|D. Scott Douglas|
I have been practicing in the field of landscape architecture since completing my Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree (BLA) at the University of Georgia in 1999. I am a licensed landscape architect in Georgia and Illinois and I am a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP). I have been fortunate to work at a variety of design firms, including a small design/build company, landscape architecture firms, and engineering firms. I have worked on a wide range of projects including: residential, apartment complex amenity areas, downtown streetscape renovations, greenway trails, and historic preservation projects.
As I advanced into project manager positions, I began to work with junior staff and started to develop an interest in teaching. After observing my wife’s career as a professor, I decided to leave professional practice to pursue a master of landscape architecture degree (MLA) so that I could transition my efforts into the education of future landscape architects. In the fall of 2014, I enrolled in the master of landscape architecture degree (MLA) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
After 15-years of professional practice, returning to the university setting as a student was overwhelming and revitalizing. I was challenged to learn new computer programs and graphic techniques. I was also provided opportunities to explore the process of research-based design and use my background to advance campus initiatives. I spent the summer of 2015 working on 3 case studies for the Landscape Architecture Foundation Case Study Investigation program, which provided an invaluable opportunity to evaluate projects based on their ecological, social, and economic impacts. As a student, I earned several awards, including being named a University Olmsted Scholar, and I completed my MLA degree in May 2016.
After graduation, I accepted a full-time lecturer position at Iowa State University, where I taught two design studios and three landscape construction classes. My two semesters at Iowa State University were incredibly rewarding and provided me with an opportunity to hone my teaching skills. In August 2017, I began a new position at Virginia Tech, where I am the Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden and an instructor in the Horticulture Department. This job represents the best of both worlds, a combination of project management (in the garden) and classroom instruction.
My fledgling research agenda is focused on two topics, productive landscapes and the interactions between landscape architecture/design and the long-term maintenance of projects. My productive landscape interests begin with urban farming and justifying its integration into project designs. I am currently comparing the productivity of urban farming with more traditional farming practice, with an emphasis on student-run farming programs. Through quantifying productivity on a pounds produced per square foot basis, I hope to show the value of these urban gardens and the crops they produce. I am also interested in exploring opportunities for utilizing transportation and utility corridors to support additional productive and ecological purposes. There are thousands of acres of underutilized space along these corridors that could fulfill other uses. My thesis project, Interstate Interventions, explored this and I am currently working on expanding the project to eventually include test corridors along existing roadways.