Professional mission

Paul F. Anderson



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 Reconsidered (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.

Return to Paul Anderson's Promotion Materials menu

Paul Anderson's home page

Last update: 12 November 99