Photograph of Janet Silbernagel

Janet Silbernagel

Landscape Architecture
BS Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin–Madison, MS and PhD in Cultural Ecology, Michigan Technological University
Campus Affiliations
Chair of the Environmental Conservation Program Committee and Professional Programs Director at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Research Interests
landscape ecology
geographic information systems (GIS)
115b Science Hall, M25M Agricultural Hall

Trained as a landscape ecologist and landscape architect, I work on regional conservation strategies using geospatial analysis and cultural insights. Primary research includes support from The Nature Conservancy to build scenarios of forest conservation effectiveness in a changing climate. Through projects with MN & WI Sea Grant we developed innovative spatial literacy tools for Great Lakes coastal communities. Meanwhile, I collaborate with the International Crane Foundation to expand spatial studies for crane conservation both here and in China (see landscape conservation lab page).

I also chair the Professional Masters program in Environmental Conservation within the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, helping to train conservation leaders through professional experiences (see environmental conservation page). My instructional emphasis in landscape architecture is Applications of GIS (LA 695) and the creation of a GeoDesign program.

Previously I served on the faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University (1995-1999), and was employed by the U.S. Forest Service in Pennsylvania and Upper Michigan as a landscape architect (1987-1993), and as a landscape ecologist (1993-1995). I have a BS in landscape architecture from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and an MS and PhD from Michigan Technological University, with emphases on cultural ecology, landscape history, and landscape ecology.

I am involved in the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US Chapter), The Nature Conservancy, the academic consortium for GeoDesign, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Society for Conservation Biology. I am also excited to be the lead editor for the Springer Landscape Series

Drewes, Annette D. and Janet Silbernagel. 2011. Uncovering the spatial dynamics of wild rice lakes, harvesters and management across Great Lakes landscapes for shared regional conservation. InEcological Modelling. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.09.015. 

Price, Jessica, Janet Silbernagel, et. al. 2011. Eliciting expert knowledge to inform landscape modeling of conservation scenarios. In Ecological Modelling.doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.09.010.

Natori, Yoji, Janet Silbernagel, and Michael S. Adams. Biodiversity Conservation Planning in Rural Landscapes in Japan: Integration of Ecological and Visual Perspectives. Chapter in Research in Biodiversity – Models and Applications. pp. 285-306.

Silbernagel, J. et. al. The Next Frontier: Projecting the Effectiveness of Broad-scale Forest Conservation Strategies. Chapter in The Next Frontier: Projecting the Effectiveness of Broad-scale… pp. 210-232.

Silbernagel, J.  2005.  Bio-regional patterns and spatial narratives for integrated landscape research and design.  In:  Tress, B., Tress, G., Fry, G., Opdam, P. (eds.). From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education, and Application. Wageningen UR Frontis Series, Volume 12. Springer: Dordrecht, Berlin, Heidelberg. approx. 440 pp.

Drewes, A. and J. Silbernagel.  2005.  Setting up an integrative research approach for sustaining wild rice (Zizania palustris) in the Upper Great Lakes Region of North America. In: Tress, B., Tress, G., Fry, G., Opdam, P. (eds.). From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education, and Application. Wageningen UR Frontis Series, Volume 12. Springer: Dordrecht, Berlin, Heidelberg. approx. 440 pp.

Silbernagel, J. and W.G. Hendrix. 2004. Sunburn on the vineyard: Terroir and the sustainability of juice grapes in an arid climate. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 1(2):89-94.

Silbernagel, J. Spatial theory in early conservation design: Examples from Aldo Leopold’s work. Landscape Ecology. Landscape Ecology 18:635-646.

Thomas, M.M. and J.M. Silbernagel. 2003. The Evolution of a Maple Sugaring Landscape on Lake Superior ‘s Grand Island. Michigan Academician 35(2):135-158.

Silbernagel, B. and J. Silbernagel. 2003. Tracking Aldo Leopold through Riley’s farmland. Wisconsin Magazine of History . (Summer)

Johnson, B., R. Coulson, E. Fife, K. Hay, M. Hostetler, M.C. Rossiter-Hunter, A. Mills, F. Ndubisi, P.S. Richardson, & J. Silbernagel. 2001. The Nature of Dialogue and the Dialogue of Nature: Designers and Ecologists in Collaboration in Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning. Island Press

Selected projects:

Green Wallscape. 2005-06. A transdisciplinary project for an urban site in downtown Madison in collaboration with UW Artist/Sculptor Gail Simpson and the Madison Environmental Group.

The Landscape Tapestry of Cultivation in Wisconsin ’s Lake Superior Region. 2002-05 – An exhibit for the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, WI . Funded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Broken Hardscape: Site-integrated Sculptural Rain Gardens for Valencia Lofts, Middleton. 2002-03. A collaborative design and installation with UW Artist/Sculptor Gail Simpson.

LA 695: Applications of GIS