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Mr. Dennis R Nola



Plant Science & Landscape Architecture 2102 Plant Sciences Building 4291 Fieldhouse Drive College Park, Maryland 20742



Dennis R. Nola, PLA, ASLA: Biography

Dennis R. Nola is the BLA Program Chair in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland.  He is a graduate of  Pennsylvania State University (1979) with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and is currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Management at the University of Maryland, University College.  His teaching focus, over the past 30 years, is conservation and environmental based site planning and urban agriculture; he also teaches two study abroad courses in Italy and New Zealand while maintaining a private consulting practice.

He contributes his volunteer work with the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization, CDC and is serving as the First Vice-President of the Board of Directors.  He participated in the application and receipt of a Community Legacy Grant, county and state funding commitments, and contributions totalling $341,000 for a rain garden/forest edge garden designed by his students in a graduate site planning studio and to be built spring of 2017.


  • First Vice-President, Board of Directors of the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization (CKAR), Community Development Corporation focused on revitalizing Riverdale, Md. through a community involved sustainable masterplan developed by undergraduate students in a site planning studio Dennis co-taught with Brian Kane, ASLA in 2007.

  • Member of the Education Abroad Advisory Board (EAAB), University of Maryland, 2012-Present

  • Member of the Architecture, Landscape Review Board (ALRB), University of Maryland, 1995-Present

  • Appointed by Governor O’Malley to the State Architectural Review Board, 2014-2018

  • Volunteered conceptual site plan development services (accepted travel expenses only) in the development of the master plan of SIAS University, Zhengzhou, China, 2000-2004

  • Member at large, Maryland Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (MDASLA)

  • President, of the (MDASLA), 2013-2014

  • Member of Policy Committee, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2014-present

  • Trustee, MDASLA 2016-2019

  • CLARB volunteer grader for the LARE, 2005, 2008

  • Instructor for preparation classes for the Architecture and Landscape Architecture licensing exams

  • Licensed and registered in the state of Maryland, 1984-Present, RLA# 579


BSLA, Pennsylvania State University, 1979
2012-present (in progress), Master of Environmental Management, University of Maryland, University CollegeMDASLA Honor Award, wetland development  in the Patuxent River Park, MD,1983

Awards and Honors:

  • MDASLA Honor Award, planning and analysis, National Agriculture Library (NAL), 2014 (Principal Investigator on grant sponsored by the NAL, led the design team of 4 Landscape Architecture students and an archivist).

  • Neighborhood Design Center, Project of the Year, Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization, 2008 (See project described in service category)

  • Outstanding Faculty Nomine, 2001,2004


Areas of Interest: 

Urban agriculture and social justice of equitable urban revitalization

Current Research: 

Co-created a new course in Urban Agriculture, LARC 151, with Dr. David Myers to explore urban agriculture issues and applications.


PLSC321 LANDSCP STRUCT&MATERIALS Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
LARC151 URBAN AGRICULTURE Fall 2014, Fall 2016
LARC160 INTRO LANDSCP ARCH Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017
LARC188A PUBLIC SPACES Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2015, Summer 2016
LARC265 SITE ANALYSIS & ECO PRIN Fall 2014, Fall 2016
LARC321 LANDSCAPE STRUCT & MATRL Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
LARC340 SITE PLNG & DSGN STUDIO Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016
LARC420 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall, 2015
LARC489A ITALY ARCH Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014, Summer 2015, Summer 2016
LARC489N SUSTAINABLE CULTURE & EARTH: NEW ZLD Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016, Winter 2017
LARC641 GRADUATE STUDIO II Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017


LARC 151: Urban Agriculture: Designing and Assessing Edible Landscapes
Students will examine the growing development of urban agriculture and edible landscapes. Urban agriculture has seen a recent growth and interest in cities across the globe. From Paris to New York, from Baltimore to Detroit, urban agriculture is an emerging land use to address a variety of needs. Redevelopment, food deserts, community engagement and environmental justice are just some of the issues and topics that are connected to the recent growth of urban agriculture. This course will take a critical examination of urban agriculture's contribution to the food system, its input and outputs in the urban landscape, and the planning and design of urban agriculture and edible landscapes.

LARC 160: Introduction to Landscape Architecture
History, theory, philosophy and current practice of the profession of landscape architecture. Explores the interactive relationship between humans and their environment by examining people's perceptions of and changing attitude towards the landscape, as well as, an examination of how these are related to ecological and cultural influences.

LARC 340: Site Planning and Design Studio
An examination of the influence of landscape character and site features (natural and cultural) on landscape architecture, architecture and planning through application in the studio setting.

LARC 420: Professional Practice
An introduction to and comparative study of the professional concerns of design firms. Focus on planning, legal, ethical, marketing and management considerations of interdisciplinary practices.

LARC 641: Graduate Studio II
Principles and techniques of site analysis, environmental design and site development for human settlements and interaction with natural systems. Will expand analytical skills through complex site design problems. Students will research, observe and apply low impact development and sustainable practices, become familiar with building and landscape types by investigating alternative arrangements on the land, and understand user needs and design for populations with a range of abilities. Will support LEED and sustainable practices and acknowledge the requirements of public health, safety, and welfare.

LARC 489A: Architectural Identity, Place Making, and Town Planning
This course is offered as a study abroad option to Italy. This 3-credit, 3-week course is directed and led by Dennis Nola. The study includes visits to Pompeii, Capri, Florence, the Italian Riviera, and Rome. Students will respond by communicating their observations and experiences in one of three methodologies (sketching, photography, or writing).

LARC 489N: New Zealand: Culture and Earth: Transformation and Adaptation
This program investigates the unique land forms and geology of the stunningly beautiful country of New Zealand and its unique and varied geologic forms, including thermal springs, geysers, caves, glaciers, plant life, fjords, and beaches. This course explores the country and its culture, engaging students in tours, hikes, excursions, and visits to museums, universities, and farm demonstrations. Of equal importance will be an investigation of cultural issues related to the colonization of the Maoris by the English settlers. Students will track the history of colonization from the introduction of English settlers to the present through the influences and challenges that have unfolded. New Zealand is the land of extreme sports and remarkable natural beauty. Time and opportunity will be given to individual pursuits such as bungee jumping, sky-diving, and whitewater rafting. A special visit will be provided to the Hobbit village movie set that was used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings. Students will also explore Auckland, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef glacier, Rotorua, Matamata, Hobbiton, Waitangi, 90 mile beach, and Waitomo.

LARC140: Graphic Fundamentals Studio

LARC320: Principles of Site Engineering 
The study and application of landscape construction principles as applied to grading, drainage, site layout, storm water management, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation.

LARC321: Landscape Structures and Materials
An examination of the use, properties, and detailing of materials used in landscape construction. The use and design of structures in the landscape. 

PLSC155: Graphic Applications for Landscape Management

PLSC200: Land Surveying

PLSC255: Landscape Design and Implementation

PLSC320: Principles of Site Engineering

PLSC321: Landscape Structures and Materials