Sustainable Design

Education Session - Presentation Format

MON-D05 - Landscape Architects as Change Makers: Expanding Career Paths in the Nonprofit Sector

Monday, October 23
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


As place makers and creative problem solvers, landscape architects have unique skillsets to influence physical and social change in the communities in which they work. Meet three landscape architects who have chosen to be change makers in three diverse locations: Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Learning Objectives:

Abbi Huntzinger

Senior Program Officer
Chesapeake Bay Trust

After a rewarding 10 years in private practice as a landscape architect, Abbi joined the Chesapeake Bay Trust in 2015 as a senior program officer. At the Trust, she manages several restoration grant programs, combining her knowledge of restorative landscapes with an ability to build teams and partnerships to leverage resources in order to protect and restore Maryland’s waterways. From wetlands to reforestation projects, she provides technical assistance and support to projects that positively impact the environment and engage diverse communities. She received a BLA from Penn State (2005) and a Masters of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech (2017).


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M. Michele Montano

Project Manager/Landscape Designer
North East Trees

Michele is a Project Manager/Landscape Designer for North East Trees, one of the only design/build non-profits in Los Angeles County. She manages a variety of projects throughout Los Angeles County which include a Stormwater BMP Pilot Project, a Greenway Vision Plan, an Elementary School Greening Project, Habitat Restoration, and a Regional Greening Master Plan for the Gateway Cities. She received her Master’s in Landscape Architecture at California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2013.


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Andrea Parker

Executive Director
Gowanus Canal Conservancy

Andrea Parker is the Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. In this role, she empowers a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the rapidly changing Gowanus Watershed.  As an instructor at City College of New York, she engages landscape architecture students with NYC’s complex urban ecology. Her prior work as a landscape designer focused on coastal resilience and building native plant communities. She received a BA from the University of Chicago, studied Landscape Horticulture at Merritt College, and received a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia.


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Karin Tracy

VP, Web Development

Karin Tracy is VP of web development at Fíonta, a Washington, DC-based firm created in 2001 specifically to serve the technology needs of nonprofit organizations. Ms. Tracy studied graphic design at the American College in London and graduated right at the beginning of the internet revolution. She leapt with both feet and fingers crossed into web design and development, often volunteering or providing work at a greatly reduced cost to gain experience and make connections in a new city.
An advocate of urban living, many of her favorite clients have been those who emphasize public transportation, shopping locally, community involvement and advocacy, and urban green spaces. Karin lives and works in downtown Los Angeles where she shares a loft apartment with her husband, 3 rescue dogs, and a former street cat who believes he’s a dog.


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MON-D05 - Landscape Architects as Change Makers: Expanding Career Paths in the Nonprofit Sector

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