US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Michelle Kondo

Michelle Kondo, Ph.D.

Research Social Scientist
100 N. 20th Street, Suite 205
United States

Phone: 215-988-1619
Contact Michelle Kondo, Ph.D.

Curriculum vitae (0 KB PDF)

Current Research

Michelle Kondo, Ph.D., is a scientist with the USDA-Forest Service, Philadelphia Field Station. She completed doctoral training in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, and postdoctoral training in environmental health and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kondo’s general research interests include:

  • Environmental strategies for violence, injury and disease prevention
  • Environmental health and environmental justice
  • Geospatial and community-based research methods

Her research addresses the following broad questions: What are the health consequences of environmental disparities? By which physiological and psychosocial mechanisms do environments affect health? And, what impact can place-based and nature-based initiatives have on preventing and reducing violence, injuries, and disease? She is also interested in evaluating the influence of community participation in place-based initiatives on health outcomes. Some of her major projects include:

Changes in public health and safety associated with greening of vacant land and other greening and blight-reduction initiatives

Post-industrial cities throughout the Eastern US are developing innovative programs to reuse vacant lots. Cities are increasingly combining goals of vacant land stabilization with sustainability and public health and safety initiatives; vacant lots present opportunities to promote economic development, improve health and safety, and provide ecosystem services such as stormwater management. Dr. Kondo’s research employs quasi-experimental and experimental methods in evaluating impacts of vacant lot reuse and other greening programs such as green stormwater infrastructure on health and safety.

Viability of Prescriptions for Nature Programs

Partnerships between doctors, hospitals, non-profit groups and land managers are developing across the US to initiate “Parks Rx” or “Nature Rx” programs which incorporate support for families in spending more time outdoors in to the medical system. This project evaluates effectiveness of Nature Rx programs in implementation and in increasing patient use of outdoor spaces.

Research Interests

Manuscripts in Preparation or Under Review

Heckert, M., Kondo, M.C. Surveyed uses and perceptions of “cleaned-and-greened” vacant lots.

Kondo, M.C., Han, S., Donovan, G., MacDonald, J. Association between tree mortality due to emerald ash borer and public safety: a block group-level analysis in Cincinnati, OH.

DeRoos, A., Gurian, P., Kondo, M.C., Zakari, I. Evidence of the association between drinking water turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness.

Kondo, M.C., Han, S., Donovan, G., MacDonald, J. Association between tree mortality due to emerald ash borer and public safety in the US: a county-level analysis.

Kondo, M.C., Han, S., Branas, C.C. Green stormwater infrastructure and crime in a large metropolitan area.

Locke, D., Kondo, M.C., Han, S., Murphy-Dunning, C. Volunteer tree-planting and crime prevention.

Past Research

Dr. Kondo's past research has investigated patterns of air pollution in goods-movement communities; air pollution-related stress and risk perception; and methods of community engagement in research and planning.


Kondo, M.C., Hohl, B.C., Han, S., Branas, C.C. (in press) Effects of greening and community reuse of vacant lots on crime. Urban Studies.

Kondo, M.C., Sharma, R., Yang, Y., Burstyn, I. (2016) Heavy metal concentrations in urban green stormwater infrastructure soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, 45(1): 107-118.

Kondo, M.C., South, E.C., Branas, C.C. (2015) Nature-based strategies for improving urban health and safety. Journal of Urban Health, 92(5): 800-814.

Kondo, M.C.; Keene, D.; Hohl, B.; MacDonald, J.; Branas, C.C. 2015. The effects of a new vacant building remediation strategy on safety. Plos One, 10(7):e0129582.

South, E.C.; Kondo, M.C.; Cheney, R.A.; Branas, C.C. 2015. Neighborhood blight, stress, and health: A walking trial of urban greening and ambulatory heart rate. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4):909-913.

Kondo, M.C.; Low, S.C.; Henning, J.; Branas, C.C. 2015. Association between green infrastructure installment and surrounding health and safety. American Journal of Public Health, 105(3):e114-e121.

Kondo, M.C.; Gross-Davis, C.A.; May, K.; Davis, L.O.; Johnson, T.; Mallard, M.; Gabbadon, A.; Sherrod, C.; Branas, C.C. 2014. Place-based stressors associated with industry and air pollution. Health & Place, 28:31-17.

Kondo, M.C.; Mizes, C.; Lee, J.; Burstyn, I. 2014. Black carbon concentrations in a goods-movement neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment 186(7):4605-4618.

Kondo, M.C.; Mizes, C.; Lee, J.; Burstyn, I. 2014. Towards participatory air pollution exposure assessment in a goods movement community. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 8(3).

Kondo, M.C.; Bream, K.D.W.; Barg, F.K.; Branas, C.C. 2014. A random spatial sampling method in a rural developing nation. BMC Public Health 14:338.

Ketterer, T.; West, D.W.; Sanders, V.P.; Hossain, J.; Kondo, M.C.; Sharif, I. 2013. Correlates of patient portal enrollment and activation in primary care pediatrics. Academic Pediatrics, 13(3), 264-271.

Kondo, M.C.; Rivera, R.; Rullman, S. 2012. Protecting the idyll but not the environment: Second homes, amenity migration and rural exclusion in Washington State. Landscape and Urban Planning, 106(2), 174-182.

Kondo, M.C. 2012. Immigrant organizations in pursuit of inclusive planning: Lessons from a municipal annexation case. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32(3), 319-330.

Kondo, M.C. 2012. Influences of gender and race on immigrant political participation: The case of the Trusted Advocates. International Migration, 50(5), 113-129.

Porter, L.; Sandercock, L.; Umemoto, K.; Bates, L.K.; Zapata, M. A.; Kondo, M.C.; Zitcer, A.; Lake, R.W.; fonza, a.; Sletto, B.; Erfan, A. 2012. What's love got to do with it? Illuminations on loving attachment in planning. Planning Theory & Practice, 13(4).

Why This Research is Important

Media Interviews and Spotlights


  • University of Washington, Ph.D. Urban Design and Planning 2008
  • University of Washington, M.U.P. Urban Design and Planning 2001
  • Carnegie Mellon University, B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering 1999

Professional Experience

  • Associate Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Public Health Initiatives
    2010 - Current
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology
    2013 - 2014
  • GPS/GIS Instructor, University of Pennsylvania, Guatemala Health Initiative
    2012 - 2013
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
    2010 - 2013
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Seattle University, Institute of Public Service
    2009 - 2010
  • Fellow, University of Washington, NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Urban Ecology
    2003 - 2005
  • Environmental Consultant, Environmental Science Associates, Water and Wastewater Division, San Francisco, CA.
    2001 - 2003


Research Highlights


Air Pollution as a Psychosocial Stressor

A Forest Service scientist and her research partners found that air pollution contributes to physical and psychosocial conditions that act as co ...


Last updated on : 10/25/2016