Douglas was raised in Chicago, Illinois where the city’s motto, “city in a garden,” was championed in the neighborhood of his youth. He would go on to find a career path among the professions that steward the outdoor built environment. Locally and internationally, his work experience has included public and private sector design practice and education. This includes work ranging from the intricacies of floral design to city and regional planning. He has taught landscape architecture at the undergraduate and graduate levels. One of his most enjoyed experiences was designing a memorial garden for the George Washington Carver National Monument while working within the National Park Service as a landscape architect.
His research engages social-cultural factors of human well-being and the environment.One specific question addresses to what extent do community gardens impact social capital dynamics in a low-income African American, inner-city neighborhood? Through qualitative ethnographic research methods, he has found place-based recommendations for block clubs, faith-based organizations, non-profits, companies, landscape architects, city planners, parks and recreation departments that focus on improving local economic, equity, and environmental assets.
Leo Blanken is an associate professor in the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has published numerous articles on military strategy, intelligence, and forceplanning. He is the author of Rational Empires: Institutional Incentives and Imperial Expansion (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and co-editor of Assessing War: The Challenge of Measuring Success and Failure (Georgetown University Press, 2015). He is currently working on a new book that explains the fundamental drivers of efficiency (and inefficiency) in producing national security.
I gained unparalleled knowledge from the presentations from other participants while also gaining confidence and encouragement."
The chance to chair parallel sessions and to lead discussions for the talking circles was an excellent learning opportunity."