Landscape Architecture: A STEM Profession
What is STEM?
The National Science Foundation (NSF) definition of STEM fields includes mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences – psychology, economics, sociology, and political science.
STEM education and training provides the United States with three kinds of intellectual capital:
- Scientists and engineers who continue the research and development that is central to the economic growth of our country;
- Technologically proficient workers who are able to keep pace with rapidly developing scientific and engineering innovations; and
- Scientifically literate voters and citizens who make intelligent decisions about public policy and who understand the world around them.
To achieve this expanded human capital, STEM initiatives are aimed at improving the educational experience from elementary school to graduate education, and thus prepare students to eventually solve not only current problems but also unimagined ones of the future. (UC Davis, STEM Strategies)
“The term STEM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels—from pre-school to post-doctorate—in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings.” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview (National Science Foundation (NSF)/Congressional Research Service, June 12, 2018)
Landscape Architecture is a STEM Discipline
Landscape architecture is inherently a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) discipline. Landscape architects, as stewards of the natural and built environment, routinely apply STEM in the planning and design of sites where millions of people live, work, and play. (UC Davis STEM Strategies)