek. 2014. Educating sustainability change agents by design: Appraisals of the transformative role of higher education. Pp. 196-229 In: Fadeeva, Z., L. Galkute, C. Mader, G. Scott and S. Mohun eds., Sustainable Development and Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Transformation of Learning and Society. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-1-137-45914-5.



Brundiers, K., B. B. Cutts, E. Cardenas, B. J. Pompeii, D. C. Ibes and S. Deitrick. 2009. Contributing more than research! Mapping DCDC's Community of Graduate Research Students (CGS). Poster presented on May 6, 2009 at the Community of Undergraduate/Graduate Research Scholars (COURS) Poster Session, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Brundiers, K. and P. Gober. 2009. DCDC (Decision Center for a Desert City) A boundary organization enhancing science-society collaboration for a sustainable water future. Poster presented at the Water Resources Research Center 2009 Annual Conference. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, March 17, 2009.



Brundiers, K. and A. D. Wiek. 2014. Moving foward on sustainability curricula. Presentation at the Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference, March 25, 2014, Tucson, Arizona.


Brundiers, K. and A. D. Wiek. 2011. Do we teach what we preach? Evaluating transdisciplinary, problem based learning projects in sustainability programs. Paper presented at 14-16 September 2011 Implementation in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research, Practice and Teaching, Td-net Conference 2011. (link )


Brundiers, K., G. M. Garfin, G. Basile, R. Bark and R. Quay. 2010. Moving beyond predictions: An integrative approach to downscaling and robust decision making. Presented October 15, 2010 at the International Conference on Urbanization and Global Environmental Change. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Brundiers, K., G. M. Garfin, P. Gober, G. Basile and R. H. Bark. 2010. Collaborative research for water resource management under climate change conditions. Presented December 13, 2010 at the 2010 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.


Brundiers, K. 2009. The Decision Center for a Desert City: Integrated and long-term decision making for water sustainability. Presented December 11, 2009 at the Water Innovation Consortium of ASU and TEC Monterrey, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.



Beaudoin, F. and K. Brundiers. 2017. A Guide for Applied Sustainability Learning Projects: Advancing Sustainability Outcomes on Campus and in the Community. Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. (link )

Thesis (PhD)


Brundiers, K. 2016. Disasters as Opportunities for Change Towards Sustainability. PhD Dissertation. Arizona State University. (link )

Outstanding Graduate Student Mention, Arizona State University, 2016

Outstanding Paper Award, Emerald Literati Network, 2015

Dean's Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2013

President's Award for Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2009