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Future-Forward: Federal Landscape Architects Reflect on Trends, Initiatives, & Resources

LAF hosts live webinars in which guest presenters share innovative work and discuss timely issues. The recorded webinars are archived on LAF's website, and many can be viewed on demand to earn continuing education credits through LA CES. LAF is able to make these resources freely available thanks to the financial support of individuals like you. If you find this webinar valuable, please consider making a donation to help us cover hosting and administrative costs. To learn about upcoming webinars, subscribe to LAF communications.

Content recorded in December 2023.


Future-Forward: Federal Landscape Architects Reflect on Trends, Initiatives, & Resources

In this panel discussion, three landscape architects working at federal agencies share current initiatives at their respective agencies, discuss trends and directions in the federal government, and recommend key resources for landscape architects and designers working both within and outside of the federal government. Special focus is placed on climate-forward initiatives, leadership in building technologies, and how new funding from Congress is impacting large-scale community grant programs and government agencies’ ability to provide technical support. Throughout, the current role and potential of landscape architects in the federal government is highlighted and celebrated. The webinar was moderated by Christian Gabriel, FASLA.  



Complete list of programs, resources, and initiatives referenced during the webinar [PDF]


Learning objectives

  1. Identify current programs at major federal agencies related to the work of landscape architects
  2. Understand ways that climate and equity are influencing current federal investments in communities and infrastructure
  3. Understand opportunities for landscape architects interested in federal careers or in aligning with federal priorities and programs


Continuing Education Credits

Logo of the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES)

This course is approved for 1 Professional Development Hour (PDH) through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES). To earn 1 PDH (LA CES):

  1. View the full webinar above.
  2. Complete the short quiz by following the link below. (You must score 75% or higher.)
  3. Wait ~2 weeks to receive your confirmation email once the quizzes are graded and results submitted to LA CES.

Quiz for CEUs

By completing this quiz, you are also signing up to receive newsletters and program announcements from LAF. You can edit your subscription preferences or unsubscribe at any time.



Carlos Flores
Community Planner, RTCA
National Park Service 

Carlos Flores

Carlos provides technical assistance to community groups, non-profit organizations and public agencies in support of their outdoor recreation and conservation projects. Prior to entering the public service, he worked for over 7 years in private design/build firms and a retail nursery. He is a lecturer of Visual Communication at Cal Poly Pomona and an active member and Southern California Chapter President of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Brandon Hartz
National Program Manager for Landscape Architecture
General Services Administration 

Brandon Hartz

Brandon leads policy development and design direction of all capital projects in the GSA’s nationwide portfolio. Prior to GSA he was Campus Landscape Architect for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), designing and stewarding constructed landscapes on federal land across the United States. Prior to his public service, Brandon was a Senior Associate for HOK, managing and designing high profile and award- winning institutional landscapes.

Sarah Watling
Analyst, BRIC
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Sarah Watling

Sarah is a member of the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Technical Services team. Her focus is on nature-based solutions and climate. Sarah is trained as a landscape architect and worked on nature-based design and construction for a decade prior to joining FEMA. Before that, she spent her career in environmental policy and planning and sustainable economic development focused on forests, energy, and food.

Christian Gabriel, FASLA (Moderator)
Creative Director and Founder
Public Nature Projects

Christian Gabriel

Christian brings 20 years of global expertise as an award-winning designer and major public builder. Prior to founding Public Nature Projects, Christian served as the first National Design Director for Landscape Architecture at the United States GSA, as a senior designer at both the New York City design studios of Ken Smith and Thomas Balsley, and as the Deputy Director of a major urban parks agency.  Christian has played a leading role in shaping progressive federal design policies and in developing both the 'National Disaster Resilience' and the 'Rebuild By Design' competitions for the United States federal government. 

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