For over a decade, the Landscape Analysis Lab has used geospatial technologies to study and quantify environmental change in the Southeast. Central to the mission of the LAL is interdisciplinary research that brings together faculty and undergraduate students from across the natural and social sciences. We will continue to add new and finished research projects to this list.


  • The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is making its way west towards the Cumberland Plateau. Faculty and students from the LAL are working with the regional state parks to develop a management and treatment plan.

  • Over its 150 year history, the lands owned by the University has grown to 13,000 acres. The diverse land use history and thorough documentation of past activities is a resource for students researching longterm environmental change.

  • Collaborative research on the oral histories, chemistry, and hydrology of springs on the Cumberland Plateau.

  • The LAL has begun publishing maps as geopdfs for the Sewanee community to use on mobile devises. Check out the new link at the top, right corner of each of the Landscape Analysis Lab's pages.


  • The LAL is working with the Land Trust for TN and many other organizations to develop resources for conservation planning in the Cumberland Plateau region.

  • On the sandstone-capped Cumberland Plateau, a unique type of forest pond wetland exists that supports a remarkably diverse ecological community. Students at the LAL are studying the distribution and abundance of these unique wetlands.

  • The Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee contains some of the largest remaining tracts of privately owned, contiguous temperate deciduous forest in North America. Between 1981 and 2001, this area experienced substantial changes in forest cover primarily due to the expansion of timber industry lands. This change was quantified through interpretation of aerial imagery and mapping of land cover types.

  • The Fundamentals of GIS (ENST217) and Advanced GIS (ENST317) classes explored the capabilities and potential of interactive, online “story maps”. Story maps are interactive maps accessible anywhere via the web that use geography to organize and present information. The story maps and posters in the full story were presented at Scholarship Sewanee in spring 2014.

  • The 13,000 acre Domain of the University of the South has over 1,000 plant species. Nathan Bourne and Katherine Qualls are studying the relationship between different plant communities and the environmental conditions that affect them.