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Samuel Markolf

Samuel Markolf

SETS Postdoctoral Fellow, Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network

Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875402
Tempe, AZ 85287-5402


  • SETS Postdoctoral Fellow, Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network


Dr. Sam Markolf received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and his PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. The topic of his dissertation was “Climate Change Decision-Making at the Metropolitan Level: Current Estimates and Future Drivers of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in U.S. Metropolitan Areas.” His general interests include sustainable planning and decision making at the urban level, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and urban systems engineering.

Sam is now a fellow within the UREx SRN and Arizona State University’s Julie Anne Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and his research primarily focuses on the integration of Social-Ecological-Technical Systems (SETS) in urban areas. In particular, he is investigating how SETS solutions can be implemented to enhance the long-term sustainability of urban environments and their resilience to extreme events caused by climate change. Sam is also exploring the temporal dynamics of urban infrastructure systems in response to historical extreme events, and working with colleagues to develop novel methods for spatially visualizing and analyzing the impacts of climate change.

When not working on ways to enhance the sustainability and resiliency of our cities, Sam is most likely travelling, hiking, biking, playing and watching sports (especially basketball and soccer), or enjoying the company of his friends and family.


  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2015
  • BS, Civil Engineering, The University of Texas-Austin, 2011

Journal Articles


Chester, M., S. A. Markolf and B. R. Allenby. 2019. Infrastructure and the environment in the Anthropocene. Journal of Industrial Ecology jiec.12848. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12848. (link )

Gilrein, E. J., T. M. Carvalhaes, S. A. Markolf, M. Chester, B. R. Allenby and M. Garcia. 2019. Concepts and practices for transforming infrastructure from rigid to adaptable. Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure 1-22. DOI: 10.1080/23789689.2019.1599608. (link )

Markolf, S. A., C. Hoehne, A. M. Fraser, M. Chester and S. Underwood. 2019. Transportation resilience to climate change and extreme weather events -- beyond risk and robustness. Transport Policy 74(Feb):174-186. DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2018.11.003. (link )


Markolf, S. A., M. Chester, D. A. Eisenberg, D. M. Iwaniec, C. I. Davidson, R. Zimmerman, T. R. Miller, B. L. Ruddell and H. Chang. 2018. Interdependent Infrastructure as Linked Social, Ecological, and Technological Systems (SETSs) to Address Lockā€in and Enhance Resilience. Earth's Future 6(12):1638-1659. DOI: 10.1029/2018EF000926. (link )


Markolf, S. A., K. Klima and T. L. Wong. 2015. Adaptation frameworks used by US decision-makers: A literature review. Environment Systems and Decisions 35(4):427-436. DOI: 10.1007/s10669-015-9572-3. (link )



Helmrich, A., E. J. Gilrein, S. A. Markolf, K. Shannon and M. Chester. 2019. The past, present, and future of design storms. Poster presented at the 21st Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, January 11, 2019, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Markolf, S. A., M. Chester, T. R. Miller, D. Eisenberg, R. Zimmerman, C. I. Davidson and T. P. Seager. 2018. Infrastructure as linked social, ecological, and technological Systems (SETS) to address lock-in and improve resilience. Poster presented at the 20th CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, January 5, 2018, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Markolf, S. A., Y. Depietri, M. Smith, P. T. McPhearson and M. Chester. 2017. Understanding the impact of historical extreme events on the development of urban infrastructure. Poster presented at the 2nd Annual UREx SRN All Hands Meeting, New York, NY.



Markolf, S. A., M. Chester and A. Fraser. 2018. Failure modes within energy, water and ICT infrastructure systems: An assessment of direct and indirect pathways of disruption posed by climate change and extreme events. Presentation at the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems & Technology, June 25-28, 2018, Buffalo, NY. (link )

Markolf, S. A., C. Hoehne, A. Fraser, S. Underwood and M. Chester. 2018. Resilience of transportation systems under climate change -- beyond risk and robustness. Presentation at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Bard, January 7-11, 2018, Washington, DC. (link )


Markolf, S. A. 2017. Sociological-ecological-technological (SETS): A conceptual framework for understanding infrastructure. Presentation at the Resilience Summit, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Markolf, S. A., M. Chester, A. Fraser and C. Hoehne. 2017. Maintaining reliability of transportation systems and interdependent infrastructure under climate change. Presentation at the ISIE-ISSST 2017: Science in Support of Sustainable and Resilient Communities, June 25-29, 2017, Chicago, IL. (link )

Zimmerman, R., C. L. Redman and S. A. Markolf. 2017. Social responses to infrastructure impacts of extreme events. Presentation at the NYU Paris Conference, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure History and the Social Sciences, New York University, Paris, France.

Conference Papers


Markolf, S. A., C. Hoehne, A. Fraser and M. Chester. 2017. Maintaining reliability of transportation systems and interconnected infrastructure under climate change. Pp. 219-230 Proceedings of the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2017. International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2017. October 26-28, 2017, New York, NY. (link )