Future Rivers – Graduate Training Program

Applications are now open for the University of Washington Future Rivers graduate training program for the next cohort year beginning Autumn quarter 2022!

Please help spread the word and encourage any prospective (incoming fall quarter 2022) or current PhD or Masters students in any discipline at the University of Washington to apply.

Future Rivers is an NSF-funded graduate training program building skills in data science, science communication, and social justice to bridge work across all fields to better solve today’s freshwater sustainability challenges.

It is a one-year program that is undertaken alongside any chosen graduate degree. We offer up to 18-months of full funding on a competitive basis.

Applications can be submitted anytime; however, to be considered for funding, submissions need to be received by January 28, 2022.

We request a 1-2 page statement of interest from prospective students and a letter of support from a potential advisor (for new students) or current advisor (for currently enrolled students) – further details can be found in the application form.

Linda Milbourn Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

Application Deadline: October 31, 2021

The Linda Milbourn Fellowship in Landscape Architecture awards $5,000 per application cycle to one student enrolled in a college/university graduate-level program pursuing a degree in landscape architecture. Eligibility is open to U.S. citizens and resident aliens.

Applicant must demonstrate involvement in an experiential learning project (research, project, plan, or other direct impact/benefit) to a recognized Association member public garden, botanic garden, arboretum or other closely aligned public horticulture institution in the U.S.

  • Project must be coordinated between student, public garden project advisor, and college/university academic or faculty advisor
  • Fellowship recipients are responsible to secure/confirm the ability to conduct the project and/or utilize the garden(s) where it will be undertaken.
  • The project does not need to end before the term of the Fellowship but must begin to occur after the awardee is named.
Apply Now​​​​​​​

Showcasing Leading Practices in Climate Adaptation: Experiences from the Water Sector to Empower Other Sectors and Communities

An Eight-Part Webinar Series Hosted by: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), The Water Research Foundation (WRF), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

November 2021 – February 2022

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century. This webinar series, sponsored jointly by NOAA’s Adaptation Sciences Program, WUCA, WRF, and EPA, will explore practical lessons and leading practices focused on steps to mainstreaming climate science and adaptation considerations into building for climate resilience. Having worked on climate adaptation for over a decade, water utilities have learned many lessons and developed approaches to share with peer sectors seeking to learn and take steps to adapt now. Expanding the exchange of knowledge across communities will also foster more effective adaptation and improve community resilience.

The goal of these webinars is to help us, adaptation practitioners, advance our thinking about effective approaches by learning from others what has worked (or not worked). Beyond sharing examples from the water sector, these webinars will foster a multi-sectoral dialogue, sharing practical resources and tools for planning.

Learn more on NOAA’s website

Learn more on EPA’s website


Session 1: Leading Practices in Climate Adaptation

November 4th, 2021, 2-3:00 pm EDTHighlights a range of actions that organizations can implement for climate adaptation that have been ground-tested by WUCA agencies.


  • Julie Vano, Aspen Global Change Institute
  • Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water and WUCA

Register here


Session 2: Climate Adaptation Engineering Case Studies

November 18th, 2021, 1-2:00 pm ESTDiscusses adaptation opportunities in infrastructure design and project delivery processes and provides case studies of recent water infrastructure projects.


  • Jason Giovannettone, Dewberry and the American Society for Civil Engineers
  • Kavita Heyn, Portland Water Bureau and WUCA

Register here


Session 3: Business Function Mapping

December 2nd, 2021, 2-3:00 pm EST

Provides a framework-oriented process to mainstream climate change considerations within organizations.


  • Emily Wasley, WSP USA
  • Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water and WUCA
  • Alexis Dufour, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Register here


Session 4: Equity and Environmental Justice Considerations in Climate Adaptation

December 9th, 2021, 1-2:30 pm EST

Highlights how equity can influence community goals and build partnerships with lessons learned and solutions to build equity while adapting to climate change


  • Mami Hara, US Water Alliance
  • TBD, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Harriett Festing, Anthropocene Alliance


Session 5: Green Stormwater Infrastructure

January 6th, 2022, 1-2:30 pm EST

Describes community experiences in deciding to use green stormwater infrastructure, monetizing and quantifying benefits, developing critical stakeholder partnerships, and using available tools to evaluate options to include in adaptation plans.


  • Janet Clements, Water Economics and Planning, Corona Consulting
  • Pinar Balci, Ph.D., Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • Robyn DeYoung, US Environmental Protection Agency

Register here


Session 6: Greenhouse Gas and Energy

January 20th, 2022, 1-2:00 pm EST

Provides valuable information and inspiration for greenhouse gas mitigation or sewage thermal energy use projects from concept to implementation.


  • Taylor Winchell, Denver Water and WUCA
  • Svetlana Taylor and Alaina Harkness, Current Innovation

Register here


Session 7: Climate Warming and Impacts to Staff and Assests

February 3rd, 2022, 1-2:00 pm EST

Analyzes the impact of extreme temperature events on personnel and critical water utility physical infrastructure assets.


  • Keely Brooks, Southern Nevada Water Authority and WUCA
  • Margaret Morrissey, Korey Stringer Institute

Register here


Session 8: Federal and Other Funding for Adaptation

February 17th, 2022, 1-2:00 pm EST

Reviews available resources for financial support of adaptation projects, improving understanding of successful strategies and connecting the audience with community-based and sector-focused funding.


  • Kim Penn, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management
  • David Goldbloom-Helzner, US Environmental Protection Agency

Register here

Ellis Civic Fellowship

The Ellis Civic Fellowship identifies two students from each incoming class who are committed to serving the community and investing in their own leadership development during their time at the UW!

If selected as an Ellis Fellow, you will receive a scholarship (totaling $12,000 over four years), personalized advising, supported connections with community engaged projects, and opportunities to develop as a civic leader.

The Fellowship is open to students interested in any major of study, as long as you agree to make Public Service, Community Engagement, and Civic Leadership Development key aspects of your time at the UW. Ellis Fellows explore a variety of local non-profit organizations and work with campus and community mentors to develop themselves as civic leaders. This hands-on learning helps you gain experience to prepare you for life beyond college!

Learn more about the fellowship requirements and what makes a good candidate by visiting our website. Email questions about the fellowship or our application process to engage@uw.edu. And be sure to complete the online application by noon on Monday, October 25.

Celebrating Graduates | UW 2021 Gonfalonieres and Guardians of the Gonfalons

Each year the UW’s schools and colleges select students to lead their degree candidates during the commencement procession. These students are called gonfalonieres, because they carry the school’s gonfalon, a banner that hangs down from a crosspiece and bears that school’s name and symbol. Following tradition borrowed from the Italian Renaissance, the gonfalonieres represent some of the UW’s most accomplished students.

Alumni volunteers watch over the banners during the ceremony, so that the gonfalonieres can enjoy their graduation experience. These volunteers are called Guardians of the Gonfalon, and they have been part of graduation exercises for more than 20 years.

In 2021, the College of Built Environments was represented by Kai Farmer, MLA 2021, as gonfaloniere and Jenn Low, BLA 2005, as guardian of the gonfalons. Check out their profiles!

Kai Farmer, ’21, Landscape Architecture

My hometown is Mukilteo, WA. I chose UW to stay close to my friends and family while furthering my education. My goal in choosing Landscape Architecture was to take my experience of ecological restoration and landscaping and learn to apply it on a broader scale.

While at UW, I played for the UW ice hockey club team. I also joined the Army National Guard and graduated OCS, commissioning as a 2nd lieutenant.

Thanks to my family, friends, the Landscape Architecture faculty and my cohort, past professors from my undergraduate program, and OCS Class 63 and my National Guard family. Everyone has helped me in some shape or form along the way, and I thank you all dearly for it.

Advice to incoming students: No matter what your goals are, you are not alone. Your colleagues can complement your strengths and bolster your weaknesses. A degree may only have one name on it, but it doesn’t have to be obtained in solitude.

Jenn Low, ’05, Landscape Architecture

I am an integrative designer, educator and landscape architect based out of Washington, D.C. I wear a few hats, including director of communications at the Urban Studio and deputy director of the 1882 Foundation.

My favorite UW memories include a fall quarter in Rome with my classmates and led by Professor David Streatfield. It was magical. That and the few minutes of Zen during my morning shift at the Gould Coffee Shop, reading a copy of The Stranger by the cash register.

To the Class of 2021: Seek out spaces that encourage you to bring your whole self to the work you set out to do. Seek out community that will push you, challenge you and promote your growth.

Urban + Informality: Framing Resilience | Winter 2020

Course Instructor

Manish Chalana + Julie Johnson

Course Date

Winter 2020

Course Type

Built Environments Interdisciplinary Studio

Fifteen graduate and three undergraduate students participated in the studio and developed compelling analyses of and proposals for informality in Central Seattle. The studio focused on urban informality through interrelated themes of housing, livelihoods, urban agriculture and arts/culture.

As these students were formalizing their projects for the end-of-quarter presentations, the University of Washington ended in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting upheaval and uncertainty led to canceling the students’ final presentations, and instead committing to presenting their studio report.

Urban + Informality Studio Report

Visions for Heron Meadow | Autumn 2020


Course Instructor

Nancy Rottle

Course Date

Autumn 2020

Course Type

Scan Design Master Studio

The University of Washington’s 2020 Scan Design Interdisciplinary Master Studio in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture worked with the Vashon Center for the Arts and the Vashon Nature Center to envision the Heron Meadow as a space for community gathering, art, science education, habitat restoration, and nature play. During the studio, graduate student teams led by UW Professor Nancy Rottle created five unique design visions for the Heron Meadow’s future. Through their designs, students worked towards a common goal: to weave together the meadow’s ecological needs and the community’s priorities to create an inspiring venue for learning, community, and the arts.

Project Webpage | Vashon Center for the Arts
Studio Book

Mud Gallery: Olympia Arts Month

In March 2021, three MLA students submitted this project, entitled Mud Gallery, to Olympia Arts Month in Olympia, Washington.

We are a group of three landscape architecture students from Olympia, Seattle and Baltimore. We share a deep love of this region and a desire to connect people with place. We are excited about the way the community of Olympia is coming together right now to decide the future of Capitol Lake, formerly the Deschutes Estuary or the Steh-Chass. For our graduate capstone project we have taken a closer look at the aesthetics of a restored estuary, with a particular focus on mud. This body of work explores our own evolving relationship with mud through a series of playful art explorations. We are imagining a future in which mud is celebrated for both its ephemeral beauty and for the life it supports.

Learn more about the project by viewing this PDF.

  1. InvasiveRiceMP4
  2. TidesMP4


Climate Changed Urban Agriculture | Autumn 2019

Course Instructor

Julie Johnson

Course Date

Autumn 2019

Course Type

Advanced Graduate Studio

As evidence of accelerated climate change and continued increases in greenhouse gas emissions mount, so does concern for food security. Patterns of drought, extreme heat and flood events, coupled with an increasing population impact regions across the globe, and portend challenges for Puget Sound.
Regenerative agricultural practices and other emerging approaches hold promise for large scale farming, and local urban food production may contribute to diverse aspects of community resilience. As such, the studio was framed by this inquiry:

How may we shift the paradigm of what, where and how food is grown in our cities such that urban agriculture permeates our landscapes as a critical infrastructure advancing resilience through food security, biodiversity, environmental justice, and community connections?

This graduate landscape architecture studio explored the challenge in the context of metropolitan Seattle. Pedagogical goals of the studio included:

  • fostering a collaborative and supportive studio community, to share expertise and support collective endeavors.
  • experiential learning about diverse urban agriculture systems and practices.
  • focused consideration of the projected impacts of climate change on our region.
  • creative design explorations that challenge current assumptions, use systems thinking, and cross spatial and temporal scales to advance climate resilience.
  • framing and development of meaningful design proposals in response to local urban agriculture site needs and climate impacts, in partnership with site leader(s).

This Autumn Quarter 2019 studio document was created to share the speculative and site-based projects developed, as described on the next page. Care has been taken to correct errors in the work, but some errors or omissions may exist. Thanks to all the students for formatting their projects for this document, and special thanks to those who created the document template, coordinated sections of the document and completed the final document assembly.

Download the PDF

Fairy Tales of the City

Course Instructor

Mackenzie Waller

Course Date

Summer 2020

Course Type

Undergraduate + Graduate Studio

Fairy-tale scholars Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix (2010) have defined fairy tales as “fictional narratives that combine human and nonhuman protagonists with elements of wonder and the supernatural.” This intensive design studio was inspired by the Fairy Tales design competition (www. blankspaceproject.com) and tackled real world issues through the lens of creativity.

The studio focused on presenting different interpretations of urban and urbanization to consider the social, economic and environmental transformations underway in our cities. The rise of negative social processes is most evident in cities, where key social conflicts often center on socio-spatial rights and needs.

Students each selected a city that they held extensive personal experience and during the course of the studio they developed a text based fictional fairy tale (800-1400 words). Each fairy tale identifies a unique challenge and uses narrative to present landscape architecture responses.

The studio tasked each project to embody the following:

  • Setting acts as a vehicle for ecocriticism, that is, the focus on nature/city and questions about the interaction between humans and the environment.
  • Engage story based strategy to develop a critical narrative engaging in complex problems evident in each city.
  • The central character of each story reflects the social identity of the author and offers evidence of critical reflection of their role in their community.

Download the PDF
View the studio report online