Peter J. Crank
Peter J. Crank is an assistant professor in the OSU Department of Geography. An urban geographer and climatologist who received his PhD in Geography from Arizona State University (ASU), he studies urban climate and impacts of neighborhood scale urban design on microclimates and human health. His work is centered in hot cities, including Singapore and Phoenix as well as the Southern Plains. In Singapore, he worked with the Cooling Singapore 2.0 project with SEC-ETH and Singapore Management University. At ASU, Peter worked in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Urban Climate Research Center, the Design School, and the Health Urban Environments Initiative on various projects in the U.S. examining extreme heat and air quality impacts on the elderly, neighborhood planning and design, city park designs, and school renovations through field measurements, remotely sensed measurement via helicopter, and numerical modeling. Peter has a B.S. degree in broadcast meteorology (television) from Mississippi State University (MSU) before pursuing degrees in applied climate and geography at MSU (M.S.) and Ph.D. (ASU).
Peter’s research seeks to address questions of modelling urban spaces to understand the impact urban climate mitigation strategies have on the thermal environment as well as on all facets of human health (from physical heat stress to psychological disorders). His work has spanned across several U.S. cities in the Sunbelt, including Jackson (MS), Houston (TX), Phoenix (AZ), and Los Angeles (CA) in addition to work in Singapore.
In his teaching, Peter focuses on tangible, applied impacts of weather, climate, and geography to support the people and communities around him. The goal of teaching is to help others think critically about how cities and human activity have and will impact the environment as well as the environment’s impact on humans. Thus, great care is taken when mentoring to ensure that students are able to write, communicate, and think critically and independently. Further, the wellbeing of the student as well as the community are prioritized in any research setting.