Terra Virsilas

Urban Development Associate


Terra is an Associate I for the Urban Development team under the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. She oversees the day-to-day project operations and administrative needs of the team in addition to the Resource Team for the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities. She contributes to research on policy, design, and governance related issues of integrated urban planning, transit-oriented development, and housing.

Prior to joining WRI, Terra pursued her interest in urban watershed research and restoration by interning with Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) stream-monitoring division. During her time with DEP, she gained experience in field sampling including benthic macroinvertebrate, amphibian, reptile and fish collection and identification; habitat assessments; physical and chemical data analysis; and geomorphological stream surveying. She worked on compiling data for several stream restoration projects, as well as created and updated GIS maps for public outreach events and the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas.

Terra holds a B.S. in environmental management from the University of Maryland University College and a M.A. in community planning from the University of Maryland.

All of Terra’s free time has been consumed with the arrival of her first child.


  • Cities4Forests

    Helping cities protect and integrate forests to combat climate change, preserve watersheds and biodiversity, and improve human well-being

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