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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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Stuart Patton Echols

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Director of Graduate Studies in Landscape Architecture
Headshot of Penn State Landscape Architecture Associate Professor Stuart Patton Echols
227 Stuckeman

Stuart Echols is a professor of landscape architecture whose interests focus on two integrated areas of stormwater design: utility and amenity. The utility side of his stormwater design research focuses on creating better stormwater management systems that restore the hydrology of natural landscapes by replicating predevelopment evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff. The amenity side of his stormwater design research focuses on the analysis and dissemination of strategies to integrate stormwater management into site design to create landscapes of rich experience focused on the rainwater itself.

Reconciling these two needs is critical to achieving more effective stormwater management strategies. Together they lead to small dispersed systems that use landscape design to restore natural hydrology. Using design to address stormwater issues eliminates end-of-pipe facilities by distributing stormwater throughout a site in ways that restore natural evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff processes. However, to ensure enthusiastic use of these systems, they must also be designed as landscape amenities that add value to land development. This integrated approach is particularly timely because new federal regulations discourage large centralized end-of-pipe stormwater design, but most designers are unsure how to create more effective solutions.

Echols has developed and advanced a Split-Flow theory of stormwater design that recognizes landscape and stormwater systems as integrated systems based on the same ecological processes, and that uses landscape design to restore and preserve natural hydrology.

  • Education
    • BS from Texas A&M University, Licensed Landscape Architect in 1986
    • MS in Land Development from Texas A&M University in 1988
    • MLA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 1994
    • PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 2002
  • Publications + Presentations


    • Artful Rainwater Design. Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater
      Stuart Echols and Eliza Pennypacker, Island Press




  • Service + Affiliations

    Echols’s service to the university, society, and the profession has focused on: contributing his expertise and time to advancing curriculum development and integrating better ecological site design processes into the department’s implementation courses; advancing the understanding and application of sustainable site development and stormwater management methods by teaching outside workshops and university courses; and providing pro-bono professional consulting services to educational intuitions for creating integrated stormwater management systems using landscape design to preserve and restore natural landscape hydrology.

    One of the first questions he is always asked at presentations is: “Where can we go online to see and learn more about artful rainwater design examples?” He has therefore developed an internet portal to provide a collection of case studies demonstrating the relation of stormwater utility and amenity design. This portal allows designers and students to review case studies of artful rainwater designs from across the nation. The portal will also allow viewers to upload additional projects, view high-resolution project photos, participate in a web blog on artful rainwater design, read articles, review student designs, download presentations, and communicate with other designers.