Morph image of ISU Landscape Architecture Building and College of Design Building



Regional landscape analysis is the application of computer-based Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to landscape planning and natural resource management in the form of descriptive and predictive models for land use suitability, site selection, route selection, and environmental impact assessment.

Click here to view my curriculum vita.



My undergraduate teaching responsibilities include studios in landscape inventory and analysis, master planning, and computer graphics. My graduate teaching responsibilities include courses in research methods, GIS modeling, and computer graphics. I also teach independent studies courses in landscape planning and computer applications to both undergraduate students and graduate students.

Along with these teaching responsibilities, I advise undergraduate students, teach graduate thesis tutorials, serve as major professor, direct thesis research, and serve on graduate students' program of study committees.

Service and outreach
I recently chaired the College of Design Computer Task Force, which prepared a long range strategic plan for use of computer and communications technology. In the past, I have led the department curriculum committee, department advising committee, department graduate program committee, college computer committee, college advising committee, university graduate curriculum committee, and university computer access and instruction committee. I also have been a member of the college computer committee, graduate college cabinet, university curriculum committee, university computer committee, university computer fee allocation committee, university remote sensing committee, and university GIS committee.

I served as interim chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture in 1991-92. In addition, I assist government land management agencies in developing and applying geographic information systems to landscape planning projects. My assistance has taken the form of extension service consulting, studio projects, and funded research, through both the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Department of Agronomy.

I conduct research and outreach projects in regional landscape analysis through the application of digital Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Projects emphasize landscape planning and natural resource management using descriptive and predictive GIS models for land use suitability, site selection, route selection, and environmental impact assessment. My role is to integrate applications of GIS technology in research on soil resource management and landscape planning.

Five current or recent research and outreach projects include (1) predictive archaeological site GIS modeling in the Raccoon River Greenbelt in Dallas County and in Camp Dodge in Johnston, (2) GIS descriptive modeling of historic vegetation in Iowa using Government Land Office maps and notes, (3) GIS modeling of alternative floodplain land uses and management in the deep loess region of Southwest Iowa, (4) Iowa wetlands and riparian areas conservation plan, and (5) GIS descriptive modeling of agricultural land use changes in Iowa. Research is sponsored by the Dallas County Conservation Board, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa National Guard, Iowa Legislative Service Bureau, Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, and others.

Significant accomplishments in teaching, service, outreach, and research are described below.

Professional mission

fridolph.jpg (10468 bytes)My teaching, service, outreach, and research activities have been guided by the belief that successful integration of all three through applied projects brings valuable benefits to students, Iowa State University programs, the people of Iowa, and resource planning and management professionals. As a member of two departments, I have a special opportunity to integrate soil survey information and landscape planning through research, then share the results through teaching and outreach activities.

Students benefit by working on integrated research and outreach projects that enrich their academic experiences and, at the same time, contribute to enhanced environmental quality in Iowa. ISU programs benefit through increased interdisciplinary capabilities that provide quality educational experiences and increased capacity for research using computer and communication technology. The people of Iowa benefit through resource planning assistance with the goal of improving environmental quality in Iowa and the quality of life for Iowans. Resource management professionals benefit through assistance in transferring and applying appropriate technology, and strengthening their abilities to apply Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to complex issues in Iowa and elsewhere.

My teaching in landscape design, landscape planning, construction, computer graphics, and research methods emphasizes  hands-on tools and techniques, supported by a complete grounding in supporting concepts and professional procedures. My research in Geographic Information Systems emphasizes development and applications of computer and communication technology to resource planning and management throughout the state. My outreach activities in landscape planning and soil resource management provide technical assistance to resource professionals who face real-world problems in their resource planning and management responsibilities. I believe that my emphasis on creative, practical, problem-solving approaches to meeting the needs of students, residents, and resource professionals provides the maximum benefits to Iowa State University, especially the Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Agronomy, College of Design, and College of Agriculture.

Mission statement

My professional mission is to successfully integrate teaching, research, and outreach in a way that benefits students and project sponsors. That is, students, resource planning and management professionals, and residents of Iowa all gain from projects in my classes and from my research and outreach activities. I believe, as Ernest Boyer describes in Scholarship Revisited (1990), that diverse functions of scholarship are complementary, not competitive.

More specifically,  my professional mission is to offer assistance to students, the profession, and residents of Iowa in the areas of landscape planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computer graphics, environmental stewardship, resource management, research methods, writing skills, graduate education, student employment, design and planning processes, international practice, public practice, and academic practice.

An important part of my professional mission is to be a positive role model for students. I strive to "practice what I preach," especially in quality of work, personal responsibility, maturity, respect for others, completing tasks, meeting commitments, and performing professional and community service. My expectations for students are as high as for my own work

Goals, objectives, and outcomes


My integrated approach to teaching, research, and outreach allows me to directly share ideas between disciplines through my joint appointment in Landscape Architecture and Agronomy. In this role, I serve as a conduit and translator of ideas between landscape planning and soil resource management. Both incorporate applied sciences that combine quantitative and qualitative aspects of land use.

My integrated approach also allows me to successfully maintain an intensive and active symbiotic relationship between teaching responsibilities and research and outreach projects. I have been successful in integrating a large amount of my research and outreach results directly into teaching. I have also been successful in integrating student ideas, questions, and participation into my research and outreach projects. I enjoy bringing research sponsors and outreach clients together with students because of the mutual benefits of student-sponsor-client interaction.

Significant accomplishments

Teaching, service, outreach, and service are all important in my professional mission.  These diverse activities of scholarship are complementary, not competitive, as Ernest Boyer described in Scholarship Revisited (1990). My area of excellence is

To document and exemplify my integration of teaching with research and outreach, I described significant accomplishments in the following four categories:

On each of the four pages, links between these and other pages indicate how I have successfully integrated teaching with research and outreach.


serpent.jpg (20269 bytes)I enjoy working with public school students in the community, especially those involved in chorus, band, track, and environmental education activities. I am an active member of Collegiate United Methodist Church, particularly in music, youth, Scout, and property activities.

I enjoy traveling and photography, particularly in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, and Hawaii. My primary hobby is performing in music ensembles. Currently, I perform in Collegiate Brass (quintet), Music Men (quintet), Music Antiqua (Renaissance music collegium), Oompah-Meisters (polka band), Ames Municipal Band, Collegiate Chancel Choir, and Wesley Hall Jazz Band. Occasionally, I perform with the Central Iowa Symphony, Morrie Powers Jazz Band, and the von Anderson Family.

During June, 2000, I toured northern Germany with the ISU Chamber Singers and Music Men.  Three choirs from Germany and the Symphony Orchestra from Kaliningrad, Russia, also participated.  The four concerts were planned to help support and publicize restoration of the Konigsberg Cathedral, located in Kaliningrad.

Paul Anderson's home page

Last update: 10 February 2009