Jeremy C. Wells is an Assistant Professor in the Historic Preservation program and a Fulbright scholar. Before joining the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park, he was an assistant professor in the Historic Preservation Program at Roger Williams University (Bristol, Rhode Island) where he specialized in historic preservation/cultural heritage planning and policy and helped guide the development of their graduate program. His prior professional experience includes serving as the Principal Preservation Planner for the City of Denver, working as a Main Street (downtown revitalization) manager, and employment as an architectural materials conservator.
Wells’ interdisciplinary research explores an improved relationship between conservation practice and human flourishing through a better understanding of how people value, perceive, and use old (e.g., “historic”) places. This research is based on methodologies (ethnographies, survey research, phenomenology, and community-based participatory research) and methods (interviews, photoelicitation, survey instruments) from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and environmental psychology. Multicultural and social justice perspectives have a central role in his research and teaching, both of which have involved working with Latino communities in the United States and with socioculturally diverse groups in Brazil.
Wells’ publications include Preservation Education: Sharing Best Practices and Finding Common Ground (University Press of New England), co-edited with Barry Stiefel (College of Charleston). His research has been published in the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Journal of Environmental Psychology, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, and the Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin along with numerous book chapters. He served as the co-editor of the referred journal, Preservation Education & Research, from 2013-15.
Wells is currently the Chair of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) where he created EDRA’s Historic Environment Knowledge Network in 2008 to work with other academics and practitioners in addressing the person/place and environment/behavior aspects of heritage conservation. Through this network, he helped facilitate the creation of the “Principles for Integrating Environmental Design and Behavior Research into Built Heritage Conservation Practice” to help guide researchers and practitioners.