Katja Brundiers

Learning Enterprise Scholar 2022–2024
Clinical Assistant Professor
ASU School of Sustainability

Tempe Campus


Katja Brundiers (she/her) is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. 

Professor Brundiers' first line of work explores how efforts related to disaster management, resilience, and sustainability can be integrated to reduce disaster risk and advance sustainability. She investigates disasters as opportunities for change towards sustainability, building off her research experiences in Aceh, Indonesia; Christchurch, New Zealand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Utuado, Puerto Rico, and Tempe, Arizona. Her current research investigates how to leverage change processes in normal times and post-disaster times in order to advance sustainability, specifically in the context of extreme heat. 

In her other line of work, sustainability education, Katja's research and teaching relates to whole-person and project-based educational approaches, sustainability competencies and professional skill development, as well as collaborative methods supporting knowledge co-creation among students and practitioners. She employs these approaches in campus or community projects (Living Labs or Applied Learning for Sustainability), drawing on her previous work as head of seed-sustainability at the ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and as a sustainability consultant to the University of British Columbia (Canada). 


Ph.D. Sustainability, Arizona State University 2016

M.Sc. Geography, Cultural Anthropology, and Agriculture and Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland 2003


Holladay, P., Méndez Lázaro, & Brundiers, K. (2021, in press). From hurricanes to pandemics: community-based transformation and destination resilience in Utuado, Puerto Rico. Journal of Sustainability and Resilience.

Bhagavathula, S., Brundiers, K., Stauffacher, M. & Kay, B. (2021, in press). Fostering collaboration in city governments’ sustainability, emergency management and resilience work through competency-based capacity building. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Brundiers, K., Barth, M., Cebrián Bernat, G., Cohen, M., Diaz, L., et al. (2021). Key competencies in sustainability in higher education – towards an agreed-upon reference framework. Sustainability Science, 16, 13–29. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-020-00838-2 

Brundiers, K. (2020). Leveraging Disasters for Sustainable Development. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 62(1), 15-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/00139157.2020.1687226  

Brundiers, K. & H. Eakin. (2018). Leveraging post-disaster windows of opportunities for change towards sustainability – A framework. Sustainability, 10(5), 1390; DOI: 10.3390/su10051390 (link

Brundiers, K. (2018). Disasters as opportunities for sustainability: The case of Christchurch, New Zealand. Sustainability Science 13(4), 1075–1091, DOI: 10.1007/s11625-017-0523-4 (link

Brundiers, K. (2018). Educating for post-disaster sustainability efforts. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 27, 406-414; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.11.002 (link

Brundiers, K. and A. D. Wiek. (2017). Beyond interpersonal competence: Teaching and learning professional skills in sustainability. Education Sciences 7(1):Art. 39. DOI: 10.3390/educsci7010039. (link )

Bernstein, M. J., A. Wiek, K. Brundiers, K. Pearson, A. Garinger, B. Kay and A. Golub. (2016). Mitigating urban sprawl effects: A collaborative tree and shade intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 21(4):414-431. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2014.965672. (link )

Wiek, A., Xiong, A., Brundiers, K. and van der Leeuw, S. E. (2014). Integrating problem- and project-based learning into sustainability programs: A case study on the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 15(4):431-449. DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-02-2013-0013. (link )

Brundiers, K. and A. Wiek. (2013). Do we teach what we preach? An international comparison of problem- and project-based learning courses in sustainability. Sustainability 5(4):1725-1746. DOI: 10.3390/su5041725. (link )

Brundiers, K., A. Wiek and B. Kay. (2013). The role of transacademic interface managers in transformational sustainability research and education. Sustainability 5(11):4614-4636. DOI: 10.3390/su5114614. (link )

Brundiers, K. and A. Wiek. (2011). Educating students in real-world sustainability research: Vision and implementation. Innovative Higher Education 36(2):107-124. DOI: 10.1007/s10755-010-9161-9. (link )

Brundiers, K., Wiek, A., and C. L. Redman. (2010). Real-world learning opportunities in sustainability — from classroom into the real-world. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 11(4):308-324. (link )

Wiek, A., Ries, R., Thabrew, L., Brundiers K., and A. Wickramasinghe. (2010). Challenges of sustainable recovery processes in tsunami affected communities. Disaster Prevention and Management 19(4):423-437. (link )

Brundiers, K. and A. Odermatt. (2002). Analyzing social spatial processes of integration and disintegration by examining the local housing market. A case study of Beirut, Lebanon. The Arab World Geographer 5(4):209-231.

Research Activity: 

Cool Kids, Cool Places, Cool Futures: Community-based, arts-enhanced, and youth-focused approach for equitable urban cooling and emergency management. (Link to website)
Braden Kay, (PI) and Arizona State University: Paul Coseo, Katja Brundiers (Co-PIs). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $584,886. 2020-2023.

Exploring agritourism to increase agricultural sustainability and resilience in Utuado, Puerto Rico. (Link to website)
Patrick J. Holladay (PI), Troy University; Pablo A. Méndez Lázaro, University of Puerto Rico; Katja Brundiers, Arizona State University (Co-PIs), USDA Sustainable Agriculture Education and Research, $300,000. 2020-2023. 

Heat Maps for Decision-Making in Tempe. (Link to website)
Braden Kay (PI), Paul Coseo, Katja Brundiers, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel, David Hondula (Co-PIs); Healthy Urban Environments (HUE), Arizona State University, Tempe. $28,750. 2020-2021. 

Developing Consensus on Program-Level Learning Objectives Related to Key Competencies in Sustainability in Higher Education (Delphi Study). Global Council for Science and the Environment. School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe. $3,000, 2018-2020.

Expertise Areas




Sustainability Science and Studies

Sustainability Transformation

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Disaster Recovery


Window of Opportunity