Education: State University of New York, New Paltz, B.S., 1967; Emory University, Ph.D., 1972.
Research Interests: community and rural planning and development; regional and local economic development; natural resources policy and economics; social capital; democratization; food systems planning and policy.
Professor Lapping teaches Introduction to Community Planning, Planning History and Theory, Foundations of Public Policy and Management, Intellectual Foundations of Public Policy, and Food Systems Planning and Policy. He is currently working with a team of colleagues to develop a food plan for the state of Maine as part of a phased, multi-year grant from a collaboration of funders. This initiative aims to build a strong, abundant, and resilient food system strategy to enhance value-added production, processing, and distribution of Maine food throughout the state.
A planner by profession, Lapping was Founding Dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University prior to joining USM. He also has held leadership posts at the University of Guelph (Ontario), where he founded the School of Rural Planning and Development, and Kansas State University, where he served as Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design. Author of several books that are "best-sellers" in planning, he also has written well over 150 articles and monographs, and has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Rural Studies, Agriculture and Human Value, and the Journal of Planning Research and Education.
Dr. Lapping has worked on environmental and food/agricultural issues as a consultant for a number of federal, state/provincial, and local governments across the United States and Canada, and also in Scandinavia, Finland, Estonia and in several other nations. He acted as the Interim President of Unity College for the Academic Year of 2005-06 and served as USM's provost from 1994-2000 and 2007-2009.