Ethan Carr, Phd, FASLA, is an associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a landscape historian and preservationist specializing in public landscapes, particularly municipal and national park planning and design. He has written two award-winning books,Wilderness by Design (1998) and Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma(2007) that describe the twentieth-century history of planning and design in the U.S. national park system as the context for considering its future management. In 2008, with partners from the National Park Service and the Cultural Landscape Foundation, Carr co-organized a two-part conference on the history and future of public park design, Designing the Parks, which has resulted in a national park design competition administered by the Van Alen Institute (“Parks for the People,” currently ongoing), and the Designing the Parks initiative for design excellence within the National Park Service. Carr is also the volume editor of the forthcoming eighth volume of the Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, which covers the period of the 1880s, when the Olmsted’s practice developed into the first modern landscape architecture office.
Carr received his Master’s in Art History from Columbia, his Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the GSD, and his PhD from the Edinburgh College of Art. His career in the fields of landscape architecture and historic preservation began in the professional world, where he worked for New York City Parks and the National Park Service, where he was the lead historical landscape architect at the Denver Service Center. He also worked for non-profit organizations and private design offices. He has taught at the Harvard GSD, the University of Virginia, and at the University of Massachusetts, where he is currently inaugurating the Heritage Landscape Conservation Program, he has also taught at the Harvard GSD, the University of Virginia, and at the Bard Graduate Center.