In the News

AUGUST 2017: Fischer Accepted for Lightning Round Presentations

Dr. Burney Fischer will deliver lightning round presentations at both the Alliance for Community Trees and Urban Partners Conferences in November in Tulsa, OK.

He will present "Connecting a Non-Forestry School Urban Forestry Course to Urban Greening Nonprofits" at the annual Alliance for Community Trees Conference on November 14.  The presentation will help attendees learn about urban forest management courses at non-forestry schools, how they can connect with the enrolled students as volunteers, interns, and full-time employees, and how urban greening nonprofits can develop urban forestry case studies with university professors.

At the annual Urban Partners Conference, he will present "The Great Urban Disconnect Between Ecologists and Foresters" on November 15-16.  While it is understandable that urban ecologists (who work in traditional theory) and urban foresters (who work in management) struggle to find common ground, it is time to address this disconnect and open up a discussion.  The presentation will cover how urban foresters can connect with urban ecologists so that both can better work for the city. 

JULY 2017:Bridging the Gap Between Urban Ecology and Urban Forest Management 

This final article in a three-part series for the Hoosier Arborist is an appeal to urban ecologists and urban foresters to collaborate for the good of the urban forest.  While the solutions may not always be convenient, Dr. Burney Fischer's team of graduate students argue that they should prove rewarding, especially if other stakeholders are brought into the fold as well.  Read article 3 of 3 here.

JUNE 2017: Environment and Behavior Vol. 49, No. 4 Now Available Online 

Shannon Lea Watkins lead authors the May 2017 article, "Is Planting Equitable? An Examination of the Spatial Distrubtion of Nonprofit Urban Tree-Planting Programs by Canopy Cover, Income, Race, and Ethnicity."  Joined by Sarah Mincey, Jess Vogt, and Sean Sweeney, Watkins analyzes patterns of tree plantings in Midwestern and Eastern US cities and determines that inequity in canopy cover may be reduced by nonprofit tree plantings.  However, minority neighborhoods may still be underserved by the programs.  The article can be accessed here, via Sage Journals.

MAY 2017: The Great Urban Disconnect Between Ecologists and Foresters.

In this second entry in a three-part series for the Hoosier Arborist, the newsletter of the Indiana Arborist Association, Burney Fischer joins his graduate students in a discussion of the varied scopes through which ecologists, foresters, academics, and nonprofits view the urban forest.  Where these parties can begin to broaden their scopes and see the complementary potential of the other perspectives, the urban forest stands to gain from a more holistic understanding and approach to management. Read article 2 of 3 here.

APRIL 2017: E422/E522 Urban Forest Management Update.

An elective mixed undergraduate/graduate course (30/10 students) taught by Burney Fischer that is lecture/discussion based learning with selected field experiences about managing the urban forest.  The course consists of two 1.25 hour class meetings per week.  In April the class has two field experiences – a day with Davey Tree/Resource Group and tree planting day with the Bloomington City Forester.  The Davey day consists of a learning about Davey and all the services they provide clients, learning how to collect tree data for the Davey TreeKeeper Program and the basics of tree climbing for tree work (see photo of student climbing a tree).  The tree planting experience is conducted in a Bloomington Neighborhood each year and is conducted like a non-profit tree planting experience with a tutorial on the basics of street tree planting (see photo of City Forester Lee Huss explaining tree planting) and then students breaking up into small teams to plant about 20 trees.  Both events were very successful.

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.

FEBRUARY 2017:Branching out to residential lands: Missions and strategies of five tree distribution programs in the US.

Sarah Mincey co-authored this paper in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.  This research was supported by the USFS Philadelphia Field Station's Sustainability Fellowship program. 

JANUARY 2017: Defining Urban Ecology and the Connection to Urban Forestry.

The editor of the Hoosier Arborist, a quarterly newsletter of the Indiana Arborist Association, requested a short series of articles (3) connecting urban ecology to urban forestry.  This first article focuses on defining urban ecology "in", "of" and "for" the city, and how this can connect to the practices of arboriculture and urban forestry.  The article was well-received, and we were strongly encouraged to develop the second and third articles.  Read article 1 of 3 here.

Update: This article was also carried as an opinion piece in the February 2017 issue of Agricultural Reseach & Technology.  You may read this version here.