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Charles Andrew Cole Ph.D., Senior Ecologist - Ecological Society of America
Associate Professor
Penn State Landscape Architecture
329 Stuckeman

Andy Cole serves as the ecologist within the department, bringing ecological understanding into the curriculum such that students’ thinking and their designs are enhanced. He teaches the basic ecology course (241), a plant identification class when he's able, and seminars ranging from restoration ecology to watershed stewardship.  Cole tries to be involved within the various studios in order to assist students in applying ecological principles to their designs. He is a wetland ecologist by training, though he also has a wildlife biology background. His research interests lie with restoration ecology as it applies to damaged landscapes, usually wetlands.  Cole has a long-standing interest in the creation of wetland ecosystems and their developing characteristics and function. He is also interested in how design decisions impact site and landscape ecology. His current projects include assessing riparian characteristics of two state parks in a region that might be affected by shale gas development, developing natural resource condition assessments for two small units of the national park system, and looking at micrometeorological aspects of schoolyard wetlands.


  • Ph.D. 1988 - Zoology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
  • M.S. 1983 Wildlife Ecology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • B.S. 1981 - Wildlife Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Courses Taught

  • LArch 241 - Ecological Principles for Landscape Design
  • LArch 424 - Ecology and Field Identification of Central Appalachian Flora
  • LArch 424 - Restoration Ecology
  • LArch 497 - Ecological Design


Cole's interests lie in ecological design and discovering what principles might be learned from natural sites that may be translated into design ideas and approaches. Specifically,he is a wetland ecologist looking at all aspects of created wetlands, from soils and plants to hydrology. He is also interested in all aspects of natural resources assessment espescially as they pertain to design and impacts to the land. Cole has a deep interest in restoration ecology, ranging from wetlands in PA to arctic tundra in Alaska.


Cole is active in the Ecology Graduate Degree Program at Penn State.  He serves on a variety of committees across PSU including several within the Graduate School, as well as on the Arboretum Advisory Committee.

CV + Files + Links

photo of a dragonfly in a wetland
photo of student group studying in the woods
photo of a red spotted newt