Climate change has the potential to disrupt ecosystem services and further exacerbate the effects of human activities on natural resources. This has significant implications for educational institutions and the populations they serve. As the current crop of landscape architecture students struggles to define its role within the climate crisis and its related social and political underpinnings, a core mission of colleges and universities moving forward should be to provide students with applied knowledge about how climate change affects the landscape. This goes beyond coursework in climate science or policy; for landscape architecture students to be leaders in the response to climate change, they need applied, practical skills. An ever-growing body of the literature focuses on landscape design strategies for climate change adaptation; however, few frameworks integrate these strategies with the hands-on experience students will need to face real-world challenges after graduation. Educational institutions have the potential to utilize their campuses as demonstration sites for applied ecosystem research programs and actively engage students with the design, implementation, politics, and ongoing stewardship of these landscapes. This paper uses a case study methodology to understand how experiential and public-engaged learning pedagogies contribute to student preparedness to address climate change. It examines three cases of engaged learning at the University of California, Davis campus and attributes their impact to intentional connections with research, to the delegation of responsibility; to the openness of spaces for experimentation, and to self-reflection that connects climate with everyday behavior. By promoting experiential learning programs that require students to actively use their heads and their hands to construct and sustainably manage their own campus landscapes, service-learning studios and internships can provide opportunities for students to address the real scenarios of climate crisis and resilience.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited