Urban Alternatives

Extended Biography

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University of California at Irvine
Ph.D. Social Science

University of California at Irvine
M.A. Social Science

Niagara University
B.S. Mathematics (Magnacum laude)



International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)




Dr. Marks is Senior Project Coordinator with Urban Alternatives. He is a social scientist with over twenty-five years’ experience in developing and implementing public information, outreach and involvement programs. He has significant experience in large-scale, politically sensitive and technically complex projects in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Marks has served as project manager of public involvement for the preparation of the City of Santa Rosa’s Long-Term Wastewater Project EIR/EIS — one of the most complex and sophisticated environmental documentation efforts in California history. He is currently serving as public involvement consultant for the alternative selection phase of that project. He has managed several public information/involvement programs in support of Sacramento County Public Works Agency projects, including two landfill gas control projects, a regional wastewater management plan, a flood control plan and a county corporation yard expansion project. Currently, Dr. Marks is assisting the County with a public involvement program for the Kiefer Landfill Expansion Project. Other significant recent experience includes managing public information/involvement programs in support of a Chloramine Conversion Project for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, a $30 million Wastewater Facilities Bond Election for the City of Benicia, California, and a Regional Wastewater Master Plan for Washoe County and the cities of Reno and Sparks, Nevada.

Dr. Marks has also managed public involvement/information programs for or provided consulting assistance to: wastewater master planning efforts in the City of Napa and in Orange County, California; non-point source pollution control planning in Santa Clara County, California; and a state-mandated hazardous waste management planning project and program EIR in San Francisco. Prior to UA’s involvement, Southeast area neighborhood interests in San Francisco had vetoed a draft hazardous waste management plan because of inadequate public outreach and consultation by the City during the plan’s development. Dr. Marks designed and developed a revised public involvement program and facilitated plan revision workshops with affected neighborhoods which got the process back on track, eventually resulting in an approved hazardous waste management plan and certified EIR for San Francisco.

In addition, Dr. Marks served as UA’s project manager for the design and implementation of a public information and involvement program for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ development of a county-wide solid waste management plan. He also provided public information/participation program support services for over a dozen community development projects being carried out by the City of Phoenix Planning Department.



Prior to his association with Urban Alternatives, Dr. Marks planned and managed public information and participation activities for the California Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Program. He was also responsible for the development of hazardous waste management plans (HWMPs) and the preparation of HWMP environmental analyses for Mono and Santa Clara Counties in California. He designed and conducted a public information program for the U.S. Postal Service, banks, and the national headquarters of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers on recognizing signs of potentially hazardous waste contamination on real property.

Previously, Dr. Marks was Director of Public Participation for the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program in Alberta, Canada. As a consultant to Alberta’s Department of the Environment, he planned and managed this four-year program, which involved over 200 communities and 10,000 participants, in strategic water and wastewater planning and management for a 50,000 square-mile river basin. Some of his other public outreach/involvement experience includes: developing and directing a large-scale community legal services program in central British Columbia; organizational development consulting for human service and educational organizations; and conference organizing. Dr. Marks has presented papers on public information and participation at international conferences in North America and Europe. In 1988, Dr. Marks co-taught a course on public participation at the University of San Francisco.




Public Information/Involvement Needs Assessments/Plans:

Kiefer Landfill Expansion Project and Supplemental EIR, for the County of Sacramento Public Works Agency, Waste Management and Recycling Division, 1997.

Regional Wastewater Facilities Master Plan, for Washoe County and the cities of Reno and Sparks, 1996.

Santa Rosa Long-Term Wastewater Project EIR/EIS, for the City of Santa Rosa, California, 1993.

Kiefer Landfill Expansion/Buffer Acquisition, for the County Sacramento Public Works Agency, Solid Waste Management Division, 1992.

Non-Point Source Pollution Control and Reduction Program, for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, 1990.

Solid Waste Management Action Plan for Los Angeles County, for the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, 1989.


Professional Reports:

Final Scoping Report and Feedback Report on Public Input During the Formal Scoping Period: Santa Rosa/Subregional Long-Term Wastewater Project EIR/EIS, for the City of Santa Rosa, California (with Harland Bartholomew and Associates), 1995.

Veto Vulnerability Analysis for a Proposed Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility, for the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 1995.



Marks, J.V. A Review of Public Involvement and Social Impact Assessment, Daneke, G.A., Garcia, M.W. and Delli Priscoll, J., eds. IAIA Bulletin, 6, 103-106, 1988.

Marks, J.V. Public Involvement in Forward Planning for River Basin Management: The Case of the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, Utrecht, The Netherlands. In Becker, H.A. and Porter, A., (eds.), Impact Assessment Today, (Vol. 1), pp. 227-249. Utrecht, The Netherlands; Uitgeverly Jan van Arkel, 1986.

Marks, J.V. Using the Water Resources Management Simulator to Involve the Public in the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program. Presentation at conferences of the International Association for Impact Assessment, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1986.

Marks, J.V. Vetting Long-Range Planning Options with the Public: The Case of the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program. Social Impact Assessment, 90/92, pp. 8-15. Reprinted in Constructive Citizen Participation, 12, 3, pp. 3-5, 1984.

Alberta Environment, Planning Division. South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program; Summary Report. Calgary, Alberta: Author, 1984.

Marks, J.V., (Ed.) South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Program: The Public’s Water Use Objectives (4 vols). Calgary, Alberta: Alberta Environment, Planning Division, 1984.

Teal, R.F., Marks, J.V., and Goodhue, R. Subsidized Shared-Ride Taxi Services. Paper presented at the 59th Annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 1980. (Pyke Johnson Award, Transportation Research Board: Outstanding Paper of 1980 in the field of transportation systems planning and administration, Washington, D.C., 1981.)

Teal, R.F., Fielding, G.J., Giuliano, G., Marks, J.V. and Goodhue, R. Shared-Ride Taxi Services as Community Public Transit (Report to the Urban Mass Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, #CA-110017). Irvine, California: Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, 1980.

Marks, J.V. Toward a Social-Change Technology: An Action-Research Approach to Planning Community Education and Organization in a Legal Services Program (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, 1979). Dissertation Abstracts International, 1980, 40, 4771-A. (University Microfilms No. 8002315)

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