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ESF Landscape Architecture Student Siela Zembsch Nominated for ASLA Award

SYRACUSE, NY – April 22, 2024 - Siela Zembsch, a student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), has been nominated for a Merit Award with the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ALSA) for exemplary work in landscape architecture.

Zembsch is a landscape architecture major with a minor in environmental writing and rhetoric.  From Galway, N.Y., she has enriched her academic journey through diverse internships. She is currently a student intern at CLA SITE, a landscape architecture, engineering, and planning firm in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. She previously served as a research associate for the Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation, a design research assistant for the Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project, and a horticulture intern at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

“Siela’s creativity and hard work truly stand out in the classroom and at her internships,” said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. “We're thrilled to celebrate her achievement and can't wait to see what she does next.”

Zembsch’s passion lies in the design of natural spaces located in public rights-of-way (ROW) corridors, such as roadway dividers and utility corridors.

“Several of my classmates and I were tasked with developing plant mixes for a range of utility corridor rights-of-way site typologies and creating a comprehensive guidebook that discusses how rights-of-way corridors can become critical corridors for biodiversity,” she said of her final studio class at ESF. “ROWs are landscapes that are often overlooked, and yet many have enormous, unrealized potential to support a rich network of pollinators and native flora.”

After graduating this May, Zembsch hopes to create spaces that can be truly functional, inclusive, beautiful, and ecologically healthy. She is especially interested in public-realm design projects that create more walkable, lively cities for all, and work that improves biodiversity and resiliency.”


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.