Penn State University’s College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Society Awards LandStudies President

Kelly Gutshall, LandStudies President, is the recipient of Penn State University’s 2018 Arts and Architecture Alumni Award for Landscape Architecture. The award is given to one alumni recipient within each of Penn State’s departments to recognize career achievements in the arts and design disciplines. Kelly received her award during the Alumni Awards Ceremony in early November, where she had the opportunity to interact with current Penn State students. She shared with them her landscape architecture experience through a career prep seminar and studio time.

Kelly was chosen for this award due to her many achievements in, and contributions to, the field of landscape architecture. As a landscape architect, Kelly has championed the firm’s science-based approach to planning and design. This approach has been applied to thousands of commissions over the past 30 years, all with a common goal of sustainable, quantifiable benefits. She helped to guide LandStudies as the firm explored and found solutions to some of the most challenging problems of our generation. This includes regional approaches to stormwater management, flood mitigation, habitat degradation and groundwater recharge.

It started with LandStudies signature community-based approach to watershed planning in the early 90s. This led to applying the newly emerging science of legacy sediment to stream restoration in the 2000. Next, LandStudies went on to forging public private partnerships through “Economic Ecology” in the late 2000s. Most recently, the firm is working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to develop a Smart Green Corridor Blueprint that considers energy, water, transportation, recreation and community in a holistic plan for PA’s watersheds. Gutshall’s planning prototypes are being replicated throughout the State to assist communities in meeting their Chesapeake Bay regulatory water quality compliance goals in a cost-effective manner.

Kelly particularly enjoys collaborating with community leaders to help change perceptions about the landscape from purely aesthetic, to one of working, functional environments. During her 34-year career, she has gained extensive knowledge and experience in sustainable-site planning, open-space planning, watershed planning, creating and managing ecologically diverse plant communities, alternative stormwater management and restoration design. In 2015, she was recognized for her environmental contributions and named a Watershed Champion by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, where she also currently serves on the board. Deaf from the age of 35, Kelly is active as a mentor with the National Bionic Ear Association and advocating for the challenges of hearing impaired in the work place.

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