For more than 40 years, James Fawcett has been a man with one foot on land and the other in the sea. As a faculty member and researcher in the fields of marine and urban policy at the University of Southern California, he directs Marine Science and Policy Outreach for the Sea Grant Program, a unit of USC’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. He holds concurrent appointments as adjunct associate professor in USC’s Price School of Public Policy and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, teaching in the areas of public policy and environmental policy.
His link to the ocean started in 1968 when for three years he served in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer and ship driver in the Western Pacific, much of it in Southeast Asia. Familiarity with that part of the world continues as he lectures frequently in Taiwan and Korea with occasional visits to Hong Kong, Singapore and China. An urbanist favoring the coast and its uses, his interests have been in intergovernmental relations, especially the intersection of economic and environmental interests in the areas of land use, coastal management and marine policy. Much of his current work is focused on seaport policy and marine transportation as the industry confronts issues of infrastructure concentration, economic development and environmental externalities in an era of rapid change.
For a while in the 90s he took a hiatus from USC to join the public sector as chief of planning for the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, returning to academe after nine years of serving the public. Drawing on his expertise as an urbanist, he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal. He is also the past international president of the honorary land economics society, Lambda Alpha International, now serving on its executive committee.
He and his wife, Nancy, have resided in the Rancho Park neighborhood of Los Angeles for the past 35 years. Dr. Fawcett holds both Ph.D. and master’s degrees in urban planning from USC and an undergraduate degree in political science from California State University, Northridge.