Human Development & Family Studies

Human and Community Development

Human Development explores the developmental process in humans throughout the life cycle. Biological, cognitive, and personality/sociocultural aspects of development are studied.

Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design

Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design

Landscape Architecture increases the quality of life through the development and preservation of landscape design and planning processes that are meaningful, relevant and sustainable.

Community and Regional Development

Community and Regional Development

Community Development is concerned with the study of communities and organizational development, the role of culture and ethnicity in shaping community life, and the ways that knowledge can be used to solve social problems and improve the quality of life.


The Department unites around research and curricula focusing on the human ecology of people and place: the human experience that includes the individual, institutions, the community, schools, families, and relationships between people and their environment. This human environment is both social and ecological, and includes different social groups, institutions, built landscapes, ecologies, and physical settings. Our work ranges from studies of individual human health and behavior to analysis of community processes and design to considerations of bioregions and global processes. We explicitly focus on social and environmental problems, and solutions to those problems, with particular attention to issues of equity, health, and sustainability.

About Us

Human Ecology integrates themes of people, place, and power.

"People" focuses attention on human development and individual relationships with others through family, institutions, and community.

"Place" weaves together social processes and geographical space.

"Power," defined as the capacity to shape processes and outcomes related to people and place, is an important focus for understanding contemporary issues such as health, equality, and sustainability, and how they might be addressed.

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