New York City Urban Field Station

Science of the Living City Seminars

To sign up for the Science of the Living City mailing list, email ufs.solc@gmail.com.


Past Events

2nd Annual Urban Soil Symposium
November 29-30, 2017
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY

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Canadian Institute of Forestry - National Electronic Series
Urban Forestry E-Lecture Series
Resiliency: Case Studies and tools for Urban Forest Management
Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Dr. Lindsay Campbell, NYC Urban Field Station, STEW-MAP as a tool for Urban Forest Stewardship and Community Resiliency

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Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar series:
Stewardship and Engagement
presentations from
Dr. Lindsay K. Campbell and Dr. Erika S. Svendsen
from USDA Forest Service
November 1, 2017 at Drexel University and via webcast

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New York's Coastal Future: What can Jamaica Bay Be?

View of New York City Skyline from across coastal wetlands.  Photo courtesy of Natural Areas Conservancy.Marking five years since Superstorm Sandy, Science of the Living City hosted a three-part event on the changing coastal areas in Jamaica Bay. This event brought together voices from over 25 local organizations to discuss current life in the watershed and its climate change threats, and present ideas for the watersheds future.

Three part series

Tuesdays 10/10, 10/17, 10/24

 

All sessions location: Lighthouse Auditorium at Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn

RSVP: http://bit.do/resilienceseries

Part One - 10/10- Life in the Jamaica Bay Watershed - will explore ecological communities in the Bay and the threats they face from climate change.

Part Two - 10/17 - Life on the Streets of the Jamaica Bay Watershed - will focus on the climate challenges facing human communities in the watershed, which contains over 3 million people and at least 20 distinct localities.

Part three - 10/24 - Looking Forward - The sea's edge brings beauty and mystery, but also increasing exposure to extreme weather and floods. What does a future healthy and safe Jamaica Bay watershed look like?

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Screen shot from movie of flock of birds flying against an orange sky.

A Special Screening of Saving Jamaica Bay
Date: Wednesday, September, 27 2017
Time: 7:00PM-10:00PM
Location: Washington Square Park
DETAILS HERE

Description: 
Saving Jamaica Bay tells the story of how one community fought the government and overcame Hurricane Sandy to clean up and restore the largest open space in New York City. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, Saving Jamaica Bay also symbolizes the efforts to preserve urban nature, combat climate change, and invest in our national parks.
After the screening, you will have the opportunity to meet Dan Hendrick, the filmmaker and visionary behind Saving Jamaica Bay. 
This screening will be hosted by the Natural Areas Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, the Washington Square Park Conservancy, and the team behind Saving Jamaica Bay
This event held in Washington Square Park under the arch. 
This event was generously supported by Con Edison.

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‘New Croton Dam Spillway” photograph Lize Mogel, 2016.Liquid Geographies
Date: Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: The New School Starr Foundation Hall, 63 5th Ave, NY NY 10003
DETAILS HERE
Description:
How do water infrastructure, watersheds and other water bodies connect communities? This panel will explore the intersection of nature, policy, and infrastructure through the lived experience of watershed residents, socially-engaged art, and counter-mapping. Artist Dylan Gauthier will discuss his recent projects on the Hudson and Brandywine rivers. Historian Diane Galusha will discuss New York City’s water supply and the complex relationships it creates between rural and urban communities at either end of the system. Artist Lize Mogel will lead audience members in creating a “human diagram” of New York City’s water system.

Introduction by: Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Urban Ecology, Director of the Urban Systems Lab

Panelists: Artist & Counter Cartographer, Lize Mogel // Historian & Author, Diane Galusha // Artist, Curator & Educator, Dylan Gauthier

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Cool Neighborhoods NYC: Preparing New Yorkers for Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effect. 

Date: September 21st, 2017
Time: 6pm to 7:45pm
Location: The Gregory Jackson Center for Brownsville 519 Rockaway Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 111212
DETAILS HERE

Description:

This discussion will share critical information with the Brownsville community on the heels of the Mayor’s Cool Neighborhoods NYC announcement and the City’s focus on solutions to address summer heat and climate change.  Rising temperatures threatens the health and well-being of many New Yorkers and some communities disproportionately suffer the greatest burden, like Brownsville.  In response, the City will be implementing different aspects of its Cool Neighborhoods NYC initiative in the coming years. This panel aims to get community members and local leaders involved in getting the word out and keeping our neighbors safe and healthy. 

 

Panelists: Jainey Bavishi, Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency // Dr. Torian Easterling, NYC Department of Health’s Brownsville Health Action Center// Tenya Steele, WEACT for Environmental Justice// XYZ, NYC Parks Department//Duane Kinnon, Friends of Brownsville Parks. ***additional speakers may be announced***

Moderated by: Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Deputy Director, Mayor’s office of Recovery & Resilience

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[photo:] Three young people enjoy playing in a park. Parks & People
A visual exploration by NYC Urban Field Station artist-in-residence, photographer and former staff editor at the New York Times, Adam Stoltman

Date: May 24th, 2017
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Cornell Art, Architecture & Planning
26 Broadway New York, NY 10004 (20th floor)
Details Here

 

Description:
Adam Stoltman will present and speak about his 18 month long photography project: Parks & People. 

New York City’s public park system is one of the most diverse and complex urban places in the world, occupying nearly 30,000 acres and serving over 8 million residents and visitors. Within this landscape there are thousands of natural areas, places where nature is being restored to serve an extremely diverse series of communities and constituencies across the five boroughs.  These areas are as much social places as they are natural spaces, and it is this interplay that Adam seeks to make visible through this photographic work.

Adam will be joined in conversation by US Forest Service Research Social Scientists, Lindsay Campbell and Erika Svendsen and Bram Gunther, co-director of the New York City Urban Field Station and co-founder of the Natural Areas Conservancy. The discussion will be framed around themes of democratic and secular sacred space within a time of urban ecological restoration. The discussants will offer reflections on different aspects of the urban parks movement inspired by the imagery and relate Adam’s project to a city-wide effort to assess the social and ecological value of New York City’s natural areas.

Reception to follow.


Introduction by: Ruth A. Rae, NYC Parks
Presentation by: Adam Stoltman
Discussants: Lindsay Campbell, US Forest Service // Erika Svendsen, US Forest Service // Bram Gunther, NYC Parks and NAC

 

Follow Us: @NYCPARKS // @USFS_NRS // @NaturalAreasNYC // #SoLC

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[photo:] SWALE- floating barge - food forestRelaunching Swale: NYC's Floating Food Forest
Date: May 18th, 2017
Time : 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6
    Details Here

Can fresh, healthy food be free? NYC Urban Field Station artist in residence Mary Mattingly brings Swale back to Brooklyn this spring to explore this question and many more other critical concerns related to NYC's food and land use policies. 

Swale is a collaborative floating food project dedicated to rethinking and challenging New York City's connection to the environment. It represents a partnership among artists, gardeners, landscape architects, educators, students, and several government and non-government organizations. Built on a 130-foot by 40-foot floating platform, Swale contains an edible forest garden. Functioning as both a sculpture and a tool, Swale provides free healthy food at the intersection of public art and service. Swale is intended to reinforce both water and fresh food as a commons.
Join us in welcoming Swale back to NYC's waters. 

Take a guided tour of Swale at 5:30pm followed by remarks from project collaborators, a ribbon cutting and refreshments. 
Welcome by: Renae Reynolds, NYC Urban Field Station
Remarks by: Liam Kavanagh, Deputy Commissioner NYC Parks
Collaborator Acknowledgments: Mary Mattingly, NYC Urban Field Station artist in residence & local partners 

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[Photo:] ZAD PatatesCultures of Sustainability
May 4th, 2017
6:00pm to 8:00pm
The Arsenal Gallery
3rd Floor
830 5th Ave
New York, NY 10029

Details Here


Description:
Authors Nathalie Blanc and Barbara Benish present a book talk on their new work Form, Art and the Environment: Engaging in Sustainability, which adopts a pluralistic perspective of environmental artistic processes in order to examine the contributions of the arts in promoting sustainable development and culture at a grassroots level and its potential as a catalyst for social change and awareness.

This book investigates how community arts, environmental creativity, and the changing role of artists in the Polis contribute to the goal of a sustainable future from a number of interdisciplinary perspectives. From considering the role that art works play in revealing local environmental problems such as biodiversity, public transportation and energy issues, to examining the way in which artists and art works enrich our multidimensional understanding of culture and sustainable development, Form, Art and the Environment advocates the inestimable value of art as an expressive force in promoting sustainable culture and conscious development. Utilising a broad range of case studies and analysis from a body of work collected through the international environmental COAL prize, this book examines the evolution of the relationship between culture and the environment. This book will be of interest to practitioners of the environmental arts, culture and sustainable development and students of Art, Environmental Science, and International Policy and Planning Development.

Following the discussion we invite you to stay to view Other Homes an exhibit that considers the role of organic materials within the lexicon of contemporary art: specifically in contemporary found and assemblage art. Works by Marina Andrijčić-Ojeda, Jon Bunge, Katya Grokhovsky, Rachel Hornaday and Nyugen Smith each uniquely consider the effects natural environments exert on contemporary art. These works consider our intimacy with the natural environment while examining the tension created by transforming organic matter into assembled and found artworks.

  • Welcome by: Lindsay Campbell, USDA Forest Service / NYC Urban Field Station
  • Curator's Introduction by: Audra Lambert 
  • Presentation by: Nathalie Blanc and Barbara Benish
  • Reflections by: Lize Mogel, NYC Urban Field Station Artist in Residence 

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Science of the Living City presents: Soils of the Living City

April 26th, 2017
Rockefeller University

 

Description: 

This discussion will focus on ways in which soils in urban areas are different from soils in less densely populated areas. What do we know about NYC soils based on the latest research? What are some of the broader implications of that research for human health, environmental remediation, urban agriculture, and forest restoration?
This conversation is important in an urban context because soil research typically takes place in non-urban areas. Urban soils are under unique pressures due to exposure to pollution and development. Studying urban soils can provide insight into how ecological communities persist and function under these pressures and other disturbances.
Moderated by: Novem Auyeung, NYC Parks
Special address by: Dr. Sean Brady of Rockefeller University's Brady Lab


Panelists:

  • Zach Charlop-Powers, Rockefeller University
  • Krista McGuire, Barnard University
  • Tatiana Morin, Urban Soils Institute
  • Clara Pregitzer, Natural Areas Conservancy
  • Troy Hill, Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Rich Shaw, United States Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Services

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Poster for City of Trees Documentary FilmScience of The Living City Presents: City of Trees: A film screening and panel discussion.


March 30th, 2017
Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm 

Pace University, 3 Spruce Street New York, NY 10038


Join us at Pace University on March 30th, to view this film and participate in a dynamic conversation on themes including community engagement, environmental justice, employment barriers, racial justice and personal narratives. Other related themes of urban forestry, economic recovery and reinvestment, and education offer the opportunity to engage a diverse audience with broad perspectives.

The City of Trees film is an award-winning documentary telling a deeply personal story about environmental justice, green jobs, and the ‘messy truths’ behind the fight for social change. This story centers on the efforts undertaken by the nonprofit Washington Parks & People (WPP) to improve a neighborhood park in Washington D.C, while operating a green jobs training program to provide employment opportunities for local residents.

Panel Moderator: Erika SvendsenUS Forest Service 
Panelists: Lance KramerFilm Director // Elizabeth EhrlichNYC Parks // Wesley BookerGreen City Force // Nicole Roy-HendersonNYC Parks, // Migdalia TaverasSustainable South Bronx

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Community Resilience Through Green Infrastructure

This panel discusses how to use resources for storm water management to address the multi-functional needs of communities as well as the bottom line of making cleaner waterways.  These multi-functional needs are rising temperatures, flooding, clean air, and better access to nature, among others.  

The Conversation will be moderated by Michael Finewood, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Science at Pace University with a preamble from Sara Meerow, PhD Candidate in the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan, including a survey as part of her dissertation research on the value of the ecosystem services of GI.  The other panelists expected: 
         
Christina Rosan: Assistant Professor of Environmental and Urban Studies at Temple University         
Franco Montalto: Associate Professor, in the College of Engineering at Drexel University
Andrea Parker: Executive Director, Gowanus Conservancy
Marit Larson: Chief of Natural Resource, NYC Parks
John McLaughlin: Managing Director, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

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UFS Co-Director, Bram Gunther, Presents at Drexel University

Event: CCRUN Green Infrastructure Climate, and Cities Seminar Series
Presentation Title: NYC Land Management and Resilience 
Date: December 7th, 2016
Location: Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, 251 Curtis Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Description: New York City Parks Department's division of Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources and the Natural Areas Conservancy has a suite of multi-functional initiatives and programs that inherently bring resilience to neighborhoods citywide. Many of these programs are capital improvements to parkland that are underpinned by an adaptive management system that includes planning and maintenance based on research and monitoring.  Increasingly our programs are strengthened by our partnerships, including those with community environmental groups.  We take an integrated landscape approach to our work with the goal of long-term sustainability and local engagement based on nature-based solutions.

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November 9th, 2016
Urban Forestry: Lessons learned, Challenges, and Opportunities Ahead

[image:] Poster for Science of the Living City seminar on Urban Forestry: Lessons learned, Challenges, and Opportunities AheadLocation:
Cornell University's Architecture, Art and Planning
26 Broadway New York, NY; 20th Floor

 

With:
Jill Jonnes, Author
Todd Forrest, New York Botanical Garden
Fiona Watt, NYC Parks
Joseph Gittelman, (Formerly) USDA

Moderated by:
Bram Gunther, NYC Parks


 

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[photo:] Swale edible forest barge in New York City.October 4th, 2016

Public Food: A Science of The Living City Panel Aboard Swale at Brooklyn Bridge Park

with:
- Mary Mattingly, Swale
- Lindsay Campbell, US Forest Service
- Marla Emery, US Forest Service
- Ray Figueroa, NYC Community Garden Coalition
- Brittany Quale, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation - GreenThumb

hosted with the Swale


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June 22, 2016 - webinar

Connecting diverse knowledge systems

Maria Tengö, Stockholm Resilience Centre

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May 23, 2016

Why Trees Matter - A discussion of the value of trees in New York City and State, how residents can assess the value and services provided by their local trees and the likely threats to urban forests in the coming years.
with Dave Nowak, US Forest Service


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May 21, 2016
Volunteer Planting Day
Landscapes of Resilience
Beach 41st Street Houses
Rockaway, NY

Young volunteers spreading mulch after planting at the Beach 41st Community Planting Day 
Photo by: Giles Ashford

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May 7, 2016
Viewing New York from Edgemere Park Jane's Walk
with Marlen Waaijer, Norton Basin Migratory Birds Sanctuary
Renae Reynolds, New York City Urban Field Station


Hiking Edgemere Landfill with 16 enthusiastic JanesWalk participants. Photo by: Renae Reynolds

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May 5, 2016
Reducing water pollution in a dynamic world: the critical role of green infrastructure investments in enhancing the resilience of urban landscapes

Franco Montalto, Drexel University


[image:] A New Framework for thinking about Green Infrastructure- Urban landscape: A system that performs many functions and services................

May 2, 2016

Citizen Science & Urban Forestry: Research & Practice
Philadelphia, PA

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March 23, 2016
Volunteer Stewardship: Why Do We Take Care of NYC?
Hosted by Gowanus Canal Conservancy
with
Lindsay Campbell, US Forest Service
Jason Smith, NYC Parks
Andrea Parker, Gowanus Canal Conservancy

[photo:] Gowanus panel

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January 6, 2016

Social Media and other "Big Data" for Advancing a Systems Understanding of Benefits of Urban Green Space
Hosted by The New School

with Timon McPhearson, The New School

Poster for seminar: Social Media and Other Big Data For Advancing a Systems Understanding of Benefits of Urban Green Space with Timon McPherson and Zoe Hamstead

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March 11, 2015
Urban Coastal Resilience
Malgosia Madajewicz, Columbia University
Water Meyer, Local Office

Double Dune Coastal Forest

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2014-2015 Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series
Organized by NYC UFS Scholar-in-Residence Franco Montalto, Drexel University
Visit Consortium for Climate Risk in the Northeast to see a full roster of topics, speakers, and archived webinars.

 


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October 16, 2014
Explore NYC’s Natural Side: Prospect Park, Ecology of a Forested Refuge
Hosted by the Natural Areas Conservancy, Prospect Park Alliance, and USDA Forest Service

[photo:] Tour at Prospect Park

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October 4, 2014
Explore NYC’s Natural Side: Pelham Bay Park’s Rocky Coast and Salt Marshes

Hosted by the Natural Areas Conservancy and USDA Forest Service

Group at Pelham Bay Park

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September 14, 2014

Explore NYC’s Natural Side: Inwood Hill Park’s Past, Present and Future, A Site of Social and Ecological Meaning

Hosted by the Natural Areas Conservancy and USDA Forest Service
Eric Sanderson, Wildlife Conservation Society

Group at Inwood Hills Park

Participants in the seminar and walk at Inwood Hill Park gather at Shorokopok Rock Photo credit: Lindsay Campbell.

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September 3, 2014

Environmental Governance as a System: Individuals, Organizations, and Stewardship Networks

In Philadelphia, PA
Erika Svendsen and Lindsay Campbell

Organized by NYC UFS Scholar-in-Residence 
Franco Montalto, Drexel University

 

Diagram of New York City stewardship network. US Forest Service, STEW-MAP 2007.

New York City stewardship network. US Forest Service, STEW-MAP 2007.

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May 14, 2014
Civic Science in the Gowanus Watershed
@FIND Furnishings
hosted with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy

with:
Phil Silva, TreeKit
Liz Barry, Public Laboratory
Ellen Jorgenson, Genspace
Jeffrey Laut, Polytechnic Institute of NYU

 

[photo:] Volunteers hold a balloon to launch as part of the GLAM (Gowanus Low-Altitude Aerial Mapping) project, 2012  Photo credit Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Public Laboratory


Volunteers hold a balloon to launch as part of the GLAM (Gowanus Low-Altitude Aerial Mapping) project, 2012. Photo credit: Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Public Laboratory.

 

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April 17, 2014
Re-thinking the Urban Forest; Putting NYC's Wood to Use
@ Parsons The New School, School of Constructed Environments

with: 
Jeremy Barrick, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation 
Rober Benton, ReCo Bklyn
Barry Goodell, Professor of Sustainable Biomaterials, Virginia Tech
Alan Solomon, Sawkill Lumber 

[photo:] Klaas Armster assesses the Rockaway boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, November 2012


Klaas Armster assesses the Rockaway boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, November 2012. Photo credit: Alan Solomon.

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March 12, 2014
"Exotic species in the urban landscape: The Ecology and management of plant and invertebrate invasions in New York City"
@ Columbia University Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, 717 Hamilton Hall
with:
Chris Haight, Columbia University
Tim Wenskus, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Elisa Bone, Columbia University
Erik Kiviat, Hudsonia
Matt Palmer, Columbia University
Jessica Schuler, New York Botanical Garden

 

[image:] Hypothetical location of select invasive species along a generalized invasion curve.

 

Hypothetical location of select invasive species along a generalized invasion curve

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Transforming Brooklyn’s Urban Backwater: Perspectives on the Gowanus Canal
February 26, 2014
@ CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, Long Island City, Queens

With Rebecca Bratspies, CUNY Law School, Center for Urban Environmental Reform
Hans Hesselein, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Anthony Deen, Gowanus by Design
Victoria Hattam, The New School for Social Research

 

[photo:] Gowanus Canal

 

The Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, NY

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Our Animal Nature: Living with Wildlife in NYC
January 15, 2014
@ the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture

With Sarah Aucoin, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Mark Weckel, American Museum of Natural History
Denise Hoffman Brandt, City College of New York
Catherine Seavitt, City College of New York

 

[photo:] from left: Mark Weckel, Catherine Seavitt, Denise Hoffman Brandt, and Sarah Aucoin. Seavitt and Brandt presented Weckel with a bronze plaque commemorating the presence of coyotes in Central Park in 2010. Weckel hung the plaque in his office at the American Museum of Natural History, which faces Central Park

 

from left: Mark Weckel, Catherine Seavitt, Denise Hoffman Brandt, and Sarah Aucoin. Seavitt and Brandt presented Weckel with a bronze plaque commemorating the presence of coyotes in Central Park in 2010. Weckel hung the plaque in his office at the American Museum of Natural History, which faces Central Park.

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Landscape Architecture: Re-envisioning curriculum and practice for 21st century ecosystems
January 25, 2013: 
@ CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform

  • Dr. Laura Lawson, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University
  • Denise Hoffman Brandt, Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture, City College of New York

[image:] A map of occupied Earth from Slum Lab

 

A Map of Occupied Earth from Slum Lab, a joint publication of ETH Zurich, CCNY, and Columbia University. Image credit: Julia Farr and Kjirsten Alexander

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RESILIENCE
[image:] cover from book titled Greening in the Red Zone October 17, 2012
@ CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform


View Resilience seminar video

  • Greening in the Red Zone
    Keith Tidball, Ph.D., Civic Ecology Lab, Cornell University
  • Cultivating a System of Stewardship
    Erika Svendsen, Ph.D., NYC Urban Field Station, U.S. Forest Service

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GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
July 9, 2012
@ NYC Department of Parks and Recreation – Olmsted Center

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ECOLOGY
April 25, 2012
@ NYC Urban Field Station - Fort Totten

  • Evolution in the Anthropocene
    Jason Munshi-South, Environmental Science, CUNY Baruch College
  • Urban Vernal Pool Ecosystems in New York City
    Susan Stanley, Natural Resources Group, NYC Parks

[photo:] Susan Stanley collecting samples from a vernal pool

Susan Stanley doing vernal pool research

 

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RESTORATION
January 18, 2012
@ NYC Urban Field Station – Fort Totten 

[photo:] Sampling shown here: a forest opening where invasive plants had dominated for more than 20 years. This study compared plant community composition in restored park forests with sites also invaded by woody non-native plants, but which had not been restored.

 

Sampling shown here: a forest opening where invasive plants had dominated for more than 20 years. This study compared plant community composition in restored park forests with sites also invaded by woody non-native plants, but which had not been restored. Photo by: Lea Johnson

 

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URBAN RIVERS
October 26, 2011 
@ NYC Urban Field Station – Fort Totten