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ALYSSA BLACK Landscape Architecture Portfolio

University of Massachusetts, Amherst I MLA

University of California, Davis I BSLA

alyssandra.s.black@gmail.com


about

After completing my BSLA at the University of California, Davis, I backpacked through New Zealand, exploring my father’s ancestral home. The landscape throughout the four islands in its diversity and ever changing scale has shaped how I view conservation, preservation, restoration and wilderness. This conversation has grown throughout my MLA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, culminating as the topic of my thesis research: Ecological Restoration. I hope to continue this conversation in my professional career in Landscape Architecture. Having worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst I have gained an appreciation for the nuances of navigating professional and educational relationships. My experience will be beneficial in working in an interdisciplinary network of professionals. I am excited to embark on my career and contribute to the field of Landscape Architecture.

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Alyssa Black


contents

projects Historic Preservation I 4-9

Upper Muddy River Rehabilitation Design Boston Emerald Necklace

Trail Design I 10-15

Alpine Slopes: Sure-Footed Safety White Mountain National Forest Trail Design

EPA Rainworks Design Competition I 16-17 Slow the Flow: A Green Infrastructure Master Plan for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Thesis I 18-23

Typology of Ecological Restoration and Trail Design within Estuarine Ecosystems

skills Reading the Landscape I 26-27 Photography I 28-29 Sketching I 30-31

resume

Alyssa Black

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Professor Ethan Carr, PhD, FASLA UMass Amherst

cultural landscape 4

Upper Muddy River Rehabilitation Project strives to achieve preservation through new design. As a historic park the meaning and purpose of Olmsted’s original design integrated with the needs and challenges of the present and predicted future informed our design. Our design approach was a strategy of “rehabilitation� (as per SOI Standards). Our methodology was based on a systematic comparative analysis of past, present and future conditions, using an overlay process illustrated on the right. This project demonstrates the value of a strong, scalable, and transferable methodology: a comparative analysis of historic, existing, and proposed conditions in the development of creative new design for the purpose of rehabilitating a nationally significant landscape. This design was a collaboration with Emilie Marques Jordao and Nelle Ward. Graphics and photography will be labeled to credit work.

Alyssa Black

Concept Map and Process Overlay completed by myself


1892 Historic Plan by Frederick Law Olmsted In analyzing the historic plan we mapped out landscape experiences using Olmsteds description; picturesque for more introspective moments, porous for transitional spaces and pastoral for the grand views. Landscape Experience Sketches

Analysis completed by the group, analysis graphics rendered by Emilie sketches by myself.

Alyssa Black

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In analyzing the historic plan and the existing conditions we mapped out landscape experiences, circulation, hydrology and vegetation. We did this analysis to compare the needs and challenges of the past versus the 21st century. Analysis completed by the group, analysis graphics and plan rendered by Emilie and photographs taken by myself.

Exisiting Conditions Plan


Plan rendered by Emilie, small sketches by Nelle and photograph and perspective by myself.

HISTORIC

EXISTING

PROPOSED

Alyssa Black

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Wards Pond Proposed Restoration

Porous Edge with Aquatic Shelf

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Alyssa Black

na Ma

Sto rm w a t e r

Currently invasive species block the view from the historic stairs to Wards Pond. The restoration would include native plants that help with erosion control along the pond, choke invasive in the porous edge and give height to create a more picturesque experience along the pond.

gm ent

Porous Edge

Porous Edge


Restoration of Olmsted’s historic ponds promotes environmental education and provides habitat for threatened and special concern species. These spaces provide recreation and access to a large population within urban Boston.

Alyssa Black

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University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professor Ethan Carr, PhD, FASLA

trail design 10

Alpine Slopes: Sure-footed Safety presents a way to handle the challenges posed by winter hiking within the White Mountain National Forest. According to the US Forest Service the key problems in this area are safety and trail sustainability. With the extreme weather and slopes the trails around Mt. Washington require a minimally obtrusive trail amenity which protects the steady stream of adventurers as well as mitigates the degradation of the ecosystem. The system utilizes modern fall prevention technology which allows for safe passage while limiting erosion and degradation to the site. This design was a collaboration with Dan Keirstead, all graphics for the project were completed by myself.

Alyssa Black


process

Alyssa Black

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White Mountain National Forest

-established in 1911 -784,000 acres of public land: Presidential Range, Franconia Range, Sandwich Range, Carter-Moriah Range, Kinsman Range and Mahoosuc Range -48 peaks over 4,000’ -over 1,200 miles of non-motorized trails

Presidential Range

-around 23 miles of hiking trails -Mt. Washington 6288’ -highest peak in New England

Weather in Presidential Range

-average annual precipiation 102 in. ~26’ of snow -typical fog limits visibility to less than 100’ -average wind speed 35 miles per hour -average year round temperature below freezing

‘World’s Highest Recorded Surface Wind Speed’ 231 miles per hour 12 12 Alyssa 6 Alyssa Alyssa Black Black Black


i ne Gard e n Ta il

Al p Lion

e ad Tr

a il

t

Spur Link

a il

Tr

erman R av i ne

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Lion Head Trail

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Boott Spur ra il T

site plan

is P av

at

Boot

Tu ck

H

-Lion Head Trail 1.2 mile, Winter Route .33 mile (most popular trail to the summit in winter) -seperate routes for avalanche control: Summer Route passes through snowfield prone to avalanches -Winter Route open from late fall or early winter till sufficient snow melt on summer route

Fatalities in Presidential Range

-135 Fatalities since 1849 -hypothermia (30), drowning (6), falling ice (5), avalanches (12), falls (42)

Implementation of the design system are indicated by Alyssa Black 7 the circles.


Circulation Hiking Trails Rock Climbing Route Snowmobile Trails Roads

Hydrology

analysis

Topography

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Alyssa Black

The trail begins with a stroll through birch trees with shallow slopes growing gradually steeper. About a quarter mile, in the trail unveils its once hidden perils with a drastic grade change of rock face and hard packed snow. With the assistance of the trees and roots the trail is passable but becomes increasingly rigorous, requiring the need for ice picks and heavy crampons. The obvious degradation of the existing vegetation is entirely due to the absence of anything else to grip.


design

220

o

The design utilizes the modern fall prevention system which allows the hiker to clip a carabiner with an intermediate cable bracelet onto themselves. The intermediate cable bracelet is connected to the cable and slides along, hopping the rodes to allow the hiker to stay attached at all times. Alyssa Black

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Slow

Research Aesthetics Environmental Conservation Department

the

v. Edu W En

High Velocity

Cultural

Environmental Education

Habitat

ce rfa s Su iou

2500

High Volume

u. Habita Ed

ability N tain a us

Edu. Wate v.

t m gh te yli ys Da lS ra tu Na

lity Aesth ua

Campus Master Plan

Tan Brook Profile and Conductivity

Sediment

2000 Mar--14

Îźs/cm

cation H du

Historic

Natural Enemies

erv

Piped

cs Env. eti

Campus Planning

Imp

abitat sH

uality C rQ

Biodiversity

Sediment

e Volum High ent Sedim

r Qualit ate

Aesthetic

ystem W ral S tu

cs Env.E eti

ural Histo ult

y

d Pipe

New England Environmental

Ecology

ce rfa Iconic En s Su ric io u erv Imp l Ae sth ura

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

r Quality En ate

Habitat Edu S v.

Flow

oric Cult ist

Water Quality

1500 1000 Nov--14

500

ater Q tW

Lot 25

Mill River

Umass Campus Pond

Lincoln Apts

Amherst Downtown

High School

Middle School

This submission was designed by a multidisciplinary team. The graphics included here are completed by myself.

Metrics

Catch Basins Reduction 1) Downtown Amherst N/A 2) Orchard Hill 11 (59%) 3) Campus Pond 5 (48%) 4) Ellis Way 34 (51%) 5) Parking Lot 25 5 (50%)

N

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Elementary School

Slow the Flow is a green infrastructure proposal that is inspired by the historic and cultural iconography of the campus pond. In filtering water, providing habitat, and increasing aesthetics our master plan reveals the natural system throughout campus and celebrates the significance of the pond. In slowing the flow of water we are also changing the culture of people on campus, allowing them to engage in the integration of historic, cultural, and natural systems creating a more beautiful, functional, and educational landscape at UMass, Amherst.

Strong Street

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professor Mark Lindhult, FASLA

competition

0

Alyssa Black

Vegetation and Tree Canopy Increase 1) Downtown Amherst N/A 2) Orchard Hill 14,884 ft2 (17%) 3) Campus Pond 23,430 ft2 (5%) 4) Ellis Way 28,400 ft2 (13%) 5) Parking Lot 25 42,670 ft2 (18%)

N

5


Mi

tory Bir gra

Mi

ents sid ents sid

ral Ene atu

Pollin

Po

rs ato

Waterfo

Natural E

1

N

Ecosystem Services Water Quality

ral atu En

ies em

ie nem s

2

Fish N

Natu

ents sid

s

Enemie ral

ator llin s

wl

4

Re

s mie

N

Re

Re

catch basins

3

tory Bir gra

ds

Migrator

Migrator

ds

50%proposed REDUCTION in

irds yB

irds yB

2300existing CATCH BASINS on campus

Habitat Ecosystem Service Section

HELP COLLECT SEDIMENT SLOW THE FLOW ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Habitat

Environmental Education

PROVIDE HABITAT FOR POLLINATORS

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large scale

national state regional

medium scale

county city town

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University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professor Robert Ryan, PhD, FASLA

thesis research

small scale

The creation of ecological restoration graphics within estuarine ecosystems helps the understanding of social and natural components for professionals. This effort derives from the definition of ecological restoration as, “the entire sum of practices that address the goals of restoration, including those that encompass the human dimensions: social, political, technological, economic, cultural, and religious� (Higgs, 2005). Social elements such as cultural, historical, recreation and access are not typically included in restoration projects. Without specific considerations for the health and enjoyment of humans, restoration projects do not instill a sense of stewardship. These preliminary graphics show the different terms, classifications, techniques and monitoring of ecological restoration. Represented two ways to better illustrate the difference between natural and social approaches.

Alyssa Black

site within town or city residence

Development Gradient Urban Suburban

Rural

Wild

Social Natural

Development and Restoration Scale To properly evaluate an ecological restoration project, the evaluation must establish that ecological restoration is on a spectrum from wild, rural, suburban to urban. Natural and social components are important throughout the spectrum. The importance of social factors increases with development and the importance of natural factors increases with the amount of nature. (Weinstein et al. 2007)


thesis research

Ecosystem Services within an Estuary To be affective in mitigating the flooding and erosion associated with large periodic influxes of water, estuaries require a sufficient area to adsorb and control the influx.

Flood Control

Erosion Control

Biodiversity

Tree and shrub root systems stabilize soil to minimize erosion, sedimentation and trees reduce noise pollution. Reprieve from the urban environment to a natural space reduces stress, improves mental health and provides places of recreation. Increasing biodiversity allows for water purification, uptake of excess nutrients, regulation of climate and native species habitats.

Health Benefits

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The Intersection of Natural and Social Within Restoration Within restoration projects there is a lack of communication and translation of information. Graphic representation of natural and social components will lead to a more hollistic approach to restoration projects.

ation Exchan ge Inform

No Communication

Social Science Ecological Restoration

Ecological Restoration

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Alyssa Black

Natural Science Ecological Restoration

Social Science Ecological Restoration

Natural Science

Ecological Restoration

rated Integrated Ecological Restoration


b

c

d

d

c

b

a

a Irregularly Flooded b Regularly Flooded c Irregularly Exposed d Subtidal

b

c

d

d

c

Mean High Tide b

c

a Irregularly Flooded b Regularly Flooded c Irregularly Exposed d Subtidal

d

Mussel Reef

Beach

Dune a

b

Subtidal

Kelp Forest

Intertidal

a

a

ELWS

Estuarine

Intertidal

Salt Marsh

Salt Marsh

Bottom

Unconolidated

Reef

Bed

c

Subtidal

Tide Pool

Intertidal

EHWS b

Upland

Estuarine

Subtidal

Aquatic

Shore

(Dune) a

a

(Beach)

Intertidal

Persistent

Emergent Wetland

Bottom

Intertidal

(Tidal Pond)

Unconsolidated

Subtidal

Persistent

Emergent Wetland

Intertidal

Upland

Estuarine

Mudflat

Upland

Estuarine

Unconsolidated

Upland

Mean Low Tide d

Diagram from the US Fish and Wildlife Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats

Upland

Subtidal

Mussel Reef

Intertidal

Dune

Intertidal

Salt Marsh

Tide Pool

Subtidal

Mudflat

Salt Marsh

Intertidal

Estuarine

Kelp Forest

Estuarine

Beach

Upland

Mean High Tide

A direct comparison between the illustrations allows for an understanding of terms, concepts and where the restorations occur. The natural science classification uses the US Fish and Wildlie Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats document.

Prescribed Burns

Mean Low Tide

Dune Restoration Dam Removal

Native Species Replanting Invasive Species Removal Sediment Recovery

Beach Nourishment

Kelp Bed Restoration Seagrass Restoration

Oyster Restoration Mussel Restoration

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2005

GPS Coordinates 38° 7’ 25” N, 122° 56’ 8” W

2011

monitoring

Photopoint Image Location

Photopoint Photopoint is a cost effective way to monitor restoration projects. Select a photo site that is the most representative of the overall health of the area and periodically gather photo-data. Create a map of the area, mark GPS coordinates and identify key features within the photo.

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(Pickart, 1995, 2001; Shaff et al. 2007)

GPS Coordinates 38° 7’ 25” N, 122° 56’ 8” W


Alyssa Black

monitoring techniques

Measuring the change in biodiversity requires collaboration with ecologists and biologists. For it to be effective data must be collected from before the restoration and for several monthsyears after the restoration. Typically experts listen, observe and record for 10-20 minutes, at different times of day and over different times of the year. This monitoring technique can be used as an educational component by allowing universities to bring students out to do observations as well as providing data to monitor the health of the ecosystem.

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the art of nature 24

Estuarine ecosystems are works of art. Not only are they beautiful and powerful they can paint their functions, degradations and manipulations illustrated through aerial and satellite imagery. This is an analysis image from my thesis research studying the components of an estuarine ecosystem, tidal regime, salinity and geomorphology. This image is an overlay of satellite images, shaded relief and hydrology manipulated using GIS and photoshop.

Alyssa Black


skills

Reading the Landscape Photography Drawing Professional Work Alyssa Black

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reading the landscape 26

The language of spatial relationships and landscape experience has been lost in our profession. The understanding of how people move between spaces, how they feel within the space and how they use the space is important to be able to communicate. These photographs show my observations of these spatial relationships and landscape experiences.

Alyssa Black


“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.� -Henry David Thoreau

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photography 28

Where does the site begin or end? A lens sharpens the boundaries while bridging scales within the site. Making pictures and prints with a film camera instilled a sense of creation with every landscape I visited and allowed me to view the landscape in a different way, through the lens and in the dark room. These images were taken during a three-day backcountry trail in New Zealand. Known as the Milford Trek, it is one of the Great Walks developed by the Department of Conservation to promote responsible stewardship.

Alyssa Black


Alyssa Black

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drawing 30

Drawing everyday helps me translate the experiences, feelings and places around me. The process of sketching allows me to extract the pertinent information needed to explain aspects of my research in ecological restoration and estuarine science.

Alyssa Black


Alyssa Black

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Alyssa Black Education

Work Experience

MLA Candidate | 2013- Expected 2015 University of Massachusetts, Amherst BSLA | 2008-2012 University of California, Davis Landscape Designer, Berkshire Design Group | August 2015- Current Northampton, MA Teaching Assistant, Landscape Architecture UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department Site Engineering I Fall 2013 Computer Graphics I Spring 2014 Site Engineering I Fall 2014 Landscape Architecture Studio I Spring 2015 Landscape Design Intern | May 2013- August 2013 Wilson Design Studio, Folsom, CA Teaching Assistant, Upper Division Design Studio | Fall 2012 UC Davis Landscape Architecture Department Class Support Office | Fall 2010- Summer 2012 UC Davis Landscape Architecture Department

Presentations

Black, A. “Landscape Restoration: Bridging the Gaps, A Graphic Typology of Ecological Restoration� Oral Presentation, Society of Ecological Restoration World Conference, August 2015, Manchester, England

Achievements

ASLA Merit Award | Spring 2012 ASLA Sierra Chapter Most Promising Professional | Spring 2012 UC Davis Landscape Architecture Program Outstanding Senior Award | Spring 2012 UC Davis Landscape Architecture Program ASLA Advocacy Day Student Scholarship | May 2012 ASLA National

Organizations

ASLA Public Relations and Communications Advisory Committee | November 2014- Current ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee | November 2013- Current ASLA National Student Member | Fall 2011- Current Student Chapter President, ASLA UC Davis Chapter | Fall 2011-Spring 2012 Delta Delta Delta, Beta Pi Chapter | Fall 2010-Spring 2012

Programs and Skills 34

Alyssa Black

InDesign | Photoshop | Illustrator | AutoCAD | ArcGIS | Photography Hand Sketching | Vectorworks | Sketchup | Rhino

alyssandra.s.black@gmail.com alyssablackphotography.com (310) 422-4040 Amherst, MA


Activities References

Backcountry Backpacking | Urban Backpacking | Film Photography Hiking | Rock Climbing | Cycling Ethan Carr, University of Massachusetts, Amherst carr@larp.umass.edu Keith Wilson, ASLA, CRLA 4728, Wilson Design Studio keith@wilson-design-studio.com (916) 524- 5614 Marq Truscott, FASLA, Quadriga Landscape Architecture and Planning, Inc. marq@quadriga-inc.com (916) 764-7900

Thank you! alyssandra.s.black@gmail.com alyssablackphotography.com (310) 422-4040 Amherst, MA Alyssa Black

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Alyssa Black Landscape Architecture Portfolio