The Landscape Analysis Lab (LAL) is a geospatial science education and research laboratory at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Our mission is to advance the scientific understanding of our environment through the application of geospatial science and technologies and to provide GIS services to the University community. We have dedicated staff and computing facilities to assist faculty and students conducting research involving geospatial applications, and provide training through undergraduate courses, workshops, and one-on-one training. We seek to provide additional learning opportunities to our undergraduate students through outreach efforts with local and regional non-profit organizations, and research grants from local and state government agencies.


The principle goal of the LAL is to train our undergraduate students in the application of geospatial science. We aim to accomplish this goal through both coursework and faculty-mentored student research. We encourage collaboration across the natural and social sciences and support faculty and students from all disciplines. Faculty interested in incorporating GIS or remote sensing applications in their course curriculum are encouraged to contact the LAL staff. Students can register for Environmental Studies 217 (ENST 217): Fundamentals of GIS to learn the basics of GIS, and ENST 317: Advanced GIS to gain more experience with more sophisticated GIS projects. Contact the LAL Manager or keep an eye on the LAL front page for other educational opportunities.


The LAL provides GIS support of research across the University of the South, in a variety of disciplines. The majority of its collaborative research are aimed at understanding the ecological and environmental effects of land use change. The Cumberland Plateau region of Tennessee is our primary area of research. The LAL also encourages faculty-mentored student research on the University's 13,000-acre contiguous landholdings, historically known as the Domain. We are continuously developing new geospatial data resources to help our faculty and students explore and understand our environment.


The LAL has a history of collaboration with non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other academic institutions. We are dedicated to conservation of ecological diversity, protection of the environment, and sustainable use of natural resources. Our primary area of expertise is the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the United States. Environmental issues facing the region include loss of native ecosystems, urban development, and exotic species invasion. These issues are important throughout the Southeast and the U.S. more broadly.

In addition to providing support in environmental and ecological research, the LAL also works with local and regional groups to provide training in geospatial applications through workshops and short courses. By encouraging the use of these technologies, the LAL hopes to encourage better management of natural resources and improve communication with the public. We are particularly interested in opportunities that will provide training and experience for our undergraduate students.

Contact information

If you wish to learn more about the Landscape Analysis Lab, please contact the LAL Manager:

Dr. Christopher Van de Ven
University of the South
735 University Avenue
Sewanee, TN 37383