A long-time student of culture and its material artifacts, Karl has spent the past thirty-five years examining the manner in which people have created American landscapes. His field-based research interests blend rural and urban contexts, especially within America’s Middle West, Appalachia, and South. His past work included examinations of the relationships between European immigrants and occupational preadaptation, the social construction of sport and leisure places, and the creation of landscape symbol vocabularies. He is currently working on several projects relating to the spectacular role of the road—in its many guises and through its many commercial, political, and technical patrons—as a shaping influence on landscapes. Recent research projects include: The National Road and A Guide to the National Road, two edited books that were supported by funding from the Pioneer American Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities; The Great Valley Road: Shenandoah Landscapes from Prehistory to the Present, co-edited with Warren Hofstra, and a book co-authored with Nancy O’Malley, Kentucky’s Frontier Highway: Historic Landscapes along the Maysville Road.