The world’s population is becoming increasingly urbanized, making the quality of the urban environment important to more and more people.
The Urban Resiliency Program is a citizen science initiative that harnesses growing interest by the general public, managers, and scientists to improve the sustainability of urban landscapes.
Dr. Darrel Jenerette from University of California, Riverside explains the importance of citizen science data at an event in Los Angeles.
THE BENEFITS AND SCIENCE
Trees in cities provide a wealth of benefits, called ecosystem services, creating resilience to climate change including climate change mitigation, filtration of storm water, energy conservation, carbon sequestration and storage, esthetic value, and improved physical and psychological human health. We are quantifying in dollars the value of these services provided by the urban forests in each city. Urban trees are threatened by lack of access to water, pollution, emerging pests and diseases, soil compaction, shading by buildings, and removal. We are also evaluating how the growth and survivorship of trees are being impacted by these threats. By gaining an understanding of the value of forests and threats to them, we can provide local tree managers with new tools to maintain healthy urban forests.
Citizen scientists examine the health of trees throughout Los Angeles.
WE CAN’T DO IT ALONE
The management of urban street trees, parklands, and forests is an integral and active part of urban planning to ensure vibrant green space, ecosystem services, and resilience for cities and municipalities. We are partnering with local nonprofit organizations focused on planting trees, land managers who can make decisions about tree management, scientists who ask questions and analyze data to figure out how trees are responding to the environment, and technology specialists who build innovative tools to engage people in data collection.
Our current partners include:
Greater Los Angeles:
- University of California, Riverside
- Amigos de los Rios
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Heschel School
- Koreatown Youth and Community Center
- North East Trees
- Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District
- The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
- Trust for Public Land
GETTING INVOLVED IS EASY
It’s easy to get involved. Just watch the less than one-hour training video (below) to learn everything you need to know to begin collecting tree data in the Greater Los Angeles area. By following the instructions in the video, you’ll also be registered for our monthly newsletter that provides information on upcoming one-day expeditions near you. You can also visit our iNaturalist page to see all of the data collected by citizen scientists near you or download the app on your iOs or Android phone.
Spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues. After all, preserving our natural environment is everyone’s responsibility.
Watch our training videos before going out into the field for your citizen science event:
Greater Los Angeles Focal Tree Training – link