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2018 CSI Teams and Projects Announced

thesandlotMahan Rykiel Associates' The Sand Lot in Baltimore, Maryland

Seven faculty Research Fellows and eight high-performing landscape projects have been selected for LAF’s 2018 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches faculty-student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Teams develop methods to quantify environmental, economic and social benefits and produce Case Study Briefs that are published in LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series.

Research Fellows lead the CSI collaboration and receive funding to support a student Research Assistant. Participants from each firm serve as liaisons and work with the academic team. This year, each of the five teams will study one to two projects (instead of three, as in past years) in order to increase the breadth and depth of the research.

The selected projects include waterfront sites, brownfield reclamations, and — a CSI first — a pop-up park and restaurant. The diverse public spaces include a SITES-certified heritage site and a SEED-certified park designed to promote social equity.

The 2018 CSI program kicks off in February and runs through early August. We look forward to working with this impressive group and to learning more about these outstanding projects and their impacts!

CSI Research Fellow:
Catherine De Almeida, University of Nebraska
Student Research Assistants: Hannah LoPresto and Brandon Zambrano

  • Design Workshop - P Street Corridor, Lincoln, NE
  • Sasaki - Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, Council Bluffs, IA

CSI Research Fellow:
Lisa DuRussel, RLA, LEED AP, Pennsylvania State University
Student Research Assistant: Aastha Singh

  • Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects - West Point Foundry Preserve, Cold Spring, NY
  • SWA - Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, Queens, NY

CSI Research Fellows:
Jon Calabria, Alfred Vick, and Brian Orland, University of Georgia
Student Research Assistant: Rachael Shields

  • HDR, Inc - Historic Fourth Ward Park Phase 1, Atlanta, GA
  • HDR, Inc - University of Georgia Science Learning Center, Atlanta, GA

CSI Research Fellow:
George Bradley Guy, Assoc AIA, LEED AP BD+C, SEED, Catholic University of America
Student Research Assistant: Jazzmin Reid

  • Depot Park, Gainesville, FL

CSI Research Fellow:
Pavlina Ilieva, AIA, Morgan State University
Student Research Assistant: Naomi Wong Hemme

  • Mahan Rykiel Associates - The Sandlot, Baltimore, MD

Celebrating 10 Years of LAF Olmsted Scholars


The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program, with its $25,000 graduate and $15,000 undergraduate prize, is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential and builds a network of support as they rise through their professional careers.

This year marks an exciting milestone as we celebrate 10 years of scholarship and recognition through LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program. To commemorate, LAF is delighted to announce that starting in 2018, the finalist awards will increase from $1,000 to $5,000 for graduate students and to $3,000 for undergraduates, thanks to the generous support of LAF’s 50 & Forward Campaign donors.

We are also planning a number of activities in 2018 to celebrate the community of 549 LAF Olmsted Scholars recognized to date. These include bioregional events inspired by the calls to action in the New Landscape Declaration, as well as a celebration to coincide with the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Throughout the year, look for features of past Olmsted Scholars on our website and newsletter as we share the innovative work that they are doing to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. To get a taste, check out these interviews from last year: