Meet the LA Urban Rangers

Therese Kelly, Core Ranger

Ranger Therese began her love affair with maps while stationed in New York, where she produced, edited, and designed numerous field guides of architectural fauna throughout the world for Princeton Architectural Press, as well as several compendia of historical maps of urban environs. Still navigating the intersections of landscape, urban design, architecture, and art, she charted course to Los Angeles in 1999 to work in the creation and care of architecture and the urban landscape. Through her work at Therese Kelly Design, and with architectural firms Moore Ruble Yudell and Rios Clementi Hale Studios, she has planned and designed several major urban spaces in the Los Angeles basin, including the award-winning Grand Park, the Baldwin Hills, and Hollywood and Vine's MTA Plaza. She holds degrees in architecture from Princeton University and UCLA, and works off-duty as a designer, editor, and artist, and serves on the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board. She loves winter in L.A., when she can see snow-covered Mt. Baldy from her home in Santa Monica.

Jenny Price, Core Ranger

Ranger Jenny grew up as a girl ornithologist in St. Louis, Missouri in the Mississippi River Valley, and was stationed 1998-2013 in the L.A. basin, where she promptly fell in love with 2 majestic L.A.-area public spaces—the L.A. River and the Malibu beaches. In addition to her Ranger duties, she inhabits the ecosystem generally of public arts and humanities, where her field work has produced projects that include “Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in LA,” Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America, Nature Trail at Laumeier Sculpture Park, the co-created Our Malibu Beaches mobile-phone app, and touring roughly a gazillion people into and through the concrete L.A. River. Since 2013, she has dwelled mostly outside the Pacific Flyway—though she migrates often back to L.A.—and has been the visiting environmental humanities human and also a visiting artist at Princeton University. Since 2016, she has been pleased to be a friendly Research Fellow at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University-St. Louis, where she is devising a new field manual—Stop Saving the Planet!: A 21st-Century Environmentalist Manifesto

Emily Scott, Core Ranger

Ranger Emily received her first tent at age seven and never looked back. As a young adult, she spent nearly a decade roving the wilds of Utah and Alaska as a National Park Service Ranger, as curious about human ideas of nature as about the terrain and ecosystems she encountered. In 2000, she pitched camp in Los Angeles to pursue related questions in an academic environment, eventually earning a PhD in art history from UCLA in 2010. A firm believer in interdisciplinary cross-pollination, she is often sighted in departmental habitats other than her own: she has taught contemporary art and theory to environmental scientists; organized events about intersections between art and geography; and published and lectured in a range of fields. She is currently posted in the architecture department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), at a campus perched atop an urban hill populated by cows, sheep, and Nobel Prize-winning scientists alike. Her primary interpretive media these days are writing and teaching, on topics ranging from contemporary art and land use politics to nature in the post-natural age, ecoaesthetics, and geographies of climate change. She is also a participant in World of Matter (2011-), an international research project by artists and theorists on global resource ecologies.

Cathy Gudis, Senior Ranger

Ranger Cathy was born in Flushing, Queens (aka the bowels of NYC), and has since spent much of her life exploring infrastructural ecosystems in L.A.—since 2005, as history professor and director of the Public History Program at UC Riverside. In her fierce quest to understand how public space is privatized, landscapes racialized, and inequalities of access sustained, she has co-curated abundant art and history exhibits, from Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! (Woodbury’s Hollywood gallery) to Geographies of Detention (CA Museum of Photography) to Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions (Huntington Library). Her book Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Cultural Landscape investigates how the outdoor signs that bred rapidly in the 1900s have shaped American landscapes and culture. She has co-created two art collectives: Project 51, which urged Angelenos to reclaim the L.A. River as their most wondrous public space; and the Bureau of Goods Movement, a clearinghouse to explore the history and import of transportation logistics from the L.A./Long Beach Ports to the Inland Empire. She is at this moment working with CA State Parks on a project that tracks migration and immigration. Cathy’s adventures have been sustained by the Getty Research Institute, Harvard University, Huntington Library, the Smithsonian, and other keystone institutions. 

Sara Daleiden, Core Ranger Emeritus

Sara was active as a core ranger from 2004-2015. She was raised in the agricultural outpost of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where her daily walks to school cultivated a deep interest in the pedestrian experience. After brief posts as an instigator of the arts and community organizing in the industrial port of Milwaukee, near her hometown, and the civic spaces of Washington, D.C., she migrated to Los Angeles to create residencies, public programs and related guides and tools that mobilize people to experience the complex connections between culture and landscape in their developing habitats. Currently she lives a bi-regional life to produce MKE<->LAX, which investigates cultural exchange between two American regions, with Milwaukee and Los Angeles as epicenters. In Milwaukee, she encourages production of an active trail network with committed stewards through the The Milwaukee Method of Creative Placemaking, as an alternative path for mobility through the city’s diverse cultural ecosystem. She also works on cultural development initiatives with collaborators in Los Angeles and nationally such as America’s Black Holocaust Museum, City of Milwaukee, Community Arts Resources, A Dallas Drinking Fountain, Freewaves, Greater Milwaukee Committee, HomeWorks: Bronzeville, Los Angeles Forum, the L.A. County Arts Commission, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Suzanne Lacy, University of Southern California, and Watts House Project.

Past Rangers

Alex Amerri, Nick Bauch, Amanda Evans, Ron Milam

Past Guest Rangers

Los Angeles Poverty Department, Peter Alagona, John Arroyo, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Katie Bachler, Allison Danielle Behrstock, Walter Fears, Bill Fox, Maryam Hosseinzadeh, Donna Houston, Chas Jackson, Chris Kahle, Melissa Kaplan, Kevin Michael Key, David Kipen, Ari Kletzky, Joe Linton, Alan Loomis, Michael Parker, Riccarlo Porter, Faith Purvey, Megan Sallabedra, Ronnie Walker, Sara Wookey

Did you know?

The primary watershed for the LA Basin is not the L.A. River but the Ballona Creek.