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ASLA 2019 Professional General Design Honor Award. Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland. PWP Landscape Architecture >

Landscape Architecture, a STEM Discipline: Case Studies

ASLA’s Government Affairs and Education teams collaborated on the release of the Landscape Architecture and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Case Studies. Drafted by the ASLA Committee on Education, the document highlights thirteen landscape architecture project case studies that demonstrate how STEM practice areas are comprehensively employed throughout each project and through its successful completion.

Each case study includes an evaluation of the degree to which various STEM areas are employed. The projects, which were all led by landscape architects, also help to demonstrate the breadth and scope of the profession including urban planning, shoreline protection, large-scale waterfront projects, green roofs, university campus planning and design, community parks, and other public spaces.

Through advocacy, communication, and research, ASLA is working to raise the visibility of the profession’s innate STEM qualities and practice areas among federal, state, and local stakeholders, the STEM community, and the general public. ASLA has highlighted landscape architecture as a STEM-based, problem-solving profession through a series of targeted activities, including developing STEM-centered resources.

In 2018, ASLA joined the STEM Education Coalition, bringing the work of landscape architecture to the forefront of the STEM community. ASLA hosted the Coalition for its first partner meeting at the Center for Landscape Architecture, establishing ASLA as a full member of the Coalition and raising awareness of landscape architecture as a STEM discipline.

ASLA has also been making the case for landscape architecture to be added to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) STEM Designated Degree Program List.

The list includes more than 200 areas of study, encompassing the four core STEM disciplines and their sub-disciplines. DHS established the list in 2008 and issued an update in 2012 and again in 2016. Currently, there is no formal timeline when the list is expected to be updated.

Recently, ASLA sent DHS the Landscape Architecture and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Case Studies as further evidence of landscape architecture’s inherent STEM qualities and urged the department to include landscape architecture on any future STEM Designated Degree list.

Learn more about ASLA’s work on STEM, including K-12 and partnership building efforts by visiting:

  • ASLA’s Landscape Architecture: A STEM Profession web page for resources to support outreach and communications about landscape architecture as a STEM profession.
  • ASLA’s Career Discovery web page for more information on K-12 STEM efforts.
  • Landscape Architecture Magazine’s article, ICED OUT, for more information on ASLA’s journey towards STEM designation. (February 2019)

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