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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

Urban Forests, Environmental Quality and Human Health

About Us

Research Work Unit NRS-08

Organizational Overview

[photo:] Sunset behind the Baltimore skyline  - distant downtown high rise buildings framed by treesSince 1978, the US Forest Service has had an urban forest research unit located at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York. A second field office was located on the campus of the University of Maryland - Baltimore County in Baltimore, MD.

Five scientists, led by Dr. David J. Nowak, are leading researchers in this important  scientific discipline. These scientists and their staff members: (1) research the functions and benefits of urban trees; (2) are an integral part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) Program’s Baltimore Ecosystem Study, which is one of only two urban LTER projects in the world, and (3) are developing computer models to help others inventory, monitor, and evaluate their urban forests. They have used these models to measure urban forests and determine their value in many cities across the world.


[photo:] One-story brick home shaded by large treesThe original project leader (1978-1997) and founder of this research unit was Dr. Rowan Rowntree (retired).  The current project leader is Dr. David Nowak (1997 - ). In the past, unit personnel have been located at Berkeley/Albany, CA (1987-1997) and Chicago, IL (1991-1994). This research unit developed and produced the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project, which has been the impetus for continued urban forest research both within this unit and across the globe.


Last Modified: 03/31/2009