E-I-E-I-Olmsted Center

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Looks fine to me! (Tasted fine too!)

Oh hi! I didn’t see you there! I was just busy swimming through all these documents about sustainable agricultural practices.

Our research for Martin Van Buren National Historic Site (MAVA) is still underway but reaching a foreseeable end. Out of the 25 topics Alex had lined out for us to explore, only one or two remain untouched. I am impressed at our team work and dedication! IMG_2290

How I signify I am done with a topic a.k.a. my ‘trophies’

I am also impressed about how much I’ve learned about agriculture. Makes me want to quit everything and start a farm…

On second thought, I’ll stick with my current career plan. “Sylman’s Farm and Friends” can be plan B (and of course, it’d be in Texas). But on a serious note: I am fascinated with how there are strategies for maintaining every detail of the land. In particular, when I picked up the topic “fence rows” I was sure I wouldn’t find much. I was initially surprised that the land proximal to both sides of a fence/boundary marker would even have a proper name! I was then even further awestruck when my first attempts at researching the topic revealed that the management of such areas is a subject of much debate…

To clear or not to clear? That is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler to let thy land be over run by such shrubbery
Or to take Arms against such vile weeds
And by opposing end them…

Sorry, lost myself for a second there. Anyhow, working on this project has further solidified the reoccurring theme that landscape architecture traverses so many fields. Never would I have guessed I would be learning about different composting processes but I am glad I have! It’s beautiful to know that all this knowledge contributes to the overall design process as well as the development of landscape management guidelines. It’s also a refreshing challenge to work with the give-and-take between what’s best for the farmers and what stays true to the historical character of the site. I can completely see how this process we’ve been utilizing will apply to my future work, as I want science and engineering to inform my design decisions.

We had two adventures this week: Chris took us to go visit Pressley Associates (Website), Chris’s former employer. This company has worked with NPS on a number of their sites as well has an extensive portfolio in general. We had the pleasure of meeting with Marion Pressley, who was happy to go in-depth on a couple of their projects. Though I do favor the public sector (and academia!), it was quite valuable to talk with someone in private practice, especially someone who runs their own business (along with her husband). And of course, we were all encouraged to get registered/licensed!DSC_0746

Admiring the posters showing the myriad of projects at Pressley Assoc. I even saw places I am quite familiar with!

Our second adventure was shorter but was just as rewarding: We met the Branching Out Park-based interns this morning! (You can read more about them here)! We all introduced our projects and to each other and discussed how they were related. It is always great to meet other interns and understand what their experience has been like. All of them are going into undergrad possibly pursuing related fields so I am also eager to see where their journey takes them. Perhaps we will cross paths again!

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Sharing the Green Hill Project work with the group

Bonus!: We had one more brown bag lunch where we met Michael Endicott, a recent graduate of Rutgers’ Geography and GIS program (yay, class of 2015!) who is a Young Leader in Climate Change intern. His internship project focused on the potential impacts to the Boston Harbor Islands Park, specifically the issue of rising sea level. He measured elevations points on a few islands and appropriately incorporated that data into some useful GIS visualizations to help inform future park decisions on the growing concern. I loved hearing about his project, as his methods were ones I am quite familiar with. Hopefully I can have work similar to that in my future!

Oh no! Only one more blog post after this! Better tune in because I am sure it’ll be a good one!

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