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.

Get to Know Us

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.

Owen Lang

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Owen Lang 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.

Owen 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.

Owen teaches LAN 605: Drawing as Process and is a great source of wisdom for landscape architecture fundamentals. 

Toni Bava

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Antonia (Toni) Bava has thirty-five years of combined experience in landscape architecture, urban design and planning, with the establishment of Antonia Bava Landscape Architects in 1987. She holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, is a California licensed Landscape Architect, a LEED AP, and an ISA Certified Arborist.  With her years of experience in the design and construction of large urban projects, she maintains expertise in the development of community development projects: housing, urban open space development, educational environments, master planning, university and healthcare campuses. Toni’s wealth of knowledge and work with diverse clients, users, and public agencies has provided her with a unique point of view in developing solutions for complex problems. In addition to her record for successful integration of social needs, sustainability, environmental factors and creative landscape development, Toni’s ongoing interests and education include innovations in planting design, species selection, and best horticultural practices.

In teaching, Toni specializes in graduate and advanced design studios for landscape architecture, as well as “Design of Urban Places”.

Sergio Lima

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Sergio Lima completed his architecture and landscape architecture studies in Italy, Spain, and Canada and moved to the United States in 2000. An Associate at SWA group since 2001, Sergio has worked on a wide range of landscape projects, both in the US and abroad. Some notable projects include the Landscape Design (currently ongoing) for the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai and the Academy of Science in San Francisco. Prior to his career in the US, Sergio cooperated with the History Department of the University of Palermo, participated in several international workshops in Cairo and in Beirut, and published articles on historical Middle Eastern architecture and urban design.

Sergio 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.

Sergio teaches LAN 180: Plants in the Landscape, as well as LAN 658: Landscape, Theory & Design

Nick Gotthardt

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

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. Nick studied Urban Planning and Geography at the University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) and the University of Amsterdam's school of Geography. His 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. 

Nick 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 teaches advanced digital graphics courses in landscape architecture. 

Peter Frankel

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

A Senior Associate at Bionic Landscape, 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 and is a Registered Landscape Architect in California.

In teaching, Peter specializes in digital graphics for landscape architecture.

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 obtained a BA in Art History and Fine Art from Cal State Long Beach in 1980, and an MA in Museum Studies at JFKU in 1987. In 2007, Julie earned her degree in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley Extension.

Julies 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 13 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. Additionally, Julie is leading development of an edible schoolyard for a charter school in Richmond, California. 

With a strong background in project management, construction documentation, design detailing and conceptual rendering, Julie sees that the cohesion of landscape design and museum installation both address human scale and spatial design. Julie continues a practice of fine art, drawing the figure, and making collage. 

Julie teaches LAN 115: The Natural World.

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. He obtained his BS in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1987 and worked as Senior Landscape Architect for Walt Disney Imagineering for 7 years. 

After working as a Senior Associate at Sasaki and Owen Lang Consulting LLC, Mark founded Greenridge Studio + Workshop, a sole-proprietorship, which engages landscape architecture, master planning, and urban design alongside furniture and retail display work. 

Mark teaches LAN 250: Landscape Design Studio.

Megan Esopenko

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Megan, Senior Staff at Hargreaves Associates, holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto and a Bachelors of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning, specializing in Urban Design. Megan practiced at several leading landscape architecture and planning firms in Canada and the United States. 

Megan taught previously at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning where she taught studios and seminars on urban planning, environmental design, and graphic representation. She also worked as a design consultant at the University of Toronto, compiling student works into publications. Currently, Megan teaches LAN 678: People and the Environment, LAN 670: Regional Planning and Analysis Studio, as well as portfolio preparation courses.

Yi-Shan Chen

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Yi-Shan Chen, a licensed landscape architect, received her Bachelor's degree in Botany from National Taiwan University and her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard. With her multi-lingual, multi-cultural background, Yi-Shan 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.

Yi-Shan teaches specializes in teaching graduate landscape design studios. 

Todd Gilens

Part-Time Instructor, School of Landscape Architecture

Todd graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design with a Master’s in Landscape Architecture in 2002. Todd has been awarded numerous fellowships and residencies, also curating art installations and exhibitions across the United States. As a visual artist making artworks for unusual sites and clients, Todd’s work focuses on language, images, and ideas as real-world actors, shaping projects through dialogue with communities and other species, historical, material, and cultural investigations. Todd’s landscape design work involves transit systems, botanical gardens, arts, and conference centers, and abandoned factories and wilderness areas, among others. 

Todd teaches LAN 609: Ecological Foundations of Design and leads landscape design workshops.