Brett Milligan

Cal Doval

Biography:

Milligan, an assistant professor of landscape architecture in the Department of Human Ecology, specializes in landscape architecture, urban design, and sustainable environmental planning. Milligan completed his M.S. in landscape architecture at the University of New Mexico. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2013 after working in private practice in Portland, Oregon, and as an independent design scholar at multiple universities

Research interests:

Landscape architecture, urbanism, environmental restoration, regional environmental planning, regenerative infrastructure, industrial ecology, dredge landscapes, landscape modeling and mapping, citizen science, theory of landscape change.

Brief overview:

America’s infrastructure is aging, which negatively affects public health and safety, the environment, as well as the economy. Our research seeks to design and test new forms of sustainable infrastructure to replace or retrofit our aging industrial legacies from the past century.

We search for solutions that consider ecology, multi-functionality, aesthetics, and expanded forms of public engagement. We map and analyze the geography of regions, and examine the processes and forces of landscape change. We do scenario-based design and make prototypes of new infrastructures that can augment landscapes for humans and a broad spectrum of other species.

For example, as part of the Dredge Research Collaborative, we are exploring how to reuse the sediments dredged from waterways to build and restore wetlands and shorelines, which can serve as wildlife habitat and spaces for outdoor recreation. This research is being carried out across multiple regions of the United States and Canada, as well as in the California Bay Delta.

Current projects:

  • “Dredgefest” — a four-part series of public events examining the anthropogenic alteration of sedimentary processes in four important U.S. coastal regions 
  • Beneficial reuse of dredge material in the Bay Delta 
  • Design of urban stormwater systems and Brownfields redevelopment 
  • Stone Lock adaptive reuse and public recreation plan (West Sacramento) 
  • McCormack–Williamson Tract (Bay Delta) restoration, recreation, and flood control project 
  • Cosumnes River restoration research group 
  • Aerial photography and remote sensing analysis of California’s reservoirs; dredge restoration projects using remotely piloted aircraft (drones) 
  • “Isthmus” — analysis and mapping the networked effects of the Panama Canal expansion on waterways, dredging practices, and port landscapes around the globe 
  • Post-dam recovery of river ecosystems (Oregon, Washington, and California) 
  • Modeling and prototyping of multiple wetland technologies for nutrient reduction in the Klamath Basin in northern California and southern Oregon

 

Updated October 2014

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