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What’s Up at ASLA?

Happy New Year! To keep everyone fully informed about activities at ASLA, LAND is periodically running updates to highlight recent actions and accomplishments by topic area. As we head into 2013, here are some highlights. 

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Governance and Administration
Governance is preparing for the winter Executive Committee meeting, to be held in D.C. on January 25-26. Agenda items include the year-end program and operations report and financial update, as well as development of a “Membership Recruitment Boot Camp.”

ASLA was recognized by Kaid Benfield in a Natural Resource Defense Council’s Switchboard blog posting, “Best of 2012.” Winning category: “Best body of educational work by a national non-profit.” To partially quote, “With a relatively small staff, ASLA is quietly doing incredibly innovative work that improves city communities…Very, very impressive.”

The deadline for applications for the Council of Fellows Scholarshipis February 15. Two $4,000 scholarships are available to undergraduate students studying landscape architecture at Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) accredited programs. Please encourage any eligible students to apply.

During the holidays the green roof was visited by the children of several headquarters employees. Attending elementary and middle school, the children were very impressed by the roof’s design and had lots of great questions about how the roof helps the environment.

Government Affairs
The 113th Congress convened on January 2, with 82 freshmen House members and 12 new Senators; however, the political environment is expected to be similar to the 112th Congress. ASLA is focusing on reintroducing key legislation on green infrastructure and active communities and protecting programs critical to landscape architects as the Congress debates options for spending reductions in the wake of the “fiscal cliff” deal.

Congressional committees of interest to ASLA have new leadership. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Bill Shuster (PA) will take over the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, with Congressman Nick Rahall (WV) remaining as the ranking Democrat on the panel. In the Senate, Barbara Boxer (CA) retains her position as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator David Vitter (LA) has replaced Senator James Inhofe (OK) as the ranking Republican on the committee. Subcommittee assignments will be finalized in the coming weeks.

ASLA has joined with the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects, and other design and construction organizations in sending a letter to Congress requesting a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the condition of America’s schools. The last report was completed in 1995 and estimated that our nation’s schools needed approximately $112 billion to be brought to good overall conditions. Some estimates now put that figure three times higher. A new GAO report would determine how governments and design professionals can best respond to this critical issue.

Public Relations and Communications
ASLA President Tom Tavella, FASLA; Vice President Education Dick Zweifel, FASLA; and PR and Communications Director Terry Poltrack participated in a next-steps conference call with the Student Conservation Association and Northeast representatives of the National Park Service regarding a joint internship program aimed at minority high school students for possible launch this summer.

ASLA’s statement on the fiscal cliff deal was released on January 2 via several wire services.

Washington Post journalist Adrian Higgins wrote about the sustainable design of Constitution Square in Washington, D.C., in his latest column, titled “Urban Renewal for the Planet.” Higgins met past president Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, at a reception for ASLA’s Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C., which Higgins references in the piece. Carmichael served as the guide for Constitution Square site for the visitors’ online resource. This is the third story in the Post to refer to the guide.

Changes on asla.org: ASLA Web and Graphic Designer Jesse Leyh and Corporate Secretary Curt Millay developed a new Council of Fellows hub, and the Media section of the web site has been revamped to make it easier for press to access info about ASLA and the profession.

TheDistrict of Columbia Environmental Education Consortium (DCEEC) hosted a presentation by PR Manager Karen Trimbath about ASLA’s educational activities, including the green roof tours, The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C., and Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes. DCEEC works to increase environmental knowledge and awareness in students, teachers, and adults within the District.

Publishing and Resource Development
The January issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine is being featured on endcaps in the magazine sections of nearly 500 Barnes & Noble stores. Last year’s Barnes & Noble promotions in January, April, and September increased LAM’s newsstand sales by 222 percent and led to better placement in stores in alternate months. See related story in this issue of LAND for locations.

The 2013 annual meeting call for presentations launched in December for next November's meeting in Boston.

Promotion of 2013 professional and student awards call for entries continues. The deadline for professional entry forms is Friday, February 8, and for submissions is Friday, February 22.

The 2013 call for nominations for ASLA Honors is now open. If you are interested in making a nomination or suggesting one be considered by the Honors and Awards Advisory Committee, please contact Honors and Awards Coordinator Carolyn Mitchell.

Once again, ASLA will offer a special JobLink summer internship promotion to its members. During the months of February, March, and April, ASLA members may post one free intern position per firm, agency, or organization. Stay tuned.  

Member and Chapter Services
More than 100 new and rejoin member applications, and 598 renewal invoices, were processed between December 19 to January 8. We need your help attracting new members. Talk up your membership! 

The 2013-2014 Student Representative election information has been posted online and emailed to the student chapter presidents, program chairs and advisors, and chapter presidents. The deadline for nominations is January 30. Ballots will be distributed in mid-February and accepted from February 18-22.

Professional Practice
On January 8, Professional Practice Manager Liz Guthrie, ASLA, served as a volunteer design expert for 8th grade students at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Local designers, planners, and other professionals were invited to provide technical feedback on students’ draft ideas as they moved through the design process for redesigning two public spaces in the District’s rapidly developing NoMa neighborhood. Guthrie will serve as part of the formal review panel as individual students present their designs in the second half of January. The design teams will make a final presentation of their work to the NoMa Business Improvement District.

Professional Practice Manager Dena Kennett, ASLA, and Professional Practice Coordinator Debbie Steinberg, ASLA, worked with the web design staff to complete a new webpage for the upcoming Professional Practice Network webinar series, to be held March 4-8. Each will offer professional development hours through LA CES. Check in regularly as detials are locked down.

The Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) ended the year with exactly 12,000 members. Members of more than one PPN were counted for each membership.

Thirty-six LATIS exams were submitted in December by 26 different people. Of these 26, 19 were members. This brings the total number of LATIS exams taken in 2012 to 253. These exams were submitted by 140 different people, of which 107 were members. Seventy-six percent of LATIS users in 2012 were ASLA members.



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