Dr. Berneece Herbert currently serves as the Interim Chair and Program Coordinator for the Department of Community & Regional Planning (DCRP) at Alabama A&M University. She oversees two PAB accredited Planning programs: the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and the Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning. Berneece also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Liberal Studies program and SACS Assessment Coordinator. As the Interim Chair, she manages DCRP, focusing on educating a diverse body of creative, civic-minded, analytical and critical thinkers as leaders capable of advancing positive change in the global market place.
In addition to administrative responsibilities, Berneece is the advisor of the student-led Urban Planning Association; teaches several core graduate and undergraduate courses; currently serves as PI/Co-PI on several grants; and serves on numerous student projects/theses, departmental and university committees, APA committees, and USDA proposal review teams. Berneece’s educational background includes a PhD in natural resources and environmental sciences and a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Alabama A&M University. Her work experience includes eight years as a Research Associate for a small consulting firm specializing in plan development; three years as a Senior Urban Planner for the Nevis island government in the Caribbean; and, two years as the Director of the Department of Statistics and Economic Planning for Nevis island. While in this role, she focused on capital investment programming and procuring technical aid and funding for various public sector projects.
Berneece’s research areas include urban health indicators, sustainable development and social equity with a focus on food security, poverty, hunger, and urbanization. She is interested in the linkages between socio-economic characteristics, behavior, diet-related conditions, and food security; the effects of policies such as poverty reduction, social protection and price control on food security; and technology use in the agri-food industry. Other interest areas include big data analytics and transforming data into actionable insights. She uses advanced tools and techniques to evaluate the critical role and cumulative impacts of the social, environmental and economic environment on the wellbeing and sustainability of communities. She believes that research and science can tackle some of society’s most urgent challenges, particularly healthy, sustainable and improved sources and types of food.
Q: How long have you been a member of ACSP?
A: 7 - 10 Years
Q: What's your favorite project you’ve worked on?
A: In Fall of 2016, I worked with Global Ties Alabama as a mentor to the US State Department’s Young Leaders of America Initiative which empowers rising entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights, and good governance in the hemisphere. Program Fellows compete for a $10,000 Innovation Small Grant. I helped coach the young lady who won the Grant and who was honored by President Obama.
Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
A: Conduct additional research on food security and local foods and connecting this to agri-tourism.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Q: How many different cities have you lived in and which was your favorite?
A: I have lived in New York City and Huntsville, Alabama in addition to living in the Caribbean. The latter, of course, is my favorite!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: Venice, Italy. It is well known for its architecture and beauty.