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Naomi Alena Sachs

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Plant Science & Landscape Architecture 2134 Plant Sciences Building 4291 Fieldhouse Drive College Park, MD 20742-4452





Naomi's primary areas of interest are restorative and therapeutic landscapes, evidence-based design, healthcare design, and salutogenic (health-promoting) design. Other interests include environmental justice, environmental psychology, translational research, environments for specific populations, cultural geography, and intersectionality.

Naomi is Founding Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, a non-profit knowledge base and online interactive space for information about landscapes that promote health and well-being. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on the positive role of nature in human health. Amongh other publications, Naomi is co-author with Clare Cooper Marcus of the book Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces. Naomi is Co-Editor with Jan Stichler and Kirk Hamilton of the peer-reviewed journal, Health Environments Research & Design


Ph.D., Architecture, Texas A&M University

Master of Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

BA, Women's Studies, Brown University

Graduate Certificate in Health Systems & Design, Texas A&M University

Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Regionalism, University of New Mexico

Professional Work

Professional Positions Held: 

At the University of Maryland, Naomi serves on the Nature Rx@UMD Steering Committee. She serves on the Center for Health Design‘s Research Coalition and is an Advisory Board member of Gardens for Heroes; an Industry Scholar at the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures; and a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Health Systems & Design, Texas A&M University. Naomi has served on the Editorial Review Board of the American Horticultural Therapy Association‘s Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture since 2007. She has been an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the ASLA Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network since 1999, and served as HTD PPN Co-Chair and Chair in ’05-‘06 and ’06-‘07, respectively. 

Professional Certifications: 

2014 Center for Teaching Excellence Teacher Assistant Training, Texas A&M University

2014 Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Human Research Curriculum

2013 NIH Protecting Human Research Participants Training

2012 Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC)


Areas of Interest: 

  • Restorative and therapeutic landscapes

  • mental and behavioral health

  • garden evaluation

Current Research: 

  • Application of the Healthcare Garden Evalution Toolkit (H-GET) in healthcare and beyond

  • Design for Mental and Behavioral Health Environments

  • Correlations between Urban Greenspace and Violent Crime

  • Positive Nature Theory

Achievements in Research: 

2018 ARCC/ King Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Research Architectural Research Centers Consortium
2016-2017 Tuttle Research Fellowship ($10,000) AIA/Academy for Architecture and Health
2014-2015 The Center for Health Design New Investigator Research Award ($10,000) Center for Health Design Research Coalition
2012-2014  William W. Caudill Research Fellowship ($26,000) texas A&M University Department  of Architecture



Courses Taught: 

Fall 2019
LARC 640 - Graduate Studio I

Spring 2020
LARC 240 - Sophomore Studio II
LARC 671 - Research Methods


Selected Publications: 


Cooper Marcus, C., & Sachs, N. A. (2014). Therapeutic landscapes: An evidence-based approach to designing healing gardens and restorative outdoor spaces. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. 978-1118231913.

Book Chapters and Contributions

Shepley, M. M. & Sachs, N. A. (2019). Design Attributes for Improved Mental and Behavioral Health (Chapter 5). In D. Battisto & J. Wilhelm (Eds.), Architecture and health: Guiding principles for practice (pp. 75-97). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.  

Sachs, N. A. (2018). Healing gardens. In D. Kopec (Ed.), Environmental psychology for design(3rd ed.) (pp. 250-251). New York, NY: Fairchild Books.

Sachs, N. A. (2015). Central Park. In Jared Green (Ed.), Designed for the future: 80 practical ideas for a sustainable world (pp. 44–45). New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.

Wilson, C., & Sachs, N. (2011). Communities, plazas, squares (Chapter 3). In C. Wilson & S. Polyzoides (Eds.), The plazas of New Mexico (pp. 123–299). San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.

Sachs, N. (1999). Psychiatric hospitals (Chapter 6). In C. Cooper Marcus & M. Barnes (Eds.), Healing gardens: Therapeutic benefits and design recommendations (pp. 235–322). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

Peer-reviewed Journals

Sachs, N. A., Shepley, M. M., Peditto, K., Hankinson, M. T., Smith, K., Giebink, B., & Thompson, T. (2019). Evaluation of a Mental and Behavioral Health Patient Room Mockup at a VA Facility. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 1937586719856349.

Sachs, N. A. (2019). Salutogenic landscapes are a blueprint for health-promoting design. Topos, 106, 074-075. 

Editorials for Health Environments Research & Design Journal

Sachs, N. A. (2019). A breath of fresh air: Access to nature in healthcare facilities. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 12(4), 226-230.

Gregory, D., Hamilton, K., & Sachs, N. A. (2019). Jaynelle Stichler: A modern day Florence Nightingale. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 12(3), 8-10.

Sachs, N. A. (2019). Research on nature and healthcare: What do we still need?. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 12(2), 162-167.

Sachs, N. A. (2019). EBD at the macro level: How research informs policy. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 11(4), 108-110.

Sachs, N. A. (2018). Designing for public health with healthcare design, Part II: Design. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 11(3), 17-21.

Sachs, N. A. (2018, in press). Designing for public health with healthcare design, Part I: Research. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 11(2), 13-15.

Sachs, N. A. (2018). Here’s some great research! Now what? Translating research into practice. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 11(1), 40-42.

Sachs, N. A. (2017). The case for nature or nature-ish. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10(5), 157–161.

Sachs, N. A. (2017). The next chapter: Co-Editor #3. Editorial, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10(4), 7–9.