Obituary: Professor Greg G. Brown

Very sad news. Our former colleague Greg Brown passed away on 2 January 2020 in California.

He was part of the UQ Planning program from 2011 to 2016 when he moved back to the US to become Professor and Head of the Department of Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University.

At UQ, Greg was Head of the Planning program and also Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee. He provided effective and fair leadership and was a creative thinker. He was a very generous colleague, always ready to support his peers and students. As one of our colleagues recently mentioned, ‘he was truly one in a million’. His departure from UQ left a big void.

Greg taught and conducted research on environmental planning and policy. As a teacher, he was one of the most accomplished teachers in our School and his students were grateful to him for his dedication, passion and engaging lectures. As a researcher, he was a prolific writer and became globally known for his research and contribution to PPGIS (Public Participation Geographic Information Systems). He founded the online Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute to facilitate global research and communication about participatory spatial planning methods.

His contribution to this area of knowledge was immense and he was one of the most cited researchers in this field.

As a mentor, he was known as one of the best and practised an ‘open door’ policy where everyone was welcome to his office to have a conversation and ask for advice at any time. He always tried his utmost to help and offer solutions. Many of us would not have managed to navigate the complexity of ‘academic life’ without his advice and support.

In Australia, he loved walking everywhere, in the city and in the bush. He also loved talking to kangaroos, eating three red apples for lunch and enjoying a bottle of ‘Little Creatures’ in the evening with friends and family.

He was a wonderful and generous colleague, mentor, friend, father and husband. We all need more Greg’s in our lives. He will be greatly missed.



4 thoughts on “Obituary: Professor Greg G. Brown

  1. Very sad. Greg will chat you in the tea room on Mondays to find more about what GPEM Postgraduate students were up to and we were progressing with work. He told me to come and speak to him anytime about my work. He wanted to visit Ghana. He told me his children came from Africa. He loves everyone. Greg rest well with your maker.

  2. Dear friends and colleagues of Greg Brown,
    As you may know, Greg passed away earlier this year. His kind and generous spirit, expressed in his roles as a wonderful teacher, mentor, colleague, father, and husband continue to inspire those who knew him. Greg launched his career at the University of Idaho where he earned his PhD from the College of Natural Resources (CNR). As the U of I and Moscow always held special meaning for Greg, it seems fitting to honor his memory here. You are invited to contribute to a fund to plant a tree in the University of Idaho Arboretum in Greg’s honor. Any contributions in excess of the cost of the tree planting will be used to grow the Conservation without Borders Scholarship, originally set up in memory of CNR Professor Bill McLaughlin and to honor CNR Professor Nick Sanyal. We miss Greg, but his tree will thrive, and the scholarship will support like-minded students to carry on the work that he began.
    To make a donation please mail a check to:

    University of Idaho
    College of Natural Resources
    c/o Brittany Harrington
    875 Perimeter Drive, MS-1142
    Moscow, Idaho, 83844-1142

    Checks should be made out to “University of Idaho Foundation” with “In Honor of Greg Brown” in the memo line. If your name and address are included (on the check or in a separate note), the UI Foundation will send you an acknowledgement and receipt.

    Thank you.

    For more information or questions, you may contact Nancy Holmes:

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