From 10 to 110 Degrees: Designing/Planning for Today's Climate Change - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)

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Texas weather has always been extreme, but with climate change, it is even more so. We expected increased heat/drought, but not 2021 Winter Storm Uri and the coldest temperatures on record. How did Central Texas plant communities respond? What can their response teach us about the complexities of designing/planning for climate change?

Learning objectives:

  • What designed landscapes survived various weather extremes, including the freeze, and why? How did Central Texas landscapes - including the Austin Urban Tree Canopy - weather the storm?
  • Discuss how focusing only on tree canopy can unintentionally lead us to neglect the herbaceous layer, which is very effective at capturing and storing carbon.
  • Discuss the silver lining of the winter storm/arctic wobbles that could act as a similar abiotic disruptor to woody encroachment of grasslands that fires and grazing provided historically.
  • Discuss best practices for designing/managing resilient and high functioning plant communities including the benefits of using only natives and the debates for more use of adapted species.

Jennifer Orr, ASLA

Principal, PLA

Studio Balcones

Jennifer is co-founder & principal of Studio Balcones, a landscape and urban design firm based in Austin, Texas. Her commitment to protecting and supporting healthy ecological systems sits at the center of her work. As a self-proclaimed “plant nerd,” Jennifer oversees all office planting design, and loves to insert whimsy and play into her projects. She has an MLA from The University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Georgia Tech. Jennifer is a 4th generation Texan with deep affection for Texas landscapes., is a mother of two, and enjoys exploring the natural world with her family.

John Hart Asher, ASLA

Senior Environmental Designer

Blackland Collaborative

John Hart Asher has over 13 years’ experience designing and building functional ecosystems within urban conditions. He has carried out research and development of native turf grass, green roof media technology, provided design consulting for urban prairies and riparian restoration, and has designed numerous native prairie green roofs all over the state of Texas. His projects have one awards from the American Institute of Architects, the International RiverFoundation, Architizer, the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. John Hart also serves as host for the award-winning PBS show, Central Texas Gardener.

Emily King, ISA Certified Arborist

Urban Forester

City of Austin

Emily King is the City of Austin's Urban Forester, an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, and holds a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University. In her capacity as Austin's Urban Forester, Emily leads city-wide collaboration efforts to implement Austin’s Urban Forest Plan. She grounds her team's work with a focus on equitable access to the benefits that our community forest provides, and on climate adaptation to ensure the health of our future forest.


Video: From 10 to 110 Degrees
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/12 points to pass
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/12 points to pass Successful completion of this quiz is required to earn your PDH for this webinar.
8 Questions
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
Session Guide
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.