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Environmental Horticulture

Environmental Horticulture

Dr. Gail Hansen

Associate Professor / Sustainable Landscape Design

Gail Hansen is an associate professor who specializes in landscape design. Her teaching and extension programs address sustainable science-based and art-centered landscape design practices that take into account the social dimension of green urban environments, environmental protection, and the quality of life for urban dwellers. Dr. Hansen is faculty in the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, an advisor to the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program™ and the Extension Specialist for landscape design. She currently teaches two studio courses in residential landscape design.


    Dr. Hansen’s research activities focus on landscape performance metrics and strategies for aligning visual quality and environmental function of Florida-Friendly landscapes and stormwater ponds. Activities include collecting performance metrics for Florida-Friendly and traditional Florida landscapes to assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts of each landscape. Landscape research plots that replicate Florida-Friendly and traditional landscapes are used to collect environmental and economic data, including water use and maintenance inputs. Focus groups are used to collect social data about preferences, perceptions, and attitudes about Florida-Friendly landscapes to develop policies and approaches for extension programs to promote behavior change. 


    Studio courses include LDE 3410C Residential Landscape Design, which emphasizes elements and principles of urban landscape design, the design process, and the right plant-right place principle. The second course, LDE 4404C Advanced Residential Landscape Design, emphasizes socio-environmental design practices with a focus on water conservation, resource protection, and the social and cultural dimensions of landscapes. In 2013 Dr. Hansen received the Teacher Fellow Award from North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) and the Gainesville City Beautification Award for the Alto Straughn Conference Center Florida-Friendly demonstration and teaching landscape.

    Courses Taught

    • LDE 3410C Residential Landscape Design
    • LDE 4404C Advanced Residential Landscape Design

    Dr. Hansen’s extension programs emphasizes socio-environmental design practices with a focus on water conservation, resource protection, and the social and cultural dimensions of landscapes, including barriers to adopting new landscape behaviors. Activities include workshops and presentations to promote Florida-Friendly landscape design as a strategy to conserve water and improve water quality through the use of landscape buffers on stormwater ponds and appropriate plant selection. The cultural dimensions of landscapes center on the social norms and attitudes that influence perceptions and preferences for visual quality of landscapes and the use of social norms as leverage for behavior change. Extension presentations and publications include landscape design principles, edible landscapes, Florida-Friendly landscapes, demonstration and teaching gardens, and sustainable landscape construction. Creative works include ten demonstration garden designs and a smart phone application for Florida-Friendly landscape plants.

Gail Hansen


Environmental Horticulture
University of Florida
PO Box 110670
Gainesville, FL 32611-0670