USDA Forest Service staff at a tree planting event.

The Denver Urban Field Station (DUFS) is a collaborative research and practice unit of the US Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station exploring the connections between people and nature and the role of vegetation in semi-arid cities, towns, and developing regions of the Intermountain West and Great Plains. Launched in 2016 in partnership with the USFS Rocky Mountain Region, CU Denver, City and County of Denver, and US Geological Survey, DUFS is also exploring and expanding partnerships with the Metro Denver Nature Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, CSU, CU Boulder, USFS Intermountain Region, and others. The Denver Environmental Stewardship Mapping (STEW-MAP) Project is the first DUFS collaborative research project.

Seven counties of the Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA) and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Seven counties comprise the Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA) and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), which invests in and connects arts and cultural organizations. DRCOG, the regional council of governments includes these same counties as well as Clear Creek, Gilpin, and southwest Weld counties.

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, FS - RMRS is a regional branch of the U.S. Forest Service focusing on research in a range of biological, physical and social science fields to promote sustainable management of the Nation's diverse forests and rangelands. RMRS maintains 14 research laboratories throughout a 12-state territory encompassing the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Research Station serves the Forest Service as well as other federal and state agencies, international organizations, Tribes, academia, non-profit groups and the public.
  • Rocky Mountain Region, FS - As part of the National Forest System, the Rocky Mountain Region comprises 17 national forests and 7 national grasslands across Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. From its headquarters in Golden, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Region focus on strategic long-term efforts to preserve forest and grassland health, recreation, and water, and to engage in public service.
  • Intermountain Region, FS -The Intermountain Region of the Forest Service encompasses nearly 34-million acres of National Forest System land. The Intermountain Regional Office in Ogden, Utah provides administrative oversight and support to 12 National Forests which are located in Utah, Nevada, western Wyoming, southern and central Idaho, as well as one National Grassland in Idaho and the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Colorado.
  • University of Colorado, Denver - The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is a diverse teaching and learning community that creates, discovers and applies knowledge to improve the health and well-being of Colorado and the world. The lead unit within CU Denver working with DUFS is the College of Architecture and Planning.
  • Program in Environmental Design, CU Boulder - The Program in Environmental Design at CU Boulder combines the practices of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and design studies to work towards the creation of healthy and sustainable communities with attention to social justice and economic vitality. The program uses collaborative and interdisciplinary methods along with engaged scholarship, evidence-based practice and experiential learning to serve community needs.
  • Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University - The Warner College at CSU supports a wide variety of research in natural resources and environmental sciences. From conserving wildlife to outdoor recreation to managing forests, the college is involved in sustaining our world on every level.
  • Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, University of Denver - The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute conducts education and research programs on legal and public policy issues related to land use and development. Since 1992, RMLUI has been leading a discussion in the West about the challenges presented by growth and innovative ideas for addressing them.
  • City and County of Denver, Office of the City Forester - The Denver Parks & Recreation Forestry Office is the City agency responsible for trees in public parks, parkways and other public property. Denver is one of the only U.S. cities with a designated City Forester. The department uses educational programs, regulation, and oversight of private trees to ensure that Denver’s broad tree canopy thrives.
  • US Geological Survey - The Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center unit in the USGS office out of Lakewood, CO is partnering with DUFS. Created by an act of Congress in 1879, the USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.
  • Metro Denver Nature Alliance - The Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA) is a growing coalition of non-profit, government, research, and private sector partners seeking to align nature-based efforts to ensure more equitable access to nature and to promote healthy people, communities, and natural places.
  • The Nature Conservancy - Since being founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has worked to advance conservation of lands and waters around the world. The Conservancy leverages the dedicated efforts of over 600 scientists and hundreds of partner entities across public, private, and non-profit sectors.

    Organizational leads

Most of our partner institutions have multiple participants. Below are individuals who serve as key points of contact between their institutions and DUFS.

Join us!

If you or your organization is interested in participating in the STEW-MAP survey, please contact us at



Last modified: June 10, 2019