Civic Ecology Lab
Civic Ecology Lab works to answer questions about how community based environmental stewardship activities...
Civic ecology is an emerging branch of ecology that investigates ways in which environmental stewardship activities and ecosystem services mediate the interactions of humans with other organisms and with the ecosystem process. The discipline draws on conceptual models that emphasize interactions and feedbacks among four components of a social-ecological system. These four components include community-based environmental stewardship, education and learning situated in these practices, the people and institutions involved, and the ecosystem services produced by the people, their stewardship, and educational practices.
Our Civic Ecology Lab works to answer questions about how community based environmental stewardship activities can act as drivers to enhance social and ecological structure and function in systems that have experienced gradual deterioration or sudden disturbances through practices such as forestry, community gardening, watershed restoration and other efforts. Another critical part of what we study is the individual, community, and environmental outcomes of civic ecology practices and education, including, among others, sense of place, adaptive capacity and social capital.
The Lab also has partnerships with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, UNESCO Urban Biosphere project (URBIS), American Community Gardening Association, MillionTreesNYC, New York State Military Youth and Family Program, North American Association for Environmental Education, and other community-based organizations engaged in environmental restoration and education.