• Hanne Nilsberg

    Hanne Nilsberg

    • Website:Temple Ambler Campus News and Announcements
    • It is the extremely rare student that comes to Temple University Ambler via Norway. Landscape Architecture senior Hanne Nilsberg is, fortunately, one of those rarities.

      “I discovered Temple University Ambler and Temple’s Landscape Architecture program on a list of programs provided by the Norwegian Landscape Architecture Association. I had been an exchange student in Florida and my family has traveled extensively in the United States, but I had never been to the Philadelphia region,” said Nilsberg, who graduated with her Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture on May 9. “I loved how open and diverse Temple seemed and the landscape architecture program had a great reputation. Philadelphia also seemed like a great place with great opportunities to learn and grow.”

      Nilsberg said it was her father who introduced her to the idea of landscape architecture as a profession.

      “I’ve always had a love of nature, which I think originated with my grandparents. I knew I wanted to find something that incorporated both design and a love of the land,” she said. “My Dad works with engineers and architects who have a love of nature and design. The more I heard about the field, the more excited I became.”

      Nilsberg said Temple Ambler’s “tightknit community” provides the opportunity to “get to know all of your professors and tap into their knowledge and experience.”

      “You build a family here very quickly. I’ve had the chance to work with students in different disciplines, particularly horticulture, and I wish I had even more opportunities to do so,” she said.  “This space feels like our space. You’re not some cubicle dweller grinding through a task; you’re interacting in meaningful ways with the designs, the plants, your professors and your fellow students.”

      During her junior year, Nilsberg was part of the team that designed and built Temple’s multiple award-winning 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit, “Within Reach: Unlocking the Legacy of our Hidden River,” which explored natural and human-induced effects on the Schuylkill River.

      “I didn’t even know this amazing experience was part of the program when I started out,” she said. “Seeing your construction drawings, how your plans can change as the concept becomes reality — how meticulous the design has to be to be successful — there’s really no other project like it.”

      Nilsberg said as she has continued through the program, she has developed a particular interest in urban landscape architecture.

      “As students, we’ve had the opportunity to work on designs in a wide variety of environments — suburban, rural, natural, urban. It’s a real challenge creating natural spaces that, hopefully, the community will use and enjoy, between the buildings in urban centers,” she said. “My goal is to create inviting outdoor spaces within urban landscapes that people will want to use, particularly children. I want to bring some of the natural world back to these built environments.”

      For her most recent project — a personal favorite, Nilsberg said — she designed a green roof for the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Main Campus.

      “I think that’s my niche in urban landscape architecture — I love researching and creating green roofs. There are so many benefits to green roof systems, from cleaning stormwater runoff to diminishing the heat sink in cities,” she said. “Beyond that, I think they make buildings more interesting. It’s all about finding new ways to bring nature to the city.”

      As an international student, Nilsberg said she has “fallen in love with Philadelphia.”

      “It’s truly become my second home,” she said. “I have friends tell me I know more about Philly than they do and they’ve lived her their whole lives!”

      At Temple Ambler, Nilsberg has become a staple of the campus community as an Owl Ambassador, treasurer for the Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Association and a student worker at the Ambler Campus Tech Center — “I wanted to learn more about the programs we were using in class.”

      “I’ve been very lucky to be able to experience the Main Campus and Ambler Campus communities,” she said. “Inside and outside of the classroom, it’s been a lot of work, but I like being challenged.”

      Degree in hand, Nilsberg will soon be heading back to Norway where she has a landscape architecture position waiting for her at Multiconsult in Fredrikstad. She’ll start there in earnest after a cross-country trip of the U.S. with her sister Kathrine, taking in the sites in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville, New Orleans and finishing the journey in Texas.

      “Multiconsult is a multidisciplinary firm with several offices in Norway. I’ll be working with engineers, architects and geologists,” she said. “Temple has definitely set me on the right path and expanded my knowledge. I know how to create outdoor rooms and present designs to real-world clients. I think I’m ready for whatever the profession asks of me.”

      Her advice to students just starting their landscape architecture journey?

      “Take advantage of the opportunities you are given. Get involved on campus as early as possible,” she said. “Get to know your teachers and make use of their networks — they want you to succeed. If you have a particular interest in something, they may know someone in the industry, which could lead to an internship or the first step in your professional career.”

      Article Written by Jim Duffy, MSEd Public Relations and Website Coordinator. 

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  • Alexis Bacon

    2016 BSHort - Alexis Bacon: Planting Seeds For The Future

      Horticulture major Alexis Bacon doesn’t consider herself an entrepreneur, but she should.

      She had already started two businesses before she turned 24, including a gardening business for several landowners in Chester County. Add in tutoring students in math, English and history outside of Temple and teaching a photography elective at her former high school and it’s clear that Bacon, 24, of Pottstown, knows a little something about self motivation. 

      It’s a trait she might have picked up from her grandfather, Erwin Bacon.

      “My grandfather’s retirement plan consisted of moving to Cornish, Maine, where he had a wonderful view of Mount Washington,” said Bacon, who will graduate from Temple with a degree in Horticulture. “After reading a book about it, he started his own blueberry farm; he was completely self taught. I think that’s something I try to emulate — he was never afraid to simply try it and see what came of it. I’ve always admired that about him.”

      Bacon worked at her grandfather’s farm during the summers in 2011 and 2012, assisting with farm advertising and promotion and digging in for various horticultural tasks from pruning and mowing to weeding and harvesting. Working outside has never been something Bacon has shied away from. In fact her life has been centered on quite the opposite.

      “Every memory I have from my childhood occurred outside. If it happened in the living room, I don’t really remember anything about it,” she laughed. “If it happened outside by the persimmon tree, it’s as clear as day.”

      Her parents, Seth and Sandra Bacon, kept a thriving vegetable garden and various perennials, Bacon said. Seth Bacon is also a soil scientist, focusing on wetland delineation. 

      “Growing up provided me the perfect motivation to go into horticulture,” she said.

      Bacon, however, arrived at Temple by taking the scenic route. She began her college career at Smith College in Northampton, Maine. She was initially an Architecture major with a minor in Landscape Studies. Transferring to Temple after her sophomore year, “I knew I wanted my future to be outside,” she said.

      “I had heard that Temple had a very good Horticulture program. I came for a visit and was very impressed by the people at Temple Ambler,” she said. “When I first starting looking for college, I think I looked at 18 or 19 places and then looked even more. Temple was the first place that I felt at home; that I felt fit my personality.”

      While attending Temple, Bacon has expanded her horticultural knowledge outside of the classroom with part-time positions in the industry. At Bromm’s Lullaby Farms in Fountainville, she worked in the garden center and also developed some of the business’s marketing materials. At Bucks Country Gardens in Doylestown she assisted in the perennial, annual and pond departments in addition to designing and planning seasonal containers.

      Between work and school, she also managed to become self taught in photography and start her own “botanical photography greeting card business,” selling her wares in five specialty stories before opting to focus on school and maintaining her impressively high grade point average. On campus, she also helped to found the Ambler Arts Association, providing artists and photographers an outlet to show off their talents to the University community.

      “It was not hard to take on a leadership role and get something started on campus,” she said. “Everyone at Ambler has always been very supportive of students’ ideas and endeavors.”

      Bacon said her true passion remains plants and teaching others about them. After graduation, her next stop is the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College where she will be their Education intern for the next year.

      “I’m looking forward to working at Scott Arboretum and combining horticulture with education,” she said. “I think it will be a job that allows me to combine my interests in writing, photography and teaching with my love of plants and the outdoors. It’s a natural fit.”

      Down the road, Bacon said she would like to teach gardening and the sciences and plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching or forestry. Nearer term, but not right away, she’d like to head to Scotland and explore “WWOOFING,” short for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

      “It’s an organization that connects volunteers with organic farms and growers,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to travel, to learn more about horticulture and organic farming all over the world. That’s not something I’d pass up.”

      Temple’s horticulture program, Bacon said, highlights “practical, hands-on opportunities that have provided me with a wide range of experiences.”

      “I know what the field is about. I know what careers are out there and I’m ready with the skills to be a part of it,” she said. “Temple, I think, gives students the opportunity and independence to do their own thing, to find their true passion. For one project, I talked to a teacher about going into the woodland garden and setting up a research plot; it was an amazing experience! Where else could you take a piece of campus and make it your own?”

      Article Written by Jim Duffy, MSEd Public Relations and Website Coordinator.  Temple University Ambler Administration Building 

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  • Thomas Amoroso

      Thomas Amoroso, PLA, ASLA, CSLA (BSLA '97) is a principal at Andropogon—a firm committed to creating beautiful and evocative landscapes inspired by the careful observation of natural processes and informed by the best environmental science. With more than 14 years of professional experience, he leverages his background in ecological design and construction to guide projects through complex issues and approval processes.

      Amoroso’s projects range from detailed site designs to academic and corporate campus master plans, including the United States Coast Guard Headquarters Building and the Sidwell Friends School Athletics Facility, both in Washington D.C.; as well as Temple University’s Health Sciences Campus Framework Plan, in collaboration with Payette, and Shoemaker Green at the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.