Ron is the current director of UBC's School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture (SALA). He has practiced architecture in British Columbia and taught architecture at the University of Oregon until 2004, when he joined the landscape architecture program at UBC. At SALA, he teaches design studios and a lecture course in environment and urban form, and supervises graduate students in related topics. From 2010–12, he was a University Sustainability Initiative Teaching and Learning Fellow and received a Killam Teaching Prize in 2011. His work focuses on issues of environmental quality and urban form and the development of form-based tools for urban design. He is co-author, with Cynthia Girling, of elementsdb, a web application of case-based data for urban design.
Their work, through the elementslab in the Centre for Interactive Research for Sustainability, creates sustainability-oriented urban design tools, plans, codes, standards, guidelines and prototypes. The results of this work have informed urban planning and design in several Canadian and US cities and been recognized by awards from the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the US National Association of Home Builders, and the US National Urban and Community Forest Advisory Council.