US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Lindsay Campbell

Research Social Scientist
c/o EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-637-4175

Current Research

My current research explores the dynamics of urban stewardship, sustainability, and environmental policymaking, with a particular emphasis on issues of social justice:

  • My dissertation examines how the politics and practices of urban forestry and urban agriculture in New York City are negotiated. It centers on the municipal long term sustainability plan, PlaNYC2030, which was created in 2007 and updated in 2011. From this entry point, it pivots to examine the network of actors, institutions, discourses, and socio-natural environments that constitute urban forestry and urban agriculture as natural resource use systems. It asks: what actors via what institutions make what claims (resting on which assumptions) in order to shape the goals that are set within the plan? What accounts for the varied treatment of urban forestry and agriculture in a single city within a single sustainability planning process? And, in turn, how do the goals of the plan alter resource management practices going forward?
  • STEW-MAP (the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project) for New York City is a collaborative project with Erika Svendsen and Morgan Grove of the Northern Research Station, Dana Fisher of University of Maryland - College Park, and Jarlath O`Neil-Dunne of the University of Vermont. This citywide assessment analyzes the spatial locations and network relationships of nearly 3,000 civic stewardship groups. STEW-MAP is an integral part of our ULTRA-EX project for New York City, Understanding the Dynamic Connections Among Stewardship, Land Cover, and Ecosystem Services in New York City's Urban Forest. For more information on that project, visit:
  • Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Wellbeing through Urban Landscapes in an edited volume created in partnership with the nonprofit, Meristem, to share lessons learned from the fields of urban natural resource management and design with other practitioners, policymakers, and the general public.
  • The Living Memorials Project treats September 11 as a case study of a disturbance to which people respond, including through acts of stewardship.

The Forest Service Northern Research Station and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation have jointly created the New York City Urban Field Station. The Urban Field Station develops and applies adaptive management, technology transfer, and science to improve human well-being and the environment in urban metropolitan areas. I am involved in all aspects of the development and implementation of the field station.

Research Interests

We intend to build upon our ULTRA-EX research with longer term, integrated social-ecological urban research. I am also developing a number of other applied research projects for the New York City Urban Field Station with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and other local partners - on issues ranging from young street tree mortality, to ecological literacy, to green jobs, to research in cooperation with the FreshKills landfill to park conversion project.

Why This Research is Important

  • The NYC Urban Field Station is both a physical place to conduct research and a network of relationships among a growing number of scientists, practitioners, university cooperators and facilities focused on urban ecology. It is located at Fort Totten in Bayside Queens, NY. Since its founding, the Urban Field Station has engaged over 30 non-profit, academic, and government partners creating innovative research in action programs to support urban ecosystem management.
  • My dissertation builds upon prior work that examines the political and discursive dimension of natural resource management, extending it to the recent empirical phenomena of urban sustainability planning and large-scale green infrastructure campaigns in global cities. Second, it continues the project of `re-naturing urban theory? by bringing a concern with materiality into the study of urban politics and policymaking. Finally, it brings concepts of urban political theory and networked governance into nature-society geography.
  • By exploring the networks among stewards and the social, organizational, informational and funding nodes that link them, STEW-MAP examines the ways that civil society stewards connect, compete with and compliment the goals of government agencies and the private business sector in the management of the urban ecosystem. This project seeks to understand and map the ways citizens serve as stewards by conserving, managing, monitoring, advocating for, and educating the public about their local environments (including water, land, air, waste, toxics, and energy issues).
  • Restorative Commons' 18 articles span theory, case studies, and practitioner interviews. The book explores the relationships of urban landscape to human health and well-being and documented some of the most compelling practices and principles currently utilized to create restorative commons either as small-scale experiments or as larger efforts to institutionalize innovation. It was designed for a wide audience with full color illustrations and graphics, has been distributed for free to more than 3,000 users, and downloaded thousands of times.
  • The Living Memorials research explores the ways in which natural resources aid human recovery not as passive design elements, but as catalysts for collective action. Stewardship allows for expression of collective values, including collective memories.


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Masters of City Planning Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2006
  • Princeton University, Environmental Studies Certificate Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, 2002

Professional Organizations

  • MillionTreesNYC
  • Urban Ecology Collaborative

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights


Forest Service Partnership with MillionTreesNYC

The demand for a well-trained green-collar labor force will increase as many cities implement sustainability and green infrastructure plans. Add ...


From World's Largest Landfill to New York City's Newest Park

The story of the restoration of Fresh Kills Salt Marsh, Staten Island, NY


Last updated on : 09/26/2014