Michael Urban

Michael Urban
Interim Chair
230 Stewart Hall

Ph.D., Geography, University of Illinois

M.S., Geography, University of Oklahoma

B.A., Geography, Elmhurst College

Research Interests

Physical and cultural dynamics of landscape change, historical patterns of resource perception and environmental change, recovery of streams following channelization and modification events, philosophical issues in geography and geomorphology


Emphasis:  fluvial geomorphology, anthropogenic landscape change, application of environmental ethics in environmental management

Select Publications

Urban, Michael A. 2018. “In Defense of Crappy Landscapes: Re-Framing Physical Geography in Anthropogenic Landscapes.” In Handbook of Critical Physical Geography, edited by Rebecca Lave, Christine Biermann, and Stuart Lane. Palgrave.

Sunde, Michael G., Hong S. He, Jason A. Hubbard, and Michael A. Urban. 2017. “Integrating Downscaled CMIP5 Data with a Physically-Based Hydrologic Model to Estimate Potential Climate Change Impacts on Streamflow Processes in a Mixed-Use Watershed.” Hydrological Processes 31: 1790–1803.

Li, Yingkui, and Michael A. Urban. 2016. “Introduction: Water Resource Variability and Climate Change.” Water 8 (August 17, 2016): 348–.

Li, Yingkui, and Michael A. Urban. Eds. 2016. Water Resource Variability and Climate Change. MDPI Books: 378pp, ISBN 978-3-03842-244-0.

Urban, Michael A. 2013. Philosophy and Theory in Geomorphology, in Treatise on Geomorphology - Volume 1, ed. Sack, D. 124-129. New York: Elsevier. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00008-7

Urban, Michael A. 2013. Contributor to 2nd Edition Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change. Ed. J.A. Matthews. Arnold. 

Chin, Anne, Laura R. Laurencio, Melinda D. Daniels, Ellen Wohl, Michael A. Urban, Kathryn Boyer, Anya Butt, Herve Piegay, K.J. Gregory. 2012. The Significance of perceptions and feedbacks effectively managing wood in rivers. River Research and ApplicationsDOI 10.1002/rra.2617.

Cowell, C.M. and Michael A. Urban. 2010. The changing geography of the US water budget: 20th century patterns and 21st century projections. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, special issue on Climate Change. DOI 10.1080/00045608.2010.497117

Urban, Michael A. 2010. Contributor to The Encyclopedia of Geography,  ed. Barney Warf.  925-927. London: Sage.

Chin, Anne., Melinda D. Daniels, Michael A. Urban, Herve Piegay, Kenneth J. Gregory, Wendy Bigler, Kathryn Boyer, Anya Butt, Judith Grable, Stanley V. Gregory, Martin LaFrenz, Laura R. Laurencio, and Ellen Wohl. 2008. Perceptions of Wood in Rivers and Challenges for Stream Restoration in the United States. Environmental Management. 41 (6): 893-903.

Rice, Glenn, and Michael A. Urban. 2006. Where is River City, USA? Measuring community attachment to the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Journal of Cultural Geography 24 (1): 1-35. 10.1080/08873630709478215.

Urban, Michael A., Melinda Daniels and Martin Doyle. 2006. Editor, Geomorphology Special Issue - Linking Geomorphology and Ecology 77 (3-4).

Urban, Michael A., and Melinda Daniels. 2006. Exploring the links between Geomorphology and Ecology. Geomorphology Special Issue - Linking Geomorphology and Ecology, ed. M.A. Urban, M. Daniels, and M. Doyle. 77 (3-4): 203-206.

Urban, Michael A. 2005. An uninhabited waste: The transformation of environmental imagery and the Grand Prairie through agricultural drainage in nineteenth century Champaign County, Illinois. Journal of Historical Geography. 31 (4): 647-665.

Urban, Michael A. 2005. Values and ethical beliefs regarding agricultural drainage in central Illinois. Society and Natural Resources. 18 (2): 1-17.

Urban, Michael A. and Bruce L. Rhoads. 2003. Catastrophic human-induced change in stream channel planform and geometry in an agricultural watershed, Illinois, USA. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 93 (4): 783-796.

Wilson, David, Michael A. Urban, Marta Graves, and Dawn Morrison. 2003. Beyond the economic: Farmer practices and identities in central Illinois, USA. The Great Lakes Geographer. 10 (1): 21-33.

Urban, Michael A. 2002. Conceptualizing anthropogenic change in fluvial systems: Drainage development on the Upper Embarras River, Illinois. The Professional Geographer. 54 (2): 204-217.

Urban, Michael A. and Bruce L. Rhoads. 2003. Conceptions of Nature: Implications for an Integrated Geography, in Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography: From What to Why?, ed. S.T. Trudgill and A. Roy. 211-231. London: Edward Arnold.

Rhoads, Bruce L., David Wilson, Michael A. Urban, and Edwin E. Herricks. 1999. Interaction between scientists and nonscientists in community-based watershed management: Emergence of the concept of stream naturalization. Environmental Management. 24: 297-308.

Rhoads, Bruce L., and Michael A. Urban. 1997. Human-induced geomorphic change in low-energy agricultural streams: An example from east-central Illinois. In Management of landscapes disturbed by channel incision: Proceedings of the Conference on Management of Landscapes Disturbed by Channel Incision, Oxford, MS, May 19-23, 1997, edited by Sam S. Y. Wang, Eddy J. Langendoen, and F. Douglas Shields Jr., 968-76. Oxford, MS: The University of Mississippi.