What is your current role and what does it entail?
I currently teach undergraduate and graduate classes in the Department of Landscape Architecture. I’ve also served as Interim Director of the DCP Program for Sustainability and the Built Environment since its inception in 2008. The program offers majors a four-year, 120-credit-hour Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment and also provides a popular 15-credit undergraduate minor. The program has grown to an enrollment of at least 110 students annually and to date has graduated 97 students. Graduates often find positions as sustainability officers in businesses, design and construction firms and specialized consulting groups that focus on sustainability. Additionally, many students go on to graduate schools across the nation, including Harvard, Columbia, Georgia Tech, Arizona and the University of Florida, usually in design-related disciplines.
How long have you been at DCP and what previous roles have you served here?
I’m a 1975 BLA graduate from what was the UF College of Architecture and Fine Arts (now DCP). I taught as an adjunct faculty member in 1988 – 89 while working with Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan. In 1989 I joined the landscape architecture faculty as an assistant professor. Since then I’ve earned the rank of professor, served for two years as the interim department chair and served for eight years as associate dean for the College.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my students. Their curiosity, courage, tenacity and optimism continue to give me hope for the increasingly complex future we face.
Who are the most influential people in your life?
My family are clearly the people who have most shaped my life. My husband of 42 years, David Carr, continues to challenge me intellectually at every turn, while also providing unlimited fun in one creative form or another. My parents gave me the perfect childhood and the freedom to become my own person. My son, Adam, is the light of my life and my tether to the future.
What do you think is the most exciting trend in your field today?
I think the most exciting trend in my field is the recognition that higher density urban and exurban design is a win–win–win strategy. First, it lowers the cost of public infrastructure, a cost we all share. Second, it makes for healthier lives by providing more social interaction and more opportunity for physical exercise in the course of one’s daily life. And finally, it begins to offset our historic pattern of the wasteful use of land. Denser communities mean a greater chance that farmlands and natural areas will remain and continue to provide us with the ecosystem services on which we depend.