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Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an assistant professor in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Maryland, College Park and a Fulbright scholar. His research explores how people perceive and are affected by patina and decay in the built environment; the intersection between critical heritage studies and rules, laws, and regulations; heritage behavior, including the language everyday people use to describe old places; and the development of applied social science and participatory methodologies that can be used by practitioners. He is currently researching how various regions of the brain respond to environmental patina and collaborating with computer scientists on the creation of a “social heritage machine” that will have the ability to geolocate grassroots heritage meanings as a planning tool.
Dr. Wells is the co-editor (with Barry Stiefel, College of Charleston) of Human-Centered Built Environment Heritage Preservation: Theory and Evidence-Based Practice (Routledge, 2019). 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.
In 2008, Dr. Wells founded the Historic Environment Knowledge Network at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) to work with other academics and practitioners in addressing the person/place and environment/behavior aspects of heritage conservation. He runs the http://heritagestudies.org web site that explores how to evolve heritage conservation practice using critical heritage studies theory to better balance meanings and power between experts and most stakeholders.