Kathryn L. Gleason

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

446 Kennedy Hall
(607) 255-1649

Kathryn Gleason is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture. Trained as a landscape architect and archaeologist, she is a specialist on the archaeology of past landscapes, particularly designed features such as parks, gardens, and fields. Her primary area of research is the Mediterranean of the ancient Roman World. A professor of contemporary landscape architecture, she brings her research to bear on the 21st century landscape by examining how to design with the physical remains of the past. She also applies ancient methods of arid climate cultivation to modern problems of development. Her field reaseach has been conducted recently in India, Jordan, Israel and Italy, with applications in New Mexico, India, and Jordan.

Research Focus

The Romans of the first centuries BC and AD were innovators of public parks and monumental gardens, developing a form of design and a professional discipline akin to modern landscape architecture. An extensive system of plant trade and hydrological engineering was needed to construct these projects. Through excavation projects at Petra (Jordan) Caesarea Maritima (Israel) and Horace`s Villa and Rome (Italy) my research is uncovering the built nature of these landscapes and their role in the various cultures of the Empire.

Outreach and Extension Focus

Knowledge excavating relatively low technologies in the ancient landscape is often useful in contemporary development projects, either in developing areas or where the relationship of culture and cultivation have a close bond to be reinforced. From recreating a water harvesting system in the palaces of Nagaur, India to rebuilding waffle gardens and connecting the children of Zuni, New Mexico to their religious traditions, to turning the palace of Herod the Great at Caesarea into a National Park site, my work seeks to sustain contemporary culture through a knowledge of past landscapes.

Teaching Focus

Every site a landscape architect approaches has an archaeology to be explored. Exploration of the extant and relict natural and cultural systems of a landscape can lead to design solutions for contemporary development that create "a sense of place" that sustains the wider culture of a community.

Basic landscape architectural design; international issues in landscape architecture; ancient landscape architecture.

Basic principles of landscape architecture; landscape history and archaeology; preparing for professional practice.

Awards and Honors

  • Council of Fellows (2011) American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Fellow, American Academy in Rome (1986)
  • Senior Fellow (2020) Dumbarton Oaks
  • Professeur invitĂ© (2014) Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure de Paris/CNRS
  • ASLA National Honor Award in Research (2010) American Society of Landscape Architects