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 Associate 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.
Peter graduated in June 2022 from DePaul University with a B.A. in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainability. In fall 2022, he is returning to DePaul as a student in the M.S. Environmental Science program. Peter is a member of the summer’s 2022 LUFA CommuniTree field crew that is conducting an inventory of trees planted through the CommuniTree initiative. His specific academic and professional interests and experiences are environmental justice, ethnobotany, and community-based sustainability work. Peter has worked with the Buffalo Grove Park District to develop an ethnobotanical field guide, as well as to design and present an interactive program on ethical foraging for native herbal teas. Peter's favorite tree species is the bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa). When not working, his favorite hobby is gardening: he has been an active member of DePaul Urban Gardeners (DUG), as well as helping maintain his local township's community garden and managing his own home garden.
Kristine is a graduate student in the Environmental Science program. She has a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois (2006). After 13 years as a hairstylist and business owner, she is combining her skills in teaching and communication with her lifelong interest in nature and ecology. Her role in LUFA will involve qualitative and quantitative research regarding stewardship and maintenance of newly planted trees and their survival outcomes with the CommuniTree project. Her interests include urban wildlife and biodiversity, as well as helping people reconnect to/recognize urban spaces as ecosystems. She loves exploring natural spaces as well as examining the moss, fungi, plants and wildlife in the playgrounds, parking lots and other overlooked areas in urban spaces. Kristine is also a volunteer at Garfield Park Conservatory, and at Urban Wildlife Institute, where she assists with urban wildlife biodiversity monitoring.