Sept. 14, 2016

Contact: Brenda Flood

Cal Poly Landscape Architecture Student Earns International Award of Excellence

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly landscape architecture student Brandon Cornejo earned the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Student Research Award of Excellence for his feasibility study that examined the use of epiphytes — plants with the ability to grow without soil — in landscapes.

Cornejo’s winning paper is titled “Integration of Epiphytes in Designed Landscapes.” He is among 22 student award winners selected from 271 entries representing 71 schools. The awards honor the top work of landscape architecture students in the U.S. and around the world. The winners will receive their awards Oct. 24 at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in New Orleans.

“Epiphytes could bring life to hardscapes where traditional planted systems have not thrived,” Cornejo said. “Increased opportunities for biodiversity through the use of epiphytes can improve the dynamism and resilience of integrated landscape systems in the built environment.”

Project advisor and landscape architecture Associate Professor David Watts said, “These plants could be utilized to mitigate urban micro-climates by reducing heat sinks and increasing atmospheric water capture and storage. Brandon’s study contributed to the identification of a research area that will broaden the foundation of knowledge in landscape architecture and contribute to the conversation of climate change solutions.”

For more information about the ASLA Student Awards, visit

For more information about Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Department, visit









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