Biodiversity & Climate Action 101 for Landscape Architects Webinar Series

Biodiversity & Climate Action 101 for Landscape Architects Webinar Series

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A free webinar series for ASLA Members hosted by the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee. 

(Note: Dates and times for webinars beyond June are TBD and will be announced once confirmed.)

For more than a year, the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee has been leading the implementation of the ASLA Climate Action Plan. Join climate action leaders for a 9-part webinar series to share collaborative research and knowledge to advance the goals of decarbonization and biodiversity protection.

This series is designed to expand knowledge within the profession to achieve the Climate Action Plan Vision for 2040 – All landscape architecture projects will simultaneously: 

  • Achieve zero embodied and operational emissions and increase carbon sequestration 
  • Provide significant economic benefits in the form of measurable ecosystem services, health co-benefits, sequestration, and green jobs 
  • Address climate injustices, empower communities, and increase equitable distribution of climate investments 
  • Restore ecosystems and protect, conserve, and enhance biodiversity. 

This webinar series is underwritten by
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  • Contains 6 Component(s), Includes Credits Recorded On: 02/20/2024

    This session is a global introduction to carbon in the built environment tailored to landscape architects and landscape product vendors and contractors.

    This session is a global introduction to carbon in the built environment. It is tailored to landscape architects and landscape product vendors and contractors. Nearly 75% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the urban built environment, and 35% are from outside the buildings. Understanding emissions from construction and operations is critical to reducing the climate impacts of landscape architecture projects.

    Landscape architects can use environmental product declarations (EPDs) and life-cycle analysis (LCA) to inform data-driven planning and design. These approaches can reduce climate impacts from built landscapes. Learn how to evaluate both EPDs and LCAs, which are integrated into green building standards, including SITES v2 certification.

    Speakers will review:

    • Key concepts of the natural carbon cycle
    • Common terms and concepts
    • Considerations for maximizing the carbon drawdown potential for the living landscape

    Underwritten by Landscape Forms

    Learning Objectives:

    At the end of course participants will be able to:

    1. Understand the distinction between embodied carbon and operational carbon, as defined in SITES v2 Pilot Credit 3: Assess and Improve Carbon Performance.
    2. Discover essential practices and resources to reduce carbon-related climate impacts in the built landscape, which may be used to achieve SITES v2 Pilot Credit 3: Assess and Improve Carbon Performance.
    3. Articulate the differences between biogenic carbon stored in construction materials, dead biomass in nature, and carbon sequestration.
    4. Understand the life-cycle report stages and what information to look for in an EPD to understand the embodied carbon potential of a product and product class that may be used to achieve credits in SITES v2 Site Design - Materials Selection.

    The GBCI course ID for this course is 0920029478, providing SITES-specific CE hours required to maintain SITES AP credentials. Participants will need to pass the exam at the end of the presentation in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants will need to self-report CE hours through their credentials account on https://sitesonline.usgbc.org.

    Christopher R. Hardy, ASLA, PLA, Certified Arborist

    Senior Associate

    Sasaki

    Chris Hardy is a Senior Associate Landscape Architect and Arborist at Sasaki, based in Boston Massachusetts.  Chris has been the principal investigator for Sasaki’s landscape Carbon Conscience research team from 2019 to the present. This project includes building both landscape and architectural datasets and translating them into a free and accessible design application, providing carbon metrics for planning and urban design analysis. Before Sasaki, Chris worked at SWA San Francisco and earlier at MNLA in New York City. Outside of practice, Chris participates in the design community through advocacy, teaching, service, and writing. 

    Pamela Conrad, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP

    Founder of Climate Positive Design, Lecturer at Harvard GSD

    Climate Positive Design / Harvard Graduate School of Design

    Pamela Conrad is an internationally recognized landscape architect and climate advocate. She is a senior fellow with Architecture 2030, and a 2023 Loeb Fellow and Faculty Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She founded Climate Positive Design to enable climate action by providing guidance and an app to support design teams in drawing down carbon while creating environmental, social, cultural, and economic co-benefits. She is a farm girl from Missouri, inspired by the richness and ingenuity of nature.

    Stephanie Carlisle

    Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum

    University of Pennsylvania - School of Design

    Stephanie Carlisle is an architect and ecologist whose work focuses on the interaction between the constructed and natural environment, including life cycle assessment (LCA), urban ecology, environmental justice, and climate policy. She is a research scientist at the Carbon Leadership Forum, where she works to develop open-access embodied carbon and LCA data, tools, and methods to support the building sector in radically decarbonizing construction.  Stephanie joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design in 2014. Previously, Stephanie worked for nine years as a Principal and Environmental Researcher at KieranTimberlake Architects in Philadelphia, where she helped lead the office’s research on embodied carbon, material health, landscape ecology, and environmental impacts. Since 2012, she worked on the development team for Tally, a software tool that enables architects and engineers to conduct full-building life cycle assessments during design. 

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Recorded On: 03/26/2024

    This session focuses on how to approach decarbonization as designers. Landscape architects are skilled at balancing a complex array of different considerations on every project, regardless of its type or scale. To achieve carbon reduction goals, our design approach must incorporate best practices and strategies seamlessly into our practice.

    This session focuses on how to approach decarbonization as designers. Landscape architects are skilled at balancing a complex array of different considerations on every project, regardless of its type or scale. To achieve carbon reduction goals, our design approach must incorporate best practices and strategies seamlessly into our practice. 

    The speakers will discuss how decarbonization strategies can be integrated with the existing project workflow, highlighting priorities and questions to ask at each design phase - from goal setting and team alignment to design decision-making, and technical oversight. A summary of the best practices to achieve reduction targets will be provided and the speakers will share more about the carbon accounting tools available to support designers. The session will conclude with a brief roundtable discussion of how to make the case for this approach with clients and project teams, then opening up to an audience Q + A. 

    Learning Objectives:

    At the end of course participants will be able to:

    1. Understand when to effectively overlay decarbonization approaches onto existing project workflow, phase by phase.
    2. Learn more about the best practices to achieve carbon reduction through design decisions.
    3. Gain an overview of various carbon accounting tools, and when to leverage their strengths.
    4. Explore different approaches to making the case for decarbonizing design with clients and project teams.

    Marieke Lacasse, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C

    Principal

    GGLO

    Marieke’s leadership in multidisciplinary practice and landscape architecture has yielded significant, sustained impacts at local and national scales. Her commitment to promoting sustainability and ecological principles in dense environments has helped to create inherently social spaces that spark belonging and identity. She believes in the power of collaboration, emphasizing co-creation and design equity to ensure that built work reflects the unique character, values, and needs of a community. Marieke is an enthusiastic supporter of Climate Action and carbon drawdown in her work. She has served for three years on the ASLA Climate Action Committee, as well as for ten years at the chapter level. Additionally, she volunteers her time to support homeless and affordable housing, arts, and environmental non-profits.

    Mariana Ricker, ASLA, PLA

    Associate

    SWA Group

    Mariana Ricker is passionate about California landscapes and emphasizes the importance of site-specific, sustainable landscape design. She enjoys working in urban settings that engage diverse user groups and activate spaces essential to civic life.

    In her work as a landscape architect, Mariana seeks to create memorable experiences, connect people to the environment, and provide elegant solutions to accomplish the project vision. At SWA, she works on a wide range of projects, from community parks to large-scale urban development and planning around the Bay Area and beyond. Mariana is committed to climate action within her project work and professionally. She is a member of the national ULI Sustainable Development Product Council, and currently sits on both national and local ASLA Biodiversity & Climate Action Committees. 

    Andrew Wickham, ASLA, LEED AP, PLA

    Project Leader

    LPA Design Studios

    Andrew Wickham is a Project Leader at LPA, a national integrated design firm.  Andrew leads designs at the intersection of built, cultural, and natural systems and is a champion of metric-driven design.  His interest lies in how the blending of built and natural environments can enhance a user’s experience and reinforce values of equity, ecology, and curiosity.  Andrew is a proven thinker and strategist, speaking at numerous conferences about the value of performative landscapes and human experience. He is currently Trustee for California Sierra Chapter of ASLA and co-chair of the Leadership and Communication sub-committee of the national Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee.

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits Recorded On: 04/18/2024

    Explore how to decarbonize construction through material selection and detail composition.

    Explore how to decarbonize construction through material selection and detail composition. Our session will explore how to reduce the embodied carbon of landscape structures, including pavements, walls, stairs, decks, soils, planting, railings, and other site structures. We will also share resources for measuring and evaluating the carbon footprint of details and materials, including the SITES v2 rating system. 

     Learning Objectives:

    • Explore the results of the CarbonConscience literature review of landscape material carbon factors, including which materials have the lowest footprint for masonry, wood, and metal fabrications.
    • Understand key decarbonization strategies for material and product selection, in support of SITES v2 Site Design – Materials credits.
    • Understand how state department of transportation specifications impact emissions from concrete pavements.  
    • Examine key considerations for specifying low carbon concrete, including how supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) can reduce the carbon footprint of concrete. 

    The GBCI course ID for this course is 0920029758, providing SITES-specific CE hours required to maintain SITES AP credentials. Participants will need to pass the exam at the end of the presentation in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants will need to self-report CE hours through their credentials account on https://sitesonline.usgbc.org.

    image above: Low Carbon Materials at the Ellinikon Park, Sasaki

    Christopher R. Hardy, ASLA, PLA, Certified Arborist

    Senior Associate

    Sasaki

    Chris Hardy is a Senior Associate Landscape Architect and Arborist at Sasaki, based in Boston Massachusetts.  Chris has been the principal investigator for Sasaki’s landscape Carbon Conscience research team from 2019 to the present. This project includes building both landscape and architectural datasets and translating them into a free and accessible design application, providing carbon metrics for planning and urban design analysis. Before Sasaki, Chris worked at SWA San Francisco and earlier at MNLA in New York City. Outside of practice, Chris participates in the design community through advocacy, teaching, service, and writing. 

    Meg Calkins, FASLA, SITES AP

    Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

    North Carolina State University

    Meg Calkins, FASLA, SITES AP, is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at North Carolina State University. Meg’s scholarship focuses on the environmental and human health impacts of site construction details and materials. She is the author of the book "Materials for Sustainable Sites" and editor of the "Sustainable Sites Handbook". She is currently writing a book with the working title of "Details and Material for Resilient Sites: A Carbon Positive Approach" (Routledge 2025). Meg has taken an active leadership role in development and implementation of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) since 2003.

    Satyam Maharaj

    Associate

    Carbon Free Buildings, RMI

    Satyam is an associate on the Embodied Carbon Initiative within the Carbon Free Buildings team. His primary focus is on reducing the carbon impact of building materials by advocating for the broad adoption of low-embodied-carbon and carbon-sequestering building materials.

    Satyam previously worked as a structural engineer and construction manager in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago. He planned, designed, and managed the construction of facilities in the education, healthcare, and housing sectors, to name a few. He focused on ensuring projects were on a sustainable pathway by reducing embodied carbon content, introducing green concrete solutions, and advocating for renewable energy and efficient wastewater management systems. He led cross-functional teams and fostered engaging communication efforts between stakeholders and contractors to ensure projects were finalized within expected timeframes and budgets, and to end-user satisfaction.

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits Recorded On: 05/21/2024

    Dive deep into the SITES material selection credits, explore the CAP model of industrial ecology, and uncover innovative products and practices that can accelerate the transition to a carbon-free, biodiversity-positive future. Discover practical tools, frameworks, and conversation starters that will empower you to lead the charge towards a more sustainable industry.

    To achieve the ambitious goals of the ASLA Climate Action Plan, the diverse businesses comprising the landscape construction industry need to mobilize for a transition. Designers and industry partners can help accelerate the transition by starting key conversations now.   

    Dive deep into the SITES material selection credits, explore the CAP model of industrial ecology, and uncover innovative products and practices that can accelerate the transition to a carbon-free, biodiversity-positive future. Discover practical tools, frameworks, and conversation starters that will empower you to lead the charge towards a more sustainable industry 

    The GBCI course ID for this course is 0920029908, providing SITES-specific CE hours required to maintain SITES AP credentials. Participants will need to pass the exam at the end of the presentation in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants will need to self-report CE hours through their credentials account on https://sitesonline.usgbc.org.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the end of course participants will be able to: 

    1. Initiate conversations with industry partners regarding the environmental impacts of their products to advocate for biodiversity and climate action. 
    2. Apply principles of the SITES v2 rating system to specify more sustainable products and materials. 
    3. Understand the intent of SITES Section 5 – Materials Selection: Prerequisite 5.1 and Credits 5.2-5.10, focused on selection and use of materials to support and enhance ecosystem services.  
    4. Identify certifications and other tools available to vet and verify environmental claims and practices.  
    5. Collaborate for positive change in our industry more effectively, with a contextual basis in industrial ecology and energy transition.

    Bryce Carnehl, Corporate ASLA

    Specification Support Manager

    Hunter Industries

    Bryce Carnehl has been in the landscape industry for over 20 years working in construction, landscape architecture, sales, corporate social responsibility, and marketing. Throughout these years he has dedicated himself to promoting the value of green spaces.

    Every project begins with a plan, and better planning leads to project success. Bryce now works to create business opportunity for landscape stakeholders through design, planning, and specification efforts. He believes that together we can build business prosperity, increase the value of landscapes, and ensure healthy communities in which we all live, work, and play.      

    Amy Syverson-Shaffer, ASLA, RLA, SITES AP

    Sustainability Leader

    Landscape Forms

    Amy Syverson-Shaffer is passionate about connecting people to nature and to each other. Her past work as a landscape architect and in business development frames her collaborative approach to taking on big challenges. Today, she is lending her design acumen and contextual understanding to leading sustainability for the modern craft manufacturer, Landscape Forms. Since 2023, she’s served on the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee, working to bridge between key efforts by Landscape Architects and their industry partner community. On any given day, you'll most likely find her working in the garden.

    Danielle Pieranunzi, SITES AP, LEED AP

    SITES Director

    Green Business Certification Inc.

    Danielle Pieranunzi is drawn to work that bridges the gap between science and practice to create accessible tools and compelling stories that foster positive change in society. Since 2006, she has worked on the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) collaborating with a diverse group of practitioners, scientists, educators, and policymakers to elevate the value of nature in the built environment. This resulted in comprehensive design guidelines and a certification system guiding development projects toward nature-positive outcomes while addressing impacts on carbon, resilience, human health, biodiversity, and more. At GBCI, Danielle continues to support SITES focusing on technical development and client solutions.

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 06/25/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)

    Embark on a transformative journey towards zero emission business operations. This webinar delves into the strategies and best practices for measuring, understanding, and effectively reducing Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Gain insights from real-world case studies of five landscape architecture firms on their journey to zero emissions. Learn how to develop an action plan with short and long-term goals for your organization's sustainable future.

    Embark on a transformative journey towards zero emission business operations. This webinar delves into the strategies and best practices for measuring, understanding, and effectively reducing Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Gain insights from real-world case studies of five landscape architecture firms on their journey to zero emissions. Learn how to develop an action plan with short and long-term goals for your organization's sustainable future.   

    Learning Objectives:

    At the end of course participants will be able to: 

    1.  Familiarize yourself with the process of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in a business's operations. 
    2. Understand Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions as classifications for climate-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, along with the various methods to mitigate them. 
    3. Understand how to work within your organization to set up a GHG reduction action plan with short- and long-term goals to lower and eliminate carbon emissions. 

    Julie T. Donofrio, AICP, LEED AP

    Associate and Co-Coordinator, OLIN Labs

    OLIN

    Julie Donofrio is an urban planner and community engagement specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in urban planning and design on a variety of scales, with a focus on creating equitable processes for community engagement. Currently she serves as the Co-Coordinator of OLIN Labs furthering research and development to support practice, and build a community of research and learning within the design community. Prior to OLIN she was the managing director of PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, where she also served as a faculty member in the Department of City and Regional Planning, teaching graduate students for over 8 years. Prior to PennPraxis, she was an associate urban designer and planner at WRT in San Francisco and Philadelphia. She began her career as an urban planner with EDAW (now AECOM) in San Diego. Julie holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning and a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors of Arts from Wake Forest University. 

    Hussein Sayani, PhD

    Senior Project Manager, ESG Advisory

    Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

    Hussein Sayani is Senior Project Manager within Langan’s ESG Advisory practice and is part of Langan’s Sustainability Committee. He is a climate scientist with 10+ years of experience in climate change research, data analytics, and carbon accounting. He specializes in ESG strategy and disclosures, greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, and climate risk assessments. He has assisted clients across a variety of industries, real estate, manufacturing, oil and gas, and agriculture, with developing GHG emission inventories, product carbon footprints or life cycle assessments, ESG disclosures and has advised clients on climate change projections and associated risks.

    Ronnie Siegel, ASLA

    Principal

    Swire Siegel, Landscape Architects

    Ronnie Siegel received a B.A from Colgate University and an M.LA. from the University of Pennsylvania.  She founded the firm Swire Siegel Landscape Architects in 1984, and has promoted sustainability with the use of native plants, conservation of water, and storm water recharge in her work in Southern California for 40 years.  Most of her projects also focused on the design of nature-based play and learning environments for children in urban areas.  She has promoted the benefits of open space design for children was a guest lecturer for the World Forum on Nature Education in Nebraska and for similar conferences around the world.  In addition, Ronnie created a Global Interactive Art Project called Carry the EARTH, which inspired action and collected environmental action stories from around the world from 2018-2023.  She has written and illustrated an award winning fictional children’s book DISPLACED: A Story About Climate Change and How Displaced Animals Ring the Alarm.   

    Ronnie is currently working with the US Green Building Council California to facilitate a collaboration with the ASLA on climate action by helping to organize a full day of nature-based solutions sessions at their annual conference in May 2024.  She is on the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee of the ASLA and  helping to prepare resources for its members to facilite action.  

    Amy Syverson-Shaffer, ASLA, RLA, SITES AP (Moderator)

    Sustainability Leader

    Landscape Forms

    Amy Syverson-Shaffer is passionate about connecting people to nature and to each other. Her past work as a landscape architect and in business development frames her collaborative approach to taking on big challenges. Today, she is lending her design acumen and contextual understanding to leading sustainability for the modern craft manufacturer, Landscape Forms. Since 2023, she’s served on the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee, working to bridge between key efforts by Landscape Architects and their industry partner community. On any given day, you'll most likely find her working in the garden.

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 07/01/2024 at 12:00 AM (EDT)

    Webinar date/time will be announced soon...

    Coming soon... 

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 08/01/2024 at 12:00 AM (EDT)

    Webinar date/time will be announced soon...

    Coming soon... 

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 09/01/2024 at 12:00 AM (EDT)

    Webinar date/time will be announced soon...

    Coming soon...

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 10/01/2024 at 12:00 AM (EDT)

    Webinar date/time will be announced soon...

    Coming soon...