Timothy R. Toland | Landscape Architecture | SUNY-ESF
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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
Timothy Toland

Timothy R. TolandAssociate Professor

313 Marshall Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6969/470-6544

Email: trtoland@esf.edu

My Approach

I'm interested in design, in all of its definitions. If we consider design as a process that is meant to solve issues in a creative and influential way, design can then be done at the smallest site detail level as well as the large regional level. I believe fully that the best projects are those that consider this broad range of scales. Each site is influenced by its context, and the individual decisions made on a site can impact adjoining properties, neighborhoods, cities and area beyond. Every decision is important, and designers need to understand that the decisions they make have potential consequences, but more importantly, when thoughtfully considered, have the ability to facilitate positive change.

The problems of contemporary society are complex, so I like to work on projects that allow input from multiple disciplines. The best designs are not created in a vacuum, but are made better by the collective effort of a team of people who each contribute their own perspectives and knowledge to create more robust solutions to design problems.

I tend to work with students and colleagues who share this viewpoint, and strive to teach principles of sustainability and holistic systems design that are beautiful, functional, meaningful, and enduring. My teaching style works from the idea that in order to master something, you first must understand its basic principles fully. With that understanding we can then manipulate the elements of design in creative ways that will allow them to work and last.


  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry - MLA, 1998
  • SUNY Cobleskill - BT Plant Science, 1994
  • SUNY Cobleskill - AAS Landscape Development, 1992
  • Lock Haven State University of Pennsylvania - Pre-Engineering, 1989

Practice Experience

  • Edge Effects Design, Founder and Principal, Syracuse, NY (2006-Present)
  • LandDesign, Inc., Charlotte, NC (2002-2005) Landscape Architect, Project Manager
  • Knight & Stolar, Cleveland, OH (2001-2002), Landscape Designer
  • LandDesign, Inc., Alexandria, VA (1999-2001), Landscape Designer, Project Manager
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (1998-1999), Computer Aided Visualization Lab Manager

Teaching Experience

  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Associate Professor (2012-Present)
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Assistant Professor (2005-2012)
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Graduate Assistant (1995-1998)

Professional Registration and Organizations

  • Licensed Landscape Architect (New York, North Carolina and Ohio)
  • LEED Accredited Professional (2008)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA, member, 2006-2014)
  • Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (ASLA representative, 2006-2014)

Notable Projects

  • Optimizing Biofiltration Drainage Media to Target Specific Stormwater Pollutants (2017-Present).
    • Funded by NYSERDA
    • We are testing different bioretention media mixes to see how well they handle nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals while also meeting their stormwater management objectives. Part of this exploration is understanding the role that different sand fractions play in regulating media permeability. This is a 5 year study, so stay tuned.
  • Gateway Building Green Roof. SUNY-ESF. Syracuse, NY. (2012-Present)
    • Funded by NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation
    • We just completed a final report that summarizes the results from both the Alvar-Dune study and the Gateway Center Green Roof project. These two projects identified several native species that could be used on semi-intensive, non-irrigated green roofs. See the full report for more details! Special thanks to NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for providing the grant that supported the Gateway Project.
  • Alvar-Dune Green Roof Study. SUNY-ESF. Syracuse, NY (2010-2012)
  • Campus Master Plan. SUNY-ESF. Syracuse, NY. (2006 – 2008)
  • Sustaining the Green Master Plan. SUNY-ESF. Syracuse, NY (2006 – 2008).
  • Understanding Urban Ecology. 2010. Urban Design for Long-Term Sustainability. Hall, Myrna, et. al. (2010 – Present)
  • Greening the U.S. Mission. U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Geneva, Switzerland. August 2010
  • West Lakeshore Drive Conceptual Development Plan. Colchester, VT. (2007-2008)


  • ASLA Outstanding Service Award, National Award (2013)
  • SUNY-ESF Special Recognition Award for contributions to students (2012)
  • SUNY Cobleskill Distinguished Landscape Alumnus (2007)
  • Sigma Lamda Alpha, Nu Chapter. National Landscape Architecture Honor Society (1996)

Courses Taught

  • LSA 227 - Foundation Design Studio Design II
  • LSA 327 - Landscape Architectural Design Studio II
  • LSA 333 - Plant Materials
  • LSA 343/696 - Landscape Materials and Structures
  • LSA 422 - Landscape Architectural Design Studio III
  • LSA 423 - Landscape Architectural Design Studio IV
  • LSA 425 - Orientation for Off-Campus Studio
  • LSA 433/633 - Planting Design and Practice
  • LSA 458/459/460 - Off-Campus Studio
  • LSA 552 - Graphic Communication
  • LSA 601 - Graduate Design Studio II
  • LSA 620 - Graduate Design Studio III



Peer Reviewed

Understanding Urban Ecology. Ongoing. Chapter co-author (S.A.W. Diemont). Peer review comments received. Undergoing revisions.


Lin, H., S.A.W. Diemont, T. Toland, D. Daley, W. Tao, D. Johnson, 2013. Vermifiltration ecological treatment for the re-use of food waste digestate. Water Environment Research. November 2013, volume 85, number 11, pp. 2184-2193. 


Way, T., Matthews, C., Rottle, N., and Toland, T. 2012. Greening the campus: learning from four campus master plans. Planning for Higher Education. Winter 2012.


Toland, T.R. and S.A.W. Diemont. 2009. Is there something better than LEED? Using emergy analysis as an alternative way to evaluate sustainability. Proceedings of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Conference. January 14th-17th, 2009 Tucson, AZ.


Non-Peer Reviewed

Daley, Douglas, Timothy Toland, Donald Leopold. 2014. Design and Performance of an Intensive Green Roof System using Native Plant Communities in Upstate New York. Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference Proceedings.


Select Presentations
  • ASLA National Convention. 2013. Boston, NY. Feasibility of Native Species and Natural Communities on Green Roof.
  • International Phytotechnologies Conference. 2013 (invited). Syracuse, NY. The Use of Native Plants on an Intensive Green Roof. Initial Results.  
  • ESF Faculty Colloquium. 2011 (invited). Dewitt, NY. Panelist. Collaborations as College-wide Synergies.
  • Growing Green Infrastructure. 2010. Syracuse, NY.  Panelist. Green Infrastructure Industry Jobs, Growth, and Needs.
  • Growing Green Infrastructure. 2010. Syracuse, NY. Natural Plant Communities as Green Roof Templates.
  • Growing Green Infrastructure. 2010. Syracuse, NY. Less In, Less Out.
  • Environmental and Energy Systems. 2010. Poster. Syracuse, NY. Native Ecosystems as Templates for Green Roof Plant Selection.
  • US Mission to the United Nations. 2010. Geneva, Switzerland. Panelist. Sustainable Landscape Architecture.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension. 2010. Continuing Education Course. Syracuse, NY. Right Plant, Right Place.
  • ESF Faculty Colloquium. 2010. Dewitt, NY. Panelist. Maximum Impact via Teaching, Research or Service.
  • Green Building Conference Syracuse. 2010. Syracuse, NY. Using Rain Gardens in Northern Climates.
  • Central New York Nursery and Landscape Association. 2009. Skaneateles, NY. Designing your Way to Sustainability.
  • Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). 2008. Tucson, AZ. Is There Something Better Than LEED?
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). 2008 Savannah, GA. Design Education as a Vehicle to Creating the Sustainable Campus.
  • Syracuse University Administration. 2008. Syracuse, NY. Using Green Infrastructure.
  • American Society of Landscape Architects. 2008. Philadelphia, PA. Four Quads and Seven Mowers Ago.
  • SCUP43. 2008. Montreal, Canada. How Green Is It?
  • NY Assoc. of Physical Plant Administrators. 2008. Syracuse, NY. Assessing the Sustainable Campus.
  • NY Assoc. of Physical Plant Administrators. 2008. Syracuse, NY. Designing the Sustainable Campus.
  • SUNY ESF Trustees. 2008. Syracuse, NY. Campus Master Plan.
  • SUNY ESF Alumni Association. 2008. Syracuse, NY. Campus Master Plan.
  • Ecological Landscaping Conference. 2007. Cleveland, OH. Practicing What we Teach.
  • American Society of Landscape Architects, Upstate Chapter. 2007. Binghamton, NY. Practicing What we Teach.
  • Men’s Garden Club of Syracuse. 2007. Dewitt, NY. Structures. Elevating your Gardens.
  • Northeast Plant Symposium. 2006. Mexico, NY. Alternatives to Invasives.
  • Sigma Lambda Alpha. 2006. Syracuse, NY. 10 Years and Counting.