Brian Orland


Brian Orland holds degrees in Architecture (Manchester), and in Landscape Architecture (Arizona). He joined the University of Georgia for Fall 2015 as the Rado Family Foundation /UGA Professor in GeoDesign.   He has conducted pioneering work in several areas of computer visualization for landscape design and planning including visual simulation, virtual reality and serious games.  During the first eighteen years of his career at the University of Illinois he founded and directed the Imaging Systems Laboratory and was a lead faculty member in the East St. Louis Action Research Project.  He moved to Penn State where he headed the department of landscape architecture for eight years and then directed the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture before appointment as a Distinguished Professor and returning to teaching and research.  His current work includes the use of serious games, visualization and mobile devices for data collection and information dissemination in the context of landscape design and planning. Most of his recent work has related to land use change, water resources and energy development in Pennsylvania and the UK but he has also co-led a study abroad program in Tanzania, focused on community design for biodiversity conservation.


Personal Interests

His teaching and research focus on environmental perception, the modeling and representation of environmental impacts and the design of information systems for community-based design and planning.


Selected Publications

In press*, Orland, B. Persuasive New Worlds:  A Commentary on Virtual Technologies and Community Decision-Making. Landscape and Urban Planning. 13pp.

In press*, Orland, B. & T. Murtha.  Show me: Engaging citizens in planning for shale gas development.  Environmental Practice. 28pp.

2015, Orland, B. The Path to Geodesign: The Family Car of Digital Landscape Architecture?  In proceedings: Digital Landscape Architecture.  Dessau, Germany.

2014, Orland, B., N. Ram, D. H. Lang, K.W. Houser, M. Coccia & N. Kling.  Saving Energy in an Office Environment: A Serious Game Intervention.  Energy and Buildings. 74:43-52. See also:

2008, Orland, B., Information for design: Interacting environmental systems in space and time.  Specialist Meeting—Spatial Concepts in GIS and Design.  National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, UC-Santa Barbara.

2007, Orland, B. & Ursavas, C.  Visualizing forest bio-physical characteristics in the context of studies of perceived fire hazard.  In, S. McCaffrey (ed.) The Public and Wildland Fire Management: Social Science Findings for Managers.  Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.  187-196.

2005, Orland, B.  “Calibrating” images to more accurately represent future landscape conditions in forestry.   Chapter 6 In: I. Bishop and E. Lange, (eds.) Visualization in Landscape and Environmental Planning. London: Taylor and Francis.  104-111.

2001, Orland, B., Budthimedhee, K. & Uusitalo, J. Considering Virtual Worlds as Representations of Landscape Realities. Landscape and Urban Planning. 54, 139-148.



American Society of Landscape Architects


Honors and Awards

2015, Professor Arnold Weddle Chair in Landscape, University of Sheffield

2013, Fellow, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

2012, Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture, Pennsylvania State University

2012, Outstanding Administrator, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

2011, Undergraduate Program Leadership award, Pennsylvania State University

2011-12, Faculty Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Social Science Research Institute

2010, Named in “Most Admired Educators of 2010” Design Intelligence

2009, Honorary Scientist, Rural Development Administration, The Republic of Korea

2002, Award of Merit, American Society of Landscape Architects. Taj Mahal Cultural Heritage District Development Plan (with V. Bellafiore, T. Harkness, A. Sinha, K. McCown)

1999-2000, Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

1999, Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects



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Alfie Vick


Alfred Vick is the Georgia Power Professor in Environmental Ethics at the University of Georgia. He is a licensed landscape architect and a LEED Fellow.  In addition to teaching in the CED, he is on the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of the Institute of Native American Studies.  He continues to practice as a principal at Solidago Design Solutions and his professional work has included several LEED-certified buildings, including the LEED Platinum headquarters of the Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.   Alfred is past-Chair of the Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group for the US Green Building Council, Founding Chair of the Athens Branch of the US Green Building Council and is on the Board of Directors of the Athens Land Trust.

Degrees Held

MLA, University of Georgia (1998)
BS, Liberal Arts & Sciences – Engineering Psychology, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (1993)

Research Interests

Professor Vick’s research focuses on green infrastructure and sustainable site design, landscape performance metrics, native plant communities, and Cherokee ethnobotany.

Personal Interests

Gardening, hiking, woodworking, winemaking.

Selected Publications

  1. Vick, R.A., Calabria, J., Echols, S., Ogden, M., Yocca, D. 2012. Site Design: Water. Sustainable Sites Handbook. Meg Calkins, Editor. John Wiley & Sons. New York.
  2. Calabria, J., Vick, R.A., and Cassity, P.W. 2011. UGA’s Green Infrastructure Plan: Student Envisioned. 2011 Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings.
  3. Vick, R.A. Cherokee Adaptation to the Landscape of the West and Overcoming the Loss of Culturally Significant Plants. American Indian Quarterly Vol 35. No. 3 (Summer 2011). University of Nebraska Press.
  4. Vick, R.A. The Plant Communities of the Trail of Tears: Overcoming Relocation and Reestablishing a Connection to Place. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2008 Conference Proceedings.
  5. Vick, R.A. Low-impact Land Development: The Practice of Preserving Natural Processes. Chinese Landscape Architecture. Volume 25/166. (translated by CAO Juan)
  6. Wenger, S.J., Carter, T.L., Vick, R.A., and Fowler, L.A. 2008. Runoff Limits: An Ecologically-based Stormwater Management Program. Stormwater 9: 1-10.
  7. Vick, R.A. Low-impact Land Development: The Practice of Preserving Natural Processes. Journal of Green Building. Volume 1, Number 4.
  8. Vick, R.A. 2006. Site Design for Stormwater Management. Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards. Len Hopper, Editor. John Wiley & Sons. New York.


American Society of Landscape Architects

US Green Building Council

American Mensa

Honors and Awards

Cherokee Nation Sevenstar Stalwart Award, 2014

University of Georgia Teaching Academy, 2013

Outstanding Faculty Member – Sustainable UGA Awards, 2013

Distinguished Faculty Member – CED Alumni Association, 2013


Selected Grants and Funded Projects

  1. Revising Georgia’s Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan
    Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Co-PI, $75,000                                 February 2014 – August 2014
  2. The Impact of Climate Change on Tribal Resource Management in the Southeast
    US Forest Service grant, Co-PI, $35,000                                                                                                                         2011
  3. Increasing the Sustainability of Distribution Warehouse Centers
    Technical Assistance Grant, Co-PI, $107,632                                                                                                               2008
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Amitabh Verma

My background includes professional and academic experience in four allied disciplines that shape our built environment – architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and historic preservation. Prior to teaching at the University of Georgia, I worked for over twelve years at design firms in the United States and India.

Degrees Held

MLA from the University of Georgia, BArch from Mumbai University

Specific Research Interest

Indian urbanization, water in urban design, graphic representation.

Selected Publications
  • Veneration of Water as Determinant of Riverfront Spatial Form. Poznan University of Technology, Poland.
    • Planning for Health Amelioration: Analyzing Mumbai’s Urbanization Patterns ICUPRD Conference, Vienna, Austria.
    • (Re) Discovering Lost Connections: Restoring the Relationship between City and Water. CELA-ISOMUL Conference, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
    • Safeguarding the Sacred Ghats of Varanasi: Preservation and Conservation Strategies. UNESCO-ICCROM Conference, Macau.
    • Sacralizing the Water’s Edge: The Landscape of the Ghats at Varanasi. IFLA Conference, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.Honors and awards received:
    • Research Travel Award, UGA President’s Venture Fund
    • Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Environment + Design
    • Outstanding Faculty Award, CE+D Alumni Association
    • Award for Excellence in Research & Creative Works, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture
    • Best Paper Award, UNESCO-ICCROM Conference
    • Writing Fellowship, UGA Center for Teaching and Learning
Personal Interests

Urban design, international planning, architecture


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Melissa Tufts

Degrees Held

MLA University of Georgia 2008
M.A. American History University of Georgia 1985
B.A. European History St. Andrews College 1976

Research Interests

Rural design, sustainable agriculture, natural resource conservation, environmental history of the American South

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Ashley Steffens


Ashley Steffens is an Associate Professor in the College of Environment and Design. She is the Technology Editor for Landscape Architect and Specifier News, co-author of a book, Computer Graphics for Landscape Architects, an Introduction, and author of numerous published conference proceedings and articles. Ashley serves as the Secretary and Vice President of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) and co-chair of the Design Education and Pedagogy track for the CELA conferences. She teaches Hand Graphics, Computer Graphics, Plants of the South, and Community Design studio, as well as study abroad courses. She often utilizes service learning projects for studio course work as a way to link the professional and educational expectations in project development.

Degrees Held

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Research Interests

Hand Graphics, Computer Graphics, Technology, Portfolio and Professional Development, and Educational/Public Gardens and Parks

Selected Publications

Calabria, Ashley and Jose Buitrago. Computer Graphics for Landscape Architects: An Introduction. Delmar-Cengage Learning, Clifton Park, N.Y., USA, 2008

“Tech Trends”, Landscape Architect and Specifier News, 01 ed., vol. 28, pp. 26, 28, 2012

“Generation Speed: Part 1: Graphics” on
The 2014 4th most viewed article January – October 2014. Publication received 1,384,205 visits.

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Ron Sawhill

Ron Sawhill is an Associate Professor and the BLA Internship Coordinator for the College of Environment and Design. Since 1995 he has taught a wide range of courses including design studios, construction and stormwater management related classes. In addition to teaching in Athens, he has taught a number of semesters at the UGA campus in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Ron is a professional landscape architect, a past-President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and an active member of the CED Alumni Association steering committee. In his spare time he is developing a small farm outside of Athens. Originally from Michigan, he has spent most of his life in Georgia, and most of his professional work is found in the southeastern states.

Degrees Held
MLA, University of Georgia (1995)
BLA, University of Georgia (1980)

Professional Viewpoint
I believe that landscape architecture has at its core the principle that we are stewards of the land, and I define the land as being by nature comprised of earth, water, vegetation, wildlife and people. As landscape architects then, our aim must be to understand, design and manage the land and its components in a way that maintains the integrity of the ecosystem while satisfying human needs and desires. Thus, our realm of study and practice encompasses the full breadth of the landscape.

But we are also shapers of spaces and makers of places. Through studio we explore how form influences human experience and how the selection and placement of plants, materials, structures, finishes, and water features can create unique and fulfilling environments in which people may live. Through classes like stormwater management and site construction, tools for understanding the realities of place and process are provided, equipping the student of landscape architecture to translate vision into reality.

Personally, I find all aspects of our profession interesting and I attempt to convey as much of that interest as I can. Design is a process of discovery and refinement, and there is no better education than one that challenges us to think, to explore, and to create. My hope and aim is to inspire and instruct students that they might be the professionals who will give form, structure and positive character to the world we will become.

Research Interests

Ron Sawhill’s research interests include soil and stormwater management, space and land forming, and the pedagogy of landscape engineering.

Selected Publications
Sawhill, Ronald B. “Turf.” A chapter in: Landscape Architecture Graphic Standards. 2007. Len Hopper, Editor. pp. 705-712. Wiley. NY.
Sawhill, Ronald B. “Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.” A chapter in: Landscape Architecture Graphic Standards. 2007. Len Hopper, Editor. pp. 786-791. Wiley. NY.
Sawhill, Ronald B. 2005. “Porous Turf.” Chapter 7. pp. 241-283, in: Porous Pavements, by Bruce K. Ferguson. (Integrative studies in water management and land development; 6). CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

Selected Graduate Theses Supervised
Liles, E. L. 2015. Landform Grading as a Solution: Erosion, Landscape and Stormwater Runoff in Maggie Valley, NC.
Conant, Blake. 2013. Bankrupt Golf Courses: An Historical Analysis and Guidelines For Repurposing.
Kelleher, Sam. 2012. Quantifying water conservation in the Founders Memorial Garden.
Bentley, Ryan. 2008. Incorporating human uses in wastewater treatment wetlands.
Velazquez, Estrella. 2008. An application of low impact development stormwater management techniques to an existing residential development.

American Society of Landscape Architects
Gamma Sigma Delta National Honor Society of Agriculture
Sigma Lambda Alpha National Honor Society of Landscape Architects

Honors and Awards
UGA Outstanding Teaching Award for Superior Teaching in the College of Environment and Design (2010)
Gamma Sigma Delta Junior Achievement in Teaching Award. UGA Chapter. (2008)
Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects Research and Communications Honor Award. For: CELA 2005: A Time for Place; Conference Proceedings of the 2005 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture annual conference, Athens, GA. USA. G. Harrison, M. Reinburger and R.B. Sawhill, Editors. 156 pp. (2006)

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Rosanna Rivero

Rosanna Rivero is an assistant professor who teaches courses for the Master in Environmental Planning and Design and the Ph.D. program, including Regional Planning Studio, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Technology and Research Strategies, among others. She holds a Master and a Ph.D. degree from University of Florida, with previous undergraduate studies at the Universidad Simon Bolivar, in Caracas, Venezuela. Her areas of interest have been in regional environmental planning and geospatial technologies (geographic information systems, remote sensing, and geostatistics) applied to urban planning and natural resources & environmental planning. Professor Rivero is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and came to the U.S.A. with a Fulbright scholarship in 1998. Her interest in natural resources planning started in her home country while working in the Orinoco-Apure basin, and later for an environmental consultant company.

In Georgia, she has collaborated with the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia in preparing for Coastal Resilience and other planning projects. She has also worked in Geodesign project with Professor Carl Steinitz and Dr. Hrishikesh Ballal (founders of and NASA Develop. Previous to her work in Georgia, she worked in Florida, first with the Geoplan Center, at the University of Florida (, with the GIS laboratory, at the Soil and Water Department (, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Professor Rivero conducted work in South Florida and the Everglades ecosystem, first through her work with the Everglades Foundation, and also as affiliated faculty with the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) at Florida International University (Miami), and the NSF-Florida Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (LTER).


Further Information:

UGA Focus on Faculty Article

NASA Develop Projects

Geodesign Projects

Projects with the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia

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