Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Barty Warren-Kretzschmar


Barty Warren-Kretzschmar


David T. Anderson


Keith M. Christensen


In recent decades, landscape design theory has been affected by an increase in pro-environmental values. Largely, this trend has been associated with notions of ‘sustainability’ and ‘ecosystem services.’ These notions involve sustaining current human behaviors within the constraints of ecological limits and maximizing the benefits that humans receive from ecosystems, respectively. In this way, they involve high evaluations of the instrumental values of ecosystems, yet remain predominantly anthropocentric. As such, they are characteristic of shallow ecology worldview.

In order to assess whether the pro-environmental, yet essentially anthropocentric values involved with modern landscape architecture theory are reflected in the environmental worldviews of landscape architecture students and practitioners, two studies were performed using the New Ecological Paradigm survey. In the first study, the responses of landscape architecture students and practitioners were examined for indications of anthropocentric or nonanthropocentric environmental values. In the second study, the responses of landscape architecture students were compared to those of general education students. The results of the two studies support the theories that landscape architecture students and practitioners exhibit predominately anthropocentric worldviews, which are distinctly more pro-environmental than those of the general American population.