Being coached has a high value because one is challenged more frequently

Berkeley, Monday, September 10, 2018 10:58 PM

I had two meetings today where, though I was challenged, I just learned additional wisdom from senior Faculty just by interacting with them in my own work.

I am happy to be under pressure that I am working those days, and performing extensive literature review in my field. The term extensive, though is vague, and depending views of life, some faculty might call me on the number of citations, beyond the content. While that might be intrinsic assumed with the two wise Faculty that I meet today, our focus is more on the content, as I keep evolving with my readings and annotated bibliography.

Without being a planner and landscape architect as background, I have learned a bit more of the history and theory of these fields by my readings; and how to connect with them other aspects on which I have been working, such as watershed planning, river management, sediment management, and their ties to energy sector.

It has been fascinated to learn how in the early 20th century Warren Manning, who worked for Frederick Law Olmsted, often called the founded father of Landscape Architecture in the United States, conducted a study for planning the landscape in the whole United States. In 1912, he collected a bunch of maps of soils, rivers, forests, and other maps landscape elements; and redraw the by hand on a light table overlaying features for analysis.

While there are other practices in our development history in the word, such as planning reservoirs or agricultural lands, Manning study was a key point in the profession of Designing the Large Scale Landscape. I had an Eureka time, after going through all these readings about why landscape planning is the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. Indeed, now I got or can call that planning and design are synonyms at the large scale. There is a need to design the land for allocate cities, agriculture, roads, natural areas of reserve, industry, recreation, etc, and for that purpose we need to understand how nature work and our interactions, as human with nature, resources, and biodiversity.

The book Design with Nature by McHarg (1969) in the chapter of River Basins, is a master piece, which exemplifies this practice.

Since, the late 1960’s, computer technologies have evolved and helps us for conducting analysis at the large scale, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

While I shared few learned insights here, in a big picture, there is nothing better to keep moving on in the midst of a self made busy life, learning from professors, colleagues, and readings.

I am challenged to write some preparation papers in the following month. Interesting goal, and things should keep moving, even better when I give me the change to do extra activities. Things are moving actively, with many learnings per day, and even still having good time for sharing with Jian. I look forward for the challenges and activities for tomorrow.

Major goals to get done this week, is grading tomorrow, an article by Thursday night, and get things organized for the colloquium for the next two weeks.


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