Ecology, Management, and Advocacy of Urban Forests

Course Number
ENVS 684 660
Course Code
Course Key
Course Note
Fulfills MES Concentration Resource Mgmt/Resil & Adapt.
Course Description
Urban forests, “all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area – including individual trees along streets and in backyards, as well as stands of remnant forest” (Nowak et al. 2010), are important in providing ecological and socio-economic benefits such as reducing stormwater runoff, creating wildlife habitat, lowering temperatures, enhancing human health, and increasing property values. The purpose of the course is to develop a greater understanding of urban forests as socio-ecological systems, with the goal of involving students in research and stewardship efforts. We will explore the overlapping areas of urban forest ecology and ecosystem services, management, and advocacy and education.  Outside speakers, potentially from the US Forest Service, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Audubon Pennsylvania, and other organizations, will expand our understanding of urban forest systems.  Several optional weekend field trips to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of Philadelphia will illustrate the character of urban forests and reforestation projects which typically involve deer control, invasive plant removal, planting of native trees and shrubs propagated from local seed sources, management, and monitoring.  Student assignments and research projects will help to reinforce course content.
Subject Area Vocab