Larry Gorenflo

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Larry Gorenflo

Larry Gorenflo

Eleanor R. Stuckeman Chair in Design, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Geography


Education:

  1. PhD, Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
  2. MA, Anthropology, University of Michigan
  3. BA, Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University

Biography:

Larry Gorenflo is a professor of both Landscape Architecture and Geography; and Faculty-in-Charge, Environmental Inquiry Minor. He also holds the Eleanor R. Stuckeman Chair in Design in the Stuckeman School.

Gorenflo is internationally recognized for his research that reveals opportunities for integrative conservation efforts, due to his research that identifies the co-occurrence of important linguistic or cultural conservation areas with key global biodiversity hot-spots. As the Eleanor R. Stuckeman Chair in Design he seeks to address the concern that as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, our planet is losing natural and cultural heritage at rates virtually unknown in its past. In the face of such challenges, designed spaces are absolutely essential to maintaining the natural and human diversity on Earth. Gorenflo’s work explicitly addresses the problem of creating such spaces through examining apparent links between cultural and biological diversity in places that claim high levels of both. 

Gorenflo's research interests focus on how people adapt to their natural and cultural surroundings, in both present and past contexts and at scales usually ranging from landscapes to regions. Much of this work involves how people use geographic space and often employs geographic information system technology, with the ultimate aim to inform landscape design. Studies of modern settings emphasize biodiversity conservation and represent attempts to understand human pressure on key locations of plant and animal species, as well as attempts to identify opportunities to conserve biological diversity in a world of human use and human need. Studies of past settings, both historic and prehistoric, represent efforts to understand how earlier human cultural systems modified landscapes to meet their needs and how earlier adaptive strategies affected the environments where they occurred. Although he has worked throughout the United States, most of his recent research involves international settings, with an emphasis on Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Similarly, despite emphases on a range of issues in prior inquiries, his current focus often involves human use of fresh water, village economics in rural Africa and Southeast Asia, and the role of cultural and linguistic diversity in human adaptation. All of this work aims towards developing designed environments that serve people as well as nature, as ecologically-sensitive designs become increasingly essential to human wellbeing.

Currently he is involved in research in southern Tanzania, western Cambodia, and central Mexico. The work in Mexico focuses on the Basin of Mexico, and emphasizes prehistoric settlement patterns and historic (twentieth century) demographics and land use, among other things focusing on assessing the condition of remaining evidence of prior landscapes.

 

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