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Meet the 2015 National Olmsted Scholar and Finalists: The Graduate Students

The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Here, we showcase the 2015 graduate student winner and finalists, who were announced last spring. An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected them from a group of 43 graduate students nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. The winner receives the $25,000 graduate prize and each finalist receives $1,000. All of the 2015 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s Annual Benefit in Chicago on November 6.

 

National Olmsted Scholar Grant Fahlgren of the University of British Columbia

Grant discusses the 7 generations philosophy of his Anishinabae ancestors, traditional ecological knowledge, and how it applies to landscape architecture, using the Fraser River watershed in the Cascadia Bioregion as an example.

 

 

Finalist Andrea Johnson of the City College of New York

Andrea discusses her interest in how design can empower communities that have historically been marginalized, including her work on land intervention strategies to improve quality of life in low income communities in South Africa.

 

 

Finalist Teresa Pereira of Temple University

Teresa discusses her goal to expand the interdisciplinary boundaries of landscape architecture by utilizing filmmaking to address experiential, ecological, and social components of landscape analysis.

 

 

Finalist Harris Trobman of the University of Maryland

Harris showcases a recently completed design-build project at a school campus for 500 children in northern Haiti and discusses his current action-oriented research as a Green Infrastructure Specialist at the University of the District of Columbia.

Meet the 2015 National Olmsted Scholar and Finalists: The Undergraduates

The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Here, we showcase the 2015 undergraduate winner and finalists, who were announced last spring. An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected them from a group of 29 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. The winner receives the $15,000 undergraduate prize and each finalist receives $1,000. All of the 2015 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s Annual Benefit in Chicago on November 6.

 

National Olmsted Scholar Maria Muñoz of Louisiana State University

Maria discusses her research on food security in Puerto Rico and how enhancements to the existing network of local vendors and their sources of home-grown agricultural products could offer a more environmentally sustainable and resilient type of agricultural system.

 

Finalist Erin McDonald of Iowa State University

In this slideshow, Erin reflects on what landscape architecture and art mean to her. She also discusses opportunities as she embraces her new city: Houston, Texas.

 

Finalist Nathaniel Oakley of the University of California, Davis

Nathaniel shares his interest in finding sustainable and regenerative design solutions for landscapes affected by large scale and aging flood control infrastructure, using the examples of the Devil’s Gate Dam in Pasadena and the Arroyo Seco channel in Los Angeles, California.

 

Finalist Daniel Zhicheng Xu of Purdue University

[Video coming in December]

 

LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

Heading to Chicago for the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO? We hope you’ll join us for some or all of the following events to celebrate, support, and raise awareness about LAF and its transformative programs. Between receiving two ASLA Professional Awards and kicking off the festivities for our 50th anniversary in 2016, it will be an epic series of events. We hope to see you!

starrynightStarry Night, LAF’s 30th Annual Benefit
Fri, Nov 6, 7:00-10:30pm
Adler Planetarium

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a star-filled evening at the Adler Planetarium where floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terraces offer awe-inspiring views of the Chicago skyline. Enjoy cocktails, fine local food, and amazing company, all while raising money to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Landscape Performance: Determining What and How to Measure
Fri, Nov 6, 1:30-3pm
McCormick Place, Room E451A, Level 4
Don’t miss this Education Session moderated by LAF’s Heather Whitlow and featuring Skip Graffam of OLIN, Emily McCoy of Andropogon Associates, and Allyson Mendenhall of Design Workshop. Panelist will present widely applicable metrics and methods for environmental, social, and economic performance and share insights on gathering baseline data, setting objectives, and evaluating performance of built projects.

photocollage2LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#2821)
Sat-Sun, Nov 7-8, 9:00am-5:00pm
McCormick Place
Visit our booth to learn more about LAF, help kick off our 50th anniversary celebration in our photobooth, and try out the award-winning LandscapePerformance.org.

ASLA Professional Awards Ceremony
Mon, Nov 9, 12:00-1:00pm
McCormick Place - Lakeside Center, Arie Crown Theater
See the best in landscape architecture from the U.S. and around the world. LAF’s Landscape Performance Series will receive the 2015 Award of Excellence in Communications, and our Case Study Investigation (CSI) program will be recognized with an Honor Award for Research.

Announcing Our 2015 National Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is delighted to announce that Grant Fahlgren, a master’s student at the University of British Columbia, and Maria Muñoz, an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, were selected as the 2015 National Olmsted Scholars.

fahlgren-500x700Grant Fahlgren, University of British Columbia

Grant receives the $25,000 graduate prize and intends to use the award to expand his research of collaborative partnerships between indigenous communities and designers in the Cascadia Bioregion. This research will help elucidate the connections between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and landscape architecture and provide a foundational knowledge to inform future collaborations. Grant is pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in November 2015.

Maria receives the $15,000 undergraduate prize. Building on her heritage and experiences in Puerto Rico, Maria plans to use the award to research the island’s network of local vendors and their sources of homegrown agriculture products. Through interviews and mapping, she will document the social networks and marketing strategies of the growers, yielding knowledge that can help increase the growth potential of the homegrown food to local market system. Maria graduates with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in May 2015.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists, who each receive a $1,000 award. The graduate finalists are:

muoz-500x700Maria Muñoz, Louisiana State University
  • Andrea Johnson, City College of New York
  • Teresa Pereira, Temple University
  • Harris Trobman, University of Maryland

The undergraduate finalists are:

  • Erin McDonald, Iowa State University
  • Nathaniel Oakley, University of California, Davis
  • Daniel Zhicheng Xu, Purdue University

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 43 graduate and 29 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2015 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of nearly 400 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

The 2015 jurors for the graduate award were: Mark Dawson, FASLA, LAF Board President and Managing Principal at Sasaki Associates; Chad Danos, FASLA, PLA, ASLA President-Elect and Director of Landscape Architecture at Duplantis Design Group; D’Arcy Deeks, President and CEO at IRONSMITH; Chris Fannin, Senior Vice President and Director of Planning at HOK; Daniel Martin, Director of Marketing at Permaloc Corporation and Partner at Land8 Media; and Sara Zewde, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Graduate) and MLA student at Harvard University.

Jurors for the undergraduate award were: Kona Gray, ASLA, LAF President-Elect and Principal at EDSA; Mark Focht, FASLA, PLA, ASLA Immediate Past President and First Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Jim Laiche, Water Conservation Business Manager at The Toro Company; Bradford McKee, Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture Magazine; Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, CEO and Partner at OLIN;  Fritz Steiner, PhD, Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture, University of Texas at Austin; and Erin Percevault, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Undergraduate) and BLA student at Louisiana State University.

Now in its eighth year, the Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.The Olmsted Scholars Program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, IRONSMITH, Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly, and Steven G. King, FASLA; Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.

LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

If you’ll be in Denver for the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, we hope you’ll join us for one or more of the following events to raise awareness and support LAF programs. We’ll celebrate over $1 million awarded to students since 1986, honor our 2014 Olmsted Scholars, and launch the all-new LandscapePerformance.org, the next-generation of our award-winning Landscape Performance Series.

newheightsNew Heights, LAF’s 29th Annual Benefit
Fri, Nov 21, 7:00-10:30pm
The Studio Loft

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a lively evening in the heart of Denver’s Theatre District. Enjoy cocktails, fine food, and amazing company, all while raising money to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#1556)
Sat-Sun, Nov 22-23, 9:00am-5:00pm
Colorado Convention Center
Visit our booth to learn more about LAF, register for the Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes, and see the brand-new LandscapePerformance.org.mackerel-beach

Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes
Sun, Nov 23, 4:30pm
Colorado Convention Center
Join us at our booth in the ASLA Expo Hall as we draw the winner of our one-of-a-kind trip for two to Mackerel Beach, Sydney, Australia. You can make a donation to register to win right up until the drawing. Entrants need not be present to win. All sweepstakes proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Stormwater BMP Performance:
What Every Landscape Architect Should Know
Sat, Nov 22, 2:30-4pm
Colorado Convention Center
Don’t miss this Education Session moderated by LAF’s Heather Whitlow and featuring Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates, Jonathan Jones of Wright Water Engineers, and Jason Berner of the US EPA. This session will describe current initiatives to document performance, protocols for measuring performance, ways to design more effective systems, and the challenges the profession could face when levels of performance aren’t realized.