peter arnold

Peter Arnold

Research Director


Woodbury University
7500 Glenoaks Boulevard
Burbank CA 91510


Peter Arnold serves as Director of Research at the Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University. His work focuses on how water, energy and climate change impact the design of the built environment, and how design can positively impact water supply, energy inputs, and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Peter’s current research uses geospatial environmental modeling to assess the potentials for capture and reuse of stormwater, in both urban and rural drylands settings. The modeling may in turn suggest constructive strategies for a well-adapted built environment.

Within an urban setting, Peter’s research focuses on maximizing the recovery, use, and reuse of rain and stormwater, at both local and regional scales. Environmental geospatial modeling coupled with fine-grained remote sensing analyses aid in identifying likely sources and quantities of stormwater and may suggest the shifts necessary within land use and zoning patterns to maximize these potential resources. Peter’s urban research has been funded by the US Department of Housing and Development, Metropolitan Water District, and private foundations.

Peter’s rural research focuses on developing an environmental modeling and geodesign prototype to simulate, at a watershed scale, stormwater behavior. The work entails substantial collaborative fieldwork in Northern New Mexico where ALI has run a summer field station since 2007. The goal is to identify and implement appropriate recapture and control techniques for slowing erosion and deposition processes within ephemeral stream systems in the arid West. Ultimately, the purpose of the modeling is to support traditional agricultural communities adapting to hydrologic variability brought on by climate change. ALI’s rural work is contracted by the New Mexico Environmental Department and funded through EPA Clean Water Act, Region 6.

Peter studied environmental design and physics at CU Boulder and earned his M.Arch. at SCI-Arc. He has taught design and geospatial research studios at Woodbury and UCLA, and has photographed the infrastructural landscapes of the west extensively.

Peter is affiliated with LARC and serves as a member of the Stakeholder Technical Advisory Committee for LA County Department of Public Works LA Basin Stormwater Study, and the Technical Advisory panel the LA Department of Water and Power Stormwater Capture Master Plan.