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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Landscape Architecture lecture series

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Noted landscape architects to discuss sustainability at
URI Landscape Architecture Lecture Series
Final lectures of spring series April 12 & 19

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 30, 2007 – The final two speakers in the URI Landscape Architecture Lecture Series are nationally-recognized figures who will discuss the subject of sustainability as it relates to landscape design and materials.

Warren Byrd, principal of Nelson-Byrd-Woltz in Charlottesville, Va., will discuss the compatibility of landscape designs and sustainability on Thursday, April 12, while Meg Calkins, associate professor at Ball State university, will address “Sustainable in a Material World” on April 19. Both talks begin at 7 p.m. in Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute on URI’s Kingston campus. They are free and open to the public.

The Merrill Peterson Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, Byrd’s areas of expertise include sustainable landscape design, site planning, park planning, town planning, arboreta and botanic garden design, and specific knowledge of the landscape character and plant/ecological communities of the East Coast, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, writing and design work.

Byrd launched his firm to link design theory and application. His recent work has emphasized sustainable design and construction practices by heralding regional plant communities and melding cultural and natural site histories. He has also collaborated on innovative storm water strategies and helped articulate successional approaches to landscape development.

Calkins teaches landscape construction, theory and design at Ball State, where she also studies process issues and technologies of sustainable site design. She is a contributing editor for Landscape Architecture magazine and won the Bradford Williams Award in 2003 for her series on green building materials. She is a member of the Green Building Council’s LEED Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group and a founding member of the Sustainable Design Professional Practice Network of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

“My lecture will address environmental and human health impacts of site construction materials and a variety of methods to minimize these impacts,” said Calkins. “It will also discuss emerging site construction materials, such as nano-materials that have the potential to change the way we build sites.”

Calkins has practiced extensively with award-winning firms in California and Washington, D.C. She is currently writing a book called Materials for Sustainable Sites, due out in 2008.

The URI Landscape Architecture series is co-sponsored by the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association. The Warren Byrd lecture is also sponsored by the URI Honors Program and the Visiting Scholars Committee. For more information about the series, contact the URI Department of Community Planning and Landscape Architecture at 874-2249 or Professor Will Green at wagre@uri.edu.