Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Committee Member

Professor Daniel Nadenicek


The interdisciplinary nature oflandscape architecture rarely occurs in our education system due to the divide b,etween the sciences and the humanities. This discipline divide is evident in the structure of school subjects from elementary school to college. By accepting the divided system, students are unknowingly affected by it and miss an opportunity for a truly interdisciplinary approach to education. As an alternative, this paper. proposes a combination of a science and a discipline of the humanities which can provide an inclusive education for students at any age. If students are taught in elementary school, not only to investigate surroundings through scientific reasoning but also a creative process, the student will be given an opportunity to choose a learning style.

As a prototype for such an educational opportunity, the Stream Team was a 10 week after­school educational program that revealed a local stream to 4th and 5th grade students of Clemson Elementary School. By providing activities that were both scientific and artistic, students of the Stream Team: observed erosion and turbidity, explored stream morphology and entomology, and created artworks in the form of ceramics, environmental art, drawing and writing. ln collaboration with the Stream Team and student projects, an interactive, environmental art piece was also created in the stream to increase community awareness of the stream s potential and student project presence. Community and student education continued in the form of a final presentation and tour of the stream and student art.

By providing an environment to gain knowledge through artistic and scientific means students were given the opportunity to choose how to learn. Records in the form of student drawings and evaluations reveal that students gained and retained knowledge about stream features, water quality, types of rocks, different water currents and other riparian characteristics such as trees, birds, leaves, and shrubs.

In conclusion a combination of the applied science of Stream Morphology and Environmental Art proved to be an affective tool for teaching students and their community about the importance of healthy streams and watersheds. Further, a combination of a science and a discipline of the humanities proved to be an effective method for re-presenting a stream to students of both subjects. As landscape architects we should use our experience in combining the sciences and humanities to educate society not only about natural resources, but about our united way of life.



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