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Archive for the ‘EDUCATION’ Category

The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin.

From “Prairie Primetime” by Haniya Rae in the January 2022 issue, about the Prairie Conservation Center in Aurora, Colorado, where a plan by Mundus Bishop reveals this short-grass prairie as a thriving place for ecological education.

“A plains education.”

–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

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BY ZACH MORTICE

Research by Samantha Solano, ASLA, and TJ Marston from the VELA Project.

New research from the VELA Project looks at gender equity in landscape architecture education.

 

Samantha Solano, ASLA, and TJ Marston have peeked under the hood of gender equity in landscape architecture once again. After their groundbreaking (and 2021 ASLA Professional Award of Excellence–winning) research initiative the VELA (Visualizing Equity in Landscape Architecture) Project, in which the team aggregated 17,000 data points on women in leadership roles, they’ve turned their lens to the pipeline for women educators.

In their original research project, Marston and Solano found that while 55 percent of landscape architecture graduates are women, only 15 percent of firms identify as women-led. “I kept hearing, ‘Yeah, we just need more women in the pipeline,’” says Marston, a visiting instructor at Florida International University’s landscape architecture school. Pulling data from professional associations and schools, this research initiative first examined professional practice (licensure, ASLA leadership, professional awards, and career phase) and created data visualizations that made their findings vividly and instantly clear. “We were surprised that the data showed that it wasn’t a pipeline issue,” Marston says. “There are plenty of women going in. We’re just losing them.”

In the academic realm, Marston and Solano saw many of the same dynamics at play. Just as licensure became a point of attrition for women in professional practice, gaining tenure in academia is also a restrictive hurdle for women, with fewer and fewer women represented in the upper echelons of academic leadership. (more…)

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BY EMILY SCHLICKMAN

A native plant nursery roves the streets of Northern California.

FROM THE DECEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

On a sunny September morning, a black box truck rolled into a suburban California neighborhood playing a catchy jingle of insect sounds. The truck stopped and, within minutes, transformed into a verdant plant nursery: The rear door rolled up and its sides folded out, revealing a pop-up shop bursting with native ferns and forbs, saplings and starts. With the addition of decomposed granite, yellow loungers, and recycled crates, a curbside neighborhood hub emerged. Over the course of the day, the quiet residential street came alive with dog walkers, bicyclists, and neighbors interested in buying plants and learning about native vegetation. (more…)

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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY JARED BREY

FROM THE NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

How many things can a river do? The people of the Tennessee Valley have not finished asking.

For 10,000 years the Tennessee River has both sustained human civilizations and attended their demise. One of the biggest rivers in the United States, the Tennessee is also among the most biodiverse, with some 230 species of fish and 100 species of freshwater mussels. In the 18th century, Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes flourished in East Tennessee. Later the river was used to expel Indigenous people from the land along the Trail of Tears after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Its bridges were burned during the Civil War, its soils stripped of nutrients, its banks eroded. After the federal government created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the 1930s, the river was asked to do ever more: to stop flooding, first and foremost; to generate electricity for thousands of unlit rural miles; to navigate boats and barges along its U-shaped course; to produce nitrates for war munitions and fertilizer for its depleted soils; to host landscapes of leisure and recreation; to make one of the country’s poorest regions prosper.

Now the Tennessee River is asked to be a park from its source to its mouth. (more…)

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BY LISA OWENS VIANI

A cool map for a warming watershed arrives at the right moment.

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

As the western United States continues to wither in an extended drought, the Colorado River’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have fallen to their lowest levels since they were first filled—Lake Mead in 1935 and Lake Powell in 1963—according to John Fleck, a professor of practice in water policy and governance in the Department of Economics and director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Against this parched backdrop, the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy has published a timely new map of the Colorado River watershed that illuminates the complicated issues facing basin managers now and in the future as water becomes an ever more scarce and precious commodity in the West.

Produced in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s newly launched Center for Geospatial Solutions, the peer-reviewed map, which includes photographs and extensive narrative, tells the story of the river’s complicated legal and political history and challenges. (more…)

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BY ZACH MORTICE

View of Utqiaġvik, Alaska, and the Chukchi Sea in February 2020. Photo by Chengxin Sha/Arctic Design Group, 2020.

Federally funded research will help set a baseline for how to build in the Arctic.

 

In Alaska, beyond the Arctic Circle in North Slope Borough, Indigenous communities practice subsistence whale hunting. To store the whale meat, tribal communities dig ice cellars in the permafrost, a major infrastructural feat, as a 50-ton whale can feed thousands. But as climate change melts permafrost, the cellars are failing, leading to spoiled food. Studies have indicated that climate change may be a factor, but soil conditions and development on top of cellars are also causing warming and potential failure. “We keep it there in trust for the community,” says Gordon Brower, the director of North Slope Borough Planning and Community Services and a member of the Iñupiaq Indigenous community. “To keep that type of meat secure and healthy, we need to evaluate our earthen storage shelters.”

How might designers augment ice cellars’ cooling capacity in ways that support Indigenous traditions, while contending with the Arctic’s position on the front lines of climate change? This question is just one part of the National Science Foundation-funded research by the University of Virginia’s Arctic Research Center, aimed at gathering data to determine the design parameters for Arctic infrastructure in an era of expanding development and climate change, says Leena Cho, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at UVA. Cho, her partner Matthew Jull, an associate professor of architecture, and a team of UVA researchers will install aquatic, meteorological, and geotechnical sensors in the North Slope Borough town of Utqiagvik. This data will help Cho and Jull formulate guidelines for building height, form, materials, and foundations, as well as wider urban planning concerns in the Arctic. (more…)

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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY STEPHEN ZACKS

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

The state of Virginia has regulated landscape architecture as a profession since 1980, certifying practitioners through its professional occupational agency. In 2010, landscape architecture became a licensed profession in the state.

A few bills attempted to deregulate or lower the level of regulation back to certification, but none of them made it out of legislative committee. Around 2011, Republican then-Governor Robert McDonnell set up a commission to eliminate regulations in general, including of professions such as landscape architecture and interior design. Members of the Virginia chapter of ASLA persuaded the governor to remove landscape architects from the list.

Robert McGinnis, FASLA, an associate principal at Kennon Williams Landscape Studio and a member of the Virginia ASLA chapter’s government affairs committee, says that interior designers and landscape architects get targeted because people don’t know what they do. “They see the word landscape and think we put trees in the ground.” (more…)

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