Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Landscape Architecture

Advisor

Smith, Carl

Reader

Webb, Jennifer

Second Reader

Boyer, Mark

Abstract

The amount of accessible natural resources is dwindling and water could be the next world crisis. One response to this issue is the creation of methodologies which evaluate sustainability of new land development. A system to address the issues is the Sustainable Sites Initiative. This method was created in 2009 by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the United States Botanic Garden. Their primary goal was to create a metric for rating development to encourage a more sustainable approach. A piece of this evaluation is water management. Landscape architecture is poised to address the growing issues of a dwindling potable water supply. Landscape architects are uniquely trained to address the issues of water through alternative, more sustainable stormwater management. Improved stormwater management methods will decrease the amount of excessive potable water used by encouraging stormwater recycling and decreasing the amount of water processed in municipality’s water treatment facilities. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the stormwater content of landscape architecture curricula throughout the Southeastern Conference (SEC), with reference to the stormwater management criteria of the Sustainable Sites Initiative. There were two primary questions to accomplish the study’s purpose. First, is it possible to align the SITES stormwater criteria to pedagogical goals and concepts? Second, how do the pedagogical goals drawn from SITES align with the stormwater curricula of schools in the SEC? There are eight accredited departments that teach landscape architecture in the SEC, and one who is currently pursuing accreditation. Of these nine schools seven responded to a request for course syllabi and project statements from classes covering stormwater management. The principles and techniques taught in these courses were compared to the Sustainable Sites water-related criteria. Six of the seven schools introduced sustainability and alternative stormwater methods. Some schools addressed the techniques and principles in more depth than others. Both of the research questions were answered in this study. A comprehensive pedagogical concept conversion table was created that successfully converts the Sustainable Sites water criteria into teachable concepts. This chart was compared to the stormwater curriculum and yielded positive results. Six schools introduce alternative stormwater techniques, and all of these schools teach at least some form of alternative techniques. This research provides a valid foundation for future research. Some improvements to the research methods and a broadening of the material surveyed would address some of the concerns discussed in the conclusion.

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