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From the Field: Reflections on the CSI Experience

By Delia Lacson, MLA Candidate, University of Washington

Through participating in LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) program several times in different capacities, I have developed a strong foundation of skills in assessment, communication, and analysis for a wide variety of different landscape performance benefits. 

Last summer I worked as a Research Assistant with CSI Research Fellow Ken Yocom to develop and publish three LPS Case Study Briefs. In the fall, I was a Teaching Assistant with Professor Nancy Rottle’s Sustainable Urban Landscapes Seminar, in which students used the CSI model to tackle the production of a dozen case studies. In the spring, I continued to work with LAF to tie up loose ends on those case studies, and this summer I’m again working as a CSI Research Assistant, this time under Professor Rottle.

These opportunities have given me:

  • a clearer understanding and awareness of the availability, benefits, and limitations of calculation tools and monitoring data,
  • stronger technical skills as a writer and editor, and
  • the skills and tools necessary to manage a small project.

My experience with LAF and CSI has led me to continue working in the nonprofit field as a consultant. I am currently developing case studies for a nonprofit group here in Chicago, providing research and analysis with a focus on advancing and integrating education, urban agriculture, and technology.

Thanks to all of the reviewers and program developers at LAF for working to make this very unique form of advocacy and education in the field of landscape architecture a reality and for helping me build skills that have taken me into a very exciting new field of research, design, and development

Research Assistant Delia Lacson is participating in LAF’s 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program and working with Research Fellow Nancy Rottle to finalize and develop case studies for a number of projects in the Pacific Northwest. Any opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. Their inclusion in this article does not reflect endorsement by LAF.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.