Keith Bowers, ‘82, BSLA, will deliver the E. Lynn Miller Lecture in Landscape Architecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in room 1001 of the Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale Campus.
For nearly three decades, Bowers has been at the forefront of applied ecology, land conservation and sustainable design. As the founder and president of Biohabitats (www.biohabitats.com), he has built a multidisciplinary organization focused on conservation planning, ecological restoration and regenerative design. Using a living-systems approach as the basis for all of its work, Biohabitats employs whole-systems thinking through applied ecology to address a variety of projects at multiple scales. From site-specific river, wetland and coastal habitat restoration projects to regional watershed management and conservation, to the regeneration of urban estuaries, Bowers has kept Biohabitats at the vanguard of ecology and design.
Bowers is also president and founder of Biohabitats’ sister company, Ecological Restoration and Management, Inc. (www.er-m.com). Ecological Restoration and Management provides professional installation and management services for restoration projects throughout North America.
He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Wildlands Network (http://www.twp.org), a national organization focused on restoring, protecting and connecting North America’s best wild places and is the Theme Lead for Ecological Restoration under IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Society for Ecological Restoration International (www.ser.org) since 1999, twice as its Chair and currently serves on several board committees.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), registered in over seven states, and is a Professional Wetland Scientist.
The lecture was endowed through a gift from E. Lynn Miller, who earned his B.S. from WVU and his Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard. He also created the Miller Creative Writing Award, given annually to a WVU student who best expresses concepts of landscape architecture in a creative context.
Miller is an emeritus professor of landscape architecture at Penn State. He has served as a visiting professor in the University of Texas Austin’s landscape architecture program, at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, and at Tsinghua University in the Peoples Republic of China. In 1992, he was the ASLA Congressional Fellow with the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. In 1995, he received the Outstanding Educators Award from the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture.
The Miller Lecture was established through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU.
Scheduled for 10-11 a.m. in 1001 Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale Campus, the hobbyists will discuss a range of issues related to the operation of small, multi-rotor aerial platforms.
While their name may imply something otherworldly, the work these hobbyists are doing is earth-bound.
Brian Zvaigzne and Patrick Sherman, founders of Roswell Flight Test Crew, build and pilot small unmanned aerial vehicles, often referred to as drone aircrafts, with mounted thermal sensors, cameras, and video transmitters which allow them to have a first-person view of what the model is seeing.
With the rapid advance of this hobby technology, the lines between radio-controlled models and professional unmanned aircraft systems have begun to blur.
For the full story, please visit WVU Today.
More recently, she received a grant from the Ross Foundation to develop and implement a student-led program to conceptually redevelop the Point Park area of downtown Parkersburg, W.Va.
Kathryn Wittner believes one of the best ways to learn is “by doing.”
With that in mind, the landscape architecture professor in the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design set out to develop a student-led program to conceptually redevelop the Point Park area of downtown Parkersburg, W.Va.
Through a grant from the Ross Foundation, Wittner was able to implement the program toward the end of the fall semester, giving her students the opportunity to explore the area and brainstorm design ideas before the winter break.
“It is fantastic that landscape architecture students get to work with community members throughout the state developing listening skills, observation skills, learning about real-world problems and searching for solutions,” she said.
Students are not the only ones to benefit, however.
“In return, communities get energy, enthusiasm, multiple fresh ideas and possible design solutions to work with,” Wittner explained. “Most communities understand these are students, not yet professionals, and that the ideas and solutions offered provide a starting point, often generating enough information and material to seek additional funding for projects that might otherwise not have gotten off of the ground.”
With a keen interest in revitalization of downtown areas in West Virginia communities, Wittner saw the Parkersburg area as a great place to jump-start the new initiative.
“The Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers have played a vital role in the development and growth of Parkersburg, but the floodwall that now protects the city also cuts it off from those rivers,” she said. “Finding ways to reconnect Point Park to the adjacent downtown and help the extremely popular area function more efficiently will be critical to the revitalization of the entire area.”
As members of Landscape Architecture Design 2 class (LARC 350), the students gathered information about the area during an on-site visit by incorporating the use of geographic information systems, aerial photography, historical research, and visual observations of the project site.
Surrounded by a wealth of information, the students are now in the process of developing preliminary designs that will pave the way for the final conceptual master plan.
“Each step in the process is annotated with writing to support the students’ recommendations,” Wittner said. “Students need the opportunity to practice writing skills and more clearly define what their design ideas are by putting those thoughts to paper.”
She also believes the writing often “speaks” to an unseen audience since students are not always there to explain their ideas.
“This allows the community members to process what they read and formulate questions and comments that can be addressed in further communications and meetings,” she said.
Students will wrap up the project and present their work to the City of Parkersburg and the Ross Foundation in March 2013.
The Ross Foundation is a family foundation based in Parkersburg with a primary focus in supporting causes within local communities throughout West Virginia with emphasis in the five counties of Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, Pleasants and Jackson.
The grant was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.
Bain’s research interests center on catchment hydrology, trace metal biogeochemistry, urban and riparian systems, and fluvial geomorphology. He received his PhD in geography and environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2004.
The seminar, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by WVU’s Environmental Research Center.
Landscape architect students from WVU gave officials a look at some future possibilities for land use in south Parkersburg.
The students were charged with designing a conceptual plan for land use incorporating the south Parkersburg branch of the Wood County library, Blizzard Park and fire station 5.
Kathryn Wittner, professor of the landscape architecture at WVU, said the city-owned property in south Parkersburg was a good case study for her students because it has several uses. Students were also given the area because of the multiple uses of space and the greenspace component.
“Given the site’s topography, the students were asked to consider whether or not a joint facility would make sense,” said Rickie Yeager, city planning administrator. “Joint facilities are increasingly popular because the users can share costs.”
Twenty-four juniors from WVU’s School of Landscape Architecture presented conceptual drawings of the space to officials Monday at the City Building.
For the full story, visit Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
“Part of the allure of WVU was definitely the interaction that the University and the landscape architecture program have within the community,” Moore said. “By engaging with community organizations, the students have the ability to experience working with a real client while developing a project.
“This interaction is invaluable for the students because the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world experience is diminished,” she added. “As a result, students will graduate better prepared to enter world of work with a greater level of self confidence.”
As an educator, she believes in meaningful engagement, which will allow students to achieve learning outcomes while providing the community with a service.
“There are partnerships that WVU has created with the communities in West Virginia,” Moore said. “This provides students with an incredible opportunity to integrate their knowledge and to help our communities.”
Moore also appreciates the value of engaging in communities around the world. She earned one master’s degree in natural resource management at Lincoln University in New Zealand and a second in ecological engineering at the Universität für Bodenkultur in Austria, and WVU’s commitment to creating study-abroad opportunities for students definitely resonates.
“The ability for students in the landscape architecture program to travel abroad is a tremendous opportunity for them to develop their design ability and expand their understanding of the world,” Moore said. “By experiencing past and present-day landscape architecture allows students to truly understand the impact of design, which cannot be appreciated by merely observing a picture of it.”
“It provides a unique opportunity to be part of the development of a program that will be held to the same high standards as the undergraduate degree,” she said.
Moore will teach a graduate course in land development this semester, and work with juniors in the undergraduate studio course this spring.
“WVU’s landscape architecture program is ranked in the top 10 in the nation and has acquired faculty who possess a passion to teach,” she said. “The opportunity to join the faculty was a great honor.”
John Burton, an internationally known architect who serves as Surveyor of the Fabric at Canterbury Cathedral and Surveyor Emeritus of Westminster Abbey, will share his experiences in preserving these iconic buildings with the West Virginia University and Morgantown communities in an upcoming lecture.
Burton’s lecture will be held on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Theatre on High Street.
The free event is hosted by the Division of Design and Merchandising in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
As someone who has been responsible for a number of the United Kingdom’s greatest historic buildings, he will provide insight on his approach to the preservation of buildings and their contents. He’ll also discuss the pageantry involved with being a Freeman of the City of London and a master of a medieval company.
This will be Burton’s second visit to the area. In 2005, he gave a classroom lecture on the practices of historic preservation and restoration to students in the Division of Design and Merchandising, as well as a public presentation on the same topic.
For the full story, visit WVU Today.