Texas Sea Grant Welcomes New Planning Research Associate

June 05, 2019

By Kimber De Salvo

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Matthew Malecha, a Texas A&M University PhD student in urban and regional sciences, joined Texas Sea Grant as the program’s research associate for resiliency planning.

Malecha headshot

Malecha worked for several years as a graduate research assistant at the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a collaborative member with Texas Sea Grant in the Community Resilience Collaborative. There, Malecha’s research focused on how plans and polices affect community resilience to natural hazards and how communities can effectively adapt to growing risks and changing conditions.

At Texas A&M University’s Institute for Sustainable Communities, Malecha helped develop the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard (PIRS) method and PIRS guidebook. The PIRS tool is used to evaluate how plan documents and policies work together with respect to land use and flood vulnerability. Malecha brings his expertise with PIRS to implement and build a PIRS training program at Texas Sea Grant. This effort will assist Texas Sea Grant’s focus on building resilience in Texas coastal communities through improved plan integration.

“I'm excited to be part of the Texas Sea Grant team and to contribute to the important work of strengthening community resilience to natural hazards by connecting science and practice. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to implement the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard (PIRS) in vulnerable Texas communities,” Malecha says.

Matthew Malecha (standing) answers a question asked by community stakeholders during a Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard workshop session. (Photo credit: Siyu Yu)

Malecha has an extensive background in planning. Before moving to Texas, Malecha worked as a senior policy planner for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of arts degree in geography and history from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Photo (left): Matthew Malecha (standing) answers a question asked by community stakeholders during a Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard workshop session. (Photo credit: Siyu Yu)

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.