14 Apr
Asla-logo West Virginia University’s Master of Landscape Architecture program has been accredited through the end of 2019 by the American Society of Landscape Architects Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board.

“Creating and delivering the Master of Landscape Architecture program has been in the works for over eight years and is a testament to faculty efforts,” said Peter Butler, an assistant professor in the program. “Our first group of students graduated last year and have found high levels of employment opportunity within the discipline,” Butler continued.

With a core of traditional landscape architectural design skills, students were prepared for professional practice while also focusing on niche subject areas in their final projects. The subject areas examined included brownfields reclamation within an urban environment, alternative energy solutions as a driver for economic development, watershed scale analysis and flood attenuation and response, and ecological stormwater design for interpretation.

“As the program develops and builds over the next several years our graduates will be prepared to address current pressing environmental and social problems within contexts ranging from the rural to the urban, and to provide leadership in creating positive change,” Butler said.

Accreditation is a non-governmental, voluntary system of self-regulation. The LAAB accreditation process evaluates each program on the basis of its stated objectives and compliance to externally mandated minimum standards. The program conducts a self-study to evaluate how well it is meeting its educational goals, then LAAB provides an independent assessment, which determines if a program meets accreditation requirements.

“We are thrilled with this accreditation,” said Daniel Robison, dean of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “It speaks not only to the work of our faculty to make it happen, but also to the relations between design, environment and societal needs that the Davis College works to breathe life into for our students and in our research and service.”

Robison also noted that the external review team remarked that WVU’s program was a good as any first-time MLA review they have done.

Provost Michele Wheatly echoed Robison’s enthusiasm for the program and its recent accreditation.

“We are already the flagship institution in the state of West Virginia and we aspire to national prominence,” she said. “Having a forward-thinking program like this one accredited affirms all that we are doing here at WVU.”

Programs leading to first professional degrees at the bachelor’s or master’s levels in the United States are eligible to apply for accreditation from LAAB.
The Board of Trustees of the American Society of Landscape Architects recognizes the quality of educational programs leading to first professional degrees in landscape architecture at the bachelor’s and master’s level accredited by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Accreditation Council. It regards the criteria for accreditation and many of the individual program guidelines to be comparable to those employed by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board of ASLA.

WVU’s undergraduate landscape architecture program is accredited by LAAB through 2017. WVU is home to West Virginia’s only accredited academic programs in landscape architecture.

14 Apr
Keith Bowers Keith Bowers, founder and president of Biohabitats and an alumni of WVU’s landscape architecture program, will speak at the May 2014 Commencement ceremony of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

The Biohabitats practice can best be defined as a blend of sound science, place-based design and ecological democracy. It is rooted in deep ecology with an underpinning that all species have equal rights, and that we have an ethical obligation to ensure that our actions do not interfere with their evolutionary potential. It is ingrained with the intent to design with ‘place’ and all of its complexity, diversity and life. And it is infused with a sense of compassion, fairness and equity for all peoples and their communities.

Bowers was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2011.

For a full roster of WVU’s Commencement speakers, please visit http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/04/14/wvu-colleges-announce-2014-commencement-speakers.

2 Apr
LARC networking event

With the click of a camera shutter, a West Virginia University graduate student strengthened the connection with her classmates and turned a normal, everyday task into an art project.

Earlier this month, Arathy Gowda, a landscape architecture student in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, organized a photobooth party for students, faculty and staff in her program.

The event was born out of a desire to foster relationships and communication – academically, socially and culturally – in a non-academic, fun environment.

“Design students undergo tremendous stress emotionally,” Gowda said. “We are constantly challenged to think out of the box, be creative and receive constructive criticism which can take its toll. What better way to combat the stress than with a ‘picker upper’ party?”

Party-goers were encouraged to get decked out in a variety of props like wigs and oversized plastic glasses, then step into the photobooth for a snap shot.

“The party was about putting names to faces and building strong relationships in the landscape architecture program,” she said. “This was a fun way to accomplish that and also provide photographic mementos.”

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/03/27/wvu-grad-student-organizes-unique-networking-event-for-landscape-architecture-program#sthash.hdRkxQ7V.dpuf

13 Feb

In the news: Designs on the future

David | February 13th, 2014

The Martinsburg Herald-Mail covers the presentation of “ecologically-minded redevelopment concepts for the historic industrial site along Tuscarora Creek” by 26 students from WVU’s landscape architecture program:

WVU Assistant Professor Carrie Moore said the students tried to not only embrace the historic nature of the site, but the city of Martinsburg itself.

Moore said the involvement of WVU’s landscape architecture students with the Matthews Foundry project jibes with the program’s interest in service learning. They often assist communities who can’t afford to do the design work, Moore said. The experiences also give the students a real world design project outside the classroom, she added.

“Most landscape architecture programs in the country do not travel as much,” Moore said. After factoring feedback from the community, Lewis anticipates the project committee will select what design aspects they prefer.

Read the full article at the Martinsburg Herald-Mail site.

23 Jan

WVU among the most affordable

David | January 23rd, 2014

According to a recent study by our colleagues at Utah State University, West Virginia University’s landscape architecture program has the fourth-lowest tuition in the United States. That makes our highly regarded academic program one of the best values in the nation!

To find out more about our outstanding—and affordable—education in landscape architecture, please contact Charlie Yuill, associate professor and chair, at 304-293-5674 or cyuill@wvu.edu, or Renee Conneway, student recruiter, at 304-293-2292 or Renee.Conneway@mail.wvu.edu.

16 Jan
Camden on Gauley mural

It started with an internship with West Virginia University’s Community Design Team. It ended with a mural that will enhance a community in the Mountain State for decades to come.

Daniel Jencks, of Falling Waters, W.Va., a design studies major in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, conceived and led the execution of a mural celebrating the heritage of Camden on Gauley and capturing its essence.

Over the summer, the Community Design Team (CDT) made a visit to the small town in Webster County. Jencks went along “primarily to observe and take a few notes,” he said.

“During the town council meeting we attended, the mayor expressed the town’s desire to have a mural painted on the side of a deteriorating brick building in the center of town,” Jencks said. “After the meeting, I told Jenny Selin, the CDT coordinator and the supervisor for my internship, that I like to paint and would definitely be available to design a mural for Camden on Gauley. Jenny loved the idea and I spent the rest of my internship creating and tweaking designs for the mural.”

“At our first community meeting with Camden City Council, Daniel took notes and listened,” Selin said. “By the next public meeting, he was presenting preliminary designs and wrangling with council members over which occupations and pursuits they wanted featured in the final work.

Jencks researched what Camden on Gauley is known for and how its people spent their time. A few weeks after his first visit, he presented about five different ideas for the mural to the town council.

“The council was great at telling me what they liked about a few different designs, and together we combined those concepts into one new idea for me to work on,” he said. I spent some more time refining this idea and took notes from Jenny about any new suggestions the town gave. Towards the end of my internship, the council approved the design.”

The design celebrates the most prominent industries of Camden-on-Gauley—mining, logging, and healthcare. It also highlights the recreational traditions of hunting and fishing. The Gauley River has had a vast impact on the history of the town and continues to hold importance today.

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/12/19/internship-lets-wvu-student-leave-lasting-impression-with-mural-that-celebrates-river-town-s-past-present#sthash.KGO6UOo8.dpuf

18 Nov

Students pitch ideas for Martinsburg foundry

David | November 18th, 2013

Writing for the Herald-Mail, Matthew Umstead covers ongoing efforts to redevelop the Matthews Foundry in Martinsburg, W.Va.:

Built before the Civil War, the building at 420 N. Queen St. was one of five projects in Main Street communities across the state that the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative chose earlier this year to receive technical assistance.

Environmentally-sensitive design ideas rendered by WVU landscape architecture students are to show outdoor space surrounding the foundry that complements the structure’s history along Tuscarora Creek, according to WVU Assistant Professor Carrie Moore.

Visit the Herald-Mail for the full story.

10 Sep

Alumna is a "landscape architect to watch"

David | September 10th, 2013
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Nina Chase, alumna of our landscape architecture program, has been named a “Landscape Architect to Watch” by Green Building and Design Magazine:

“Landscape architecture needs to make a bigger splash,” Nina Chase says confidently. She should know. Chase is already making waves in the industry, having earned her bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture at West Virginia University (WVU), her master’s degree in the same at Harvard University and having joined Boston’s Sasaki Associates in November 2012. Her work of better integrating the natural landscape with the urban world is making her a frontrunner in her field. Oh, and there’s one other thing. She’s 25 years old.

Read the full story at Green Building and Design.

1 Jul
University Place footprint

Via WVU Today:

Recent and ongoing construction projects by West Virginia University and WVUHealthcare will have an economic impact of more than $1 billion, with nearly $700 million benefiting Monongalia County and surrounding areas, a study by the University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research concludes.

The review of 20 construction projects beginning in June 2011 with completion planned by November 2015 found that the total $742.9 million budget of those projects would create more than 7,100 jobs and $35 million in local and state tax revenue — almost 4,700 of the jobs and $23.3 million of the taxes them in and around Mon County.

Visit WVU Today for the full story.

25 Jun

WVU to offer summer design camp

David | June 25th, 2013

High school students will have the opportunity to develop creativity and design skills in fun and unique ways when they register for Design WV Summer Camp at West Virginia University.

Hosted by the Division of Design and Merchandising in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, the camp will be held July 28 – Aug. 1.

“This will be a great way for students to learn basic photography, sketching, painting, collage and computer design skills with like-minded peers while getting acquainted with WVU and the surrounding community,” said Elijah Pollard, coordinator of the camp and visiting assistant professor of design and merchandising. “We’ve also created a four-day scavenger hunt to help students learn the elements and principles of design.”

Students will also have the opportunity to learn about careers in the fields of interior design, fashion design and merchandising, and other design-related industries.

Additionally, the camp will partner with Adventure WV to offer outdoor recreational and peer-bonding activities.

The camp fee is $475 which includes three meals per day, dorm lodging and art supplies.

Registration is open until all of the camp spaces are filled; however, space is limited.

To register, visit http://design.wvu.edu/summer_design.

For more information, contact Pollard at Elijah.Pollard@mail.wvu.edu or Lee Mullet at LSMullet@mail.wvu.edu.