UGA-CED Cultural Landscape Laboratory
Since the early 1980s, the University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design (UGA-CED) has played an instrumental role in the evolving discipline of cultural landscape management. CED professors pioneered concepts for the field and educated many graduates who became leaders and advocates for cultural landscapes in both the governmental and private sectors. The college is building upon this legacy by establishing a Cultural Landscape Laboratory, which provides research and learning opportunities for students, faculty, and professional practitioners in the area of cultural landscape management.
The work of the Cultural Landscape Lab focuses on specific cultural landscapes, and the lab's relationship with these places and their on-site stewards is intended to be mutually beneficial and enduring. Because we are interested in learning how to care for a landscape beyond the span of an individual human lifetime, we strive to know these places deeply and intimately. For these reasons, we expect the lab's activities to center on only a small number of places,perhaps five or six landscapes and the communities of people who care for them. Because we are committed to learning as much as we can about the art and science of caring for cultural landscapes, we are cultivating relationships with places that are diverse in terms of their size, cultural histories, political circumstances and governance frameworks, ecologies, and geographic contexts.
The UGA Cultural Landscape Laboratory is a collaborative enterprise. While the lab's research activities are coordinated by faculty and graduate students in the UGA College of Environment and Design, our work depends on contributions from a wide range of people and institutions. Our partners include scholars and students in other UGA departments, private-sector professionals, and members of the communities where we work.
Education and Social Events
In addition to conducting site-specific research, the Cultural Landscape Laboratory also sponsors gallery exhibitions, lectures, visits from guest scholars, films, and other events for the university community and the public. These activities help us fulfill our mission of promoting human stewardship of the land-community by creating collegial forums for people to meet and learn from one another. They help us celebrate and explore both the rich tradition and the uncharted future of cultural landscape stewardship at the University of Georgia.
Field Notes: Reflecting on Our Experiences
Our work necessitates considerable time spent in the field to fully understand the landscape and its dynamic ecological, cultural and social systems. The field provides us with invaluable experiences that create lasting memories, whether from a foot ridden with chiggers or an unexpected story shared by a person reminiscing about the past. The following entries provide a glimpse into the rich experiences the lab's work can generate.