MLA Student Wins OSU Graduate School Research Grant


KSA Master of Landscape Architecture student Tatiana Parfenova has been awarded an Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship (AGGRS) from the OSU Graduate School.  AGGRS awards are merit based, and provide up to $2,000 to support advanced graduate research.

Parfenova’s research project couples recreational trails with the resilience of coastal communities in Mississippi.  In a time when coastal population is growing and the number of coastal disasters escalates, communities are starting to look toward a way to increase coastal community resilience following catastrophic events, especially in places where hard infrastructural barriers have failed in the midst of a disaster. Using the proposed Mississippi Coastal Heritage Trail (MCHT) as a model, the goal of Parfenova’s research is to illustrate ways to achieve community recreational goals while also enhancing coastal resilience through the design of a recreational trail. 

In an effort to achieve this goal the study employs a sequential mixed methods approach. The first, qualitative, phase occurred in summer 2011 – fall 2012 and consisted of community engagement and literature review to understand both the needs of stakeholders and theoretical framework of the subject.  This phase identified the MCHT as a community priority.  The second, quantitative, phase will undertake spatial data gathering and analysis using geographic information systems (GIS) software to identify sites of maximum impact on coastal community resilience along the proposed trail. Subsequent field assessment of the selected sites along the Mississippi Coast will be used to confirm GIS analysis. A final, qualitative stage will involve a design proposal, based on the previous research, followed by expert evaluation by a panel of local Mississippi and academic experts to determine the potential of the plan to improve coastal community resilience and possibility of use in community engagement and subsequent implementation.