Urbano Fra Paleo, B.A. Hons. Geography (Santiago de Compostela), Ph.D. Geography (Santiago de Compostela, 1996), also holds a Diploma in Environmental Engineering from the EOI Business School and is a certified Geomatics Specialist (GIS/LIS).
Urbano Fra is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Extremadura in Spain, currently on leave at the Land Laboratory (LaboraTe) of the University of Santiago de Compostela since 2007. He is Visiting Professor at the University for Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica. He worked at the US Geological Survey in Denver (1995) and Hawai’i (1999), and was Research Associate at The Environment Institute of the University of Denver (1996). In 2005 he was Fellow of the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Dr. Fra has performed fieldwork in the United States, Mexico and Morocco, and taught at the University of Köln, Germany (2003), University of Marburg, Germany, (2002), University of Iceland, Iceland (2001) and Fachhochschule Neubrandenburg, Germany (1997). His research interests lie in risk governance, particularly the development of criteria and methods to perform collaborative evaluation. His research is also focused on the analysis of strategies of mitigation and adaptation to risk from natural hazards.
His most recent works include the editing of the books Building safer communities. Governance, spatial planning, and responses to natural hazards (IOS Press, 2009), and Riesgos naturales en Galicia El encuentro entre naturaleza y sociedad (University of Santiago de Compostela Press, 2010), a review of the interaction between natural hazards and societal processes in northwestern Spain. He currently is editing the book Risk governance: The articulation of hazard, politics and ecology for Springer. Urbano Fra has been involved in the European Virtual Seminar on sustainable development through a European-wide university partnership. He is a member of the group that is developing the evaluation tool AISHE 2.0, contributing with criteria and methods for the evaluation of sustainability in higher education.
He currently is member of the Spanish Scientific Committee of International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), of the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Risk Governance (IRG) Project, of the Disaster Risk Reduction Thematic Group, Commission on Ecosystem Management, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), project associate of the Project Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC), and is Senior Research Fellow of the IHDP Earth System Governance.
In 2009 Urbano Fra received the Innovation Award from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and the same year was honored with the Sustainable Actions in Social Entrepreneurship Award from the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Jaime Vera Foundation for distinguished contributions in introducing young students to science research.
He serves on the editorial board of the Chinese Geographical Science Journal.