Photo by Carol Betsch

LALH Staff

Robin Karson

Executive Director

Robin Karson, Hon. ASLA, is the founder and executive director of LALH and the author of more than one hundred articles and several books on American landscape history, including Warren H. Manning, Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner (as coeditor);  A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era; Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect; The Muses of Gwinn; Pioneers of American Landscape Design (as coeditor); and the new introduction to the LALH revised edition of Fletcher Steele’s Design in the Little Garden. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Foundation for Landscape Studies, the American Horticultural Society, and the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art. In addition, she has organized several touring exhibitions for LALH on topics relating to American landscape history. In 2004, Karson was named a distinguished member of the Honor Society of Sigma Lambda Alpha for her “continued high-quality contribution to the scholarship of landscape architecture and the literature of landscape architecture history.” In 2017, she was made an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2022, she received the Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for Literary Achievement from the Garden Club of America.

Sarah Allaback

Senior Manuscript Editor

Sarah Allaback, LALH senior manuscript editor, previously worked as an historian and editor for the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record, a consultant for the National Park Service, and the publications manager at Monticello. She is author of Marjorie Sewell Cautley, Landscape Architect for the Motor Age, The First American Women Architects, Mission 66 Visitor Centers: The History of a Building Type, and several articles and book chapters on nineteenth-century American design education for women and architectural history writing. Allaback is a coeditor of Warren H. Manning, Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner and of the LALH series Masters of Modern Landscape Design and coauthor of Improving the Village: Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Laurel Hill Association. She has an undergraduate degree in architectural history from Princeton University and a PhD in architectural history, theory, and criticism from MIT.

Carol Betsch

Managing Editor

Carol Betsch, LALH managing editor, graduated from Barnard College with a degree in art history, specializing in nineteenth-century American painting and photography. After working as a researcher at Art in America, she began her career as a copyeditor at Viking Press and two decades of freelance editing for Harry N. Abrams in 1974. In 1980, she moved into scholarly publishing at Cornell University Press, which she left as senior manuscript editor in 1999 to join the University of Massachusetts Press as managing editor. Her parallel career as a landscape and garden photographer led to her collaborations with Robin Karson and LALH. She retired from UMass Press and joined the LALH staff in 2017.

Neil Brigham

Office Manager

Neil Brigham, LALH office manager, joined the staff as administrative and research assistant in 2005. Graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1983 with a BS in psychology, he later gained more than ten years of administrative and managerial experience as the assistant director of the UMass Child Care Program. He has also pursued a career as a freelance illustrator, earning an MA in illustration from Syracuse University in 2003. His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators in New York City, as well as the Society of Illustrators – Los Angeles.