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New York City Urban Field Station

About the NYC Urban Field Station

Fort Totten Residential and Research Facility

NYC Parks Dept and Northern Research Station staff at dedication of Fort Totten, Queens field station.  Photo by Dan Avila from the NYC Parks Dept.The New York City Urban Field Station (UFS) is both a physical place to conduct research (the research facility at Fort Totten) and a network of scientists, practitioners, university partners, and facilities that focus on urban ecology. Since its founding in 2006, the UFS has engaged over 30 non-profit, academic, and government partners creating innovative “research in action” programs to support urban ecosystem management and sustainability initiatives in New York City.

Fort Totten Research Facility

Two core Urban Field Station (UFS) partners, the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, created a field lab and residential space for visiting scientists at historic Fort Totten in Queens, NY. Previously, research by scientists from outside the New York City area was often hampered by the costs of visiting the city and the lack of available lab space and research equipment. The Fort Totten facility allows scientists to reside and work in New York City on a temporary basis (up to 3 months) for data collection and other partnership work, greatly expanding the scientific and technical staff available to work throughout the five boroughs and the region. Learn more about applying to use the Ft. Totten facility for urban research projects.


NYC Urban Field Station Science Plan

In 2014, the USDA Forest Service and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation engaged in a science planning process for the New York City Urban Field Station. More than 28 scientists and managers identified past research projects, identified and prioritized research questions and themes, and examined other programs and initiatives associated with the field station. Since the initial visioning process, the Natural Areas Conservancy has been added as a third partner of the UFS. Science plan themes include tree health, disturbance and recovery, stewardship, ecosystem services, wildlife, and inventory and monitoring. The result is the NYC Urban Field Station Science Plan (1MB PDF), a living document to be updated on a regular basis in the future.


NYC Urban Field Station Progress Reports

View our progress reports (pdfs):

Download the reports about permitted research conducted in New York City Parks (pdfs):

Summer Resident Reports

The NYC Urban Field Station offers free residency to researchers, artists, land managers, and other relevant experts that are focused on NYC’s social-ecological systems. Summer is our most busy time here, as it is the height of the field season for researchers collecting data for their projects. View our Summer Residents Reports: