Cemeteries and the Human-Soil Interface

The Sustainable Cemetery Studies Lab looks at the human-soil interface.

Have you ever wondered what really happens in a cemetery? There's a lot going on down there! Why are we looking? What are we looking at? What do we need to know? As we learn what's happening with and to our cemeteries -  what they need to provide good habitat and carbon storage; best practices for sustainable financial management and reduced resource use; if, how and where they're contaminating soil and groundwater; appropriate historic preservation and cultural stewardship - these questions become more relevant, and our need for knowledge grows.

The Sustainable Cemetery Studies Lab wants to support the asking and answering of those questions. We do that by stimulating research and providing the education required to move improve cemetery operation. Want to find out more? Get in touch!

Education and Training - "Transitioning cemeteries to sustainability"

 "Introduction to Sustainable Cemetery Management" Now Online - CHECK IT OUT

MORE COURSES Oregon State's Soil Science, Horticulture, and Natural Resources programs offer a wide range of courses that will deepen any practitioner's understanding of the principles of Sustainable Cemetery Management. Soil Science, Environmental Geology, Urban Forestry, Turfgrass Maintenance, Permaculture Design - these are just a few of the many land-based skillsets that can improve cemetery operation and can be found through OSU's online educational programs. For a list of recommended courses now available online, click here.

Outreach and Engagement - "The Living Cemetery Project" - Looking for Pilot Cemeteries

In keeping with our Land-Grant University mission, faculty, researchers and extension agents are eager to share what's known about sustainable landscape management cemetery operators and the general public that many of them rely upon as volunteers. Modeled after the highly successful Living Churchyard Project in the UK, and encompassing the broader set of resources available through the US's University Extension Service, the Federally mandated Soil and Water Conservation District's, and other relevant organizations, the Living Cemetery program is suggested as one management transition framework for cemeteries interested in shifting to more sustainable practices.

This OSU program is in its formative stages and is currently seeking Cemeteries that wish to be considered as pilot cemeteries should contact us here.