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Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (LAED) focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry related to landscape meaning, spatial patterns, the built environment, and environmental design. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in LAED courses work in the areas of landscape architecture, urban and community design, sustainable development, public participation, environmental planning, landscape ecology, cultural and historical studies. Courses and research in this area prepares students for advanced research, practice and teaching in landscape architecture and related fields of environmental design.

Landscape architecture and environmental design concern the relationship between people and their environment. Typically, this is manifested through the planning, design, and use of the physical and everyday environment. However, as design is human intent expressed in the material world, a central focus is how society shapes the physical landscape across different scales. Landscape architecture and environmental design is seen as an interactive and dynamic process where each informs the other. Analyses of these processes require a knowledge base in areas as diverse as culture, ecology, policy, economics, and history, among others areas. An appreciation for interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding is a common thread that defines the LAED concentration. Some examples of graduate-level study in LAED include analyses of landscape patterns using methods in geographic information science, design and planning at advanced levels, historical and cultural studies of landscapes and places, and the development of advanced methods and techniques in citizen participation.

Faculty associated with Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design is based in the Landscape Architecture Program, but also include a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Geography Graduate Group, the Community Development Graduate Group, the Ecology Graduate Group and other graduate groups at UC Davis. They are also closely affiliated with research organizations at UC Davis including the John Muir Institute of the Environment, Institute for Transportation Studies, Center for the Study of Regional Change and California Center for Urban Horticulture. We also cooperate closely with UC Berkeley and courses are available there to supplement graduate study.

In addition to a professional career in geography offered through the GGG, focusing on LAEDwill prepare students to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in landscape architecture, architecture, and planning; (2) serve as researchers and analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of planning and design at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international levels.

Faculty for this Concentration

Fullname Summary Academic Interest Area of Depth Department
Mary Cadenasso

Investigating the effect of urbanization on plant community and nutrient dynamics and integrating ecological and social theories and urban design to enhance understanding and development of cities as sustainable coupled human-natural systems. Study exchanges of nutrients, pollutants, and organisms across landscape boundaries such as forest edges and riparian zones. Work across scales in metropolitan, semi-arid savanna and forest systems.

Urban ecosystem ecology
Mary Cadenasso

Investigating the effect of urbanization on plant community and nutrient dynamics and integrating ecological and social theories and urban design to enhance understanding and development of cities as sustainable coupled human-natural systems. Study exchanges of nutrients, pollutants, and organisms across landscape boundaries such as forest edges and riparian zones. Work across scales in metropolitan, semi-arid savanna and forest systems.

Plant Sciences
David de la Peña

Participatory design, autonomous communities, architecture, urban design, sustainable site-planning, urban agriculture

Human Ecology
Steven Greco

Ecosystems and Landscape Ecology

Human Ecology
Susan Handy

Relationships between transportation and land use, including the impact of land use on travel behavior and the impact of transportation investments on land development patterns

Environmental Science and Policy
Eric Larsen

Fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, watersheds, North America

Environmental Sciences Human Ecology
Jonathan London

Environmental justice, rural community development, participatory action research, political ecology, Central Valley

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
Brett Milligan

Infrastructural studies and socio-technical systems; scenario planning; industrial ecology and radically altered environments; Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; rewilding; dredge landscapes and maritime infrastructure; spatial modeling and geomatics, including the application of drones (UAVs) and photogrammetry; theory of landscape change

Human Ecology
N. Claire Napawan

Design of the built environment and investigating the roles in which landscapes might adapt to provide ever-increasing productive and infrastructural programs to the global city, given economic, social, and environmental changes within urban development, including population growth and climate change

Environmental Sciences Human Ecology
Lorence R. Oki

Environmental horticulture and water quality

Environmental Sciences Human Ecology
Patsy Eubanks Owens

Environments of children and adolescents, community participation

Human Ecology
Michael Rios

human geography, architecture, urban planning

Human Ecology
Julie Sze

Environmental Studies (environmental justice, urban environments, environmental activism, gender and the environment, garbage, transportation and energy); urban planning.

Nature and Society American Studies
Stephen M. Wheeler

Sustainable development; urban design; city and regional planning; land use; climate change

Human Ecology