Erika Svendsen, Social Scientist/Team Leader, NYC Urban Field Station, U.S. Forest Service
Speaker Information: Dr. Erika S. Svendsen is a research social scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Erika studies environmental stewardship as it relates to governance, social resilience, and human well-being. She is the Team Leader of the NYC Urban Field Station, a unique partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, NYC Department of Recreation and Parks and their cooperators. The NYC Urban Field Station is a space to conduct research, cultivate ideas, and foster collaboration among scientists and practitioners focused on urban ecological and social issues. Erika recently co-authored a book on Civic Engagement and Environmental Stewardship: How Planting Trees Strengthens the Roots of Democracy. She is a recipient of EDRA/Places Award for Living Memorials National Research: 9-11 and the Public Landscape. She has received the Forest Service Chief’s Award for engaging urban America and an Early Career Scientist Station Award recognizing her co-development of STEW-Map, a tool for mapping the turf, networks and characteristics of civic stewardship groups to measure their impact on shaping the environment and community life. She has served on the Steering Committee for MillionTreesNYC, as an advisor to the Vibrant Cities Urban Forests National Task Force and a member of the Department of Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group on Hurricane Sandy. Erika is a graduate of the Yale School of the Environment and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Abstract: Erika’s presentation will reflect on decades of work studying the ways in which urban forestry and related greening actions have played a critical role in improving the lives of people and communities during pivotal points of crisis and change. The talk will include a discussion of how foresters can be an essential part of resilience planning and transformative work at any scale.