Urban forestry and arboriculture as interdisciplinary environmental science: importance and incorporation of other disciplines

  • Jess Vogt
  • Burnell C. Fischer
  • Richard J. Hauer
Article

Abstract

Urban forests - trees and vegetation in cities - produce numerous benefits for urban residents. The study and practice of urban forestry aims to understand how trees and their benefits are produced and maintained over time. Urban forestry (tree population management) and the related field of arboriculture (single-tree management) are less known outside of the forestry and horticulture disciplines in which these fields developed. Because urban forests are best understood as social-ecological systems, urban forestry research using interdisciplinary methods and theory is beginning to become more common. In this paper, we surveyed educators and leaders of urban forestry and/or arboriculture programs across the world to examine the interdisciplinary basis of these programs. We summarize here the responses of 116 institutions of higher education (85 within the United States) with urban forestry and/or arboriculture coursework. Seventy-four percent of institutions considered urban forestry/arboriculture to be interdisciplinary. Some disciplines (e.g., biology/ecology, forestry) are already very incorporated into their program's current curriculum, and the importance of several other disciplines is recognized even while incorporation is not yet fully realized (e.g., urban planning, natural resource management, environmental science/studies). However, many major disciplines that have relevance to urban forestry/arboriculture are not rated as particularly important to the field, much less incorporated into curriculum (e.g., anthropology/sociology, economics, engineering, public policy/public affairs). Our study serves as a foundation on which to begin strengthening the interdisciplinary ties of urban forestry and arboriculture.

Keywords

Interdisciplinary Higher education Urban forestry Arboriculture 

Supplementary material

13412_2015_309_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (143 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 143 kb)

References

  1. Andersen F, Konijnendijk CC, Randrup TB (2002) Higher education on urban forestry in Europe: an overview. Forestry 75:501–511. doi:10.1093/forestry/75.5.501
  2. Andresen JW, Williams BM (1975) Urban forestry education in North America. J For 73:786–790Google Scholar
  3. Boix Mansilla V, Duraisingh ED (2007) Targeted assessment of students’ interdisciplinary work: an empirically grounded framework proposed. J High Educ 87(2):215–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown G, Bull J, Pendlebury M (1997) Assessing student learning in higher education. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Cash DW, Adger WN, Berkes F et al (2006) Scale and cross-scale dynamics: governance and information in a multilevel world. Ecol Soc 11(2):8Google Scholar
  6. Clark WC, Dickson NM (2003) Sustainability science: the emerging research program. PNAS 100:8059–8061. doi:10.1073/pnas.1231333100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark JR, Matheny NP (1998) A model of urban forest sustainability: application to cities in the United States. J Arboric 24:112–120Google Scholar
  8. Clark JR, Matheny NP, Cross G, Wake V (1997) A model of urban forest sustainability. J Arboric 23:17–30Google Scholar
  9. Deneke FJ (1978) Urban forestry education. J For 76:499–500Google Scholar
  10. Dillman DA, Smyth JD, Christian LM (2014) Internet, phone, mail and mixed-mode surveys: the tailored design method, 4th edn. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., HobokenGoogle Scholar
  11. Dimke KC, Sydnor TD, Gardner DS (2013) The effect of landscape trees on residential property values of six communities in Cincinnati, Ohio. Arboricult Urban For 39:49–55Google Scholar
  12. Elmendorf W, Watson T, Lilly S (2005) Arboriculture and urban forestry education in the United States: results of an educators survey. J Arboric 31:138–149Google Scholar
  13. Harris RW, Clark JR, Matheny NP (2004) Arboriculture: integrated management of landscape trees, shrubs, and vines, 4th edn. 578Google Scholar
  14. Hildebrandt RE, Floyd DF, Koslowsky KM (1993) A review of urban forestry education in the 1990s. J For 91:40–42Google Scholar
  15. Jack-Scott E, Piana M, Troxel B et al (2013) Stewardship success : how community group dynamics affect urban street tree survival and growth. Arboricult Urban For 39:189–196Google Scholar
  16. Jorgensen E (1970) Urban forestry in Canada. Proc. 46th Int. Shade Tree Conf. 43a--51aGoogle Scholar
  17. Kardan O, Gozdyra P, Misic B, Moola F, Palmer LJ, Paus T, Berman MG (2015) Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center. Sci Rep 5: 11610. doi:10.1038/srep11610
  18. Kates RW, Parris TM (2003) Long-term trends and a sustainability transition. PNAS 100:8062–8067. doi:10.1073/pnas.1231331100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kenney WA, van Wassenaer PJE, Satel AL (2011) Criteria and indicators for strategic urban forest planning and management. Arboricult Urban For 37:108–117Google Scholar
  20. Kirnbauer MC, Kenney WA, Churchill C, Baetz BW (2009) A prototype decision support system for sustainable urban tree planting programs. Urban For Urban Green 8:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Komiyama H, Takeuchi K (2006) Sustainability science: building a new discipline. Sustain Sci 1:1–6. doi:10.1007/s11625-006-0007-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Konijnendijk C, Randrup TB (2005) Urban forestry education. Urban for trees. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 465–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Konijnendijk CC, Ricard RM, Kenney A, Randrup TB (2006) Defining urban forestry—a comparative perspective of North America and Europe. Urban For Urban Green 4:93–103. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2005.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kuo FE (2003) The role of arboriculture in a healthy social ecology. J Arboric 29:148–155Google Scholar
  25. Leslie AD, Wilson ER, Starr CB (2006) The current state of professional forestry education in the United Kingdom. Int For Rev 8:339–349. doi:10.1505/ifor.8.3.339 Google Scholar
  26. Lilly SJ (2010) Arborists’ certification study guide, 3rd edn. International Society of Arboriculture, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  27. Liu J, Dietz T, Carpenter SR et al (2007) Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science 317:1513–1516. doi:10.1126/science.1144004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lu JWT, Svendsen ES, Campbell LK et al (2011) Biological, social, and urban design factors affecting young street tree mortality in New York City. Cities Environ 3:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Matheny NP, Clark JR (2008) Municipal specialist certification study guide. International Society of Arboriculture, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  30. McGown KI (2015) Student perspectives on North American forestry education. J For 113:in press. doi:10.5849/jof.15-022
  31. McPherson EG (1984) Employer perspectives on arboriculture education. J Arboric 10:137–142Google Scholar
  32. Miller RW (1988) Urban forestry: planning and managing urban greenspaces, 1st edn. Prentice Hall, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  33. Miller RW (1994) Urban forestry education: traditions and possibilities. J For 92:26–27Google Scholar
  34. Miller RW (1997) Urban forestry: planning and managing urban greenspaces, 2nd edn. Prentice Hall, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  35. Miller TR (2012) Constructing sustainability science: emerging perspectives and research trajectories. Sustain Sci 8:279–293. doi:10.1007/s11625-012-0180-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller C, Lewis JG (1999) A contested past: forestry education in the United States, 1989-1998. J For 97:38–43Google Scholar
  37. Miller RW, Hauer RJ, Werner LP (2015) Urban forestry: planning and managing urban greenspaces, 3rd edn. Waveland Press, Long GroveGoogle Scholar
  38. Mincey SK, Hutten M, Fischer BC et al (2013) Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: a key to sustainable urban forest management. Urban Ecosyst 16:553–571. doi:10.1007/s11252-013-0286-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Morani A, Nowak DJ, Hirabayashi S, Calfapietra C (2011) How to select the best tree planting locations to enhance air pollution removal in the MillionTreesNYC initiative. Environ Pollut 159:1040–1047. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.11.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nielsen AB, Östberg J, Delshammar T (2014) Review of urban tree inventory methods used to collect data at single-tree level. Arboricult Urban For 40:96–111Google Scholar
  41. Nilsson K, Randrup T (1997) Urban and periurban forestry. In Forest and tree resources: proceedings of the XI World Forestry Congress 1:97-110. 13-22 Oct 1997, Antalaya, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  42. Nilsson K, Sangster M, Gallis C et al (eds) (2011) Forest, trees and human health. Springer, New York, 427p Google Scholar
  43. Norström AV, Dannenberg A, McCarney G et al (2014) Three necessary conditions for establishing effective Sustainable Development Goals in the Anthropocene. Ecol Soc 19(3):8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nowak DJ, Hirabayashi S, Bodine A, Hoehn R (2013) Modeled PM2.5 removal by trees in ten U.S. cities and associated health effects. Environ Pollut 178:395–402. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.03.050 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nowak DJ, Hirabayashi S, Bodine A, Greenfield E (2014) Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States. Environ Pollut 193:119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. O’Hara KL, Redelsheimer CL (2012) Divergent trends in accredited forestry programs in the United States: implications for research and education. J For 110:201–206Google Scholar
  47. Onishi A, Cao X, Ito T et al (2010) Evaluating the potential for urban heat-island mitigation by greening parking lots. Urban For Urban Green 9:323–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Open Working Group (OWG) of the United Nations General Assembly (2015) Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals, A/68/970. United Nations, New York, NY. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgsproposal
  49. Pataki DE, Carreiro MM, Cherrier J, Grulke NE, Jennings V, Pincetl S, Pouyat RV, Whitlow TH, Zipperer WC (2011) Coupling biogeochemical cycles in urban environments: ecosystem services, green solutions, and misconceptions. Front Ecol Environ 9(1):27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Randrup TB, Konijnendijk CC, Andersen F (2002) Review of higher education on urban forestry in Europe. Report to COST Action E12. European Committees. 229pGoogle Scholar
  51. Skiera J (2014) Time to step up. Arborist News 23:5–6Google Scholar
  52. Spelt EJH, Biemans HJA, Tobi H et al (2009) Teaching and learning in interdisciplinary higher education: a systematic review. Educ Psychol Rev 21:365–378. doi:10.1007/s10648-009-9113-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. UNESCO (2010) Communique--2009 World conference on higher education: the new dynamics of higher education and research for societal change and development. UNESCO, Paris, 14p Google Scholar
  54. Vogt JM, Fischer BC (2014) A protocol for citizen science monitoring of recently-planted urban trees. Cities Environ 7:4Google Scholar
  55. Vogt JM, Watkins SL, Mincey SK et al (2015) Explaining planted-tree survival and growth in urban neighborhoods: a social–ecological approach to studying recently-planted trees in Indianapolis. Landsc Urban Plan 136:130–143. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.11.021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wiseman PE, Hoffman JW, Day SD, Clements TL (2011) A syllabus-based review of collegiate arboriculture course content in the United States. Arboricult Urban For 37:51–59Google Scholar
  57. Wolf KL (2008) City trees, nature and physical activity: a research review. Arborist News 17:22–24Google Scholar
  58. Xiao Q, McPherson EG, Simpson JR, Ustin SL (1998) Rainfall interception by Sacramento’s urban forest. J Arboric 24:235–244Google Scholar

Copyright information

© AESS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jess Vogt
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Burnell C. Fischer
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Richard J. Hauer
    • 5
  1. 1.The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy AnalysisIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesFurman UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group at the Center for the Study of Institutions Populations and Environmental ChangeIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.School of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.College of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Wisconsin-Stevens PointStevens PointUSA

Personalised recommendations