Erin Upton, Ph.D.

Social Science Researcher & Writer
Portland, Oregon

About Me

I love to dig deep into the exploration and storytelling of relationships between people and place. 

I am passionate about understanding the rich human dimensions of complex environmental challenges. I am committed to applied interdisciplinary approaches, the co-production of knowledge, and elevating diverse community voices.

As a consultant with Dialogues in Action, I lead research and evaluation projects. In this work, I use methods of qualitative inquiry to help organization and agency partners deepen capacity and better understand the impacts of their efforts. My research interests include larger themes about resilience, transformation, community, and connection.

I have a Ph.D. from Portland State University's School of the Environment and Department of Environmental Science & Management in Portland, Oregon. My research examines water and climate change resilience in agricultural wine regions. I have conducted environmental and social science research in North America, South Africa, and Australia, and presented my work in Australia, the U.S., Canada, and Brazil. 

My research explores climate change resiliency, social-ecological systems dynamics,

decision-making about water and land, and sustainable futures in working landscapes.


I have a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia and have worked as a landscape architect in New York City, as well as in management in the wine industry in Oregon. I am a Fellow of the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Trainee (IGERT) program, and a Fellow of the Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) for International Research. 


2022- present

Research Scholar

Ronin Institute


Associate Consultant, Research & Evaluation

Dialogues in Action

Portland, Oregon



4 Revolutions Co-Creative Ecosystem Group

Food/Water/Resources/Energy & Climate Change

Global Project- North American Team

2019- 2020

Social Science Researcher

Clackamas County Soil & Water Conservation District




Social Science Research Assistant

Portland State University

Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Clackamas River Water Providers

Clackamas County Water Environment Services




Direct Sales/Operations Manager

Anne Amie Vineyards




Landscape Architect

Dirtworks PC

New York City



Programs Administrator

American Academy in Rome

New York City


Parks and Nature Bond Oversight Committee Member

2021- ongoing

Metro Regional Government, Oregon

Vice President of the Board

Ecoseva Institute


Technical Advisory Committee Member


Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon 


2020- Ph.D. Earth, Environment, & Society

Portland State University, Oregon


2007- Master of Landscape Architecture

University of British Columbia, Canada


2006- Landscape Architecture (exchange)

Wageningen University, Netherlands


2001- Bachelor of Arts

University of Oregon, Oregon


2000- Political Science (exchange)

University of Lyon, France


National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrated Graduate Education Research Trainee (IGERT) Fellow

Portland State University

Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions

Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Fellow & Sylff Research Abroad Grant Recipient

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