Built Environment Reference

Baylor University, Texas

A private Baptist university located in Waco, Texas. The university, named after one of its founders, Judge R. E. B. Baylor, was chartered by the Texas Baptist Education Society in 1845, making it the oldest academic institution in Texas and generally one of the oldest west of the Mississippi River.

New Mexico State Laboratory, New Mexico

The main laboratory complex of the state of New Mexico's Department of Health, which regularly conducts tests concerning public health and safety. The laboratory examines cases related to infectious diseases, hazardous materials, and environmental contaminants, as well as criminal cases involving drug or alcohol use, and provides scientific and medical consultations and support services to health and environmental agencies throughout the state. The New Mexico State Scientific Laboratories are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

summer herding camp

There is a long standing tradition of sheep and cattle herding among the Navajo and Hopi, as well as other Native peoples in the New Mexico and Arizona area. In warm weather, livestock is often taken to graze some distance from villages, to areas usually higher in elevation that offer abundant forage vegetation. Summer herding camps are temporary base settlements that can consist of tents or simply blankets laid on the ground next to a fire ring, although if the camp is used consistently by the same family, more permanent structures can also be also constructed. Water and food supplies are kept in the camp, so that herders can take the sheep out to graze during the day and come back by evening to spend the night at the camp. Sheep or cattle owners are often accompanied by their families, so that young boys can learn herding skills. Women and girls usually stay at the camp to cook and engage in craft making such as weaving. These seasonal herding camps are often located in remote areas, and are reached by wagon or a pickup truck that can traverse a rough terrain where no established roads are present.

University of Wisconsin

A system of public academic institutions with 13 four-year universities and 13 two-year colleges in various locations across the state of Wisconsin. The system's largest, most prestigious campuses are the research universities at Madison and at Milwaukee.


A large room or hall in a public building where an audience gathers, usually for a public event of performance. In some schools the gymnasium can also function as an auditorium.

cinder block

Also known as concrete masonry units or cement blocks, cinder blocks are rectangular blocks made of concrete that are used in basic construction projects, such as wall construction. Because they are formed to be hollow in the center, cinder blocks retain most of the structural integrity of concrete but only possess a fraction of the weight, making them relatively versatile building units. Construction sites often have leftover cinder blocks that can be used for a variety of house or garden projects.


Adobe is made of clay soil mixed with water and straw that is then formed into walls, oblong shapes, hornos (ovens), or bricks. The finished object is left to dry and harden in the sun. Once cured, it is covered in a coat of plaster, which is essentially thinned adobe mixed with lime.

The word adobe originated in Arabic, and was used by the Spanish to refer to mud brick structures. Adobe was incorporated into English in the 18th century, and the term has come to mean not just the building material but also an architectural style popular in the Southwest, U.S. particularly in Arizona and New Mexico. The use of adobe in New Mexico can be traced to many centuries prior to European contact and was widespread among various Native American groups, especially the Puebloans. With the arrival of Spanish explorers and settlers, local building techniques were combined with Spanish architectural styles to create what is now referred to as the Santa Fe or Spanish-Pueblo Revival style, made famous by the rise of Santa Fe, NM as a popular tourist attraction and cultural center.


The most common substance used in the U.S. for paving roads. Asphalt concrete (also called tarmac) is produced by laying heated refined crude oils over a layer of aggregate materials such as sand and gravel. The mixture is then rolled and pressed onto the road to create a solid, durable surface layer.


Also known as a mobile home, house trailer, or trailer home, this kind of trailer is a portable pre-manufactured living structure. Some trailers are smaller, have wheels, and can be easily moved by being hooked to a strong vehicle (usually a large pickup truck). Others are larger and require the service of a commercial towing truck for transportation. Larger trailers are normally not moved often, and are used as permanent residences often in designated mobile home parks. They present a relatively affordable alternative to buying a home but can carry a stigma of impermanence and poverty.


A leading U.S. supermarket chain with stores all over the U.S. as well as in a few countries abroad. The company started with a small grocery store in American Falls, Idaho in 1915. The store was named Skaggs, after its founder S.M. Skaggs, whose commercial philosophy was grounded in low profit margins to attract customers and gradually increase sales volume. This operating strategy was maintained through the company's gradual expansion and its various name changes and still characterizes today's Safeway as a multinational corporation. As of 2014, the chain had 1,3335 stores in the U.S. and 195 in Mexico. In the past, it also had stores in Canada, Australia, and Jordan.


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