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 Natural Inquirer Urban Forest Resources

Below you will find resources related to Urban Forest and Citizen Science. There are urban forest related articles, urban forest related readers (pre-k to 2nd), citizen science resources, urban forest related scientist cards, and additional guides on starting community projects. 

Articles:

 

 

 A Green Bill of Health: Can Vacant Lot Treatments Impact Mental Health? - This is the first monograph in Natural Inquirer's Nature Health Benefits series. In this article, students will learn about how different vacant lot treatments in Philadelphia impacted nearby residents' self-reported mental health.

 NSI Nature Science Investigator

NSI: Nature Science Investigator - This is a self-guided activity book for children ages 8-14. The booklet enables each student to become the scientist! Eleven Forest Service scientists are highlighted. Students are introduced to 2-3 outdoor, hands-on activities for each scientist. Use NSI in the schoolyard, at home, in the park, or at the campground! No additional materials are required.

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Visitor Use of Natural & Landscaped Areas in Urban Parks: This is an article from the Woodsy Owl edition. The scientists in this study wanted to know three things: (1) Do visitors’ activities and reasons for using urban parks vary between landscaped and natural areas of New York City parks? (2) Why do park visitors choose to visit to not visit urban natural areas? (3) Are there differences between men and women in how they used landscaped and natural areas in parks and in their reasons for visiting these places?

Green Means Clean - Assessing the Conditions of U.S. Drinking Water Watersheds: This is an article from the Freshwater edition. With 2/3 of the U.S. population drinking water from surface sources such as streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs it is very important that these water sources are protected. The scientists in this study were interested in conducting a national assessment of drinking water watersheds that crossed State boundaries.



Balancing Act: Is there a point when a tree doesn’t hold enough carbon to make up for the emissions released to care for the tree? Scientists in this study want to know which trees grow the longest and store carbon the longest. The goal is to inform managers of the best trees to plant in urban environments.

Flower Power: Have you ever been to a memorial garden? Memorial gardens are areas planted for a specific purpose. This monograph explores how memorial gardens help people and communities after a tragedy. The scientists also explore how people and communities may learn new things while creating gardens.

Sediment-al Journey: This is an article from our Freshwater edition. Chemicals from auto emissions, industrial processes, and urban development are found in most urban areas. These chemicals bind to the soil and can be carried by waterways. Scientists in this study wanted to find out the chemical content in these riparian sediments and what that content can tell us about how urban land is being used.

 

Don't Be So Fuel-ish! How Much Fuel is Saved When Cars Are Parked in the Shade: The scientists in this study wanted to know if cars parked in shady parking lots emit fewer gases than cars parked in sunny parking lots. If that is the case, it would give people another reason to plant trees in parking lots, especially where the climate is hot.

 

Yard Sale! How Trees Affect the Selling Price of Houses: The scientists in this study were interested in knowing whether the benefits provided by trees are valued by people buying a new house. They also wanted to know how much money those benefits are worth.

 

Good to the Last Drip - How Trees Help to Reduce Pollution: In the past, scientists had estimated how much rainfall is intercepted by trees growing in rural areas. The scientists in this study wanted to know how much rainfall is intercepted by the trees that grow in an urban county in California.

I've Got You Covered - The Amount of Pavement Covered by Street Trees: The trees that grow along urban streets are called street trees. Trees that grow in front yards are considered street trees if part of their canopy covers public areas, such as the sidewalk or the street. The scientists in this study wanted to know how much of the sidewalks and streets were covered by tree canopies in a particular urban area.

 

Social Groupies - How Different Groups Use Urban Parks:  People visit parks to do many different activities, such as play basketball, baseball, sunbathe, swim, walk, picnic, or go bicycling. If park managers know what people like to do in a particular park, they can do a better job of providing the opportunity. The question the scientist wanted to answer in this study was: What activities do people of different ethnic backgrounds do while visiting an urban park?

 

What You See Is Not What You Get -The Difference Between Sunlight and Ultraviolet Radiation: Scientists have known that there is a difference between the sun’s visible radiation and invisible ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation is separated into 3 types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The scientists in this study were interested in trees growing in urban areas. They wanted to know whether the shade that we can see under urban trees protects people from UVB radiation.

Made in the Shade: This is an article from our Facts to the Future edition. The scientists in this study were asked to determine the current status of urban forests in the United States. 

Meet Dr. Jovan: A part of our Natural Inquirer Reader series for students in grades K-2. They focus on a scientist and their research. Meet Dr. Jovan and learn about her research with moss and what moss tells us about air pollution!

Meet Dr. Roman: A part of our Natural Inquirer Reader series for students in grades K-2. They focus on a scientist and their research. In this Reader, students meet Dr. Lara Roman who studies urban trees.

Meet Dr. Mercer: A part of our Natural Inquirer Reader series for students in grades K-2. They focus on a scientist and their research. In this Reader, students meet Dr. Evan Mercer who compares climate in rural and urban communities.

 Citizen Science:

Citizen Science edition: People across the world are helping scientists collect data to answer important research questions. Learn how citizens are getting involved in science, from counting birds and lionfish to reporting earthquakes.

How to Implement Citizen Science in the Classroom: A guide on how to create a successful citizen science program. 

 

Scientist Cards:

Visit this page to order your free sets of scientist cards.



Dr. Lindsay Campbell, Social Scientist


Click here to download the front of this card.

Click here to download the back of this card.
  • Ph.D., Rutgers University 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Human geographers study how people interact with places.  With my focus on nature and geography, I examine the relationships between humans and the environment.  I'm particularly interested in the construction of nature in cities and the role of people and organizations in stewardship of the urban environment.

 



Dr. Michelle Kondo, Urban Health Scientist

Michelle Kondo, Urban Health Scientist
Click here to download the front of this card.

Michelle Kondo, Urban Health Scientist

Click here to download the back of this card.
  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An urban health scientist studies how urban environments affect the health of people living in urban areas.




 Dr. Nancy Falxa Sonti, Urban Forest Ecologist

Click here to download the front of this card. 

Click here to download the back of this card.

  • Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An urban forest ecologist studies the interactions between trees, people, and their environment in the city. 

 





Dr. Susannah Lerman, Research Ecologist

Susannah Lerman, Research Ecologist
Click here to download the front of this card.

Susannah Lerman, Research Ecologist

Click here to download the back of this card.
  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As an urban wildlife ecologist, I study how animals in cities interact with their habitat and how people interact with their local wildlife. 




Dr. Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist

Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist
Click here to download the front of this card.

Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist

Click here to download the back of this card.
  • Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An urban ecologist studies the relationship of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in an urban environment.  I have focused my research on urban forests which are an important part of urban ecosystems in many cities and towns across the world. 


 

Dr. Paul Gobster, Research Landscape Architect

Click here to download the front of this card. 

Click here to download the back of this card. 

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A landscape architect studies how the design, planning, and management of landscapes can provide a more harmonious fit between people and their environment.

 

 

Dr. Lara Roman, Research Ecologist

Lara Roman, Research Ecologist
Click here to download the front of this card.

Lara Roman, Research Ecologist

Click here to download the back of this card.
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a research ecologist, I study the ecology of trees in cities, towns, and suburbs.  

 

 Dr. Erika S. Svendsen, Social Scientist

Click here to download the front of this card. 

Click here to download the back of this card.

  • Ph.D., Columbia University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A social scientist studies people including individuals, groups, and organizations.

 

 

 

 

 Additional guides:

These two guides are designed to help community organizations, educators, students, and others collect and analyze data to help them understand air pollution where they live, work, learn, and play. "Tree Moss Collection as an Indicator of Air Quality: A Community How-to Guide” outlines how communities can use moss growing on street trees as a bio-indicator for local air pollution. “Youth and Community Curriculum for Using Tree Moss as Bio-Indicator for Air Pollution” presents an 11-session curriculum, including lesson plans and evaluative tools to assess learning.

Using Tree Moss as an Indicator of Air Quality: A Community How To Guide
   Youth and Community Curriculum for Using Tree Moss as a Bio-indicator for Air Pollution