Plenary Speakers and Panel Moderators

Nina-Marie Lister photoNina-Marie Lister

Nina-Marie Lister is Graduate Program Director & Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto where she founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab. From 2009-2014, she was Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Trained in ecology and environmental planning, and a registered urban planner (MCIP RPP), Lister is the founding principal of a creative studio practice exploring the relationship between landscape, ecology, and urbanism.  She is co-editor of Projective Ecologies (Actar, 2014) and author of more than 40 scholarly and professional publications. Together with colleague and curator Pierre Bélanger, she was a collaborator for the Canadian exhibit, EXTRACTION at the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennale. In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.

View a flyer about her presentation (pdf)

Jane Wolff photoJane Wolff

Jane Wolff is an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Her design research investigates the complicated landscapes that emerge from interactions between natural processes and cultural interventions; its goal is to articulate terms that make these difficult (and often contested) places legible to the wide range of audiences with a stake in the future. Her subjects have ranged from the western Netherlands and the California Delta to post-Katrina New Orleans, the shoreline of San Francisco Bay and the metropolitan landscape of Toronto.

Ms. Wolff was educated as a documentary filmmaker and landscape architect at Harvard University. Her work has been supported by two Fulbright scholarships and by research grants from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Graham Foundation, the Great Valley Center, the LEF Foundation, Ohio State University, the University of Toronto, the Exploratorium, and the Seed Fund of San Francisco. In 2006, she was Beatrix Farrand distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to her teaching and research projects, she has served as a member of the Design Review Board of Waterfront Toronto and has recently joined the advisory committee of BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto).

Billy Fleming photoBilly Fleming

Billy Fleming is research director for the Ian L. McHarg Center at PennDesign. Most recently, he co-authored The Indivisible Guide—a progressive, grassroots organization with more than 6,000 groups—and co-created Data Refuge, an international consortium of scientists, librarians, and programmers working to preserve vital environmental data at risk of erasure during the Trump Administration. Before coming to Penn, Fleming worked on urban policy development in the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Obama Administration. There, he worked on a variety of urban initiatives, including the inter-agency Sustainable Communities Initiative and the Promise Zones program.

Fleming’s work is focused on the intersection of science, politics, and design as they pertain to climate change. He served as the guest editor for LA+RISK and his writing on disaster, resilience, and climate change has been published widely. Most recently, Billy’s research has focused on the use of nature-based strategies in climate adaptation planning along the American coast. He is currently completing a manuscript for Penn Press entitled "End of the Line: The Nature and Politics of Adaptation along the American Coast" that explores how and why coastal green infrastructure can become a more prominent component of the nation's plan for living with climate change.

Fleming earned a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arkansas, where he served as student government president for the state’s lone research university. He was a 2011 University Olmsted Scholar.

Lowell Duckert photoLowell Duckert

Lowell Duckert is Associate Professor of English at West Virginia University, where he specializes in early modern literature, environmental criticism, and the “new materialisms” (especially actor-network theory). He has published on various topics such as glaciers, polar bears, the color maroon, rain, fleece, mining, and lagoons. In general, his work attempts to reconceive current relations between humans and nonhumans by plumbing premodern wet worlds. With Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, he is the editor of “Ecomaterialism” (postmedieval 4:1 [2013]); Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire (2015); and Veer Ecology: A Companion for Environmental Thinking (2017). His book For All Waters: Finding Ourselves in Early Modern Wetscapes was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017. He is currently editing an issue of Early Modern Culture – “Shakespeare in the Anthropocene” – with Craig Dionne, and he is researching two related book projects that aim to make critical interventions in contemporary cryo-politics: the first investigates the strange vitality of ice witnessed by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers of the north, while the second follows the object of the snowball.

Duckert holds a Ph.D. in English from The George Washington University, an M.A. in English from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in English from Western Washington University.

M. Elen Deming photoM. Elen Deming

Elen Deming is Director of the Doctor of Design program at the College of Design, North Carolina State University. Under her leadership, this distance-education doctoral program facilitates new kinds of partnerships between designers working on shared design problems in academic, professional, and hybrid practices—including architects, industrial and graphic designers, animators, dynamic modelers, urban planners, and landscape architects.

As Professor of Landscape Architecture, Elen Deming also teaches advanced studies in design research for professional and post-professional students, as well as topics in design history and theory. Having taught previously at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2008-2017), and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (1993-2008), her signature courses include graduate site design studios, cultural history of landscapes, and seminars in modernism and urban representation.

Past editor of Landscape Journal (2002-2009), Deming is author of Landscape Architecture Research (with Simon Swaffield, 2011) and editor of Values in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (LSU Press 2015). Most recently, she edited a book on regionalist design and teaching called Landscape Observatory: The Work of Terence Harkness (ORO/AR+D 2017). Deming is a Fellow of CELA and the ASLA, and serves as Vice President for Research on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).

Jessica M. Henson photoJessica M. Henson, Co-chair

Jessica’s research explores the relationships between hydrological, cultural, and social contexts. Specifically, she explores how landscape architects can create anticipatory design solutions that create more equitable communities in both urban and rural settings and respond to issues relating to flooding and water resources. Jessica is on the faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she is currently the Undergraduate Programs Chair in the Department of Landscape Architecture. In her design, teaching, and research she seeks to broaden the scope of the profession by thinking holistically about the places we live, why we live there, and the environmental, economic, and social effects of our settlement patterns.

Jessica is also an Associate at OLIN, where she has contributed to several planning and design projects that seek to create socially and environmentally resilient infrastructures including a master plan for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River and Meeting Green, a winning entry in the Philadelphia Water Department’s Soak It Up! design competition. Jessica’s other significant projects include Chicago’s Vista Tower, a new residential precinct at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the new U.S. Embassy in London.

Jessica holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design where she won the Laurie D. Olin Award and a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in structural engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Jessica has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and frequently lectures on topics of resilience and design.

Mary Pat McGuire photoMary Pat McGuire, Co-chair

Mary Pat McGuire is a Registered Landscape Architect, Principal Designer at The Water Lab, and Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois (UIUC), where she collaborates with geologists, hydrologists, and engineers on urban water design. Her work telescopes between scales of the raindrop to the region, by investigating historic control of rainwater on the surface of cities that contributes to extreme flooding, overflows, and severe downstream impacts, all resolvable through better design. By transforming the surfaces of cities for water, McGuire believes we interrelate human and hydrologic systems, formalize ecological democracy, and productively link the future of water to our forgotten landscape histories. As part of this research agenda, McGuire is developing a design proposal, Depave Chicago, to remove and redesign impervious pavements to hydrologically tap into geologic soil dynamics underneath the city. McGuire’s research is supported by Wright Ingraham Institute, University Research Board, Brent & Jean Wadsworth, and an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and was recently profiled in LAM and Architects Newspaper.

Prior to academia, McGuire practiced at Peter Walker & Partners in Berkeley, CA and collaborated on stormwater design studies for the City of Chicago with Conservation Design Forum. The recipient of a US-EPA faculty research award, she has twice served as Research Fellow with the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and is a 2016-2018 Design Research Fellow in the College of Fine & Applied Arts at UIUC. McGuire holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, a Certificate in Leadership in Sustainability Management from the University of Chicago, and a BA in International Political Theory from the College of William & Mary.

Paper Presenters

Beth Baranski photoBeth Baranski

Beth has used her architectural education, research, writing and facilitation skills over the years to promote thoughtful development in northwest Illinois. She was Development Director for the City of Galena in the early 90s, and later a partner in Notheis & Baranski Inc., a community development consulting firm specializing in planning and grant writing. Beth was involved in flood mitigation planning for northwest Illinois following the 1993 flood, Jo Daviess County comprehensive planning, Jo Daviess County Greenways and Trails planning, and various municipal planning and infrastructure projects in the area. She is serving on a volunteer basis as the Jo Daviess County League of Women Voters Project Coordinator for water resource management efforts, and is currently facilitating the development of a watershed-based plan for the Lower Galena River.


Sean Burkholder photoSean Burkholder

Sean Burkholder is Assistant Professor of Landscape and Urban Design at the University at Buffalo. His work coalesces around issues particularly characteristic of the Great Lakes region; including urban vacancy, freshwater ecosystems, infrastructural re-purposing, sediment management and the land/ water interface. Underpinning this work is a specific interest in the way substrate and ecology influence the urban landscape and how these systems are interpreted by others.


Brian Davis photoBrian Davis

Brian Davis is an assistant professor in Cornell University's Department of Landscape Architecture where he is the director of the Borderlands Research Group. He is a registered landscape architect in the State of New York, and a member of the Dredge Research Collaborative. His research and teaching is part of the emerging field of fluvio-urban morphology; the study of form and process of rivers and cities, and the way they are related. He focuses on urban river systems throughout the Americas through both theoretical and technical research methods. His background and current work center on the overlap of urban design, water infrastructure, and public space.

Danielle Choi photoDanielle Choi

Danielle Choi is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She teaches in the core studio sequence and leads design research seminars. Choi’s research concerns the role of landscape architecture in the political ecology of the built environment. Currently, work on these issues concerns water infrastructure, aquatic ecology, and the politics of landscape preservation in living environments. Choi is a licensed landscape architect in New York State.

Marcella Eaton photoMarcella Eaton

Marcella Eaton has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba, and a PhD in Landscape Architecture while teaching at Edinburgh College of Art. Her years of professional experience were mainly in Toronto, and she has been teaching in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba since 1998. She has received numerous teaching awards and served as the Chair of the Environmental Design Program, and as Associate Dean Academic for many years. Marcella co-authored Great City Parks Second Edition with Alan Tate in 2015. She has presented work at conferences throughout the world. She continues to focus on her teaching and research.


Justine Holzman photoJustine Holzman

Justine Holzman is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Toronto, a member of the Dredge Research Collaborative, and co-author of Responsive Landscapes: Strategies for Responsive Technologies in Landscape Architecture (2016).




Sandra Cook photoSandra Cook

Sandra Cook is a landscape designer at Forrec Limited in Toronto and is an independent landscape researcher. Cook received a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto with Honors.





Walt Kelly photoWalton R. Kelly

Walt Kelly is a groundwater geochemist who has been at the Illinois State Water Survey of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois since 1992. He has been the Head of the Groundwater Science Section since 2013. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geology and Geography at Illinois State University. He has a M.S. in geological sciences from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. His research interests are primarily related to groundwater quality, and he is an author on approximately 90 reports and peer-reviewed papers.


Forbes Lipschitz photoForbes Lipschitz

Forbes Lipschitz is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Knowlton School. She teaches both studio and seminar courses in landscape planning, geographic information systems, and representation. As a faculty affiliate for the Initiative in Food and AgriCultural Transformation, her current research investigates the potential of design to improve the social and ecological dynamics of conventional working landscapes. She has been awarded teaching and research grants from the LSU Office of Research and Development, the Coastal Sustainability Studio, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts. Her professional experience in landscape architecture has spanned a range of public, private, and infrastructural work, including a multi-year installation at Les Jardins de Metis. She received her Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelors of the Arts from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Thomas Nideroest photoThomas Nideroest

Thomas Nideroest is a Swiss Landscape Architect and Researcher. His stewardship in landscape design promotes interdisciplinary thinking across different scales, addressing urban design issues at the intersection of the territory and the built environment. Thomas’ focus on landscape-based planning strategies shape social and ecological processes into multifunctional urban spaces. His approach promotes landscape as a medium and a method to study social-, political-, economic- and ecological processes beyond its disciplinary boundaries.

He worked on award-winning projects at the offices of Guido Hager Partner AG, Surfacedesign Inc., Peter Walker Landscape Architecture and Sasaki Associates where he is currently employed. This includes the work on urban- and coastal waterfronts, river preservation and revitalization projects and the development of landscape frameworks for urban design projects. In addition, Thomas led several national and international design competitions, where his focus lays on enabling and enhancing socio-ecological processes. He received his BSc in Landscape Architecture from the University of Applied Sciences at Rapperswil and his MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he was awarded with the prestigious Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship 2016.

Sam Panno photoSam Panno

Sam Panno is a Senior Geochemist with the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois where he conducts research on environmental geochemistry, karst geology and hydrology, the characterization of saline springs of the Illinois Basin, and is currently working with citizen scientists in Northwestern Illinois’ Driftless Area on watershed issues.


Matthew Seibert photoMatthew Seibert

Matthew Seibert is a lecturer at The City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture and co-founder of Landscape Metrics, a geospatial visualization studio built on an irreverence of disciplinary divisions. His current research investigates the employment of gaming engines in landscape representation.



Kristi Cheramie photoKristi Cheramie

Kristi Cheramie is an associate professor and the chair of undergraduate studies in landscape architecture at Ohio State University. Her research employs alternate practices of spatial history to explore erasure, loss and forgetting as powerful agents of change in the landscape.




Halina Steiner photoHalina Steiner

Halina Steiner is an Assistant Professor in the Landscape Architecture Section at The Knowlton School of Architecture, part of The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. Her current research, Forensic Hydrologies, focuses on the narrative of hydrologic and infrastructure systems and their effects on the landscape. Prior to her appointment at OSU, Steiner served as the Design Director for DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture where she was the project manager for master planning, green infrastructure, temporary installations, and public design projects. She received a Master in Landscape Architecture from the City College of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Design in Visual Communication Design from Arizona State University.

Matthew Tucker photoMatthew Tucker

Matthew Tucker's professional and scholarly interests concern the Anthropocene paradigm as a driver of change in 21st-century design pedagogy and practice. His work explores post-environmental narratives of the Anthropocene and their potential application towards reshaping 21st-century landscape architectural practice.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Matthew was Senior Associate at the Cambridge, MA office of Hargreaves Associates and Director of Design and Principal at Conservation Design Forum in Chicago, IL, where he led numerous award-winning open space projects.  He received a Master in Landscape Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies from Iowa State University.