Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

Visiting Critic

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Visiting Critic

Visiting Critic

Cornell University

1-year term appointment starting December 2022/January 2023.  Renewable annually for additional 2 years. 


The Climate-adaptive Design (CaD) studio program has been working with New York State communities to catalyze action on climate change since 2015.  Adopting a paired social-ecological systems approach, the program works with both people and place in an academic studio setting to link emerging climate adaptation strategies with community-focused engagement methodologies that enhance municipal climate awareness, capacity, and trajectory setting. In collaboration with New York State Department of Conservation’s (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program. The CaD program seeks a combination of teaching, research and community benefits when working with waterfront communities during graduate and undergraduate design studios.

To date, work from the CaD studio has received national and state level recognition, and Climate-adaptive Design communities have received multiple grants to pursue development of climate adaptation projects inspired by the CaD studio. Yet many communities across New York State continue to face significant projected risks due to climate change including temperature and precipitation extremes, sea level rise, and other hazards. While CaD studio efforts have primarily been with municipal partners in the Hudson River Estuary to date, demand for this work is growing state-wide. 

Position Description

In AY 2022-2023, the CaD program seeks to investigate the potential for expanding its focus into the New York Great Lakes region over the coming years. The Visiting Critic will work with the Climate-adaptive Design team at Cornell and DEC to build on adaptation advances in the Hudson River Estuary while scoping expansion of the Climate-adaptive Design program into New York Great Lakes communities. This work will be done through background investigation, research and networking, as well as development of an exploratory pilot design studio with support from the Principal Investigator. While not a fully community-engaged studio at this stage, the intent of the pilot studio is to better understand the complex dynamics between the biophysical and sociocultural settings unique to New York’s Great Lakes to prepare for possible future community-engaged studios and advance design research in these areas.  The Visiting Critic will also be involved in ongoing teaching and research efforts within the Climate-adaptive Design program overall, including in the Hudson River Estuary.

Anticipated Division of Time:

Teaching (35%)

  • Participate in the Fall 2022 studio led by Associate Professor Josh Cerra to become familiar with the program approach to-date.
  • Work with the CaD team to develop drawings and datasets for New York’s Great Lakes communities, including but not limited to hydrological, biological, topographic, demographic, community, and climate-based content
  • Work with CaD program leaders to select a location for a pilot design studio to be held in Spring 2023
  • Prepare content for use and investigation within an academic design studio environment
  • Organize and lead the Spring 2023 pilot landscape architecture studio in a New York Great Lakes location with support from CaD team members and program partners. The course will meet three times per week during the Spring 2023 semester.

Research (60%)

  • Investigate community engagement methods, adaptation techniques and/or other climate-adaptive strategies and their potential design applications in New York State as part of the CaD program
  • Co-develop manuscripts for publication, exhibition materials, grant proposals, conference presentations, website content and report documentation in collaboration with CaD team members
  • Coordinate and manage logistics while working with the CaD team and its partners during design studios and other research activities
  • Identify, network, and build relationships with technical, community and other stakeholders in the New York Great Lakes region to aid in research and teaching aspects of the program
  • Present CaD program goals and outcomes in a variety of settings, from conferences to public events

Career Development and other Duties (5%)

  • Participate in educational seminars and training events to advance research and teaching knowledge and skill.
  • Stay informed regarding college and university policies and procedures.
  • Perform other duties and projects as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • M.L.A or Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture, or closely related field
  • Teaching experience at the collegiate level, preferably in a design studio setting
  • Experience and/or demonstrated interest in working with communities in an engaged scholarship or service-learning context
  • Design and/or teaching experience in climate adaptation, resilience and/or related topics
  • Writing experience, preferably including development of manuscripts suitable for publication
  • Ability to both lead and work collaboratively in diverse, multidisciplinary teams. Ability to work independently when necessary.
  • Ability to travel to locations for meetings, presentations and field visits within an eight-hour drive from Ithaca, New York
  • Demonstrated ability to work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for analyses and communication
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, organizational skills, and ability to adapt to changing circumstances as they arise
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Preferred Qualifications

  • Two or more years teaching related college-level design studios, and/or conducting research in related content areas
  • Network of related contacts in New York Great Lakes region and/or New York State
  • Training in equity, diversity, and inclusion

This is a one-year term appointment. Annual appointments are expected and will be conditional upon satisfactory performance and available funding.

Application Instructions Interested applicants should submit the following by November 20, 2022: (1) curriculum vitae, (2) letter of interest, including a brief description of how this position relates to their career plans, (3)teaching portfolio (4) a writing sample, (5) statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and (6) names and contact information of three references to Academic Jobs Online at the following link,  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.  If you have questions about this position, please email

For additional information, please contact:

Joshua F. Cerra, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator

Department of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being. Since its establishment in 1904, the Department of Landscape Architecture in CALS has achieved national recognition for its progressive teaching pedagogies and forward-looking approach to the field of landscape architecture. Pursuant to the university’s Land-Grant mission and commitment to fostering both research and public engagement, students of landscape architecture at Cornell are able to both draw upon and contribute to cutting-edge research with real-world implications.

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Additional Info

Organization/School : Cornell University

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