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Panel Presenters

March 17th - 19th, 2021





Megan Barnes is Program Manager for the Landscape Architecture Foundation LAF’s research programs including the Case Study Investigation (CSI) program, Landscape Performance Series initiatives, and the Superstudio. She has a diverse background in landscape architecture, international development, and nonprofit work. Before joining LAF, she was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Guatemala and Panama. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Coastal Solutions Fellowship program in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Megan has a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (now SEAS).



Kofi Boone, FASLA, is a University Faculty Scholar and professor of landscape architecture in the College of Design at North Carolina State University.

Kofi is a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSNR 1992, MLA 1995). His work lies in the overlap between landscape architecture and environmental justice, with specializations in democratic design, digital media, and interpreting cultural landscapes. He has published broadly in peer-reviewed as well as popular media, and his teaching and professional work have earned student and ASLA awards. He serves on the boards of directors of the Corps Network and the Landscape Architecture Foundation, where he president-elect. He also serves on the advisory board of The Black Landscape Architects Network.



Mallika Bose is an architect and urban planner with a specialization in environment-behavior studies. She is a professor and the graduate program coordinator in the Department of Landscape Architecture, as well as the associate dean for research, creative activity, and graduate studies with the College of Arts and Architecture. Her research is motivated by her interest in understanding how social structures are embedded in the built environment, and how such socio-spatial constructions shape behavior of different groups in society. She has been active in research in the following areas: Built Environment and Active Living/Healthy Eating; Public Scholarship and Community Based Design; Gender and Development; and Design/Planning Pedagogy.



Jen teaches online courses in Horticultural Science, Native Plants in the Landscape, Horticulture Production and Management, Urban Horticulture and Green Roof Culture. Her research interest are primarily in the area of green roofs, especially plant species, substrates, interactions with pollinators and moisture deficit conditions. Jen also does research on native plants for use in the green industry and local foods.



Professor Brink’s knowledge and experience of playground development—coupled with her 30 years as a landscape architect—is critical to other similar initiatives. During her stewardship of Learning Landscapes, a $50 million design and construction initiative that completed 96 redeveloped elementary schoolyards in the fall of 2012, the organization made substantial progress in multiple school districts in Colorado and across the country. Professor Brink spent last year as a national advisor for the Space to Grow schoolyard redevelopment initiative in Chicago.



Jessica Canfield is a licensed landscape architect who holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BSLA from Colorado State University. Prior to teaching she worked professionally for Martha Schwartz Partners, EDAW/AECOM, and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Jessica focuses her practice, teaching, and research around improving the social dimensions and environmental performance of urban public space. She is particularly interested in the concept of landscape performance and the relationship between how landscapes look and function. She has been awarded multiple fellowships from the Landscape Architecture Foundation to develop case studies of high-performance sites and to co-author a guidebook on landscape performance metrics.



After graduating from Eyuboglu High School, Serdar Celik received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University (2001), M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (2003), and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes (2007) from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In the same year, he started serving as a faculty at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he continues his teaching and research studies.



Linda Chamorro teaches design studios and courses in 3D modeling and representation, planting design, and urbanism. She is the founding principal of 5m Studio, a multidisciplinary design practice focused on landscape design, public art, and public space design. At Harvard, her work was published in Platform (2008) and Studioworks (2007). Originally from Miami via Nicaragua, she has lived and worked in western Massachusetts, Nicaragua, Boston, San Francisco, and Oregon.



Dr, Chingwen Cheng is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at The Design School and a Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University. Dr. Cheng is dedicated to engaging transdisciplinary research for Climate Justice Design where both procedural and distributive justice being integrated into green infrastructure planning and design for resilient and sustainable communities. Her frontier in Climate Justicescape investigates spatial patterns of socially vulnerable groups exposed to climate change associated hazards provides integrated social-ecological-technological systems understanding and inquiry for building just and sustainable environments.



Dr. Coffman, has helped establish the global understanding of green roofs as constructed urban ecosystems and is a leading figure in the area of living architecture.

Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Greater Ohio Living Architecture (GOLA) Center, the Editor of the Journal of Living Architecture, Executive Board Member/Chair of the International Research Committee on Living Architecture (GRHC) and Director of the Novel Ecology Design Lab (NEDLab). At Kent State, he is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Masters of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design. His teaching focuses on interdisciplinary coursework to aid students in the understanding, conceptualization, design, and construction of contrived ecological systems. He uses narratives to help construct socio-ecological linkages that assist in the creation and understanding of place.

Dr. Coffman leads and advises doctoral and masters students in dissertation, thesis and graduate projects in CAED, Kent State and other institutions.



Professor Cosco’s research focuses on the impact of outdoor environments on health outcomes such as obesity, sedentary lifestyles, attention functioning, and well-being. Her current research is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Buffalo Hospital Foundation. She was the Co-PI of the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of Kids Together Park sponsored by the Center for Universal Design in 2005.


De Almeida

Trained as a landscape architect and building architect, Catherine’s research examines the materiality and performance of waste landscapes through exploratory methods in design research and practice. Her work has ranged in scale from large bio-cultural and sacred indigenous landscapes, to site design and architectural work, to furniture design and materials research. Through her design work, research, teaching and engagement, she explores ways of creating multiplicity within a single entity, space, building or site to form greater efficiencies and performative capabilities in design. Since 2014, Catherine has developed her design research—landscape lifecycles—as a holistic approach that synthesizes multiple programs, forming hybrid assemblages in the transformation of waste landscapes and materials. She uses landscape lifecycles as a framework for investigating the performance, visibility, citizenships, emotions and injustices of waste materials and landscapes.

M. Elen


M. Elen Deming is Director for the new Doctor of Design Program at the College of Design at NC State. For nearly 25 years she has taught design studios, design history and theory, and research design in landscape architecture and is a sought-after graduate mentor. Most recently, Deming was Professor of Landscape Architecture and former Department Head at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and, from 1993 to 2008, she taught at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.



My principal scholarly interest concerns the historical, scientific, cultural, and design bases of urban greening, defined here as a social practice of organized or semi-organized efforts to introduce, conserve, or maintain outdoor vegetation in urban areas. This encompasses interdisciplinary scholarship on urban ecosystem services, human health and wellbeing links with urban flora, and governance. It also includes an emerging area of interest that I describe as travelscapes – the spaces people move through on a daily basis that may be one of our dominant experiences of landscapes. I believe that design is a powerful tool for enhancing human and ecological potentials, and this informs my approach to landscape architecture and urban planning. Prior to starting at UMass, I was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities Institute at The New York Botanical Garden. I have been a regular contributor to Landscape Architecture Magazine on ecological design topics, and my career spans research and practice with a range of federal, municipal, and nonprofit organizations. Raised in Sweden and the U.S. and having traveled extensively including work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, I am also interested in international perspectives on urban greening theory and practice.


Elizabeth K.

Elizabeth K. Meyer, FASLA, is the Merrill D. Peterson Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, where she has taught since 1993, also serving as Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture as well as Dean of the School of Architecture. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Cornell University; she taught previously at Cornell and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and practiced as a landscape architect with the EDAW and Hanna/Olin design firms. She was named one of the 25 most admired educators in the U.S. by DesignIntelligence in 2011, 2012, and 2013.



Christopher Ellis is a professor in the Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning department at University of Maryland.



Jessica Fernandez is Lecturer of Design Communication and Visual Literacy in the College of Environment and Design. Dr. Fernandez's teaching incorporates contemporary approaches to site design exploration such as data visualization, VR/AR applications, and the investigation of emerging technologies. Her research focuses on the use of new and developing methods for site assessment, understanding place, and emergent design communication strategies in landscape architecture. She is also a licensed landscape architect, campus planner, and LEED AP in Neighborhood Development and has practiced for over a decade on a variety of award-winning projects nationwide. Dr. Fernandez owns a business practice, ALPHA Design studio, where she applies what she teaches and researches in the design and building industry.



Billy Fleming is the Wilks Family Director of the Ian L. McHarg Center in the Weitzman School of Design, a senior fellow with Data for Progress, and co-director of the "climate + community project." His fellowship with Data for Progress has focused on the built environment impacts of climate change, and resulted most prominently in the publication of low-carbon public housing policy briefs tied to the “Green New Deal for Public Housing Act” introduced in 2019. In his role at the McHarg Center, Billy is co-editor of the forthcoming book An Adaptation Blueprint (Island Press, 2020), co-editor and co-curator of the book and now internationally-traveling exhibit Design With Nature Now (Lincoln, 2019), and author of the forthcoming Drowning America: The Nature and Politics of Adaptation (Penn Press, expected 2021). Billy is also the lead author of the recently published and widely acclaimed “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for the Green New Deal.” He is also a co-author of the Indivisible Guide (2016).



Cory Gallo's research and design interests are focused on stormwater in urban and campus environments. He has worked professionally at the planning and policy level as well as the site design scale on projects throughout the continental United States. He currently teaches community and hydrology design related courses along with professional practice for landscape architects.



I entered the field of landscape design about two decades ago. I got my bachelor’s in Landscape Design, and my Master’s in Environmental Design in Iran. Then I worked with a wide range of planning and architectural design firms as a freelance designer for about five years. Afterwards, I got my Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and my MLA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining the K-State community, I taught at the Department of Landscape Architecture, and did research at the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois.


Hansen Phillips

Andrea Hansen Phillips is the principal of Datum Digital Studio (, a boutique design studio located Washington, D.C. which specializes in web design and development, data visualization, community engagement tools, and mapping for landscape, architecture, and urban design projects. In addition to her practice, Andrea is the editor of Atlas of Visualization (, an online catalog that features compelling maps and visualizations from the past and present. Andrea’s honors include being selected as a Code for America Fellow in 2014, where she worked with the City of Atlanta to create web-based maps and engagement tools for a billion-dollar infrastructure bond, and in 2012 being named to Next City’s Vanguard class, a “40 under 40” selection of urbanist leaders.



Kristina Hill is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Hill studies urban ecology and hydrology in relationship to physical design and social justice issues. Her primary area of work is in adapting urban districts and shorezones to the new challenges associated with climate change.

In the past, she helped to develop new ideas for urban water system design that support salmon health in the Pacific Northwest. Her involvement as a citizen in urban system advocacy led her to serve as the head of a transit agency in Seattle, after helping to found that agency as a volunteer board member.



Alison B. Hirsch, FAAR, is a landscape theorist, historian and designer. Both her design and written work focus on how understanding cultural practices and social histories and memories can (and should) contribute to the design of meaningful places. As Director of the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program, Alison has established the Landscape Justice Initiative which serves as a platform to address questions of environmental, spatial and climate justice at local and systemic scales.



Jeff Hou is the Director of the Urban Commons Lab and previously served as Department Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Landscape Architecture. Prof. Hou’s research, teaching, and practice focus on community design, design activism, public space and democracy, and social and environmental justice.

In a career that spans across the Pacific, Hou has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers, and fishers in Taiwan, neighborhood residents in Japan, villagers in China, and inner-city immigrant youths and elders in North American cities, in projects ranging from conservation of wildlife habitats to design of urban open space.



Allison earned a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, followed by a Master's of Science in Architecture Studies from the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture at MIT, with an emphasis on cultural landscapes in Turkey and India. She also holds a BFA in sculpture. Allison’s research is focused on documenting the cultural, structural and experiential elements of landscapes. As a researcher with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Hyderabad, India, Allison worked with local architects, archaeologists, water engineers and preservationists to trace political and spiritual processional pathways between the Qutb Shahi necropolis gardens and Golconda Fortress (1518-1647), in the development of the city of Hyderabad. Her interest in cultural landscape studies stems from two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan, where she worked with a community to build greenhouses using vernacular building techniques.



Dr. Shan Jiang is an associate professor in the School of Design and Community Development. She holds a Bachelor of Agriculture in Landscape Architecture from Beijing Forestry University and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Tongji University in China. She received her Ph.D. in Planning Design and the Built Environment (Architecture + Health) from Clemson University. Prior to entering academia she practiced as a landscape designer and has experience on the creation of public open spaces at various scales. Dr. Jiang teaches digital graphics and a range of studios focusing on the environmental planning/design and community development. Her primary research interests include people-nature relationship, landscape design and human health, the application of biophilic principles to create therapeutic environments, and evidence-based design.



Along with degrees in Landscape Architecture and Historic Preservation, Tom brings twenty years of experience in the planning and design field to bear in the professional education of students in the college. In addition to teaching a studio class each semester, he leads in-class and standalone seminars that focus on the use and management of digital tools. As a member of the Technology Services team, he also provides support for the instructional equipment in the studios and classroom spaces of the college, and manages the college's web site and social media presence.



Tim Keane has served at Kansas State University since 1984, teaching in landscape architecture and in the APDesign interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program. Keane has received multiple teaching awards, three Jarvis Endowed Chair positions, the 2009 USDA-CSREES Partnership Award for Mission Integration, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture’s (CELA) “Excellence in Research and/or Creative Work Award, the KSU Professorial Performance Award, and was the college’s first member to be awarded “Distinguished Graduate Faculty” status at Kansas State University.



Joern Langhorst was educated in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Urban Planning in Germany and Europe. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Oregon and Iowa State University. He has practiced extensively, focusing on projects in highly contested situations on various scales, such as redevelopment and remediation in post-industrial cities and brownfield sites, and post-disaster recovery, and is consulting on these issues nationally and internationally.



Charlene LeBleu, ASLA, AICP, is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, and has taught and implemented sustainability policy and design in Alabama since 2004. Charlene employs sustainability in the classes she teaches which include landscape ecology, stormwater construction, a community engagement studio and special projects. Charlene’s efforts are an excellent example of applied scholarship in sustainability, utilizing real world projects to teach students and communities how to work with natural systems rather than trying to control them. In her classes, students design and build systems that create a better quality of life for Alabama communities through restoration of natural stormwater flow processes and other green infrastructure designs that mimic nature’s approach to stormwater.



Sungmin Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University (TAMU). His primary research interests are in understanding and creating healthy and safe environments for people of all ages. Safety of the neighborhoods where people live, work, and play is the prerequisite for individual health and well-being. His research goal is to understand the underlying factors that influence health and safety of individuals and to identify environmental facilitators and barriers to healthy living.



Chanam Lee is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and founding director of Design Research for Active Living (DrAL), at Texas A&M University. Lee's research focuses on linking the built environment with public health outcomes. Her expertise is in ‘active living research,’ a transdisciplinary area of research that deals with environmental and policy approaches toward promoting physical activity.



Ming-Han Li is professor and director of the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction. Li’s unique strength is his interdisciplinary background. He is a professional engineer and a professional landscape architect in the state of Texas, with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering, master of science in civil engineering, and both master of landscape architecture and PhD in urban and regional sciences. Li’s research experience and background covers stormwater management, Low Impact Development, soil bioengineering, soil erosion and roadside vegetation management. His teaching has focused on sustainable water management, low impact development and landscape architecture construction.



Dr. Li's research examines the relationship between the characteristics of the physical environment and people's behavior and mental health. Specific topics include urban nature and mental health, environmental psychology, health equity, urban informatics, GIS and spatial analysis.

Dr. Li is currently recruiting PhD students interested in landscapes and health, environmental psychology, urban informatics and spatial data visualization for 2021 fall.



Sarah Little is a registered landscape architect in North Carolina. For 10 years she worked as a landscape designer in the design/build field creating high-end residential landscapes in the Charlotte metro area. As a registered landscape architect, she worked for 4 years designing children’s play environments and park master plans involving issues of environmental justice and community participation.

In transitioning from practice to academia, Sarah obtained a PhD in Design from North Carolina State University. Her teaching style encourages students to utilize reflective and critical thinking by emphasizing the role of design in creating an experience. Her research broadly focuses on understanding the influence of the design of the physical environment on human development. Her current research projects involve linking human attachment with place attachment, understanding the link between natural environments and autonomy, and developing observation scales for behavior mapping.



Donnie's landscape architecture design studios specialize in helping organizations with big goals and small budgets move their dreams a little closer to reality. I've worked with non profits, economic development officers, city managers, mayors, council members, commissioners, and college presidents on a wide variety of projects: everything from small city parks to mixed used sites that are several hundreds of acres in size.



I teach courses in geographic information systems, food systems, neighborhood planning, and urban design.

I research environmental and socioeconomic influences of neighborhood well-being as well as land use policies that aim to improve community health. I am particularly interested in two areas of inquiry: understanding how availability and access to sources of health and unhealthy food contribute to diet related disease and exploring how the spatial arrangement of outdoor advertising influences health related behaviors. My research focuses on spatial injustices experienced by rural and low-income neighborhoods as well as Asian, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black, and Latine communities.



Yi Luo, PhD, PLA is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida. Prior to joining the University of Florida, Yi taught at Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University. Yi received her Bachelor of Architecture from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, Master of Landscape Architecture from Utah State University, and PhD in Urban and Regional Science from Texas A&M University. Her areas of interest are landscape performance evaluation, sustainability assessment, performance evaluation metrics and methods, therapeutic landscapes, and stormwater management and low impact development. Yi’s research has been funded by various agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Landscape Architecture Foundation, and Jessie Ball DuPont.



Allyson Mendenhall directs the firm’s Legacy Design initiative which emphasizes practice-based research and setting comprehensive sustainability agendas for design projects to deliver measurable economic, environmental, social and aesthetic benefits. She serves on the Executive Leadership Team focused on firmwide strategy and operations. A LEED-certified licensed landscape architect, Allyson leads the firm’s quality and project management processes. She is a Vice President, University-Wide Affairs, of the Harvard Alumni Association Board Executive Committee and Immediate Past Chair of the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council. Locally in Denver, Allyson serves on the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning Advisory Board and is a former Mayoral Trustee of Denver Botanic Gardens.



Michael Lee served from 2009 to 2012 as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, administered by the Trustees for Harvard University in Washington, DC. His research focuses on ideological constructions of nature at the intersection of philosophy, litera­ture, and landscape design. He has a special interest in European garden history (particularly in 18th–20th-century Germany) and has lectured around the country and in Germany on the subject.



Muntazar Monsur, an expert in measuring environment-behavior relationships in children’s environments, has been named an assistant professor within Texas Tech’s Department of Landscape Architecture. The Bangladesh native indicated that he is interested in continuing his teaching and research efforts to enhance the quality of children’s lives by improving/modifying environments with special emphasis in schools, preschools, and childcare centers.



Dr. Ndubisi specializes in ecological design and planning; community design; growth management; and interdisciplinary design education.



I have developed scholarly interests in exploring the ambiguities of both the theoretical and professional underpinnings of design and planning disciplines. My academic explorations are evidence-based, systematic, and interdisciplinary inquiries that are deeply rooted in the scholarship and the education of landscape architecture and urban design, and physical planning fields. More specifically my research, professional, and creative activities cover urban landscapes and urban design with an emphasis on resiliency, sustainability, and green design practices. I examine the relationship between design and value (economic, environmental, social, cultural, aesthetic, etc.) within the built environment through evaluation and performance studies specifically in urban areas and metropolitan regions. My teaching activities are informed by the integration of knowledge generated from this research, creative and service activities into the classroom. I disseminate knowledge, generated through my scholarly activities, by actively engaging with my academic and professional community through nominated, elected, and/or volunteered positions (see CV for details). I also engage with my community through service-learning and community partnership projects by using DFW as a Lab. These roles include but not limited to: The Past Chair Officer for Urban Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) for National ASLA, A member of the Board of Editors for the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (JAPR), an Editorial Board Member for Digital Landscape Architecture (Journal and International Conference on Information Technologies in Landscape Architecture), Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship, and Landscape Performance Track Co-chair for Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), a Board of Directors Member for the North Texas Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), a Board Member for Real Estate Program at UTA, a Board Member and Lead Jury for Greater Dallas Planning Council Urban Design Awards as well current hosting committee (speakers committee) member for Texas American Society and Landscape Architecture.

Bill (William)


Dr. Retzlaff is currently the research co-director of the St. Louis metropolitan area research collaboration (G.R.E.E.N. – Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network) based at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). His main areas of research interest include: evaluation of green roof and green wall technologies, sustainable green infrastructure, and sustainable use of residual waste products.



Michael Rios is leading university-wide efforts to reward and recognize public scholarship in research, teaching, and creative practice.

With over 20 years of community-based research, teaching, and practice, he has collaborated with numerous public agencies, municipalities, and community groups. Michael has been recognized for these efforts, including the Association for Community Design Service Award (2005), the Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (2003), and the University of California Chancellor's Award for Community Partnerships (2000).



Deni Ruggeri is Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a Lecturer of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley. His research/teaching focus on place attachment and participatory community development. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley and Master’s degrees from Cornell. He practices landscape architecture and participatory design internationally, and coordinates the first EU-funded online course on Landscape Democracy.



As a registered landscape architect, Professor Russell represents her profession in the curriculum of SAID when teaching required or elective architecture studios, elective and required seminars on site systems, land development, and advising graduate theses. Professor Russell is also a licensed Trainer for Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC, and she teaches green roof courses at UC and workshops all over the country. She is an Accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), and the chair of the international GRP Committee for GRHC. She is active in the national, state and local American Society of Landscape Architects, having served in several state officer positions and as national Vice President. She is a Fellow in the ASLA, and she is an accredited LEED Professional.



David Spooner is an Associate Professor at CED. He holds an undergraduate degree in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from The University of Georgia. He is a licensed landscape architect with 20 years of private practice experience.



Julie Stevens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University, where she has developed an innovative student design-build service-learning program. Beginning in 2011, Stevens has established a multi-year partnership with the Iowa Department of Corrections to create therapeutic environments for prisons, including gardens for prison staff and incarcerated individuals.



How do landscapes that we design, especially urban landscapes, impact the health and wellbeing of people? My students and I examine this question by measuring the impact of urban design on a person’s ability to recover from stressful experiences, the influence that views from high school classrooms have on a student’s capacity to learn, and the effect that urban green spaces have one’s physical activity, mental health, and relationships with others. In these studies, we assess people’s hormones, heart rates, brain waves, psychological states, and ability to pay attention. We have found that regular contact with urban green infrastructure—places with trees, grass, rain gardens, and the like—has profound, positive impacts for individuals and communities. These urban green spaces need not be large or pristine to convey a variety of broad-ranging out-comes. They must, however, be easily accessible from a person’s home or workplace. My students and I share our findings with scientists, designers, planners, and policymakers in an effort to create healthier communities where people can thrive.



Leila Tolderlund works as an assistant professor (CTT) and associate chair in the Landscape Architecture Department at University of Colorado Denver. She focuses on public health urban living systems design, planning and theory, and enjoys critical innovate design thinking for inside-outside transitions. Her main area of focus in both research and practice is green roofs, green walls and living systems and is an often-used speaker at national and international green infrastructure conferences.



Dr. Tulloch holds a B.S.L.A. from Kentucky; an M.L.A. from LSU; and a Ph.D. from Wisconsin. His teaching includes project-based regional design studios, a popular environmental planning course, and a variety of GIS courses.

David Tulloch’s scholarship is built around bridging between geospatial technologies and applications of these for the improvement of the built and natural landscapes. As a leader in geodesign he has been an active participant in the annual Geodesign Summits and published 2 papers on the topic. A passion for improved data for planning and design decisions is manifest in his active role in research in institutional GIS, public participatory GIS, and volunteered geographic information. With an eye towards applications, he is currently the geospatial leader on an RWJF and NIH-funded project at Rutgers CSHP investigating longitudinal relationships between childhood obesity urban food and physical activity environments.



Yujia Wang is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Landscape Architecture at UNL College of Architecture. His education background is international and interdisciplinary, during which he sought a path that involved landscape architecture as well as regional and urban planning, urban design, architecture, and in addition policy and financial studies. Through this education and research background, he has developed a unique set of lens to observe and operate in the built environment.



Runzi Wang, PhD, is a transdisciplinary researcher who studies change in natural and urban environments across space and over time, with the objective to drive positive change with ecological planning and design strategies. Combining technologies such as big data, machine learning, remote sensing, and spatial statistics, her primary research explores how land cover change and urban development pattern influence stream water quality and stormwater quality at the watershed basis, together with a variety of environmental, climatic and sociocultural factors. By enhancing the interpretability of machine learning in its application to landscape architecture, the most innovative part of her research is to uncover the nonlinear relationships between environmental, technological and sociocultural dimensions of landscape systems.



David Watts is an Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture department, and received his MSLA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a registered landscape architect with over 25 years of practice, operating a design/build firm in Madison, WI. He has traveled, taught, and worked abroad in France and South Africa. His area of research is children’s play environments, their impact on child development, and their role in reconnecting children to nature. He was involved in planning for the re-design of the Child Development Preschool Laboratory playground on campus. Since arriving at Cal Poly, he has taught a variety of courses, from the senior design sequence, to the project design and implementation ILC, and the ecology ILC. His interests include enjoying the outdoors, travel, and the arts.



Heather Whitlow is the Director of Programs and Communications at the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF). She leads LAF’s Landscape Performance Series initiatives and has coordinated the production of over 100 case studies showcasing the measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits of exemplary landscape projects.



Daniel Winterbottom, RLA, FASLA is a landscape architect and Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. Mr. Winterbottom holds a BLA from Tufts University and a MLA from the Harvard GSD. His research interests include the landscape as a cultural expression, ecological urban design, community participatory design and service learning and restorative/healing landscapes.


de la Peña

David de la Peña is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design in the Department of Human Ecology, and also a member of the Geography and Community Development Graduate Groups. He received his Masters in Architecture from UT Austin, and his Masters in Urban Design and PhD in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley. His research focuses on participatory design and planning methods, social housing, sustainable architecture, and urban agriculture. Current projects include an analysis and design for urban farms and community gardens in Sacramento, an examination of grassroots urbanism and housing in Barcelona, and a comparative study of community-based stewardship between California and Chile.