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Noonan is Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at SPEA. His research focuses on a variety of policy and economics issues related to the urban environment, neighborhood dynamics, and quality-of-life. His research has been sponsored by a variety of organizations (e.g., National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, National Endowment for the Arts) on topics like policy adoption, environmental risks, energy, air quality, spatial modeling, green urban revitalizations, and cultural economics. He joined SPEA after spending over a decade on the faculty at the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. Noonan earned his Ph.D. in public policy at the University of Chicago.