28 February 2011

By request, repeat test tips

TEST TIP: Can you read hydrographs? Topo maps? A soils survey?
TEST TIP: When you get tired of reading and studying, consider surfing through the RotDs.  Play with the online soils.  Look at the topo maps.
TEST TIP: Revisit that whole Soil Texture thing
TEST TIP: Memorize the first four steps in Steiner’s Ecological Planning Model
TEST TIP: Look at a USGS topo map and see how much you can read off it.
TEST TIP: For each physical landscape characteristic ask:
1) What can Env. Planners do about it?
2) Where can they get the facts on it?
Study on...

Salamander crossing

Tonight might be a night for watching salamanders (and frogs) migrate near campus in East Brunswick.  The Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission keep a salamander blog that says today's rains and warm weather could spark a move, and they've already found at least one spotted salamander. They'll close Beekman Road and let pedestrians come peek with flashlights.  If there is lightning, you should skip it.

View Larger Map

What have we learned about habitat that might keep them from needing to close a road? What's the basic problem here?

Thinking about wildlife

Highland Park's Tim Marshall, at ETM Associates, has been helping prepare designs for Mercer Meadows.  The Star-Ledger included one of their images of a blind for watching wildlife, which is part of a growing trend of landscape architects designing for ecological purposes.  For example, MVV's recent award-winning design for a wildlife overpass.

Leopold quote

"No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them."

— Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac

27 February 2011

Social dynamic of opinion polls

As part of conversation in EnvPlan we have been talking about polls.  Even if you aren't in the class, please take out a second to answer the 2 poll questions on the right-hand side of the page.

Its Duany vs. Harvard!

In the urban design smack-down of the decade, we see the new urbanists and the landscape urbanists gearing up for battle.  Who will win? 

25 February 2011

Rock Creek Park

Greater Greater Washington, a group working to improve the DC area, asks an interesting question: Is Rock Creek Park like Central Park or Yosemite?  If you read it (and look at their data) it raises a more interesting question, Why don't more people use Rock Creek Park?

Feeding Philly

Michelle Byers writes about how the Garden State serves as the foodshed for Philly.  But do they have an interest in protecting this resource?

24 February 2011

Urban Tree Roots

Great talk tomorrow:




 2:30 P.M. (refreshments 2:15pm)

Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences Bldg. – Room 223

14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ

Within an urban landscape, soil volumes are a limited resource.  Designed soils can integrate urban tree root zone needs and support requirements for safe, durable pavement.  The use of such designed soils, coupled with stormwater management design methods such as the use of porous pavement materials, develops a multi-use, shared soil volume providing multiple environmental services.  This presentation discusses definitions and several research projects into the behavior of designed urban tree soils to support pavement, and how they might be employed to leverage the efficacy of a parking lot design with respect to stormwater.  While there are more questions than answers in the technical details, the presentation serves as a reasonable status report, and an invitation for collaborative projects.

Social quote

A cobblestone is more real than personal relationships, but personal relationships are felt to be more profound because we expect them yet to reveal themselves in unexpected ways, while cobblestones evoke no such expectation.

- Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge

(Sorry, after re-reading the quote I couldn't resist adding the photo)

Winter hike at HMF

Hutcheson Memorial Forest Tour
Sunday February 27th at 2:00 p.m.

Tour Leader: Peter Morin, Community Ecologist
“Winter Botany at Hutcheson Memorial Forest.”

The Hutcheson Memorial Forest (HMF) is a unique area consisting of one of the last uncut forests in the Mid-Atlantic States, along with the surrounding lands devoted to protection of the old forest and research into ecological interactions necessary to understand the forest. The tract is administered and protected by Rutgers University.

It is apparently the only uncut upland forest in the Piedmont of New Jersey, and appears on the National Park Service Register of Natural Landmarks.

Tours leave from the entrance of the woods on Amwell Road (Rt. 514) in Somerset. From New Brunswick, follow Hamilton Street west past JFK Blvd, Cedar Grove Lane and Elizabeth St. HMF is on the left past Gardener’s Nook Nursery. The driveway is located just past the guardrail over the brook.

The trail may be muddy in places so come prepared.
The tour through the woods and fields takes between one and two hours.

Tours are free and reservations are not required for these guided tours.** Groups of more than ten persons may not attend the guided tours. Such groups are invited to arrange special tours.

For more information and a complete tour schedule visit: http://rci.rutgers.edu/~hmforest/
**HMF is not open to the public on a daily basis.

23 February 2011

LiveBlog: Ray Mims on SITES

Ray Mims, US Botanic Garden
Applying the SITES rating System: Lessons from Pilot Projects

One of his favorite quotes:
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
— Aldo Leopold

He used a photo of three LEED Plantinum buildings, none of which had any trees anywhere around them. He pointed out how different meanings of green can proliferate. We are missing out on, or ignoring, countless free ecosystem services that we should be appreciating. Examples like the Catskills and New Orleans illustrate how important ecosystem functions are.

SITES is up to 165 pilot projects. 65% were grayfield projects while 15% were brownfields and 20% were on greenfields. The pilots worked - they discovered some issues they hadn't thought about. For instance, it changed their treatment of prime farmland and the submittal materials. The goal of using these case studies is to make the Sustainable Sites Initiative as well thought out as possible.

A detailed description of the Bartholdi garden explained how the USBG  is trying to apply the sites criteria themselves, in the shadow of the US Capitol. (I love that fountain)

They've worked to be very open and collaborative so avoid lawsuits like LEED

22 February 2011

Redistricting: The first map emerges

Jerrymandering and mapmaking fans are watching closely.  Redistricting talks are underway in New Jersey. The impact of these will shape NJ politics for the next decade, so everyone is taking them seriously. And, while the final map is a long way off, the first map has leaked out and already suggests some big battles, according to NJPoliticker:
Among the bombshells contained in the sample map is a district – denoted on the map as District 4 – that would combine Elizabeth and portions of Newark into one Hispanic dominated district. The new district would pit powerful state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) of Elizabeth against the only Hispanic member of the Senate – Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) of Newark – in a district made up 56 percent of Hispanic residents.
Maps are very powerful.

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Ray Mims

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Ray Mims, United States Botanic Garden

Wednesday, 02/23 at 4:00 pm,
Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall

Applying the SITES rating System: Lessons from Pilot Projects

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is in the midst of becoming a functioning rating system and is now receiving feedback from real projects. SITES, an interdisciplinary effort that has created national guidelines and a rating system encourages integrated, systems-based approaches to sustainable landscape” design, construction and maintenance. SITES will work at all landscape scales, with or without buildings. The goal is renew and restore places and move from conservation to regeneration through landscapes that mimic natural systems. SITES should also be used to “restore degraded ecosystem services” found in brownfields and greyfields, creating new economic value in the process.

Ray Mims has been the United States Botanic Garden staff member working on the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) since 2006, participating in both the SITES steering Committee as well as the Vege tation Technical Committee. At the United States Botanic Garden, Ray oversees the ongoing development and implementation of sustainability efforts, conservation partnerships, and threatened plant collections at the United States Botanic Garden. Prior to joining USBG, Ray served as the Director of Horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens, Director of Horticulture and Grounds at the Washington National Cathedral, and Horticulturist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

UCGIS Summer Assembly 2011

UCGIS Summer Assembly 2011
June 22-23, Boulder, CO 
Call for Research and Poster Abstracts
Full Papers by Graduate Students and Junior Faculty

The 2011 UCGIS Summer Assembly will be held at the beautiful location of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) Research Application Laboratory facilities in Boulder, CO. In keeping with the location of this year’s Summer Assembly, the theme of this meeting is 'GIScience for the Changing Human Environment'. This includes topics on representation, analysis, data modeling, and visualization relating to human-environment interactions, sustainability, water, climate, and health. The program will involve plenary talks, research and poster presentations, and a workshop to collaborate on a new UCGIS initiative in geographic information science education, by participants based at UCGIS member institutions (see http://www.ucgis.org/).
Research abstracts of up to two pages addressing the conference theme are solicited. These abstracts will be reviewed by the Summer Assembly program committee, and selected authors will be invited to present their research results at the meeting. We also invite separate submissions for a poster session in the form of an abstract of up to 1 page in length. High quality abstracts that are not accepted for the research presentation sessions will be considered for the poster session. All abstracts will be posted on the UCGIS website.
Graduate students and junior faculty (i.e., untenured assistant professors) from UCGIS member institutions are encouraged to submit research papers of up to 5000 words also addressing the conference theme. The program committee will review these papers and selected papers will be presented as part of the research presentation sessions. Authors of papers selected for presentation will be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses up to $1000. See UCGIS Travel Awards below for more details.

The deadline for submission of research and poster abstracts, and full papers by graduate students and junior faculty, is April 22, 2011. All submissions must be made through EasyChair at https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ucgissummerassembly2
Notification of acceptance will be made on or before May 9, 2011.

UCGIS Travel Awards Sponsored by USGS and ESRI
The students and junior faculty selected for paper presentations will be eligible to receive up to $1000 to help cover travel costs of the 2011 Summer Assembly. All submissions must come from students and junior faculty of UCGIS member institutions that are in good standing. These awards are sponsored by the USGS and ESRI. Individuals will be responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements and submitting receipts for reimbursement following the meeting. If needed, participants are encouraged to apply for additional funds from their home institutions. In order to receive the award, the participants must be selected to present their paper at the 2011 Summer Assembly.
No more than one student and/or one junior faculty member will be selected from any UCGIS institution to receive a travel award to attend the meeting. If you have received a UCGIS Summer Assembly paper award in the past, you are still eligible to submit again, but the paper must be on a completely new research topic. A faculty member at a UCGIS member institution must approve student papers.

Best Graduate Student Paper Award – Sponsored by Transactions in GIS
Wiley-Blackwell, the publisher of Transactions in GIS will present a “Best Paper” award of $200 for the best paper and presentation among the graduate student submissions. To be eligible for this award, the paper must not have been previously published nor should it be under consideration for publication. Authors must also be either engaged in full or part-time postgraduate research or within one year of completion of their research degree (assuming the scholar does not have faculty appointment). The editors will approve the selection of the winner and may choose to recommend that no publication award be made.
In addition, presented papers by graduate students and junior faculty will be reviewed in consideration for submission to one of several potential peer-reviewed outlets. The editors of Transactions in GIS, and the International Journal of Geographic Information Science, for example, have agreed to work with the authors of selected papers and advise on the submission process for their journals.

Please visit the UCGIS website (see http://www.ucgis.org/) for updates and more information about the Summer Assembly 2011.

21 February 2011

Visual Preference Survey

We are about to talk about using visual preference in class. You might want to peek at Bentonville, Arkansas' results (PDF) as a conversation point for our class discussion.

Or, you might try this more statistically-oriented one from Salt Lake City (Flash).

VGI through Waze

Waze is a new VGI (volunteered geographic information) app that is trying to use grassroots, driver-based data to help you get around easier. Waze uses driver info to create data about traffic problems, but also lets driver input information about bad addresses or locations. VGI is a rapidly evolving field, and efforts like this (whether it succeeds or fails) are essential to advancing both the science and usable code.

Here is their flash video which includes this blog-apropos line: "And, if you are the kind of person who has a passion for mapping..."

17 February 2011

Flood plan for Passaic

Last year's flooding in NJ has sparked a new plan.  The Passaic River Flood Advisory Commission has released a 15 point plan for addressing flooding like we saw last year:
  • Expanding and expediting floodway buyouts, with state Blue Acres funds and federal FEMA funds.
  • Encouraging home elevation projects in flood prone areas if acquisition is not an option.
  • Buying undeveloped land for use as flood storage areas.
  • Improving operation of the Pompton Lakes dam floodgates.
  • Initiating de-snagging and shoal dredging efforts to facilitate improved river flows.
  • Removing feeder dams to offer flood relief to Pompton Lakes, Wayne and Pequannock.
  • State adoption of National Flood Insurance Program regulations to ensure state rules are consistent with local flood control ordinances, and eliminating
  • the risk that FEMA could suspend its flood insurance program in New Jersey.
  • Expediting the DEP's permit process to let towns more quickly obtain permits to de-snag and remove river debris, repair retaining walls and remove shoals.
  • Improving effectiveness and efficiency of county and local emergency response plans.
  • Enhancing the Passaic River flood warning system.
  • Contracting with the National Weather Service to create inundation maps to provide critical information to enable quicker flood projections and greater storm preparedness.
  • Enhancing public involvement, information and outreach on flood issues.
  • Requesting a re-evaluation by the Army Corps of Engineers of the larger potential major engineering projects for long-term flood damage reduction.
  • Updating floodplain mapping to eliminate decades-old maps that do not include detailed modeling of floodplains.
  • Having towns in the river basin pursue flood risk reduction changes to their master plans, zoning ordinances and flood prevention ordinances, to guide future development away from floodplains or prevent future development in these high risk flood-prone areas.
Not everyone is impressed by the plann. The Record quotes the leader of one the environmental groups in the area as saying, "These are stop-gap, Band-Aid measures that will accomplish more harm than good, proposed by people with little understanding of how rivers work." And a town manager is interviewed about his desire to dig a big flood tunnel to release the waters.

You can relive the predictions, read about a store closed by the storms, or watch the flooding as photos or video or video of photos.   What will March bring this year?

Tree killers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that someone has poisoned the 130 year old oak trees at Auburn University's Toomer's Corner with Spike80DF.  Clearly a malicious act, this appears to be a sports rivalry gone bad.  Toomer's Corner is the local and campus landmark that served as the central spot for celebrating Auburn's recent victory in the BCS title game. 

16 February 2011

Common Lecture: jeffrey Friedman on Dance and Space

Technical problems kept me from getting the LiveBlog going right today.  Still, here is the abstract:

Title:  Citing Site: Landscape and Ritual

Traditional societies often use ritual events as a performance-based index for expressing cultural values about landscape. These ritual events often celebrate and consecrate the siting of sacred buildings or reflect how societies si tuate themselves within the context of their cosomology, writ small in the form of sacred landscape and architecture.  In the 20th and 21st centuries, site-specific performance strives to interrogate, interpret and stimulate a performance-based discourse about land, architecture and "site." The lecture briefly surveys both practices, with visual examples of both traditional and contemporary works.

Late Response:
And I am struck by the central importance of context in these dance pieces.  Just like many examples of landscape architecture, they wouldn't make sense somewhere else.  In some ways these performance responses were more sensitive to their sites and their contexts than many designs.  One example dealt with the shifting sand and gravel underwater that caused the site to change during the performance.  This is great parallel to the dynamics of landscape architecture where the designed experience continues to change over seasons and years, often in ways that enhance great designs.

I think that the trend is clear that the competition between dance (blue) and space (red) is neck and neck:

At the end he referenced Halprin's classic RSVP Cycles.  Every student should take a little time to explore that.

It is scholarship season

Please apply early for the SEBS scholarship programs.  Even if you aren't sure whether your GPA is high enough, you should apply. 

14 February 2011

Buildings as mountains

Daily Dose of Architecture has a fascinating series of images of recent or proposed buildings that resemble hills or mountains.  Is it just that landscape metaphors are compelling?  Or is there something else behind this quasi-trend?

Lecture: Citing Site: Landscape and Ritual

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Jeff Friedman

Wednesday, February 16 at 4:00 pm,Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;
3 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ

Citing Site: Landscape and Ritual

Traditional societies often use ritual events as a performance-based index for expressing cultural values about landscape. These ritual events often celebrate and consecrate the siting of sacred buildings or reflect how societies si tuate themselves within the context of their cosomology, writ small in the form of sacred landscape and architecture.  In the 20th and 21st centuries, site-specific performance strives to interrogate, interpret and stimulate a performance-based discourse about land, architecture and "site." The lecture briefly surveys both practices, with visual examples of both traditional and contemporary works.

Jeff Friedman ran away from Cornell University's architecture school to be a dancer. He sustained a professional career as a dancer and choreographer in Boston and New York before returning to the University of Oregon where he completed his B.Arch in 1979. Based in San Francisco for 18 years, from 1979-1997, Jeff was a professional performer and choreographer, touring nationally and internationally with the Oberlin Dance Collective and specializing in multi-disciplinary site-specific performances in outdoor land and hard-scapes as well as architectural interiors. He completed his Ph.D. in dance history and theory at the University of California in 2003 and was appointed to the dance faculty at Rutgers where he is now Associate Professor, teaching both studio and theory courses. His research takes the form of both print publication and choreography, with a focus on oral-kinesthetic tradition, oral history theory, method and practice, and performance culture. Recent invited lectures include the Korean Arts Council in Seoul, Auckland and Victoria Universities in New Zealand, and Giessen and Leipzig Universities, during his 2010 Fulbright Fellowship in Germany. 

Geolocation is for lovers

Or at least that is the idead behind Google's new http://www.MapYourValentine.com/.

Early Modern Chinese Cities

As China becomes an important shaper of the world, understanding the influence of its cities is important for planners.  As such, this could be a fascinating lecture:

Professor William T. Rowe (Ph.D. Columbia) is John and Diane Cooke Professor of Chinese History and current chairperson of the History Department at Johns Hopkins University. He established his reputation as a meticulous scholar with two studies on 19th-century Wuhan entitled Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, 1796-1889 (1984) and Hankow: Conflict and Community in a Chinese City, 1796-1895 (1989) respectively.  More recently, he authored a biographical study on an 18th-century scholar-official and statecraft thinker (Saving the World: Chen Hongmou and Elite Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century China, 2001), chronicled the socio-economic history of a Chinese county from the mid-14th century to the 1920s (Crimson Rain: Seven Centuries of Violence in a Chinese County, 2007), and published a new history of the last Chinese imperial dynasty (China's Last Empire: The Great Qing, 2009).

While cities in late medieval and early modern Europe have long been recognized for their "catalytic" role in the formation of the modern world, Chinese cities have been conceived, until very recently, as basically static and inherently unable to bring about the transformation of Chinese society from tradition to modernity.  In his talk, Professor Rowe will demonstrate just how wrong this earlier conception of the Chinese city was and how, in fact, Chinese cities from the sixteenth century onward became a focal point for the incremental but radical changes of Chinese society at large.  As a result of these changes, a distinctively urban culture developed, and a proliferation of old and new forms of voluntary organizations led to the challenge of the monopoly of authority claimed by the late imperial bureaucratic state and thus laid the foundation for the modern Chinese state.

Please visit us at http://www.ciru.rutgers.edu

Early Modern Chinese Cities: Catalysts for Historical Change by Prof. William T. Rowe from Johns Hopkins University
Time: 4:30 pm on Thursday, February 17, 2011
Venue: Room A, B & C Rutgers Brower Commons, 145 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08902

Open to the Public, All are welcome

12 February 2011

A couple odd topos

After mention USGS topographic quad maps of Louisiana in class the other day, I found these great examples.  The first is of Venice, LA - effectively the last town on the Mississippi River before the delta and the Gulf.  The high point on the map is the levee, along the South side of the river.  It looks like there are 2 contour lines, and the bottom of the map says they are 5 foot contours, so the levee would be a little higher than 10 feet above see level.  The rest of the maps has nearly no contour lines anywhere.  Flat, flat flat.

The second map is from an adjacent quad but has no contour lines.  Instead of labeling the contour interval at the bottom, there is simply a note that says "Entire Area Below 5 Feet".  And, in the corner you'll notice that there is no legend for roads, either.

Be careful, the linked images are quite large.  But if you want to go back to the source, you can head over to Libre Map to get all of the topos for Louisiana.

11 February 2011

Cook Campus loses a landmark

The NJ Ag Museum is closing.

Tough economy? Consider the Peace Corps

Instead of becoming a temporary employee doing something more menial than you want after you graduate, maybe you should fight the bad economy and go talk to the Peace Corps.  When I see the Peace Corps listed on students' grad applications I know that they've been through an intense maturing process and have a larger world view than many other applicants.  Their experiences will be broad and they will know how to problem solve.

On Friday February 18th you can visit with the Peace Corps here at Rutgers at the Diversity Fair.

Valencia just keeps getting better

Valencia, Spain keeps attracting some of the most talented designers in the world. ASLA's The Dirt posts details of the London's Gustafson Porter winning design for Parque Central.

Even a simple Google image search for "Valencia architecture" reveals why people are flocking to this city.  Calatrava's work alone justifies the trip.  But there is more.

09 February 2011

SHIFT deadline is coming

February 15th is the deadline for student writing submissions to SHIFT: Infrastructure.

Unpaid GIS internship near campus

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has a need for a student intern to assist with checking the Cumberland County and Burlington County digital Soil surveys for errors. Automated procedures have been developed to assist in the work, however, the work itself is tedious. The student would learn some specialized procedures using ArcGIS (thus, some prior ArcGIS experience would be helpful), and get exposure working for a federal agency involved in natural resource management.

Estimated time required is 40 – 100 hours to complete this job.

Our preference would be for the volunteer to come in for at least four hours, two days per week, but we can be flexible with the schedule.

If you need any more information or have any questions about this opportunity, please contact:

Trish Long
GIS Specialist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
220 Davidson Avenue, 4th Floor
Somerset, NJ 08879

LateBlog: NYC street trees

Jennifer Greenfeld
Tree Selection for Survival in New York City

(Apologies all around, but I got a late start and missed some content...)

Over the last 100 years, NYC has had a changing list of encouraged and discouraged trees. Here is the list today.

The City has also conducted a tree census, counting over a half million trees of over 150 species. While in 1995 the Norway maple was the single most frequently counted tree (23%), the latest count found that in 2005 London Plane was most popular (15%).

Measuring mortality rates begins to reveal deeper patterns.

But just because a tree is recommended, it doesn't mean that NYC can get them from a nursery in a quantity that works, at a cost that works, with a history they can trust.  While it can change significantly by growing season, some just aren't handy.  For example, the hardy rubber tree, Eucomnia ulmoides.

USGS Quad sheets

If you want to explore USGS Quad sheets from around the country, you can search through many at Libre Map Project.  Or, you can just look at the New Jersey collection at the NJ Topo Map Depot.

08 February 2011

Planning Board Meeting

The Planning Board for Woodbridge Township generally meets twice a month: normally on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Tomorrow night would be the second Wednesday. Check before you go: 732-602-6005.

The East Brunswick Planning Board holds public hearings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 8:00 pm in the Municipal Building. The next one looks to be February 16th. Check before you go: 732-390-6870

The meetings for Edison Township are held on the third Monday of each month in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building at 7:30 P.M. This month that would be the 21st. Check before you go: (732) 248-7249

Crime mapping, sort of

This map of organized crime didn't require GIS, but does show quickly social networks can get complicated.

Summer program: Feb 21 deadline

Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company is accepting applications for its class of 2011 Summer Design Scholars. This is a juried selection, open to upper-level undergraduates and graduate students in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, and interior design.

We hope you will distribute this link to your students, friends and school acquaintances. The submission deadline is Monday, FEBRUARY 21. Selection will be made by March 15. If you are not the person who should receive this information, we would appreciate your assistance in getting it into the right hands. You can learn more about our program (and applicants can apply) at this link:


This is the ninth year of the program, and our scholars have reported their experiences to be rewarding and life-changing. Scholars, including international students, have come from the Savannah College of Art + Design, McGill, Universidad de Monterrey, UPenn, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Tulane, Virginia Tech, UVA, Clemson, Penn State, Ohio State, Kansas State, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, and Hampton University. Several Summer Scholar “alumni” have accepted full-time positions with our firm.

If you have other questions, please contact Nick Vlattas, nvlattas@hewv.com, or 757-321-9608.

07 February 2011

Lecture: Tree Selection for Survival in New York City

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Jennifer Greenfeld
Wednesday, February 9 at 4:00 pm,
Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;
3 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ
Tree Selection for Survival in New York City
With the creation of PlaNYC, a sweeping plan to enhance New York's urban environment, Mayor Bloomberg promised to fill every available planting space  along the streets of New York City.  Ms. Greenfeld will describe how the Department of Parks & Recreation is fulfilling this mandate with particular
focus on how her department met the challenge of locating large quantities  of high quality nursery stock,  while increasing species diversity.  The talk will also discuss how they monitor success.
Since 1997, Jennifer Greenfeld has worked for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.  As the Director of Street Tree Planting she manages what is arguably the largest street tree planting program in the nation, planting nearly 20,000 trees annually as part of MillionTreesNYC and Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030. She also managed the 2005 street tree census, created the Trees for Public Health program, developed forestry management  plans for community parks, and coordinated a mortality study of 40,000  recently planted trees.  A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Jennifer has also worked in Washington DC and San  Francisco.

Alternative to a Planning Board Meeting

EnvPlan Students: If you are looking for a Planning Board Meeting for Assignment 1, I might consider this Hunterdon County meeting if you asked in advance.

Phil Lewis

University of Wisconsin Landscape Architecture Professor Emeritus Phil Lewis is on MySpace. His book, on the other hand, is starting to get scarce.

You can see how Fitchburg WI has their Regional Design guidelines online based on his work.
Here is a local blog writing about Phil Lewis' work.  You can see a great photo of one of his large models. The Wisconsin Idea Center features a classic Lewis-ian diagram. 

Perhaps the continuing relevance of his ideas is reflected in the fact that students still write about him.

06 February 2011

The Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop

The Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop is on February 17th in CT.  The meeting, "what Does the Future Hold?" is being coordinated by the Brownfields Coalition of the Northeast.

04 February 2011

A World of Change: Climate Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

"A World of Change: Climate Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" featuring Susan Solomon
February 10, 2011, 6 p.m.

Susan SolomonSusan Solomon is a senior scientist at the Earth System Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, particularly for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole." Her current research focuses on issues relating to both atmospheric chemistry and climate change.

Please join in for this dynamic presentation, which is part of the Ecologies in the Balance year-long seminar series to examine possible solutions to sweeping and unprecedented global environmental, social, and economic challenges and to explore the opportunities for intervention that these changes represent. A reception will follow Dr. Solomon's talk.

Contact the Office of Community Engagement to register for this event at 732-932-2000, ext. 4205, or discovery@aesop.rutgers.edu.

03 February 2011

News Map: Cairo

The NY Times has an interactive map to help you explore the Tahir Square protests.

New Census numbers: Hispanics outnumber African-Americans

The 2010 aggregate Census numbers are out for New Jersey and one of the most notable findings is that the 1.5 million Hispanics now represent the largest minority group in the Garden State.  On the whole, New Jersey grew 4.5% which has political ramifications both within and beyond New Jersey.

Scholarship opportunity

If you are a junior who has been active in the community, you might want to look into the Wells H Keddie Scholarship.  If you haven't been active, you might want to consider getting off campus and getting engaged.

02 February 2011

Mixed economic news for LA Firms

It is hard to tell which way is up in the latest quarterly report from the ASLA.  Billable hours are down but more firms are looking to hire.

Invasive Species Talk

Ecology & Evolution Graduate Program Seminar

Dr. Alycia Crall
Department of Land Resources
University of Wisconsin, Madison

“The Art and Science Of Invasive Species Monitoring with Citizen Scientists”

Citizen science programs have widespread applications to invasive species science where educating the public and increasing collaboration could prevent new introductions and control existing ones.

During this seminar, Dr. Crall will discuss efforts by the National Institute of Invasive Species Science citizen science program to answer the following research questions: 1) Can citizen scientists effectively contribute to established professional monitoring programs for invasive species? 2) Can p roper training provide skills necessary to collect data comparable to professionals? 3) Can participation in the training program improve knowledge, attitudes, and promote scientific inquiry? Trained as a plant ecologist, Dr. Crall will also remark on the benefits and struggles of an interdisciplinary approach to research when developing programs of this type.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

4:00 p.m.
Alampi Room, Marine and Coastal Sciences

Host: Dr. Rebecca Jordan

Refreshments at 3:30

01 February 2011

DeBoer Travel Prize reports

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Roy DeBoer Travel Prize winners reports

Wednesday, February 2 at 4:00 pm,
Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;
3 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ

Traveling is an essential experience for landscape architects. That is even more important for students of landscape architecture—learning creative design for livable places demands first hand studies of existing landscapes. The Roy DeBoer Travel Prize offers students of our depar tment the opportunity to travel and experience landscapes in the US and abroad. In this presentation the four 2010 prize winners will share their experiences and impressions:

Zena Zahalan, Paris
Erin Greenwood, Pacific Coast Highway
Jenna Gatto, Grand Canyon & La Bash
Alexandra Bolinder-Gibsand, Sweden

The presentations will be followed by a reception at Blake Hall.