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Computer rendering showing man in future agriculture environment.

Penn State landscape architecture graduate Reid Fellenbaum (‘09, BLA) has been named 2014 ASLA Award of Excellence recipient in the Analysis and Planning category for his project “Meridian of Fertility.” In reviewing Fellenbaum's work, the ASLA Awards Jury stated, "The analysis drives the solution in a really significant, clear, and meaningful way. Really makes a leap and is beautifully resolved."

CLIMATE STATION (Section): Like the trees of Roosevelt’s Great Plains Shelterbelt, which provided the migrant farmer with a reassuring mark of sub-humid fertility in the semi-arid landscape, the climate stations provide the technologically credulous American with a reassurance in their perceived fertility of landscape.

Fellenbaum's project explores the historic and prevailing agricultural landscape of the U.S. Great Plains and leverages advanced climate modeling to envision future insfrastructures for the region that center around micro-climates and nomadic use profiles. According to the project scope: "With current models predicting aquifer depletion as early as 2050, the Great Plains region approaches a critical threshold that will test the resilience of its productive landscape. In response, this project challenges the Jeffersonian grid by speculating that the future landscape will be annually reorganized by hyper-local climate prediction that responds to microtopography and soil typologies. A series of dynamic landscape infrastructures collect and interpret data to define a Meridian of Fertility where short grass prairie ends and insurable productivity begins."

Graphic showing past, present and proposed agricultural land use on the Great Plains

For details of Fellenbaum's project, please visit:
http://www.asla.org/2014studentawards/464.html

Also, visit the ASLA 2014 student awards site:
http://www.asla.org/2014studentawards/index.html