In celebration of World Landscape Architecture Month (#WLAM2016), this week we are profiling team members Meghan McMahon and Ezra Williams, both hailing from CTA Missoula in Montana. McMahon is a licensed landscape architect with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Cornell University. Williams is a registered landscape architect and CTA associate with a BA in Anthropology from Washington State University and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly.
DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND/EXPERTISE/SPECIALTY:
- MM: I’m a licensed PLA, and I’ve been with CTA for two years now. In the past I’ve worked for Lappas and Havener (now Surface 678), a landscape architecture firm in NC, the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense. I enjoy all kinds of projects — and the flexibility our profession offers in that you can be involved with several specialties. A cool detail or plant combination can really give a project some “wow” factor — and that’s what I strive for.
- EW: My first professional career was as a field archaeologist in cultural resource management. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong passion and an incredible opportunity. My second and current professional career is as a landscape architect. I truly enjoy working on parks and playgrounds.
WHAT MIGHT PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
- MM: I’ve just started getting into road biking, and my brother Max in CTA’s Refrigeration group has been showing me the ropes. I grew up in upstate New York and find myself pining for thunderstorms and rain. I also love gardening — which probably isn’t so much of a surprise. I enjoy painting (usually with my 3-year-old now) and I love a good book.
- EW: I’ve had a lot of great and diverse experiences in my life from shaking hands with the Dalai Lama, to climbing the pyramids of Teotihuacan, and camping in a tent for more than a thousand nights in a variety of locales from the beaches of the Bahamas to the bottom of Hells Canyon.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
- MM: I’m pretty excited to see how a high-end residence in Whitefish [MT] that I’m working on turns out; it has a lot of unique paving details and two boardwalks. I’m also working on a YMCA project, a park master plan, and a community college SD package, so a really interesting range!
- EW: Currently I’m working on a community college, a high school, a new hotel, a ranch, a park playground, and another project that is confidential. It may sound cliché, but every project is special and unique and an opportunity to learn.
WHY IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE VITAL?
- MM: Landscape architecture helps shape our interaction and perception of the world around us. It covers an amazingly broad range of environments and history — it bridges cultures. We are able to positively shape the world around us (which is pretty awesome).
- EW: Landscape architects strive to find balance between the built and natural environment, working with the native ecosystem to create, restore, or manage depending on the task at hand.
IF YOU COULD ENJOY ICE CREAM IN ANY OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
- MM: I LOVE to travel; I’ve been around the world twice, and have lived five-plus years overseas. It’d be a toss up between going back to Melbourne, Australia, or to Versailles, France.
- EW: I do like ice cream and the thing to know is that, to be enjoyed, ice cream is neither weather- nor location-dependent; however, eating chocolate chip mint ice cream with my son for the first time on the Oregon Coast was fantastic.