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Merlyn Paulson

Merlyn Paulson (FASLA, Prof.) began his teaching, research, and service career at CSU in 1975 after receiving his BLA from Utah State University and his MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Through these decades in academic and professional practice, he has grown equally large interests in garden scale planting design and site to landscape scale modeling, and restoration using online terrestrial data. Merlyn also works on environmental planning for renewable energy and methods for teaching landscape design drawing and digital representation. Integrated with those interests are day-to-day methods mentoring of students and the work of the profession. Current research and service involves exploration of initiatives and environmental design methods for human physical and mental well-being (an interdisciplinary project) and ongoing pro bono river and landscape restoration work for properties destroyed by the massive Colorado flood of 2013.

This spring term, with 32 garden design students (LAND 362, 2017), Professor Paulson conducted project research, analysis and synthesis for a new Landscape Master Plan for Lamar Community College and CSU’s Diversity House (historically, the CSU President’s Residence). LAND 447, Comprehensive Landscape Design (Capstone Studio, 2017) involved 27 students’ projects with their professional practice mentors from throughout the USA.

Merlyn is extremely proud of the program’s alumni/ae, who number approximately 600, for their roles and accomplishments in government agencies, non-profits, universities, and private practice. Their success, at all scales of decision making, are tributes to their ingenuity, methods, and skill sets. They bring honor to CSU through their works and engagement with nature and the built environment.

Professor Paulson’s major research and technical service developments have focused on methods for identification, spatial analysis, development, preservation, and management of special rural, historic, scenic and commemorative landscapes throughout the western states, Alaska, British Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin for the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), US Fish & Wildlife Service and constituents of special places. Of particular note are:

  • large scale renewable energy and utility impacts and mitigation studies in historic and scenic landscapes for the BLM, USFS, and NPS;
  • the Flight 93 National Memorial Park property analysis studies in Somerset County, Pennsylvania;
  • long range transportation planning and cultural resource and natural resource protection methods for the National Park Service, focusing on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area holdings and connections in California;
  • the Nile River water research campus master plan near Cairo, Egypt;
  • invasive species analysis for 14 Alaskan National Wildlife Refuges;
  • the bullet train routing simulation study through the Basque Region of Spain;
  • the aesthetics methodology for affected environment, impacts, and mitigations for the US Dept. of the Interior’s decision-making for energy-related development in the coastal zone of Alaska;
  • reviewer and contributor to the BLM’s Best Management Practices for Reducing Impacts of Renewable Energy Facilities on BLM-administered Lands; and
  • reviewer and contributor to the NPS Guide To Evaluating Impact Assessments for Renewable Energy Projects.
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