The Natural Learning Initiative team is composed of committed professionals with diverse professional and personal backgrounds. Our team has expertise in landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning, geographical information systems (GIS), early childhood development and policy, and play.

Professor Robin C. Moore

Robin Moore holds degrees in architecture (London University) and urban planning (MIT), and for most of his career has worked in the field of landscape architecture as educator, researcher, and consultant. Moore is an international authority on the design of children's play and learning environments, user needs research, and participatory public open space design.

Dr. Nilda Cosco

Nilda Cosco, PhD, is Director of Programs, The Natural Learning Initiative; Research Associate Professor, College of Design; and former Director of the Center for Universal Design. Her responsibilities include: design programming and research of outdoor environments for children with and without disabilities;

Mary Archer

Mary Archer is a Design Assistant at the NLI. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University where her research focused on the design of productive green roofs. Prior to graduate school, she gained a wide range of experience working in medical research, education, and public gardens. 

Caroline Asher

Caroline Asher is a Design Assistant at the Natural Learning Initiative. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University, where she focused her research on the benefits of community gardens and urban agriculture. Before her graduate studies, she honed her plant knowledge at a native plants nursery.

Tom Danninger

Tom Danninger, MS in Nuclear Physics, works as a Research Associate at the Natural Learning Initiative.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics and a Master of Science in Nuclear Theoretical Physics from Marquette University.  He also earned a Certificate in Geographical Information Systems from North Carolina State University.

Daniel Jost

Daniel Jost, ASLA, is a Research Assistant at NLI and a PhD student at North Carolina State University studying playscapes. He has landscape architecture degrees from Cornell University and the University of Washington.  As a full time writer and editor at Landscape Architecture Magazine he documented landscapes around the country.

Laura Lloyd

Laura Lloyd is a project assistant in NLI’s professional development program. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University. She also has a Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate. She is a lifelong Girl Scout.

Muntazar Monsur, PhD

Dr. Monsur is a trained architect with a PhD in Design (Architecture). In present, he is working as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Natural Learning Initiative. He is an integral part of several nationally significant projects concerning children’s environment including a multi-year USDA AFRI grant investigating the role of gardening on physical activity (PA) and consumption of fruit and vegetables (FV) among preschool age children. He is also involved in developing and teaching two NLI online certificate programs focused on early childhood environment.