Come learn with us! All of our more than 25 instructors are practicing landscape architects, landscape designers, artists, or architects who bring their expertise and professional experience directly into our studios and classrooms. Our instructors represent celebrated landscape architecture firms recognized around the world for their exceptional and visionary designs: PWP Landscape Architecture, Bionic, Tom Leader Studio, SWA Group, Hargreaves Associates, Surface Design, Inc., among others.

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Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
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Landscape Architecture

Jeff McLane

Director, School of Landscape Architecture

Jeff McLane is a licensed landscape architect in California. For the past 17 years he has been a founding partner and president at Jeff McLane + Associates Landscape Architects in Marin. He was a founding partner of MAC Studio, a community based design group in Oakland. Jeff is also a painter and sculptor, and has exhibited his work in galleries throughout the Bay Area. Jeff is LEED BD+C certified through the US Green Building Council and is committed to design work that is sustainable, responsible and inclusive. For the past 25 years, Jeff has worked on a variety of projects throughout the Bay Area. These involve working for variety of public and private clients including commercial, educational, institutional, and community participatory design projects throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Heather Clendenin

Online Director, School of Landscape Architecture

As a licensed landscape architect, Heather has over 30 years and a wide range of professional and academic experience. She has taught at UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Selected projects include: the Advanced Concepts Center for General Motors, Malibu, CA; Columbia University's athletic training center, NY, NY; Carousel Park Playground at the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica CA; the masterplan for Claremont's Harvey Mudd College, CA; the General Motors Corporate Headquarters in Thousand Oaks, CA; and Berkeley Hillel in Berkeley, CA as well as several design competition awards. She has an MLA from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Toni Bava

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Ms. Bava has over thirty years of combined experience in landscape architecture, urban design and planning. She maintains expertise in fields of community development projects, healthcare campuses, university campuses, civic facilities, educational environments, and historic sites. She brings to the design team a knowledge of the public design process and strong collaborative design skills. Her record shows a capacity for the successful integration of social needs, sustainable, environmental factors and site design concepts with the overall project design. As a LEED certified Landscape Architect, she brings years of comprehensive sustainable management insights on low impact development and landscape preservation.

Ms. Bava has designed several university campus development projects. These projects have included: the School of Medicine, Mount Zion Research Building, and the Entry Court for Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco; the Vaden Health Services Center, Frenchman’s Park, the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Lake Houses Site Restoration, and the Gilbert Biology Building, for Stanford University; the Walter Buehler Alumni Visitor Center and the Housing Administration Building at the University of California, Davis; the Campus Quad and University Circle Master Plan and Educational Services Building at California State University, Stanislaus, California.

Ms. Bava's recent health care/research campus work includes landscape and site development for the Mental Health Skilled Nursing Facility at the San Francisco General Hospital Campus, the Mills-Peninsula Replacement Hospital in Burlingame, California; the Palo Alto Medical Foundation New Campus Project in Palo Alto, California; the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Martinez, California; the Kaiser Foundation, Optical and Regional Lab Complex, Oakland, California.

As a member of the Master Plan team for the Mission Bay Development project in San Francisco, California, Ms. Bava developed programming, conceptual design and cost estimates for the Mission Bay Open Space Park System, and worked with the Mission Bay Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s office throughout the review process.

Continuing with her work at Mission Bay, she developed site concept design for two biotechnology campuses being developed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Most recently, she completed final site development within these campuses. Two projects, a private park and garage have been constructed; two biotechnology laboratories await construction.

Ms. Bava was the landscape architect and designer for the highly regarded Poetry Garden and Plaza at 199 Fremont Street in San Francisco and the San Francisco Courthouse at the Civic Center. She also is the Landscape Architect for the new Public Utilities Commission Headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue which is being designed to exceed Platinum LEED® certification.

She was responsible for the site renovation of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, an existing beaux-arts building located at San Francisco's Civic Center. Additionally, Ms. Bava has extensive experience with site planning and landscape design for community housing projects. These include: Valencia Gardens, Avalon Mission Bay II, Mission Creek Senior Community, Plaza Del Sol Housing, Pine Larkin Senior Housing, Hamilton Family Center, 1438 Green Street, the Aurora Mixed Use Housing, the Salvation Army Senior Citizen's Center, all in San Francisco, and Visitation Gardens, the Brisbane Senior Housing Facility.

Ms. Bava recently completed two landscape restoration projects that involved restoration of riparian corridors: the Seton Provincialate Landscape Restoration Project in Los Altos Hills, and Frenchman’s Park on the Stanford University campus. Ms. Bava has also completed several landscape projects where on-site storm water management and native plantings were featured.

Yi-Shan Chen

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Yi-Shan received her Bachelor's degree in Botany from National Taiwan University and her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard. She is a well-rounded, thoughtful designer with over 25 years of experience, with a keen interest in environmentally and socially responsible landscape design. Yi-Shan has designed and managed several award-winning landscape projects throughout the U.S. and overseas, which include many Green Point rated and LEED certified projects, for renowned US firms such as HOK, SWA, EDSA, OCB and TLS among others.  Her project experience includes public streetscapes and plazas, civic and educational institutions, healthcare and recreational facilities, high-end resorts and residential estates.

Yi-Shan believes in a more sustainable future achieved through green urbanism, green infrastructure, and low impact development design. She is especially well-versed in the challenges and technical strategies inherent in a sustainable design approach and is a strong advocate for the use of environmentally responsible design materials and techniques.

With her multi-lingual, multi-cultural background and versatile experience, she aspires to make a positive contribution to educating the next generation of landscape architects in this complex economic climate.

Peter Frankel

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

As a Project Manager and Designer, Peter has worked on a wide variety of landscape architecture, urban design and planning projects throughout the United States and abroad. His experience spans master planning through construction administration for public parks, campus landscapes and urban districts. Many of these projects have included innovative approaches to the artful incorporation of infrastructure and sustainability elements into open spaces. His recent work in the San Francisco Bay Area includes Bayfront Park in Mission Bay and the UC Berkeley School of Law Expansion. Peter holds dual Masters Degrees in Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley.

Nick Gotthardt

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Nick's work moves between architecture and art - interested in cultural ecologies of the urban environment and landscape representation techniques - exhibiting work in San Francisco, Columbus, North Adams, Winnipeg and Tbilisi. He is a landscape designer with SURFACEDESIGN, INC.; currently working with BIG Architects on the Smithsonian Masterplan in Washington, D.C., sustainable vineyards in the Napa Valley, green roofs and other, civic, residential and installation projects throughout the Bay Area. Nick holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State, where he was the Landscape Architecture Foundation's University Olmsted Scholar, and has studied Urban Planning and Geography at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning and the University of Amsterdam's school of Geography.

Owen Lang

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Owen Lang has nearly 40 years of significant site planning and urban design projects. Owen's expertise includes urban mixed use districts, downtown revitalization plans, urban waterfronts, community design plans, corporate/commercial facilities, and transit-related developments. His broad range of experience involves working with multi-jurisdictional agencies, special interest groups, and community groups, forging a shared understanding and support for public and private improvements. His strong physical design sense and graphic skills allow him to communicate design concepts throughout the progressive phases of a project.

Prior to private consultancy, Owen was a Principal of Sasaki Associates' San Francisco office since 1983. His prior professional history includes site design and planning at nationally-renowned firms including SWA Group, EDAW, Wallace McHarg Roberts and Todd, Sasaki Dawson DeMay & Associates, and Lawrence Halprin & Associates.

A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Owen received a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the California State Polytechnic University, School of Environmental Design.

Sergio Lima

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Sergio is an Italian Architect with a strong design and history background. After completing his architecture and landscape architecture studies in Italy, Spain and Canada he moved to the United States, where has been working as a landscape architect for the last 14 years. He is an Associate at SWA, where he has worked on a wide range of landscape projects, both in the US and abroad. He has a particular interest in the contamination of historic landscapes and historic urban spaces with contemporary design. Much of his design attention through his career has been directed at the use of planting material, and working on projects in different parts of the world, he has developed substantial knowledge of plants from different climates.

Prior to his career in the US, Sergio has cooperated with the History Department of the University of Palermo, participated to several international workshops in Cairo and in Beirut, and published a few articles on historical Middle Eastern architecture and urban design.

In 2000 he moved to the United States and in 2001, he joined SWA Group. Sergio has worked on a wide range of landscape architecture projects, both in the US and abroad, including the Landscape Design for the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai and the Academy of Science in San Francisco.

Julie Trachtenberg

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Julie Trachtenberg came to Landscape Architecture from a unique background of museum planning and exhibit design. She holds a BA degree in Art History and Fine Art from Cal State Long Beach in 1980, an MA in Museum Studies from JFKU in 1987, and a degree in Landscape Architecture in 2007 from UC Berkeley Extension.

Her interests lie with projects that educate and incite inquiry into a wide range of built environments through the use of installation in various contemporary and historic natural landscapes and museum exhibits. Her varied experiences as both an exhibit and landscape designer have led her to work on projects such as zoo and aquariums, cultural and historic exhibits in the US, Berlin and Paris, and over 12 years of landscape design on large and small scale urban and residential projects. Her work with Out of Site Youth Arts Center involved working with high school students to develop the first youth designed and fabricated parklet in San Francisco. Currently she is instrumental in the design and development of an edible schoolyard for a charter school in Richmond, California.

Julie has a strong background in project management, construc6on documenta6on, design detailing and conceptual rendering. Julie sees that the cohesion of landscape design and museum installa6on both address human scale and spa6al design. She con6nues a prac6ce of fine art, drawing the figure and making collage.

Mark Yin

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Mark Yin is a landscape architect with 30 years of experience in planning and design for a diverse range of project types including resort destinations and theme parks; commercial, residential and institutional environments; and master planning and urban revitalization projects. Mark is the owner of Greenridge Studio + Workshop, a sole-proprietorship which engages landscape architecture, master planning, and urban design alongside furniture and retail display work.