The Temple Ambler Field Station held its Spring Research and Education Symposium on April 21, which highlighted the work of Field Station research interns, student interns with Freestone Labs, spotted lanternfly student researchers and students in Temple's Plant Ecology and Disturbance Ecology courses.

Design-Build: Creating a Lasting Legacy at Temple Ambler - Part I

In 1988, John Collins came to Temple Ambler to help steer fledgling four-year programs as a professor and first chair of the then new Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture.

To support the programs, he was instrumental in building a plant propagation center located next to the Hilda Justice Building on campus. Collins always envisioned the art and science of landscape architecture and horticulture as integrally intertwined.

For decades, the space provided students an opportunity to get hands on with plant propagation. While much of that hands-on experience moved to the Tyler School of Art and Architecture Greenhouse Education and Research Complex, the space remained an important reminder of Collins legacy.

In September 2021, the space did not escape the wrath of the EF2 tornado that devastated campus. During the spring 2022 semester, Michael LoFurno, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture Landscape Architecture and Horticulture programs, and students in the Landscape Architecture Junior Design Build Studio have undertaken a project to honor that legacy while helping the campus come back stronger.

“We are designing and building a vine structure in the space where the original plant propagation center once stood. We have a lot of great shrubs and trees on campus, but we don’t really have a display of vines,” LoFurno said. “We’ve been asked to create a structure to show off how vines grow, how they flower and what their habits are. In consultation with Ambler Arboretum Director Kathy Salisbury, we were charged with this idea because there had been so much damage from the hurricane and subsequent tornado. We’re trying to rebuild some of the areas that were destroyed during the storm.”

Design-Build: Creating a Lasting Legacy at Temple Ambler- Part II

We are continuing our three-part video series on the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University Landscape Architecture Junior Design-Build Studio's project to design and build a new Vine Display Garden in the Ambler Arboretum.

In Part II, Junior Landscape Architecture students Jasmine Henne and Maria Biello talk about benefit of taking a project from conception to completion.

Design-Build: Creating a Lasting Legacy at Temple Ambler - Part III

We are wrapping up our three-part video series on the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University Landscape Architecture Junior Design-Build Studio's project to design and build a new Vine Display Garden in the Ambler Arboretum.

In Part III, Junior Landscape Architecture students Madelyn Scott, Eric Zhang, and Lindsey Beck talk about the final design elements for the Vine Display Garden and what the finished structure means to them and for the campus.

Developing Innovations in Prosthetics

Developing Innovations in Prosthetics

The Engineering Senior Design (College of Engineering) is the culmination of the hard work put in by Temple’s engineering students. It offers the opportunity to put the theories and concepts learned over their engineering education at Temple into action.

Working in groups, students find a project focus, develop a plan of action, and collaborate. Some also use their projects to enter outside national or regional competitions. Several of those design studios have been working diligently on their projects at Temple University Ambler.

During the fall 2022 semester an Engineering student team consisting of James Calcagni, Carly Elizabeth Moyle, Amoyah Gilliam and Raizel Arielle Rosenberg focused their research on creating a waterproof prosthetic for showering and swimming. Their project won the Senior Design fall competition. Working in collaboration with MedEast Bionics, located at Temple Ambler, the team created a novel lower limb prosthetic which is suitable for shower use.

Because normal walking prosthetics are made with expensive non-waterproof parts, and thus cannot be taken into the shower, falls do happen here. The waterproof prosthetic crutch device was designed specifically for people with below the knee amputations to take a shower safely while standing. The design is robust and practical, but also paves the way for a device that is suitable for transfemoral amputations. The device is lightweight, adjustable, portable, compactible, and able to be produced cost effectively.

During the spring 2021 semester, the Engineering student Geothermal College Challenge Team (College of Engineering) set about studying the Hilda Justice Building at Temple University Ambler to determine ways to make the building more energy efficient and cost-effective using geothermal energy.
The team consisted of Connor Braithwaite, Michael Scanlon, Dan Aronica, Sam Peeters and Osee Mbuyi. Advisors included Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Jim Chen, Assistant Professor of Instruction Dr. Hamid Heravi, and Robert Jensen. The Senior Design project was part of the Spring 2021 Geothermal Community Collegiate Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Senior Capstone team advanced to the Nationals and were one of 15 finalists

The Geothermal Collegiate Competition engages student teams to develop — and analyze — forward-thinking concepts for energy systems using geothermal resources for a community or campus. For the competition, students assume the role of a “geothermal developer” — they propose a project and conduct a simulation activity. Selecting the Hilda Justice Building for a simulated geo-thermal application, the team was required to describe why the campus location was selected and analyze information, including the geothermal resource as well as energy consumption and cost data.

Teams also provided a preliminary economic feasibility analysis and strategy for local stakeholder engagement, making useful assessments and recommendations about geothermal usage for the University and at the Ambler Campus.  

Grace Lenart: Pursuing a Passion for Plants

Grace Lenart: Pursuing a Passion for Plants

Temple University Horticulture (Tyler School of Art and Architecture) sophomore Grace Lenart doesn't remember a time when she wasn't outside exploring the world around her.

"As a child, I was always outside, always exploring in the bogs near my house and the swamps and the forest. I feel like in school you are often told 'These are the specific jobs you can have' and you start wondering how you're supposed to fit into this whole outline of how life is supposed to work," said Lenart, who was recently surprised with a $3,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association during her Woody Plant Identification class taught by Arboretum Director Kathy Salisbury. "I started to realize how much I truly enjoyed having plants in my house. I see plants as beings and I really enjoyed taking care of them. I knew this was a way that I could express my creativity and my passion and I could make a difference." Read Grace Lenart's story.

Temple Ambler Field Station: Finding Opportunity in Recovery

Field Station Research

On September 1, the Temple Ambler Field Station was confronted with a seemingly impossible question. How do you continue in-depth research in an ecosystem that has been forever changed by a natural disaster?

The aftermath of the tornado that struck campus in September provides "an opportunity for us to understand the impact of the tornado and the recovery process of the forest within the larger context of changing disturbance regimes that are happening worldwide," said Dr. Amy Freestone, Director of the Temple Ambler Field Station. Read the full story.

Temple Ambler Field Station Invites Students to Explore Disturbance Ecology in Aftermath of Tornado

Field Station Recovery Research

Nature is dynamic. Ecosystems across the globe are defined by their disturbance regimes — disturbances that can be caused by storms, floods, fire and species interactions. On September 1, an EF2 tornado spawned by Hurricane Ida proved to be a massive and devastating disturbance to Temple University Ambler.   

The aftermath of the tornado has opened up a variety of research and educational opportunities, including new undergraduate and graduate Disturbance Ecology courses — Biology 3380 and Biology 5466 — that will be offered for the first time at Temple Ambler during the second half of spring 2022 semester. Read the full story.

Temple Landscape Architecture Student Wins Prestigious National Honor

Abigail Long recognized with national honor

Years of dedication to her craft have gained Abigail Long national recognition by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

Long, who recently graduated from the Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture's Landscape Architecture program, was named the undergraduate 2021 National Olmsted Scholar. As the undergraduate scholar in this highly competitive program, she also received a $15,000 prize.

"I am ecstatic! Being selected as the National Olmsted Scholar is a tremendous honor. I know how competitive the program is, and to say I was shocked to learn this great news is an understatement. I honestly couldn't have done it without the community at Temple Ambler," Long said. "I am incredibly grateful for the Temple Landscape Architecture faculty that nominated me for this award and especially thankful that Rob Kuper, Dr. Lolly Tai, Kathy Salisbury, and Baldev Lamba all took the time and effort to contribute to my Olmsted submission." Read Abigail Long's story

Field Station Interns Engage in Hand-On Research at Temple Ambler

Temple Students have spent the summer of 2021 engaging in advanced, hands-on research with the Temple Ambler Field Station. The interns studied everything from the distribution and persistence of invasive plants to carbon storage capacity to inventorying the diversity of spiders found in Temple Ambler's old growth forest. The interns shared insights into their research and their experiences on campus in a series of videos.

Interns with the Temple Ambler Field Station gain advanced training by engaging in hands-on research that bring alive the excitement of science through an inquiry-based experience. Student interns work alongside researchers in the field to support ongoing projects and can develop investigations of their own.

Temple Civil Engineering: Building Bridges at Temple Ambler

More and more, faculty at Temple University are making a discovery of a different sort — the Temple University Ambler campus is an invaluable resource to conduct research and engage in unique, hands-on learning opportunities in a broad array of disciplines.

During the spring 2021 semester, the Campus Lounge in Bright Hall at Temple University Ambler was often transformed into a base of operations for a team of Civil Engineering (College of Engineering) students who experienced the civil design process from start to finish. Team members included team captain Ian Nelson, Maria Drawbaugh, Trevor Girardi, Ryan Gorman, Daniel Neumann and Jake Yoder. Their task was to design and build a nearly 23-foot-long bridge for the American Institute of Steel Construction's Steel Bridge Competition. The team used the lounge in Temple Ambler's Bright Hall to practice building the bridge, which must be able to hold 2,500 pounds. The result was “Big Rusty,” a 1:10 scale model steel bridge, design considerations of which stemmed from the need for a steel bridge to cross a washed-out area of the Katy Trail State Park in Missouri. Key areas of concern include keeping deflection less than two inches for the applied load of 2,500 pounds, keeping the weight of the model under 300 lbs., and being able to construct the bridge in under 30 minutes. During the competition, the team was judged on deflection, weight, aesthetics, economy and having a clean build — the team placed third among competitors for the Mid-Atlantic Region in aesthetics!

The Engineering student design team gave special thanks to Beth Shepard-Rabadam and Susan Spinella Sacks at the Temple Ambler Campus, Rocco Sexton of North Montco Technical Career Center, Steel Bridge Team B01-B, and their advisor and coordinator, Dr. Sanghun Kim. Learn more about the College of Engineering.

Temple Engineer Students Reach New Heights to Study Climate Change

Temple Engineering students (College of Engineering) reached new heights to study climate change, engaging in a high altitude balloon launch that began with testing at Temple University Ambler and ended with a launch in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, that ascended to more than 100,000 feet above the Earth! See the full final flight in 360-degrees here

Team members included team captain Michael Sydnes, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mitchell Young, Mechanical Engineering; Karan Singh, Mechanical Engineering; Megan Ross, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Mark Oliveti, Computer Hardware and Software Engineering. Their faculty advisor and coordinator was Dr. John Helferty, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Temple University College of Engineering. The project, which won first place in the College of Engineering’s Senior Design Competition at the end of the spring 2021 semester, was designed to create an accurate, densely sampled mapping of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere using an embedded system aboard a high altitude balloon paired with a ground station. Learn more about the Design Competition.

Ultimately, the Engineering student team hopes that the high altitude ballooning project will advance collective scientific knowledge to better inform policy decisions that will ensure a prosperous climate future for humanity.

Temple University Ambler's graduates are an exemplary group of diverse students ready to begin the next chapter in their lives in a wide variety of fields, from landscape architecture and horticulture to education and criminal justice. To honor our graduating class, Temple University Ambler is profiling just a few of the shining examples of our graduating class each year. See their profiles here. View their video profiles at Temple Ambler's YouTube page.

Read their full stories:

Sam Emory: Envisioning Ways to Heal the Soil

Since early 2020, an aging metal hulk has sat lifeless and dormant on a mile-long stretch of coastline where the Schuylkill transitions to the Delaware River in Southwest Philadelphia. In 2019, an accident at the 1,300-acre Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery — the largest refinery on the East Coast at the time — set off a series of explosions that released more than 5,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride, a deadly gas, and sent pieces of shrapnel weighing more than 19 tons raining down on the site.

While the site has been purchased by a new developer with the likely intention of continuing industrial use, Sam Emory, a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLArch) student in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, has an altogether different vision for the location — an ecologically sound answer to the question “What do you do with an old refinery about the size of Center City Philadelphia?” Read the full story.

Celebrating "30 Under 30" - Diana Fernandez

Celebrating "30 Under 30" - Diana Fernandez

Temple University is celebrating 30 young alumni who are designing their own futures and making a better tomorrow for all of us. They are the disruptors, visionaries and advocates who are changing the world.

At Temple Ambler, we couldn't be prouder that two of the honorees are Ambler Campus alumni. We'd like to introduce you to Diana Fernandez, TYL '12.

Together, Temple Owls work to ensure all perspectives are represented. These fearless leaders, like Diana Fernandez, are championing values of inclusivity, creating new pathways for marginalized groups and facilitating crucial conversations.

Diana Fernandez, TYL '12, knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world. Now, as a landscape architect in global design firm Sasaki Associates' Boston office, Fernandez literally shapes the soil and builds environments in locations across the country.

"Temple really enabled me as a nontraditional college student to thrive and find the resources I needed," she said. Read her story

Celebrating "30 Under 30" - Julie Bare

Celebrating "30 Under 30" - Julie Bare

Temple University is celebrating 30 young alumni who are designing their own futures and making a better tomorrow for all of us. They are the disruptors, visionaries and advocates who are changing the world.

We'd like to introduce you to Julie Bare, TYL '12. When Julie Bare first came to Temple, she had never even heard the word "horticulture" before. Now, the senior estate gardener at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Meadowbrook Farm has made it her calling.

"I can't believe how lucky I am that this is the world that I fell into," she said "I had no idea that Philadelphia is America's garden capital." Read more of Julie's story.

Engineering Senior Design: Learning to Fly on the Ground

The Senior Design capstone has seen student teams help to create solutions across disciplines, from improving healthcare outcomes to restoring suburban wetlands. The Light Aircraft Dynamic Flight Control Simulator (LA-DFCS) team (College of Engineering), working primarily out of Temple University's Ambler campus, is hoping to eventually see evidence of their work by looking up toward the sky.

"The main objective is to develop a safe and low-cost solution to train pilots to fly small aircrafts through a dynamic flight simulator for a Cirrus SR22 plane," team member and engineering management major Michael Hiltwine shared. "This simulator will be the first of its kind using the cockpit of an actual Cirrus SR22 aircraft, with the intention of giving the most realistic experience for flying an aircraft."

The team hopes to mitigate some of the barriers toward learning to fly a small aircraft through a realistic experience in the cockpit. Naturally, a project of this nature is costly, challenging the team to be budget-conscious while providing a quality product to the end-user. Read the full story.

Mariana Bonfim: Research and Teaching as Connecting Bridges Between People and Nature

Dr. Mariana Bonfim, a Research Assistant with the Temple Ambler Field Station, has been thinking a lot lately about relationships. But not in the way you might think.

“Nature has a lot of different patterns, but why is an organism exactly the way it is? Why do sea anemones, for example, attach to hermit crabs? What is that relationship bringing to each of them?” asked Bonfim, 29, who arrived at Temple and Field Station Director Dr. Amy Freestone’s Freestone Lab in 2015 having already amassed years of diverse research and teaching experience in Brazil. “For me, what I think is the most interesting thing about ecology as an aspect of biology is that it doesn’t just look at how things are but at why they are the way they are. That’s the beauty in ecology; it tries to understand the system and how everything is connected.” Read Mariana Bonfim’s story.

Mary Cortese: Taking a Deep Dive into Marine Science

Mary Cortese, a PhD candidate in Biology at Temple University and Research Assistant with the Temple Ambler Field Station and Freestone Lab, is not afraid to dive right into her interests. In fact, she prefers it.

You’re as likely to find her below the water as above it, all in the service of leaving the planet a better place than she found it and educating others on the importance of doing the same.

“As a research assistant, I am very excited about being involved in a lot of community engagement and community outreach. I think back on to my childhood and the opportunities I had to be outside and explore,” said Cortese, who arrived at Temple University in August 2019. “Even if it wasn’t in a structured setup — even just walking through the woods with my Dad, or going to (the Great Smoky Mountains) National Park — there are so many benefits that come from that. With the Temple Ambler Field Station, I want to be able to say ‘Come outside and be outside with us.’ I think that’s a huge benefit to the community.” Read Mary Cortese’s story.

Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Programs Win Top Honors at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Programs Win Top Honors at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Months of hard work, dedication and teamwork have certainly paid off for students and faculty in the Temple Tyler School of Art and Architecture's Landscape Architecture and Horticulture programs!

Their 2020 Flower Show Exhibit, Course of Action: A Radical Tack for Suburban Tracts, has been recognized with top honors. Course of Action was presented with a PHS Gold Medal, awarded to a major exhibit that receives 95 or more points out of 100 in the criteria of design, horticulture, plantsmanship and educational value; the Alfred M. Campbell Memorial Trophy, given to the "educational major exhibit that demonstrates the most successful use of a variety of plants in a unique fashion," and a PHS Gold Medal Plant Award, which is given for the best use of PHS Gold Medal plants in a major exhibit. Read the full story.

Temple Ambler at the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show: In the Greenhouse

Temple University Ambler at the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show: Design and Construction

Temple Ambler at the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show: Showtime!