Katherine Melcher is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. She teaches the Introduction to Design and Community and Place studios, as well as construction materials and site engineering. Her students have worked on a wide variety of community projects, including a day site for people with developmental disabilities (Creative Enterprises, Inc.) and an historic African American cemetery in Athens (Brooklyn Cemetery).
Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, she was Design Director at Urban Ecology, a nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area that assists local communities with design and planning projects. While at Urban Ecology, she was lead designer for the East Bay Greenway Concept Plan and the Oakland Schoolyard Initiative.
She learned much of what she knows about landscape architecture while working as a community planner and designer at Estrada Land Planning, Inc. (ELP) in San Diego, CA. After working at ELP, she obtained her landscape architect’s license and spent seven months living and working in Thailand with Peace Corps Response; her main charge being to help a tsunami-impacted community design and build a safe playground for their children.
Her perspective on community design and development originates from her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo. In a rural village, she taught forestry, agroforestry, and sustainable agriculture practices. The sense of community she experienced there has served as inspiration for all her subsequent work.
Other places where Katherine has worked and interned include: US/ICOMOS, the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Edmund Hollander Landscape Architect, Camp Tallchief, Camp Speers Elijabar, and the Hudson River Greenway Conservancy. She received her MLA from Louisiana State University and her BA in sociology from Vassar College.