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Denver Urban Field Station

graphical image showing an artist's rendering of the Denver skyline

The Denver Urban Field Station (DUFS) is a collaborative research and practice unit of the USDA 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. 

DUFS is part of the larger network of urban field stations producing place-based research with urban implications. More information about the network of urban field stations can be found on the national USDA Forest Service Research & Development website.

Research at DUFS emphasizes the following:

  • Urban Ecosystems
  • Stewardship and Civic Engagement
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Resilience, Health, and Well-being

Highlighted projects


The Denver Environmental Stewardship Mapping (STEW-MAP) Project is the first DUFS collaborative research project. Based on methodology developed by the New York City Urban Field Station and implemented in numerous cities nationwide and internationally, the Denver STEW-MAP is designed to paint a picture of the region’s environmental stewardship “landscape”, documenting where the many private and public sector organizations work, how they are connected, and from where they source the information and tools that enable on-the-ground stewardship action and education. In this way, the project adds a social layer of information to the region’s wealth of biophysical information on green infrastructure (e.g., urban tree canopy, parks and open space, riparian areas). It will also uncover gaps in action, knowledge, and resources, which will inform the continued development of DUFS and influence future applied research projects and priorities. More information can be found on the DUFS STEW-MAP page.