About Sarah Alward

Hello! I'm a 2011 graduate of the Master's of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Michigan with a passion for ecological design, sustainable development and stormwater management. Take a look at my work and get in touch if you’re looking for a creative and enthusiastic team member.


University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (Ann Arbor, MI)

Master of Landscape Architecture, June 2011

  • ASLA Merit Award, 2011
  • Sigma Lambda Alpha landscape architecture honor society, inducted 2010
  • Student ASLA Vice-President (2010-2011) and Treasurer (2009-2010)

Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)

Bachelor of Arts in biology (with honors), May 2003

  • Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society, inducted 2003

Professional Experience

Landscape Performance Research Assistant (5/11 – 8/11)

Landscape Architecture Foundation, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Researched high-performing sustainable landscapes and developed four case study reports for the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Landscape Performance Series.
  • Developed methods to quantify environmental, economic, and social benefits of design through collaboration with project leaders, review of construction documents, personnel interviews, and site visits.

Heidelberg Project Student Designer + Researcher (1/10 – 4/11)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Researched and designed an art-based urban farm at the Heidelberg Project, a 25-year old outdoor art installation, as part of a four member team of landscape architecture students.
  • Individually presented my work at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture annual conference in Los Angeles and publicly at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, April 2011.

Landscape Planning Graduate Student Instructor (9/10 – 12/10)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Provided individual feedback to second-year landscape architecture students in a design studio that examines how landscape-scale environmental conditions affect and inform site-scaled design solutions.
  • Instructed students how to effectively use AutoCAD, ArcGIS, the Adobe Creative Suite, and SketchUp.

Site Planning Intern (7/10 – 9/10)

Grass Lake Sanctuary, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Collaborated with Washtenaw County Parks, master gardeners, land stewards, and the executive board at Grass Lake Sanctuary to create a master plan that incorporates permaculture and ecological restoration into a 145-acre retreat environment. This master plan is being used apply for grant funding.

Interpretation and Education Intern (5/09 – 3/10)

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Researched and designed interpretive displays at the Botanical Gardens and Conservatory aimed at making sustainable design concepts understandable to the public.

Research Technician (9/06 – 7/08)

University of North Carolina Center for Alcohol Studies, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Extracted, purified, and quantified neuroactive steroids in humans, monkeys, rats, and mice by radioimmunoassay and gas chromatograph mass spectrometry. This work has been published in three peer-reviewed journals.

Assistant Language Teacher (7/03 – 7/06)

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, Takeo, Japan

  • Planned lessons and team-taught English to classes of 35–40 students at two junior high schools in rural Japan.
  • Independently planned and taught grade school students eight hours a week, grades one through six.

Other Skills

  • Expert with AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite 5, ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, Windows, and Mac OS
  • Experienced with SketchUp, iMovie, Final Cut Pro
  • Hand-rendering skills in watercolor, ink, marker, and colored pencil

Honors and Awards

  • ASLA Merit Award (2011)
  • Sigma Lambda Alpha landscape architecture honor society (inducted 2010)
  • Center for the Education of Women, Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship (2010)
  • Garden Club of America, Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarship (2010)
  • National Garden Club, Osa Mae Burton Scholarship (2010)
  • Michigan Garden Club Scholarship (2010)
  • Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, William D. Drake Prize (2010)
  • School of Natural Resources + Environment (SNRE), William J. Johnson Award (2010)
  • International Institute Individual Fellowship (summer research 2010)
  • University of Michigan Alumni Club of Japan Fellowship (summer research 2010)
  • SNRE, Marshall Weinberg Fellowship (summer 2010)
  • SNRE, Whittemore-Sharp Family Scholarship Award (2009)
  • SNRE, Bertoni Fellowship (2008)
  • SNRE Block Merit Scholarship (2008)
  • Grinnell College Dean’s List (4 semesters)
  • Grinnell Trustee Honor Scholarship (1999-2003)