Project CommuniTree is a new collaborative multi-organizational partnership in Northwest Indiana to plant trees in post-industrial communities in order to improve the local ecosystems and provide the benefits of trees to people. Starting with the work of Jess' ENV 261 Mixed Methods class in Spring 2017, LUFA is collaborating with Drew Hart to evaluate the CommuniTree tree planting efforts. More info here.
Jess has been examining the interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities within the field of urban forestry and arboriculture. More info here.
From 2016-17, DePaul Environmental Science student Greg Skora and I analyzed data from semi-structured interviews with neighborhood leaders in tree-planting and non-tree-planting (socio-demographically similar, comparison) neighborhoods in 5 U.S. cities to look for social impacts of tree planting, and investigate the motivations and mechanisms for community greening activities like tree planting. We are currently in the process of writing up this research for publication. More info here.
What are the costs of maintaining trees and the urban forest? And what are the costs of not maintaining trees? This project examined the available research on the costs of maintenance and lack of maintenance for types of tree care. Funded by a contract to Indiana University from the International Society of Arboriculture Science and Research Committee. More info here.
Can Google Street View technology be used to inventory street trees? How cost- and time-effective is Google Street View compared to standard on-the-ground tree inventory methods? During Summer 2017, a LUFA field crew collaborating with Ball State University and the U.S. Forest Service is conducting research to answer these questions. More info here.
The Anthropocene is the new geologic epoch in which humans are dramatically altering the planet. Urban forestry has the potential to mitigate some of the challenges of the Anthropocene. In several recent talks and upcoming manuscripts, Jess is collaborating with several colleagues to make the case for a stronger connection between urban forestry and sustainability scientists working to create a better world in the Anthropocene. More info here.
Climate change is posing complex challenges for managers of urban forests, trees, greenspaces, and natural areas in cities. This project aims to conduct a comparative analysis of climate-informed management by urban forest managers in two metropolitan areas in the Great Lakes region—Chicago and Toronto. Currently, DePaul ENV students Sam Conrad and Erik Espeland are investigating aspects of climate change and urban forestry in Chicago. More info here.
Jess was selected to attend a Future Earth Young Scientists Networking Conference in May-June 2015. Through her connections with this international sustainability organization, she has been an author on several blog posts and a manuscript. More info here.