Narrative Vitae

Table of Contents

Scholarship and Publication


This narrative addresses topics directly associated with academia. See examples of my consulting work for images and discussion of non-academic work


The University of Idaho offers only an undergraduate program in Landscape Architecture. My position description defines teaching as the primary activity. Therefore, I have generally linked my scholarship, publication and service activities to topics consistent with undergraduate education in landscape architecture. I focused on developing the ability to teach a broad range of topics within the discipline. I extended this emphasis to instructional strategies and technologies applicable to landscape architecture and of direct benefit to undergraduate students. In fact, the teaching, scholarship and service components have been difficult to extricate and discuss as separate topics in the sections below. Each part of the triptych informs and motivates the other.

I have been teaching landscape architecture for over 13 years and the history of my experience spans almost every area of landscape architecture. I have conducted courses in the discipline areas of design, graphics, construction technology, history, planting design and computer applications. While at the University of Idaho I have taught in the history, construction technology, design and computer application areas. The
Curriculum Vitae identifies the individual courses I have conducted in my academic career.

The wide range of courses which I can effectively teach resulted as a combined product of my employment history and my personality. For several years I served as a lecturer. Because of sabbatical leaves or other absences of tenured faculty or to refocus and re-energize a course, I was assigned to teach in divergent topic areas. My abilities were valued, in part, because of the staffing flexibility I offered the academic institution. At the University of Idaho, this ability to teach in several topic areas has been especially valuable since there are only four full time faculty. From the beginning of my employment here, I have spanned the curriculum in courses assignments. Examples of student products are provided for
Landscape Graphics
Sophomore Design
Junior Design
Computer Applications
History of Landscape Architecture
Landscape Construction
Field Trips

Personally, I enjoy the intensity of the diverse teaching assignments. It satisfies my eagerness for continuous opportunities to learn and improve my teaching and professional skills.

Teaching is really about student learning. Teaching diverse topics provides the ideal opportunity to observe the diversity of learning strategies. I have learned to adapt the format of the instruction to accommodate course content, student experience and learning preference. I have experimented with various techniques in all of my courses. The breadth of teaching assignments has actually focused and structured my scholarship since I have conducted a scholarship program based largely on topics critical to undergraduate education as well as teaching and learning strategies.

I merged my involvement in computer applications and history with my interest in learning strategies by developing a new pedagogy for teaching landscape history. "Active Learning and the History of Landscape Architecture" included in this set of documents, describes the method and teaching products of my approach. In 1993, I created a series of interactive computer modules to teach a survey of the history of landscape architecture. I produced these because I was frustrated with the student's poor assimilation of concepts from texts and the traditional slide and lecture format. The computer allowed me to create sets of images, video and text which engaged the student in the learning process. I discovered that when I shifted my emphasis from the academic monologue to the feedback step, the learning was better and more enjoyable. The system provided increased contact time with students which was used for seminar discussions, workshops and other activities which address the upper levels of Bloom's taxonomy (1956). The first course of its kind at the University of Idaho, I have continued to expand and refine the landscape history course. The internet version of the course that I am preparing is discussed in the next section. My experience in the development of the tutorials and theory on which they are based resulted in articles in the Landscape Journal and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Proceedings. These products are discussed in the research section.

Similarly, experience teaching layout in construction studios led to a paper presented to the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in 1991. The paper was expanded, refined and published as Layout Techniques for Landscape Architecture in 1995. I adopted an approach for the book that was especially respectful of the learner. I was interested in teaching the concepts and skills in a way which made learning enjoyable, rapid, self pacing and which resulted in long term retention. Hierarchies of complexity, reinforcement of knowledge gained, satisfaction of demonstrating newly acquired abilities, opportunities for self evaluation and immediate corrective feedback are learning concepts which are basic and almost universally ignored in landscape architecture design and technology texts.

An important contribution to my effectiveness as a professor has been my public and private sector experience. I found that employment with the Army Corps of Engineers, private firms and as a principal of my own firm to benefit and inspire my teaching. This experience adds credibility to the information I provide to students especially in the areas of construction technology, pedestrian scale design and recreation planning.

By personality, I am attracted to the studio method of instruction. I define myself as a tutor and facilitator, therefore, I'm especially effective in person to person learning interactions. I have focused on The Human Dialogue Project by Barbara Fox (1993) to refine my communication skills in the studio setting.


This discussion is a detailed account of my research interests, products and goals. I began researching the landscape needs of Alzheimer's disease victims as part of a team conducting a four year longitudinal study funded by the National Institute on Aging and directed by Asuman Kiyak, PhD, a gerontologist. This project, "Changes Associated with Aging" generated a typology for assessing the needs of Alzheimer's disease victims in an effort to learn how to extend the time they could remain in the home and delay institutionalization. This work was extended to the landscape by a second grant funded by the University of Washington Graduate School and the Nature Experience Research Program . The results of the research were presented in a 1991 paper to the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. When I moved to the University of Idaho, I secured a grant from the research office to continue this research tack. The research culminated in a chapter in a book on housing for the elderly and a second paper presented to the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in 1996. The chapter in Ecology and Design of Housing for the Elderly will be published by Greenwood Press in 1997. The CELA paper was not submitted for the proceedings so that it would qualify for publication in the Landscape Journal. I am currently preparing the manuscript for submittal to that journal. My Alzheimer's research and research conducted with Ms. Kiyak and Nancy Quency offer other publication opportunities. "Design and Evaluation of a Protected Outdoor Activity Area for Phisically and Cognitively Impaired Elderly" is a completed paper by these three authors. It is included in this document set. A publisher for this paper has not yet been secured.

My book Layout Techniques for Landscape Architecture received a positive response from academicians. Gary Karner, Professor and ASLA Fellow at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, offered the unsolicited comment, "I have just used your book for our LA353 course, third year, in which the students have their first "go" at construction documents. I think the book is well developed and a very valuable resource to the student landscape architect. Thanks for writing it. Well done!". The book is used as a text at Purdue and North Dakota State in addition to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. It is offered by the American Society of Landscape Architects Bookstore which sold its entire stock of the book within three days at the 1996 ASLA annual meeting. A second printing by Stipes Publishing is scheduled for April 1997.

My work on the development and application of computer assisted learning is now coming to fruition. I presented a paper "Experience in the Development and Use of the Internet and Interactive Tutorials in Landscape Architectural Education"(with Kenneth Brooks) at the 1996 meeting of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture on the use interactive tutorials and internet resources. This paper will appear in the conference proceedings. I edited the paper and wrote the section on interactive tutorials.

The Landscape Journal will publish "Active Learning and the History of Landscape Architecture". The article focuses on a teaching pedagogy for courses in landscape history. Interactive multi-media tutorials are essential components of the method I advocate. An anonymous reviewer for Landscape Journal wrote, "I was so convinced of the method that I am anxious to experiment with some of the ideas in my own courses. The author should be commended for his hard work and creativity in developing the approach." The editors of Landscape Journal have requested samples of the tutorials for review and critical commentary. Preparation of these samples is underway.

The interactive tutorials have potential as elements of a long distance learning course. I am transferring them to CD-ROM. They will be bundled with other course materials and offered as an independent learning course. Another format for the tutorials which will make them more useful as a long distance learning resource is HTML (hypertext markup language) delivered via the internet. I have learned HTML and secured a grant from the State of Idaho Office of Independent Learning to create the internet course. A prototype of the course (the landscape history of ancient Japan) is complete and available for review at . The anticipated completion date for the entire course is June 1997.

I have begun to link my work with digital media to the development of video presentations. I recently completed an instructional video on parking lot design funded by the City of Lewiston, Idaho. This service project refreshed my skills in production and editing. In the spring semester 1997, I will offer a directed study course at the University of Idaho which explores the development of digital video (Auto*des*sys Form Z, Adobe Premiere and Adobe Photoshop software). These digital products will be combined with analogue video. This research direction has the potential to greatly improve the presentation abilities of student and professional landscape architects. Improvement of my digital video skills resulting from this work will support the development of digital video components that I plan to add to the internet history course.


My service contributions include participation in state and national professional organizations and outreach efforts within Idaho. I have served for two years as a Regional Director for the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. In addition, I created and maintain the internet home page for the organization. I have been nominated for a Vice Presidential position in CELA's 1996 election. At the state level, I am serving as Treasurer for the Idaho/Montana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. At the University level, I am serving as Chair of the Campus Planning Advisory Committee. This is an active time for the committee since the University is just completing a long range master plan for the campus and is in the planning and design phase of a University Center and a high technology teaching and learning complex.

I have also used design studios as a vehicle to make service contributions to the state. These have included a community park for the town of Julietta, Idaho; a campus master plan for Eastern Idaho Technical College; an evaluation of the rural land subdivision ordinance proposed by Latah County, Idaho; prototypes for rural villages within the same county and prototypes for conservation subdivisions within the City of Moscow, Idaho. The last three projects were developed in association with Wendy McClure, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Idaho. The Julietta Park project generated a job for a student in the class who helped implement the design.


Anonymous reviewer for the Landscape Journal. 1996. Unpublished communication with the journal.

Bloom, A. L. 1956. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of educational goals. McKay, New York.

Fox, Barbara A. 1993. The Human Tutorial Dialogue Project: Issues in the Design of Instructional Systems. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Hillsdale New Jersey.

Gary Karner, FASLA. e-mail - gkarner@OBOE.AIX.CALPOLY.EDU

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