Texas Sea Grant Welcomes New Planning Research Associate

June 5, 2018

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

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 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.

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.