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College of Environment and Design


The UGA-CED Cultural Landscape Laboratory (CLL) is structured around long-term partnerships with organizations and people who steward nationally-significant cultural landscapes. With a research focus on heritage conservation and sustainability, the lab is exploring how our society may best sustain the ecological, social, and cultural systems that constitute America’s most treasured landscapes. Our conception of “cultural landscape” is broad and all-encompassing. It is perhaps best captured in Aldo Leopold’s novisition of the “land-community”—an idea that situates humans within an intricate web of relationships with other animals, plants, and minerals.


We envision a world that operates according to Aldo Leopold’s vision of the “land-community”–a concept that, as described by Leopold, “enlarges the boundaries of community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.


To cultivate a world where every human being has a symbiotic, heartfelt, and transcendent relationship with landscapes.


Understanding — We seek first to listen and inquire; we strive to ground our choices and actions in an unceasing quest to understand the nature and culture of the land-community.

Patience — We acknowledge that change occurs within a landscape at rates that are variable and often hidden to human perception. In caring for the land community, we practice patience with humans, nature, and processes of creation and transformation.

Humility — Although we strive to make informed choices, we accept that our knowledge and understanding of the land-community are always incomplete. Because we acknowledge that we do not (and never will) “know it all,” we carry out our work with humility and reverence for the knowledge that remains hidden from our view.

Discovery and Delight — We take joy in our work. We celebrate the labor of stewardship because it provides rich sensory, intellectual, and emotional experiences for us and for others.

Sharing — The value of knowledge expands when it is given to others. We share our work freely, seeking to convey what we have learned to our peers and to future generations of landscape stewards.


  • Cultivate long-term, collaborative relationships among academicians, practitioners, and the communities that inhabit and care for valued cultural landscapes.
  • Create immersive experiences for faculty, students, and others who inhabit or visit the landscapes where we work.
  • Research the potential benefits of new technologies, while conserving and using traditional, local and indigenous knowledge.
  • Practice principles of adaptive management – a model that treats inquiry, observation, design and implementation as continuous and interconnected processes, rather than as separate and discrete activities.

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Contact the Cultural Landscape Laboratory at
18 Denmark Hall
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602