MARCH 2017: E555 Urban Ecology Update.
This elective graduate course (11 students) is taught by Burney Fischer, and features discussion-based learning about urban ecology. The course consists of one 2.5-hour class meeting per week, broken into multiple sessions, where students lead discussions of readings they and the instructor selected. Briefing papers are developed prior to discussion, allowing the class to preview the salient points and issues for discussion. At mid-semester, each student prepares and presents a book review to the class. By video, the class interviewed Greg Cooper, who led a Master's project at Duke University entitled "Living in the Shade of Injustice," which focused on the urban forest of Durham, NC. The project demonstrated the legacy effect of the 1930s federal Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) program, which created maps that assigned residential areas a grade based on real estate risk levels, a practice that has become known as "redlining." Redlined neighborhoods continue to be underserved regarding urban tree canopy 80 years later. This discussion fit nicely with course readings on urban patch dynamics and the legacy impact. Learn more here.