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Jessica Bundy: Guest Speaker

It’s always interesting to learn about landscape architects working in places where you may not at first expected. Such is the case of Jessica Bundy, a former MLA graduate from UTK who now works for the National Parks Service. More specifically, Jessica is a Facility Operations Specialist for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail which runs through much of the Eastern United States from Maine to Georgia ending just north of Atlanta. The job comes with some interesting challenges and duties some of which align with what landscape architects do normally, and others not so much. Much of what Jessica does is related to the management and maintenance of the trail and its surrounding landscapes. Working with other park officers she periodically takes “viewshed surveys” from key points along the trail. These are used in consultation to local organizations, businesses, or residents who may be looking to build near the trail. If the construction is deemed to significantly alter the view of the landscape from the trail then Jessica and the NPS have the authority to order corrections or relocation of the project. Though Jessica does do some small design on occasion, much of the work is actually directed to one of two design consulting centers maintained by the NPS: the Olmstead Center for cultural landscape preservation projects, and the Denver Service Center for new built projects. To be honest, if I were to work with the NPS I would have a hard time choosing between doing design work in one of the service centers or getting to have the Appalachian Trail as my backyard.

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