Instruction at Conway is delivered by faculty and by visiting instructors. The faculty consists of a mixture of full-time and part-time instructors. Some faculty work with students throughout the year; others work only in the fall, winter, or spring. Full-time faculty provide day-to-day continuity, teaching classes, monitoring the progress of individual students and teams, coordinating with other faculty, and making adjustments to the timing of the subjects being presented. Part-time faculty are practicing professionals in a variety of fields; they teach classes, support students in the studio, lead field work, critique weekly presentations, review project documents, and counsel students about career choices, while bringing to the school their intimate knowledge of current developments, technologies, and professional practices in their fields.
Visiting instructors also have a range of frequency and degree of involvement with students. Most weeks of each term, a visitor gives a presentation on a topic relevant to the needs of the students at that point in the term. These guest lecturers typically only visit the school once in the year. Other visitors spend time in the studio, consulting with students about their projects, and reviewing their work. Some studio instructors visit frequently; others only once or twice a term.
Conway students are teachers too. They have considerable life experience and have significant skills and knowledge to share. A lot of learning happens after the faculty go home.
Mollie Babize ’84
Planning and Design
Mollie worked in community organizing and journalism for fourteen years before discovering the field of landscape planning and design and the Conway School. Following graduation from Conway, she worked in both public and private sectors: as Land Use Planner for the Town of Amherst, MA in the development-crazed late 1980s, and as Design Associate for Walter Cudnohufsky Associates in Ashfield. Her projects at WCA have ranged from town-wide Open Space and Recreation Plans, agricultural preservation plans, and town-wide visioning, to the design of a green cemetery, preservation strategies for historic town commons, and a streetscape design for the historic village of Lenox, MA. Mollie is a part-time winter term faculty member, working with students two days a week in the studio and teaching occasional planning workshops. //more//
Myrna M. Breitbart taught as a Professor of Geography & Urban Studies at Hampshire College for nearly four decades. She also facilitated internships and community/college partnerships there as Academic Director of a curricular program to support Community Engagement and Collaborative Learning. Her interdisciplinary teaching and research interests still focus on urban social and economic inequality, community development, the challenges of planning with multiple publics, and the spatial dimensions of social and environmental change. Myrna has a strong commitment to, and experience with, participatory action research, especially involving young people in community-based research, local planning, and design, and has written widely on these subjects. Her latest book, Creative Economies in Post-Industrial Cities: Manufacturing a (different) Scene (2013) examines the role of what is called the new “creative economy” in the regeneration of smaller post-industrial cities. Myrna has long admired the hands-on experiential learning philosophy and practice of the Conway school, and is especially excited to be teaching the Humanities Seminar at the Mill campus where she is a part-time adjunct faculty member. //more//
Humanities, Academic Coordination
Ken joined the faculty in 2003, with primary responsibility for humanities and as curriculum coordinator. Ken has been active in projects linking environmental and social health to community development efforts, both in the Connecticut River Valley region and abroad. His academic work draws on geography, philosophy, economics, anthropology, education, psychology, and literary theory to examine the relationship between people and the environment. He is a full-time faculty member. //more//
Anne Capra ’00
Conway alum Anne Capra has been mentoring students in the studio since 2014. Anne has fifteen years of experience as an environmental and land use planner, focusing on environmental protection and land use management with an emphasis on water quality restoration. Formerly a Principal Planner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, she is now a planner with Conservation Works. She is also a farmer, raising grass-fed Belted Galloway beef cows and pastured chickens at her Wyoming Valley Farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Anne is part-time faculty in the winter planning term, working with students during studios and critiquing weekly presentations.
Kate Cholakis ’11
Landscape Planning and Design; Digital Design; Academic Coordination
Kate is a landscape designer and writer who created her own business after graduating from the Conway School. She specialized in ecological landscape design for residential clients and large-scale landscapes. Prior to teaching at Conway, Kate served as a visiting critic and presenter, and consulted with the school by reviewing and editing reports. Kate has experience teaching in an undergraduate architecture studio and as a reader for a landscape studies course. Kate is a full-time faculty member.
Landscape Design; Site Engineering; Graphics
Kim is both a practicing architect and a landscape architect with her own firm, Salmon Falls Ecological Design. She has more than twenty years of experience with sustainable landscape and architectural design. Her current design practice focuses on the design of super-insulated passive solar homes, ecological landscapes, and co-housing communities. She is a part-time faculty member. She teaches site engineering throughout the year; in the fall and spring, she works with students in the studio and critiques weekly presentations. //more//
CJ is a nationally-known speaker and advocate for all things green. For 28 years she has worked with citizens and state and local governments to move the ball forward on various topics including tree and forest preservation, small and large landscape conservation, and environmental land use policies and strategies. In her current position as a Master Environmental Planner, she implements environmental legislation and advises decision-makers in the areas of agricultural and forestry conservation and general issues related to the environment. Her current advocacy focuses on green infrastructure planning at all scales, from implementation of green stormwater techniques on individual sites to large landscape conservation. She was the primary author of the first-ever functional land use plan for the environment at the county scale. CJ is a part-time winter and spring term faculty member, working with students two days a week in the studio and teaching occasional planning workshops. //more//
A certified wetlands scientist and professional restoration ecologist, Bill Lattrell has managed projects involving wildlife habitat, wetland restoration, wetlands mapping, and public education. He joined Conway as adjunct faculty in 1993, teaching classes in wetlands protection and mitigation, wildlife habitat, and leading field trips to a variety of ecosystems, including bogs, beaver ponds, old growth forests, vernal pools, and successional meadows. Bill’s broad applied knowledge of natural resource issues helps students evaluate environmental assets and anticipate potential repercussions on residential and community sites. He is principal of Lattrell Ecological Consulting in Heath, MA. A part-time member of the faculty, Bill leads many of the weekly field work sessions, and twice each term consults with students about their projects in the studio. //more//
Rachel Loeffler, RLA, ASLA joins the faculty of The Conway School for the school year Fall 2015- Spring 2016. Rachel holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelors of Arts with a major in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, Magna cum laude. Licensed as a Landscape Architect in three states, Rachel possesses a breadth of experience in design, planning, and construction. Today she practices with The Berkshire Design Group in Northampton. Her recent projects include playscapes, parks, senior centers, and campus improvement projects. While working with Berkshire Design group, she has become immersed in various levels of local and state permitting which she translates for her students at Conway. Rachel is part-time faculty, teaching weekly site engineering classes throughout the year. //more//
Glenn Motzkin is a plant ecologist interested in patterns of species distribution, vegetation dynamics, disturbance history, and the application of historical ecology to conservation in New England. Glenn has studied a wide range of natural communities, with particular interests in the history and dynamics of uncommon communities that support rare species and are priorities for conservation. Glenn is currently an independent ecological consultant, having previously worked as Plant Ecologist at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. A part-time member of the faculty, Glenn teaches a weekly ecology class and leads many of the weekly field work sessions, and twice each term consults with students about their projects in the studio. //more//
Jono Neiger ’03
Jono is a conservation biologist with nearly two decades of experience in land stewardship, ecological studies, restoration, and conservation commission staffing. A permaculture teacher and designer since 1996, Jono works to help organizations and individuals further their goals for stewarding their land and for creating productive, regenerative human ecosystems. He is a principal of Regenerative Design Group. He is a part-time faculty member in the fall term, teaching some classes, working with students in the studio, and critiques weekly presentations. //more//
Keith Zaltzberg teaches the Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, and GIS. He is a certified permaculture designer and founding partner of the Regenerative Design Group, where he works with individuals, communities, and organizations in landscape design. He is a studio instructor at Smith College, and has volunteered with the Wise Wetlands Restoration Project, an educational organization that explores land reclamation alternatives in the Appalachian region. He has extensive experience using GIS in his past work as Associate Designer and Technical Specialist at Dodson Associates Landscape Architects and Planners in Ashfield, MA. Keith is a part-time member of the faculty, teaching a weekly digital design class and working with students for one half-day in the studio each week. //more//
These instructors, lecturers, and/or studio coaches are regular annual visitors to the Conway School, working in the classroom, studio, or field one to four times a year.
David Jacke ’84
Geographic Information Systems
Erik Van Lennep
Edwina von Gal
Landscape Design + Conservation