John Robinson image


Assistant Professor, ISAT
Contact Info

  • Ph.D. in Community Sustainability, Michigan State University. Focus on Computational Social Science and Participatory Research
  • Master of Science (MS) in Community Sustainability, Michigan State University. Focus on Ecological Economics and Social Systems Modeling
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Resource Economics, University of New Hampshire

Before joining JMU, Professor Metta was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Community Systems at the University of Kansas where he used systems science and community informatics to conduct place-based, problem-oriented research that spanned community health, sustainability, and information equity problems.

He has published research on the dynamics of urban food security, social network structures of community change efforts, and methodological articles on participatory modeling, a technique of building simulation models with community stakeholders.

Research Interests
  • Sustainability Science
  • Applied Complex Systems Science
  • Social-ecological systems resilience
  • Community informatics & applied computing
  • Urban Sustainability & Environmental Justice
  • Participatory Research
Professional Organizations
  • Society for Community Research and Action
  • System Dynamics Society
  • United States Ecological Economics Society
Selected Publications/Presentations

Lawlor, J.A., Metta, K.R., Neal, Z. (in Press) When theory meets practice: Exploring challenges to information sharing networks for community change. Translational Issues in Psychological Research

Metta, K.R. (2021) Computational approaches to scoping and mapping community knowledge domains. Society for Community Research and Action Biennial

Metta, K.R., Schmitt-Olabisi, L., & Wallace, R. (2021). Participatory system dynamics approach to understanding urban food insecurity. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

Lawlor, J.A., Metta, K.R., Neal, Z.P. (2020). Defining coalitions in community psychology: A systematic review. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology

Metta, K.R., Wallace, R., Schmitt-Olabisi L., (2019) Modeling with Communities: A Tandem Modeling Process to Rapidly Address Community Needs. Society for Community Research and Action Biennial

Mcnall, M., & Metta, K.R. (2019 A Critical Systems Approach to Evaluating Participatory Modeling. Society for Community Research and Action Biennial

Singer, A., Gray, S., Sadler, A., Olabisi, L. S., Metta, K., Wallace, R., ... & Henderson, J. (2017). Translating community narratives into semi-quantitative models to understand the dynamics of socio-environmental crises. Environmental Modelling & Software, 97, 46-55.

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