Sara Jacobs is a landscape architect and environmental historian whose research and teaching focuses on reinterpreting landscape through histories of environment, care, and infrastructures of race and coloniality. Her current projects consider how power is spatialized in and through situated histories of landscape professionalization, and how instrumentalizing human, plant, and animal life creates the need for care in contested landscapes. Sara has published widely on the politics and possibilities of care, histories of racialization within landscape practice, and environmental histories of soil, contamination, and carceral labour in journals including Journal of Landscape ArchitectureJournal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Journal of Architectural Education, and Landscape Research. Her scholarship has been supported by the Graham Foundation and SSHRC, and her teaching and design work have been recognized through various ASLA awards. Previous to academia, she worked at SCAPE, where she helped lead projects addressing climate crisis at the overlaps of water, land, and collective memory. Prior to joining SALA, Sara was a lecturer at the University of Washington and the Myles H. Thaler Visiting Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia.

Select publications

Sara Jacobs and Taryn Wiens. “Landscapes of care: politics, practices, and possibilities.” Landscape Research. (2023). 

Sara Jacobs. “Materiality as Inquiry: Environmental Histories for New Worlds.” In Conceptual Landscapes: New Perspectives in the Earliest Stages of Design, ed. Simon Bussiere. New York: Routledge: 2023.

Sara Jacobs in conversation with Jay Cephas, Pollyanna Rhee, and Eliot Sturtevant. “Landscape History, Now.” PLATFORM, (April 17, 2023). 

Sara Jacobs. “Site as Power: Site Histories for Lively futures.” KERB 30: POWER: Resistance and Surrender. Agency in a Landscape of Uncertainty. (2023): 83-85.

Sara Jacobs. “Visualizing Nature, Race, and Urban Landscapes through Warren Manning’s A National Plan.” In Rethinking the Urban Landscape, Ed. Thaisa Way and Davis Karmon. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 81:3 (September 2022): 282-284.

Sara Jacobs and Taryn Wiens. “Breaking Ground: Sifting Soil Stories at Bos Park.” Journal of Architectural Education. 76:2 (2022): 163-169.

Sara Jacobs. “From novel to relational: An approach to care for relational landscapes.” Journal of Landscape Architecture, 14: 3 (2019): 86-95. 


PhD, University of Washington
MLA, Harvard University
BA, University of California, Berkeley