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LAAB Welcomes New Board Members

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) welcomed two new board members on January 1. LAAB elected Erin Degutis, ASLA, as a practitioner member and Weimin Li, Ph.D., ASLA, as an educator member. Their three-year terms will run through December 31, 2024. 

LAAB is the official accrediting organization for professional programs in landscape architecture. The board’s mission is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in professional landscape architecture degree programs. 

Erin Degutis, ASLA, RLA, is a Senior Transmission Siting Manager at Duke Energy. Degutis has practiced landscape architecture for over twenty years; with tenures in local government planning departments in Florida, consulting firms with a nationwide reach; and a career arc to environmental planning, which included the Everglades Restoration and complex projects in the Bahamas and, for the past 12 years, in energy generation and transmission projects.

At present, Degutis serves as substation and transmission line siting manager, collaborating with an interdisciplinary team for the siting of new substations and transmission lines in North Carolina and South Carolina. She uses her expertise in landscape architecture to identify and analyze natural and socio-cultural resources during the planning and siting process.

At the national level, Degutis served as a member of ROVE (Roster of Visiting Evaluators) for LAAB since 2013 and participated in accreditation visits to both BLA and MLA programs. Her involvement with ASLA includes serving as a member of the ASLA Government Affairs and Policies Committees as well as the Colorado Chapter secretary and treasurer from 2014 to 2017. Also, she has volunteered for CLARB’s Job Task Analysis in late 2021 and served as a volunteer grader for the LARE. Outside her professional duties, Degutis is collaborating on a new greenfield safari project in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, combining an empowering program for local women in the hospitality and safari industry while employing a soft, sustainable footprint in the landscape. When not in practice, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking and snowshoeing and is training towards half marathons and “century” bike rides.

Weimin Li, Ph.D., ASLA, is a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Environmental Design, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), where she also serves as the graduate coordinator of the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program. Professor Li received her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP), University of California at Berkeley.

As graduate coordinator, she is responsible for admissions, advising, curriculum improvement, recruitment, assessment, and other critical program development and coordination aspects. Professor Li has more than 20 years of academic and professional experience in landscape architecture, environmental sustainability, and geospatial science and technologies.

She specializes in systematic landscape planning, advanced geospatial technologies, and their creative application in landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental planning practice in California and beyond. Specifically, Professor Li researches the environmental and social impacts of contemporary landscape design and planning on different dimensions of sustainability and quality of life in urban settings. Her teaching and scholarly work have been widely published in national and international outlets and recognized by national ASLA, EPA, CLARB, and many other state and regional agencies.

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