Videos portray LAND and CoSci students at Costa Rica center

New videos show Texas A&M landscape architecture students at the university’s Soltis Center for Research and Education in Costa Rica creating design proposals for additional center facilities and exploring the center’s surrounding 54,000-acre rainforest. 

The videos, which include dramatic aerial views of the center, were created by landscape architecture students Christina Anderson, Michelle McCreary and Kim Spaulding in a spring 2016 multidisciplinary studio that included students from four Texas A&M departments who developed proposals for new learning experiences at the center.

In addition to students in studios and whimsical scenes, the videos include dramatic aerial footage, shot with a drone operated by Julian Kang, associate professor of construction science, and one of the studio’s faculty leaders, who was also on the spring break trip. 


The studio included students from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, who developed research and educational program proposals for the center based on a survey, conducted by geography students, of the region’s physical and social landscape.

During a May 2016 minimester, construction science students visited the center and used building information modeling software to create building plans and cost estimates based on the landscape architecture students’ design concepts.


The collaborative studio was funded by a university Tier One Program grant, which supports education programs offering high-impact learning opportunities for students at Texas A&M.

Additional educators participating in the grant include Eugenio Gonzalez, director of the Soltis Center; Chris Houser, associate professor of geography; Jun-Hyun Kim, assistant professor of landscape architecture, and Scott Shafer, professor of recreation, park and tourism sciences.

Established in 2009, the center, which reflects designs created by students in a multidisciplinary studio at Texas A&M in 2006, was built by Bill Soltis ’55, a mechanical engineering graduate, at his own expense.

posted July 25, 2016