Ryan Lester

Ryan is a second-year master's student in urban and regional planning at the University of Florida and a research fellow at Architecture Sarasota. With a bachelor’s degree from UF in sustainability and the built environment, Ryan's research centered on the inequities of resilience planning and the involvement of ethnic minority stakeholders in Nantucket, MA’s future planning efforts. In 2021, he was a research assistant for the University of Florida's team for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Coasts, Climates, the Humanities and the Environment Consortium (CCHEC). This project, involving multiple universities, used the hurricane of 1896 in Cedar Key, FL as a lens to integrate the humanities into environmental discourse and deepen understanding of climate instability, justice, and their impacts on diverse populations. Currently, in his master's program, Ryan’s research interests lie in urban data analytics, particularly in analyzing social mobility within U.S. cities. He's also interested in the rising population trends in sunbelt cities and the potential infrastructure challenges they might present. Outside the academic realm, Ryan has been a filmmaker for over a decade, working on projects for notable entities like Google, FIFA, President Biden's Inaugural Committee, and the National Park Service (NPS).