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Reviewed by:
  • The 2019 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference
  • Galen Newman (bio), Taner R. Ozdil (bio), and Dongying Li (bio)

The CELA Annual Conference brings together more than 400 attendees from around the world to exchange recent scholarly activities from teaching, research, and service engagement projects. The 2019 CELA Annual Conference, Engaged Scholarship, was held March 6–9, 2019, in Sacramento, CA, and was hosted by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis). It was supported by eighteen sponsors: Vectorworks, the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, Atlas Lab, Land F/X, ASLA Sierra Chapter, CELA Fellows, Permaloc, Hunter Industries, HLA Group, Landscape Journal, Places, Taylor and Francis, Anova, WRT, Actar, Design Workshop, Sigma Lambda Alpha, and Most Dependable Fountains. CELA had a stellar year in 2019, breaking two records for abstract submissions (more than 500) and poster presentations (133) for the annual conference. According to UC Davis, Engaged Scholarship was chosen as the theme to help address disconnects between scholars and practitioners and as an opportunity to examine contributions to community-based education and real-world problem solving.

Forty-three poster, panel, and oral presentations were given as part of the Engaged Scholarship theme track. The track made significant contributions to the global, multidisciplinary discussions on engaged scholarship to move beyond earlier service-learning models to an approach that fully integrates teaching, research, and service. Presentations such as "Scholarship of Teaching through Engaged Scholars" from Mississippi State University (Sadik Artunc) and "Enterprise-based Design Research on LIM Workflow: Practical Research on Landscape Architecture Information Technology Application" from Tsinghua University (Yong Guo) highlighted the range of locations and topics in this track.

The conference was organized by the core tracks and the annual theme track and featured by a new pilot track titled "Research by Design." The pilot track was largely successful in its first year, receiving sixty-one abstract submissions, and it has now been officially accepted as a yearly CELA track. It presented myriad case-based research projects that integrated design analytics as a means of solving issues identified through research. A range of research topics were explored in this field, from campus planning, urban design, virtual reality and gaming, streetscaping, water management, ecosystem services, and beyond.

The 2019 CELA conference also made significant strides in showcasing activities on critical topics such as enrollment, climate change, and diversity, all of which have been a focus of concern for various allied organizations, such as the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB), and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).

Recent enrollment issues, including student application decreases, diversity issues, student/faculty retention, and program development in landscape architecture, were highlighted in nearly a sixth of the presentations at CELA. Relatedly, 17 percent of the talks focused on research identifying causes [End Page 133] of decline in recruitment and retention, examining issues in current and/or under-development landscape architecture programs, faculty hiring, and curriculum and course improvements. Enrollment related topics were primarily covered in the "Design Education and Pedagogy" and "Engaged Scholarship" tracks.

For example, one of the panel discussions on recruitment composed of academics from Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Clemson (Ned Crankshaw, Michael Seymour, Matthew Powers, Tasha Cotter, Jordan Phemister, and Brian Lee) was titled "Recruiting Students into Undergraduate Programs in Landscape Architecture: Predictive Data, Methods, and Tracking." The discussion built on past literature and LAAB-compiled enrollment data to highlight effective recruitment/retention strategies. Better understanding of prospective students' interests and attitudes, links between recruiting and advising, how to both develop and implement recruiting programs, how introductory courses can be used for recruitment, and data on graduate placement proved to be effective strategies for enhancing recruitment efforts across universities.

Nearly 45 percent of the presentations related to climate change. The research investigated a broad range of related issues, such as flooding, extreme weather, sea level rise, wildfire, and management/adaption approaches to these effects. Additional presentations covered risk reduction, mitigation, adaptation, and preparedness, including potential solutions to climate change, such as green/blue infrastructure and low-impact development. Although nearly...


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