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The Landscape Architecture Foundation: Leaders in Research and Scholarship for Sustainable Landscape Solutions

By Heather Whitlow

This year's Sweepstakes' drawing was on Sept. 12 and the lucky winner received a trip to spectacular Anvaya Cove Resort in the Philippines. Learn more about the sustainability features of this special place and find out who won, go to Special thanks to AECOM and Ayala Land, Inc. for providing this generous opportunity.
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Playworld Visionaire Lighting

In 1966 Ian McHarg and the leading landscape architects of the time founded the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in response to the urgent need they saw for landscape architects to be a greater part of the solution to the environmental crisis.

This mission could not be more relevant today. For over 40 years, the Landscape Architecture Foundation has been increasing the capacity of the profession to achieve sustainability through research, scholarship and leadership. Since 1986, LAF has invested nearly $600,000 in research and awarded over $800,000 in scholarships and fellowships to attract the best and the brightest to the profession.

2010 has been a very busy year at LAF, with the development and launch of a number of exciting new initiatives to advance our mission. Our website,, will showcase them and has a whole new look, streamlined structure and expanded functionality to make it an online resource and hub for dialogue on sustainable landscape solutions. And in June we launched a new monthly e-newsletter to keep you informed about how LAF is making a difference.


This fall marks the launch of LAF’s newest initiative, the Landscape Performance Series, an online interactive set of resources to help you show the value of and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions. (See "Landscape Performance Series" below for more info.)


LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program, the first national scholarship awards program focused on leadership in sustainable design and planning, is now in its third year. LAF received nominations from 38 university landscape architecture programs, a 35 percent increase in participation from 2009, and competition was tighter than ever for the $25,000 award. (See "Olmsted Scholars Program" below for more info.)

In 2010, the Leadership in Landscape Scholarship Program awarded a total of $39,500 in scholarships and fellowships to 10 outstanding students. The number of applicants continues to increase, indicating that in this economic climate, the need for scholarships is greater than ever. (See "National Olmsted Scholar Finalists" below for more info.)


LAF kicks off our new Conversations with Leaders in Landscape series with 6 online videos featuring 20 prominent leaders in the profession discussing landscape performance.


The fifth book in LAF's Land and Community Design Case Study Series, Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle's Urban Community Gardens, was recognized with a 2010 Great Places Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). The success of the book and strong sales underscore the current interest in and importance of urban agriculture in designing for sustainable communities.


In late September Landscape Forms and LAF will host the popular X-Treme LA program for emerging landscape architecture professionals. This year’s 2-day event will take place in Austin, Texas as students and young leaders are teamed with distinguished practitioners to develop ideas to restructure public access and structure future development along the south Austin shoreline.

Looking Ahead

LAF plans to expand existing programs to increase our impact. The Landscape Performance Series is designed to grow over time, and in 2011 LAF hopes to add a Post-Occupancy Evaluation internship program combining talents from practice, academia, and students. LAF would also like to increase the number of Leadership in Landscape scholarships offered and expand the Olmsted Scholars Program to include financial awards for the finalists.

None of these programs and initiatives would be possible without the generous support of LAF’s sponsors. Increasing our impact depends on maintaining and enhancing this base of support. To learn more about ways you can give, visit our website:

Landscape Performance Series: Tools for You to Join the Call

LAF is proud to announce the launch of our latest research initiative, the Landscape Performance Series. The Landscape Performance Series (LPS) is an online interactive set of resources to show the value of sustainable landscape solutions and provide tools for designers, agencies and advocates to quantify benefits and make the case for sustainable landscapes. It is designed to fill a critical gap in the marketplace and make the concept of “Landscape Performance” and its contribution to sustainability as well known as “Building Performance” is today.


The Landscape Performance Series and new LAF website launch on September 10 at LAF’s 25th Annual Benefit. But the launch is only the beginning. The LPS will grow over time as information and resources are added. Leave a comment. Share your photos. Submit a case study. With your input and participation, we can increase our collective knowledge of landscape performance and capacity to achieve sustainability. Please visit us at:

The LPS is not a rating system, but rather an online hub that brings together information and innovations from research, professional practice and student work. Components of the series include:

  • Case Study Briefs - Database of projects with quantified landscape benefits (environmental, economic, and social).
  • Benefits Toolkit - A searchable compilation of online calculators and tools to estimate landscape performance.
  • Factoid Library - A searchable collection of factoids with citations derived from published research.
  • Scholarly Works - Library of top student theses and dissertations related to landscapes performance.

Each component has an interactive aspect, allowing users to submit comments, photos, and suggest additional resources. To accommodate the increased functionality, the LAF website has been completely redesigned with an all-new look and state-of-the-art supporting infrastructure.

The Landscape Performance Series and new LAF website launch on September 10 at LAF’s 25th Annual Benefit. But the launch is only the beginning. The LPS will grow over time as information and resources are added. Leave a comment. Share your photos. Submit a case study. With your input and participation, we can increase our collective knowledge of landscape performance and capacity to achieve sustainability.

Thanks to our Founding Sponsor: the JJR/Roy Fund; Annual Sponsor: AECOM; Special Commitment: ASLA; The CLASS Fund/Ralph Hudson Environmental Fellowship; and AILA/Yamagami/Hope Fellowship for making this exciting new initiative possible.


Olmsted Scholars Program: Top Students Compete for $25,000 Award ...

LAF established the Olmsted Scholars Program in 2008 to identify, recognize, and support students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable planning and design and foster human and societal benefits. One landscape architecture student may be nominated as an Olmsted Scholar by the faculty of each university, and from the nominees an independent jury chooses the $25,000 national winner and finalists.


2010 National Olmsted Scholar: Emily Vogler - University of Pennsylvania

Emily Vogler from the University of Pennsylvania was selected as the 2010 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 award. Emily received her Master of Landscape Architecture degree in May and plans to use the award to conduct research and provoke public conversation on sustainable regionalism, using the five pillars of water, energy, economy, ecology and community. She was a National Olmsted Scholar Finalist in 2009. Also honored are five National Olmsted Scholar Finalists and 32 University Olmsted Scholars.

Each year the Olmsted Scholars Program and award is supported by the generous contributions of our sponsors, including: Founding Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, Edith Harrison Henderson Fund, OLIN, Raymond E. Page Fund, Harriet Barnhardt Wimmer Fund / Wimmer Yamada and Caughey; Annual Sponsors: Graham Landscape Architects, Hunter Industries; Special Commitment: ASLA.

To continue this prestigious legacy and help add financial awards for finalists, please consider becoming an Olmsted Scholars Program sponsor.

National Olmsted Scholar Finalists ...

David Godshall - University of California, Berkeley


Lauren Hackney - University of Virginia


Christopher Hardy - Cornell University


Caitlin Harrigan - University of British Columbia


Amanda Jeter - University of Colorado at Denver


University Olmsted Scholars

  • Susan Alford - University of Texas at Arlington
  • Bram Barth - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Leslie Batten - University of Washington
  • Will Benge - Louisiana State University
  • Christo Brehm - University of Oregon
  • Colleen Corballis - Utah State University
  • Travis Flohr - Pennsylvania State University
  • Rebecca Fox - University of California, Davis
  • Timothy Gazzo - State University of New York
  • Bryan Harrison - University of Rhode Island
  • Kent Hipp - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Elise Hubbard - Kansas State University
  • Ryan Jacobson - Purdue University
  • Chris Jennette - University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Curt Jennings - University of Oklahoma
  • Christopher Kiefer - University of Arizona
  • Edward Krafcik - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Lauren Lesch - University of Michigan
  • April Marshburn - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Matthew Meyer - University of Florida
  • Adam Nugent - Texas A&M University
  • Jordan Petersen - North Carolina State University
  • Sara Pierce - University of Texas at Austin
  • Brady Richards - University of Georgia
  • Derek Ryan - Clemson University
  • Grace Ryan - University of Maryland
  • Mala Sinha - University of Guelph
  • Kathryn Stratmann - Chatham University
  • Avery Telligman - North Carolina A&T State University
  • Andrew tenBrink - Harvard University
  • Amie West - Morgan State University
  • Catherine Denise Wood - Temple University

Leadership in Landscape Scholarships: $39,500 Awarded to 10 Winners

Since 1986, LAF’s Leadership in Landscape Scholarship Program has supported the education of new generations of landscape architects through named scholarships and fellowships. Nearly all are endowed awards established by companies, firms, and individuals. LAF scholarships support future leaders by recognizing leadership, rewarding superior student performance, encouraging diversity, supporting original research, and assisting students with unmet financial need.


Clockwise from left: Fernando Chiquette - 2010 EDSA Minority Scholarship winner; Taryn Foster - Peridian International/Rae L. Price, FASLA Scholarship winner; Sarah Beth Rueger - Rain Bird Intelligent Use of Water Scholarship winner.

Today the average cost of a landscape architecture education in the U.S. is $20,000-$40,000 per year and the average student graduates with over $100,000 of debt. LAF envisions increasing both the number of awards and the average award amount to keep pace with the increasing cost of education. Establishing a scholarship is a great way to ensure that supporting the future leaders of the profession will be part of your legacy. Visit the LAF website to learn more about options for establishing an award.

This year, LAF gave out $39,500 in scholarships and fellowships to 10 outstanding students:

Garden Club of America Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship ($4,000) ...
Jennifer Gorospe, San Jose State University

ASLA Council of Fellows Scholarships ($4,000) ...
Séfora Chavarria, Florida International University
Zeina Zahalan, Rutgers University
Courtland Paul Scholarship ($5,000)
Rebecca Vanni, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

EDSA Minority Scholarship ($5,000)
Fernando Chiquette, University of Arizona

Hawaii Chapter / David T. Woolsey Scholarship ($2,000)
Sean Ogawa, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship ($3,000)
Jaclyn Johnson, Iowa State University

Peridian International / Rae L. Price, FASLA Scholarship ($5,000)
Taryn Foster, UCLA Extension

Rain Bird Intelligent Use of WaterTM Scholarship ($5,000)
Sarah Beth Rueger, UCLA Extension

Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship ($5,000)
Travis Martin, University of British Columbia



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June 15, 2019, 10:35 pm PDT

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