Skip to Main Content
Urban stewardship as a catalyst for recovery and changeAuthor(s): Erika S. Svendsen; Lindsay K. Campbell; Nancy F. Sonti; Gillian Baine
Source: In: Brandt, D.H.; Nordenson, C.S., eds. Waterproofing New York. Urban Research. 2: 104-111.
Publication Series: Book Chapter
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (532.18 KB)
DescriptionCurrent scientific conversation and practice often emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary research in tackling complex, contemporary issues. Direct observation is one of the most abiding, and sometimes overlooked, scientific methods that is common across most disciplines. On a summer afternoon in 2012, our USDA Forest Service research team went for a hike along a long stretch of the Rockawaysa peninsula abutting Jamaica Bay. Our goal was to explore this urban gradientits shifts in land use and vegetative coverand to better understand the methods each one of us used to "read the landscape." Walking through areas of plant cover, the foresters among us indicated places where invasive vines were choking out the native understory, or where saltwater inundation appeared to have impacted the health of street trees. We learned that forest ecologists use these observations as clues to better understand, and perhaps even predict, ecosystem health. As we continued our walk, we came to another part of this community characterized by a dense assortment of single-family homes and multistory buildings. We passed some blocks that appeared entirely abandoned except for the numerous cats jumping in and out of broken windows. One of the social scientists among us asked our group to pause as she noted a woman sweeping the sidewalk in front of a boarded-up house. Here, too, was an indicator of ecosystem health: a simple act of stewardship can hold great promise for bolstering recovery and resilience.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationSvendsen, Erika S.; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Sonti, Nancy F.; Baine, Gillian. 2015. Urban stewardship as a catalyst for recovery and change. In: Brandt, D.H.; Nordenson, C.S., eds. Waterproofing New York. Urban Research. 2: 104-111.
- Forest ethnography: An approach to study the environmental history and political ecology of urban forests
- Northern forest winters have lost cold, snowy conditions that are important for ecosystems and human communities
- Fragmentation statistics for FIA: designing an approach
XML: View XML