Ruth Nervig, an Master of Landscape Architecture major at The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, is a 2017 National Olmsted Scholars Program finalist. The honor is for her thesis project on drinking water and hydraulic infrastructure in southern Senegal. The Olmsted Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students.
Nervig first became interested in landscape architecture as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching sustainable agriculture techniques in rural Senegal. For her thesis project, Nervig walked an east-west transect through a rapidly urbanizing city, mapping seasonal and spatial variations in water access and hydraulic infrastructure.
“I worked with another American MLA student and a Senegalese farmer to establish the survey scope, route and questions, and I carried out a survey in the city over January,” said Nervig, who designed a soft infrastructure network that preserves the connection to the hydrologic cycle in that city. “The thesis project is based around the responses and observations that I made on that trip.”
Her long-term plan after graduating this June is to teach in West Africa and introduce landscape architecture to students through a curriculum that she hopes to develop.
“CCNY has challenged me to think broadly; I can work towards changing the dialogue about climate change and human settlements as urbanization rates increase in the future,” she said.
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