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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
Abbergrl posted in Family Issues:
My mom can be that way too. There's nothing like that, you're exagerating, you dont even know what you're talking about. When all tthaat time I was going through it. She didn't have a clue honestly.
reply about 2 hours
StarrChild
Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting
reply about 3 hours
Froggers
theres this guy that i really REALLY like, im not sure if he likes me back. i put my mobile # on a piece of paper and slipped it in his locker, he hasn't texted or called me yet. Today at lunch i asked his friend to ask if he likes anyone but his friend keeps lying to me and won't tell me if he said anything. The guy and I were best friends in 5th grade but now that we're in different classes we don't talk much anymore. My friends said that i have a chance with him and that we have a lot in common, but im pretty sure he likes this other girl but im also pretty sure he likes me. I want to make a move but i don't wanna end our friendship i don't know what to do.
reply about 11 hours
LUCYQWERTY123
LUCYQWERTY123 posted in Friends:
it can be anyone u want but it should be someone who has the true friendship qualities and trust-worhtiness :) :)
reply about 19 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
It's good to have both to talk too about things. But, what's the point of being with someone if you can't trust them enough to even tell them things?
reply 1 day