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Landscape Architect - Designing Nature

While walking downtown, you see a little green park, full of fountains and trees. Pretty picture, but if you think that it's a magical tree growing out of concrete, or that there's a natural water source underneath that fountain... think again! Each little oasis of greenery in the concrete desert of an urban setting requires plenty of planning and resources. So why the heck would someone spend all that energy to get the "natural" look?

Catherine Berris explains it all to us, since she's a landscape architect - the person who designs and creates habitats in nature. After high school, Catherine hit the books again for four years to get her degree in landscape architecture. She also finished another degree called a Masters, during which she studied everything from architecture and conflict resolution to forest ecology. Catherine's work also includes preservations of natural habitats, which are facing destruction due to littering and peeps destroying nature with boo-boos like oil spills. Landscape architects have been around since ancient times, even before the ancient civilization of Babylon, a society that designed the famous Hanging Garden.

What Do You Need?

Having a taste for decorating and pretty colors is not enough to become a landscape architect. The minimum education at the moment is an undergraduate degree in a landscape architecture program. That's another four years AFTER high school! However, the requirements are currently being reconsidered to include another few years beyond that degree. But fear not because the perks of this career can be worth the study time.

The Perks

When you finally get to make your living working in the great outdoors, those long years of education really do pay off. Catherine says, "The best part of my regular day is that there is no regular day. Every day is different. I spend some time visiting sites, writing and drawing. I really enjoy the variety." The best part of this career is that it combines the creativity of arts through design and the scientific aspect of environmental studies - you get the best of both worlds!

Harmful Results

A landscape architect is not necessarily an environmental hero. "The process of construction of "landscapes" sometimes has negative effects on environmental resources, though I would argue that most competent landscape architects try to protect and enhance the environment where possible," explains Catherine.

Tips From a Pro

So what words of wisdom does a landscape architect have for anyone interested in taking on this career? "An understanding of the outdoor environment is most important, so activities that involve exploration can help, e.g. cycling, hiking, camping, visiting parks and all sorts of public areas," says Catherine. "Learning about natural processes in those places can also help - read the interpretive signs and pamphlets, attend talks by naturalists, etc."

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Sweetest Thing About Landscaping?

  • Kickin' it back in the great outdoors.
  • The creativity applied to the design.
  • Saving the planet.
  • Prettying up the environment.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Abbergrl
Haha, thank you. I don't want to date, it's just that these stupid crushes :/
reply about 4 hours
SimplyAda
I can relate very much.  :e  It happens a lot. But here's one thing, try not to date. At my middle school, everyone literally dates everybody and relationships never last. Part of the reason is that most of us aren't in that mature phase yet (mostly boys). As the days go by, we're growing. But, it's completely normal to have a crush on a boy. :) :thumbsup
reply about 4 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Sorry for the late reply, but I'd love to help. If they don't want to talk to you, or don't like your jokes, don't talk to them. They probably don't like you, so you shouldn't try to make it better. You should hang out with your other friends. They'll make you feel better about yourself. If you don't have any friends in your class...that's the problem.  That's exactly what happened to me last year. But I started hanging out with the guys more, and they were really nice and had a lot in common with me. Maybe the guys will be nice to you and accept you. I hope I helped you. :)   
reply about 11 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Aw, that's sad. I know this is a late review, but I would love to help you make new friends. There are kids that do nasty things at every single school, trust me, you'll never find a perfect school, and if people are reporting this form of bullying, teachers are probably supervising children more, so don't worry about that. :) Now making new friends, ahh, that's very difficult. I can be shy myself, but it honestly depends. What I usually do is observe different groups of people, and see how they interact with each other. If the person seems nice, wait until the time is appropriate and greet them. A friendly "Hi, I'm new, could you maybe show me around, or help me with this, or tell me about this school?" That will start off a conversation. :)  As well, I tend to make jokes, or go to my funny side. I usually make way more friends that way. You could try to make slight jokes, and gradually make them less implied and more clear as you joke around.  If there are any other new kids, or shy kids, definitely talk to them. If there are any kids that look lonely, or sad, maybe take some time to approach them. If they look like the want to be left alone, leave them alone. If you're not sure, it's best if you see someone else interact with them first.  If you're bisexual, that doesn't really matter, and don't bring that fact up in a conversation. That's kind of personal, and when you get a little closer, you can say that. It's not really important, and necessary for people to know that. And it's personal too. So don't bring that up unless you really want to.  I hope i helped you! Sorry for the late advice. >_< 
reply about 11 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Several people are having the same problem as you. Whether they're the same gender or not, many people crush on some of their closest friends. So don't feel alone, remember that. I know this is some late advice, but I hope so far things are going good. Many people are feeling the urge of confessing like you. Yes, I think you should confess to her clearly, but when the time is right. She may not like you, but if you really really like her, you should absolutely confess to her. But be aware that confessing to one of your friends can ruin your friendship. You have to be cautious, confess when the time is right. 5 months may be long for you, but honestly, that's a short-term crush. Don't rush your confession, and don't give up unless you think you should. Getting over someone can be incredibly hard too, but you're either going to get over her, or confess to her. When the time is right, confess. When the time never seems to come, I'm sorry, but unfortunately, I think it's best if you get over her, because you have to be 100% sure before you confess to someone. You're risking your friendship to, so think if it's really worth it.  I hope I helped you. :) 
reply about 11 hours