News & Events
Vicki Estrada is CAED Honored Alum for 2023
Vicki graduated Cal Poly in 1975 with a BS in Landscape Architecture and went on to found her own company, Estrada Land Planning - located in downtown San Diego since 1985. Vicki understands diverse community values and natural values, as well as the creative and technical aspects of design; and she is known for developing design solutions that lead to consensus on difficult issues. Vicki is also a founding member of our Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Council (LADAC).
We were delighted to have Vicki visit Professor César Torres-Bustamante's class of 5th-year seniors for a Q&A session on Friday, October 27th, before receiving her well-deserved award!
Click here for a brief video interview with Vicki by University Development & Alumni Engagement.
Landscape Architecture is a STEM Discipline
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated landscape architecture a STEM discipline. The designation recognizes the high degree of science, technology, engineering and mathematics course work required in landscape architecture collegiate programs.
"The STEM designation finally reflects the reality of the discipline of landscape architecture. Our work is fully dependent on science and technology, from understanding soils at the level of microbial interactions and nutrient exchanges, which keep our urban canopy alive, to coastal adaptations informed by continuously evolving climate data," said Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, the Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. "This new designation brings with it greater opportunities for students and graduates throughout the United States and beyond to become leaders in the field."
Design Awards Received by LARC Students and Faculty
The Quality-of-Life Design Awards are the ultimate recognition by the Southern California Chapter of ASLA to celebrate excellence, innovation, and creativity by firms, individuals, and agencies responsible for outstanding landscape architecture and environmental planning that promote an enhanced quality of life in Southern California and beyond.
Congratulations to Tanya Moss - a recent grad from Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture program - for receiving a Merit Award for her senior capstone project, “I Want to Go Home” Dementia Gardens. The concept of this project explores the idea of home for people with dementia in a care facility, and their need for independence and autonomy in a safe, comfortable, and meaningful environment.
Congratulations, also, to fifth-year landscape architecture students Maya Amyx and Bradley Atnip, who were recognized with a Merit Award for their “Revival Park” design. This project created a proposal for an 8-acre public park on the Oakland waterfront with a landmark structure.
And Congratulations to Associate Professor Ellen Burke, who received an Honor Award in the Research category for her work to publish the “Food Systems Atlas: San Luis Obispo County.” Special thanks to Russ White, Data and GIS Specialist from Kennedy Library, for support throughout the project; and many thanks to the students (some now alumni) who worked on the publication:
Research, Graphics & GIS Assistants
Alyssa Luna (ENVM); Ryan Janzen (ENVM); Kylie Hensley (ENVE); Patrick Kelty (LARC); Sophia Liu (ARCH); Cynthia Davis (EES); Ryan Chase (LARC); Barbara Levin (JOUR); Juliet Meyer (LARC); Sarah Samynathan (LARC); Amy Sublett (LARC); Silvia Viola (LARC); Mekdem Wright (ENVE)
Emily Barlog (LARC); Jamie Chafe (LARC); Chad Evans (LARC); Blake Faris (LARC); Jacob Hovland (LARC); Mary McGregor (LARC); Rudy Perez (LARC); Rachel Raynor (CRP); Sarah Samynathan (LARC); Sam Sturtevant (LARC); Brenda Flood (AGRI)
Webinar and Article by Professor David Watts
During the summer, Professor David Watts, ASLA, PLA, presented a webinar for The Landscape Expo Academy on "Playground Design for Resilience." This presentation discussed current playground research that addresses multiple physiological and sociological factors to inform design considerations, and is available on-demand at:
Also, Professor Watts had an article published in Landscape Architect magazine on stewardship: "Moving Forward in South Africa". This article highlights projects and internship opportunities with Kidlinks World, Inc. - a charitable non-profit organization founded in 2004 by Liza Lightfoot. Read more at:
Summer Study Abroad in Savona, Italy
Thank you to fourth-year landscape architecture students Sophia Napier and Raina Miller for sharing images from the work they did in a study abroad program this summer!
Working in a team with two other students, they pitched a chapel idea for the client’s property, created a master plan, and designed a sensory garden. Workshops provided opportunities to explore various art mediums including collage, clay modeling, and earth works - all of which helped to inspire their designs.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
Kudos to fifth-year landscape architecture student Jessica Baiza for her work this summer with an undergraduate research team conducting critical exploration of urban tree canopy distribution in California’s urban environments, with a primary objective of assessing equity and environmental justice in PK-12th grade schoolyards and surroundings:
“As part of this dedicated, interdisciplinary team effort, I played a pivotal role in leveraging Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and artificial intelligence (AI) to create a free, open-source urban tree canopy map to drive targeted and equitable actions for a warming climate.
My involvement in this project has been a transformative experience, underscoring the profound impact of research-driven interventions on community environments. It has been immensely gratifying to contribute to a cause that seeks to enhance the well-being of students, increase their access to green spaces, and foster climate resilience. This work has not only sharpened my technical skills but has also deepened my commitment to leveraging science for the betterment of communities and the environment.”
Photo by Joe Johnston for Cal Poly News: Calfornia Impact
Congratulations to these LARC students who received scholarship awards from CAED:
Maya Amyx - the Alice C. Loh Scholarship Recognizing Women's Contributions in Environmental Design, and a Robin L. Rossi scholarship recognizing potential for future success.
Julianna Garcia - CAED Scholarship (supports students in any CAED major)
Justin Li - a Herbert E. Collins award, for students who have demonstrated scholastic excellence and promise in their industry.
Oliver Zych - a Herbert E. Collins award, for students who have demonstrated scholastic excellence and promise in their industry.
Jessica Baiza - the Harold and Evelyn Hay Award for Environmental and Sustainable Design
Marc Rodriguez - a Douglas James Martin Scholarship, supporting students with interest in computer applications/skills related to architecture and environmental design.