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Eliza Pennypacker

Professor of Landscape Architecture
Profile of Eliza Pennypacker
129 Stuckeman

Eliza Pennypacker has been a faculty member in Penn State’s Department of Landscape Architecture since 1982, and has twice served as department head: 1994 – 2000 and 2014 – 2020. She has taught a wide range of courses, including the History of Landscape Architecture, First-Year Seminar, and all levels of design studio, including the semester abroad. While serving as department head, she teaches the First-Year Seminar as an opportunity both to welcome and get to know incoming B.L.A. students, and to introduce these students to the issues, challenges, and ideas of contemporary landscape architecture.

Pennypacker is a passionate teacher, committed to inculcating “independent design decision-making” in her students. That passion led to development of a research track in design pedagogy that she conducted with fellow teacher Tom Yahner (2006 – 2013). Her current interest in this area lies in addressing the profile and educational predilections of Generation Z.

Pennypacker’s other research track focuses on “artful rainwater design” (ARD): stormwater management that not only mitigates quality and quantity of runoff, but celebrates rainwater in a design that educates or entertains visitors. In collaboration with Stuart Echols, she has written and presented on this topic extensively and has published a book, Artful Rainwater Design: Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater, published in 2015. In addition, as the 2012-13 Stuckeman Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, Pennypacker hosted a one-day symposium on April 10, 2013, titled “Challenges and Opportunities in the ‘Artful Rainwater Design’ Approach to Green Infrastructure.” The event convened twelve experts in ARD who delivered TED-Talk-style presentations a facet of ARD that they find particularly interesting or challenging. These talks were videotaped and are accessible via YouTube:

  • Education
    • B.A., Philosophy, St. John’s College
    • M.L.A., University of Virginia
  • Publications + Presentations


    Echols, Stuart, and Eliza Pennypacker. 2015. Artful Rainwater Design: Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

    Kew, Barry, Eliza Pennypacker and Stuart Echols. 2014. “Can Greenwalls Contribute to Stormwater Management? A Study of Cistern-Storage Greenwall First Flush Capture.” Journal of Green Building 9.3: 85-99.

    Pennypacker, Eliza. 2009. “Arthur Edwin Bye.” Invited article in Shaping the American Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers in American Landscape Design Project. Charles Birnbaum ed. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press: 42-45.

    Echols, Stuart, and Eliza Pennypacker. 2008. “From Stormwater Management to Artful Rainwater Design.” Landscape Journal 27 (2): 268-290.

    Echols, Stuart, and Eliza Pennypacker. 2008. “Learning from Artful Rainwater Design.” Landscape Architecture 98 (8): 28, 30, 32, 34, 36-39.

    Bose, Mallilka, Eliza Pennypacker, Tom Yahner. 2006. “Promoting Independent Design Decision-making in the Studio.” Open House International 31 (3) : 33-42.

    Echols, Stuart, and Eliza Pennypacker. 2006. “Art for Rain’s Sake.” Landscape Architecture 96 (9): 24-32.

    Bose, Mallika, Eliza Pennypacker. Tom Yahner. 2005. “Independent Design Decision-making as a Studio Goal.” Proceedings of the 2005 International Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, pp. 93-98.