Scientists & Staff
Lynne M. Westphal
People and Their Environments: Social Science Supporting Natural Resource Management and Policy
Project Leader / Research Social Scientist
1033 University Place, Suite 360
Evanston, IL 60201-3172
Phone: 847-866-9311 x11
Contact Lynne M. Westphal
My research focuses on how people participate in decision-making and management of local environments and in combining methods and information from a variety of science disciplines to better address complex issues. A lot of my research is in urban areas, where nearby nature plays a vital role in improving quality of life. With my research colleagues, we are looking civic engagement in stewardship in the Chicago Wilderness region and in comparison to similar activities in others cities. This builds on earlier work where I looked at volunteer motivations and the social impacts of block-level greening projects. In the RESTORE project we are investigating whether the social structure of groups making ecological restoration decisions makes a difference in terms of the biodiversity of the restoration sites. If it does, it points to best management practices for enhancing biodiversity but if it doesn’t, that’s good, too because it indicates that a variety of approaches to restoration may be effective, thereby expanding the suite of options for conducting ecological restoration. I have long been involved in research and other projects in the Calumet rustbelt landscape of southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana. Currently my focus there is with the Northwest Indiana Urban waters project (http://www.urbanwaters.gov/pdf/northwestindiana.pdf). Information on earlier work can be found here (http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/urban/calumet/).
- Continue to refine and strengthen participatory decision making and management of natural areas.
- Continuing the integration of social, biological, and physical disciplines in natural resources research.
Why This Research is Important
We understand the importance of habitat for wildlife, yet humans need good habitat, too. Trees, rivers and streams, parks and other open spaces all play a significant role in creating good places to live. My work helps planners, municipal employees, elected officials, NGOs, tree advocates, and others understand how to manage natural resources to improve quality of life and achieve environmental justice.
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D. Public Policy Analysis and Urban Planning., 1999
- Northeastern Illinois University, M.A. Geography and Environmental Studies, 1992
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, BA South Asian Studies, 1982
- Environmental Design Research Association
- American Psychological Association
- American Sociological Association
- International Society of Arboriculture
- Society for Conservation Biology
Featured Publications & Products
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Davis, Amelie Y.; Copp, Cindy; Ross, Laurel M.; Bouman, Mark J.; Fisher, Cherie L.; Johnston, Mark K. 2014. Characteristics of stewardship in the Chicago Wilderness Region.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Hirsch, Jennifer. 2010. Engaging Chicago residents in climate change action: Results from Rapid Ethnographic Inquiry.
- Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc; Westphal, Lynne M.; Longoni, Mario. 2010. Fish consumption risk perception among anglers in an industrial urban area.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2010. How to build multifunctional agricultural landscapes in the U.S corn belt: add perennials and partnerships.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Gobster, Paul H.; Gross, Matthias. 2010. Models for renaturing brownfield areas [Chapter 19].
- Atwell, Ryan. C.; Schulte, Lisa. A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2011. Tweak, adapt, or transform: Policy scenarios in response to emerging bioenergy markets in the U.S.
Publications & Products
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Watkins, Cristy; Gobster, Paul H.; Heneghan, Liam; Ross, Kristen; Ross, Laurel; Tudor, Madeleine; Wali, Alaka; Wise, David H.; Vining, Joanne; Zellner, Moira. 2014. Social Science Methods Used in the RESTORE Project.
- De Sousa, Christopher A.; Wu, Changson; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Assessing the effect of publicly assisted brownfield redevelopment on surrounding property values.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Landscape, community, countryside: linking biophysical and social scales in US Corn Belt agricultural landscapes.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Linking resilience theory and diffusion of innovations theory to understand the potential for perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt.
- Lu, Jacqueline W.T.; Shane, Megan; Svendsen, Erika; Campbell, Lindsay; Fragola, Cristiana; Krasny, Marianne; Lovasl, Gina; Maddox, David; McDonnell, Simon; McPhearson, P. Timon; Montalto, Franco; Newman, Andrew; Pehek, Ellen; Rae, Ruth A.; Stedman, Richard; Tidball, Keith G.; Westphal, Lynne; Whitlow, Tom. 2009. MillionTreesNYC, Green infrastructure, and urban ecology: building a research agenda.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Longoni, Mario; LeBlanc, Cherie L.; Wali, Alaka. 2008. Anglers' appraisals of the risks of eating sport-caught fish from industrial areas: lessons from Chicago's Calumet region.
- Kramer, Daniel Boyd; Polasky, Stephen; Starfield, Anthony; Palik, Brian; Westphal, Lynn; Snyder, Stephanie; Jakes, Pamela; Hudson, Rachel; Gustafson, Eric. 2006. A Comparison of Alternative Strategies for Cost-Effective Water Quality Management in Lakes.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Ostry, Michael E. 2006. Decisions at the water's edge: sustaining riparian landscapes in the midwest.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Levengood, Jeffery M.; Wali, Alaka; Soucek, David; Stotz, Douglas F. 2005. Brownfield redevelopment: a hidden opportunity for conservation biology.
- Gobster, Paul H.; Westpahl, Lynne M. 2004. The human dimensions of urban greenways: planning for recreation and related experiences.
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2003. Social Aspects of Urban Forestry: Urban Greening and Social Benefits: a Study of Empowerment Outcomes.
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2003. Water, water everywhere... integrated riparian research in the North Central Region.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Isebrands, J. G. 2001. Phytoremediation of Chicago's brownfields: consideration of ecological approaches and social issues..
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2000. Increasing the trustworthiness of research results: the role of computers in qualitative text analysis.
- Westphal, Lynne. 1999. Growing Power?: Social Benefits From Urban Greening Projects.
- Gobster, P. H.; Westphal, L. M. 1998. People and the River: Perception and Use of Chicago Waterways for Recreation..
- Gobster, Paul H.; Westphal, Lynne M. 1998. People and the river: perception and use of Chicago waterways for recreation..
National Research Highlights
|Models for Ecological Restoration in Urban Areas: Lessons From the USA and Europe|
NRS researchers Paul Gobster and Lynne Westphal and a German colleague, Matthias Gross, analyzed urban restoration projects and developed severa ...
|Street-Level Views of Climate Change|
Forest Service researchers and partners interviewed residents of two Chicago neighborhoods about their awareness of climate change and their own ...