|This article is the 10th in a series profiling members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), based on responses to the 2012 Annual PPN Member Survey. Members of this PPN work on a variety of projects both in the United States and abroad. Here are some highlights of their work.
Jack Zunino, FASLA, is the president of JW Zunino Landscape Architecture, LLC in Las Vegas. He notes that it has been challenging to remain in business while still providing a quality and valuable service to the public. But these circumstances have also prompted him to learn different approaches to work and to diversify into new areas. While the current “Green Movement” has led others to appreciate the value of landscape architecture, landscape architects have always been a part of the green movement. They are uniquely sensitive to the environment, and they know how to meet specific requirements for “green” projects.
Zunino also believes that it is important that landscape architects unite to promote the profession as a whole. He notes that ASLA has been doing a good job in keeping its members informed about legislation and issues, and helping them to be heard as individuals and as a profession.
Kenneth Brooks, FASLA, is a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. A highlight for him was helping Arizona State University earn initial accreditation for its MLA program.
Karen Hanna, FASLA, is a professor at Cal Poly-Pomona in Pomona, California. She particularly enjoyed the meeting of the PPN at the annual meeting in San Diego. It helped her confirm the interest in GeoDesign expressed by those in attendance.
Paul Whalen, ASLA, is a principal at Paul Whalen Design Studios LLC in Franktown, Colorado. He is concerned about the public’s lack of knowledge about the landscape architectural profession in Colorado. He believes that members of the American Institute of Certified Planners have gained more credibility in Colorado than licensed landscape architects.
In 2008, the Landscape Architects Professional Licensing Act became effective in Colorado. It provides that individuals entering the profession as of 2008 must pass either the Landscape Architecture Registration Exam or the Uniform National Examination for Landscape Architects. However, the act allows individuals who were practicing landscape architecture prior to 2008 to be “grandfathered” into the profession without having to pass these exams. Whalen believes these individuals are undermining the premise for the Licensing Act and creating risks for the public, the environment, and the profession. This is because people will not see the benefits of regulating the profession when the pre-2008 landscape architects do not have to meet the same standards as post-2008 practitioners. He notes that Colorado faces many issues due to its limited natural resources and rapid growth and that skilled, responsible, and qualified landscape architects should be leading the charge to address many of these concerns and protect the environment.
Stan Clauson, ASLA, is a principal at Stan Clauson Associates, Inc. in Aspen, Colorado. While vacationing in Costa Rica last spring, he was invited to participate in an Earth Day reforestation event in Tabecon with local schoolchildren. He showed them basic planting techniques and discussed the importance of reforestation and long-term forest management. Although he speaks Spanish, Clauson was asked to speak English to the children to emphasize the importance of learning multiple languages. Above all the projects on which his firm worked in this past year, being with these intensely interested kids was the most rewarding.
Richard Toth, ASLA, is a professor in the Department of Environment and Society in the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He currently directs the Bioregional Planning (BRP) Program in the department. His major academic and research focus is on landscape-level planning and management. The BRP Program explores how the biophysical aspects of the landscape influence settlement and culture and how settlement and culture influence the landscape. Recently, he worked with state and federal agencies to develop a more comprehensive set of policies to manage public lands in southern Utah.
Jon Wreschinsky, ASLA, is a landscape architect at the Land Design Collaborative in La Mesa, California. He is also an adjunct professor at the NewSchool of Architecture + Design in San Diego. His teaching focuses on sustainable planning and design, and includes the courses “Community and Ecology," a design studio that explores the interface between urban and nonurban areas, the open spaces in the city, and urban boundaries; “Sustainable Urban Landscapes,” which addresses the principles and practices of sustainable urban landscape design, construction, and maintenance in Southern California; and “Landscape Construction II: Enclosures, Objects, + Materiality,” which is an introductory course on the types, physical characteristics, and origin of materials used in landscape construction, and their uses in a variety of structures, enclosures, and other objects. He recently completed a certificate program at the University of California, San Diego, on sustainable business practices.
Gregory Scoville, ASLA, is the director of the city of DeFuniak Springs Planning Department in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. One of his biggest recent challenges concerns the Eglin Air Force Base near the city. Under the Base Relocation and Closure Act (BRAC), Eglin AFB gained missions and personnel from other bases that closed. The impact of 12,000 additional service and support personnel and their families will affect housing availability and affordability, transportation corridors, and other infrastructure in the region. So, over the past two years, he has worked on the Eglin AFB Joint Land Use Study to address compatibility issues between private development and base missions. The study was a cooperative effort between three counties and 11 municipalities, and proposed recommendations for each affected community. It also included a small area study to develop specific actions related to these recommendations that each community can take to mitigate incompatibilities. The small area study should be completed later this year.
Allan Shearer, ASLA, is an assistant professor at the University of Texas in Austin. This past year, he completed the report Farms, Fuels, and Fighter Jets: Alternative Futures for the Region of Yuma, Arizona. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Jenni Thompson, ASLA, is a land planner/landscape architect at Pioneer Engineering in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. She notes that more attractive available lots (closer to a metro) are disappearing fast. Bank loan practices are still an issue for developers, however, so new development activity, while increasing slowly, may not be able to replace what is selling. While the new development is occurring in the first ring and some second ring suburbs, the third ring suburbs and areas even further out are lucky to approve one or two building permits a year. She is anxious to see how the region’s shortage or saturation of available lots, the difficulty to obtain development loans, and the volatile housing market will play out over the next year.
Nicholas Soper, Associate ASLA, is a highway environmental program specialist for the Nebraska Department of Roads in Lincoln, Nebraska. A recent major concern is the issuance of the state’s new Construction Storm Water General Permit.
Andrew Cheatham, Associate ASLA, is a graduate landscape architect at Kenneth B. Simmons Associates in Columbia, South Carolina. After he lost his first job following graduation when the firm closed, he began requesting informational interviews with local landscape architecture and architecture firms to introduce himself and find out if there was anything he could do with his degree and experience. Luckily, soon after he spoke with the owner of Kenneth B. Simmons Associates, one of that firm’s employees left. The owner remembered him and offered him a job. Cheatham has been there six months, and he enjoys the work tremendously. But he also appreciates the experience he gained prior to that job, which will be valuable as he works toward becoming a registered landscape architect.
Rajesh Sawant, Associate ASLA, is a research assistant at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. He believes that understanding the impact of changes in land use and land cover on ecosystem services is crucial while making policy/design decisions.
Sue Ann Alleger, Student ASLA, attends Temple University in Ambler, Pennsylvania. One of her major interests is wetland creation and enhancement.
Visit the Landscape/Land Use Planning PPN web page for more information about this group. To learn more about ASLA's other PPNs, go to the PPN home page or contact Dena Kennett, ASLA's manager of Professional Practice, at firstname.lastname@example.org.