Meet the LUFA Team
LUFA is a research group led by Dr. Jess Vogt at DePaul University, located in the beautifully-treed neighborhood of Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. We are based in the Department of Environmental Science & Studies and frequently collaborate with people from around the Chicagoland area and beyond! Learn more about individual members of our team below.
Jess is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies (ENV) at DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois). She received her PhD, MPA, and MSES from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana), and her B.A. in biology and environmental studies from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin). As leader of LUFA, she studies tree planting, neighborhoods, and urban social-ecological systems through the lens of sustainability science. She is passionate about creating spaces in which everyone can find their place to contribute to creating a world where all can thrive and flourish. Her quest is to answer the question, How can we create more resilient communities of humans and nature?
AT LEFT: Jess is standing in front of to a propped up dead tree branch in Dongling Park in Shenyang, Lioning, China, during the Urban Forests and Sustainability International Symposium in May 2016.
Camila is an environmental science student at DePaul University. She has been collaborating on the TreeKeeper project and, after helping out with survey analysis during 2019 and early 2020, is now working on the second phase of the research: conducting semi-structured interviews with TreeKeeper volunteers as a part of her B.S. senior thesis. Camila is also assisting Annalise with her project investigating how GSV can be used to find obvious tree defects in the face of storm damage. She is also working with Dr. Christie Klimas on a project modeling environmental reproduction influencers of the endangered oak Quercus brandegeei in collaboration with The Morton Arboretum. When not attending classes or working on research, Camila likes to volunteer at museums and animal shelters, explore different places around the city and listen to podcasts. Camila is also a current McNair Scholar.
Elene is an environmental science student at DePaul University with a minor in art. She is currently assisting in the Google Street View project, in which she is analyzing storm damage in trees from the derecho windstorm within Chicago during the summer of 2020. Elene has also worked on the conservation care volunteer team at the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where she was responsible for tending to endangered Blanding’s turtles native to the Chicagoland area in the winter of 2019. She has also been a part of the butterfly haven horticulture volunteer team at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum since the summer of 2019. When not fulfilling these roles, Elene continues to build her art portfolio, engages in terrestrial and aquatic gardening, and continues to learn about environmental health and restoring native lands, among other forms of restoration and conservation research throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond.
Haley is studying Environmental Science with a minor in Economics at DePaul University. She is currently working on an updated literature review of research from the past 5 years about the costs and benefits of maintaining the urban forest for her undergraduate thesis. She is interested in the intersection between environmental science and the socio-economic aspects of communities. She is currently volunteering with the Gateway to the Greatoutdoors (GGO), an organization that brings environmental education to Chicago Public Schools. Outside of school she loves spending time outdoors and exploring all greenscapes that Chicago has to offer.
Annalise is finishing her degree in Environmental Studies as DePaul University. She loves spending time outdoors gardening and learning about trees and fungi. Annalise is currently working on the TreeKeepers survey project, and has begun a project studying the possibilities of using Google Street View as a tool for identifying obvious tree defects. Annalise is heavily involved in the DePaul Urban Garden (DUG; on Instagram), caring for the garden and working with volunteers. She has worked with Dr. Bala Chaudhary in the Chaudhary Mycorrhizal Ecology Lab and is deeply interested in fungal and tree partnerships. Annalise hopes to continue working in the urban forest when she graduates.