Lynne M. Westphal
Research Social Scientist
1033 University Place, Suite 360
Contact Lynne M. Westphal
My research focuses on how people participate in decision-making and management of local environments and in combining methods and information from a variety of science disciplines to better address complex issues. A lot of my research is in urban areas, where nearby nature plays a vital role in improving quality of life.
With my research colleagues, we are looking civic engagement in stewardship in the Chicago Wilderness region and in comparison to similar activities in others cities. This builds on earlier work where I looked at volunteer motivations and the social impacts of block-level greening projects.
In the RESTORE project we are investigating whether the social structure of groups making ecological restoration decisions makes a difference in terms of the biodiversity of the restoration sites. If it does, it points to best management practices for enhancing biodiversity but if it doesn't, that's good, too because it indicates that a variety of approaches to restoration may be effective, thereby expanding the suite of options for conducting ecological restoration.
I have long been involved in research and other projects in the Calumet rustbelt landscape of southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana. Currently my focus there is with the Northwest Indiana Urban waters project (http://www.urbanwaters.gov/pdf/northwestindiana.pdf). Information on earlier work can be found here (http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/urban/calumet/).
- Continue to refine and strengthen participatory decision making and management of natural areas.
- Continuing the integration of social, biological, and physical disciplines in natural resources research.
Why This Research is Important
We understand the importance of habitat for wildlife, yet humans need good habitat, too. Trees, rivers and streams, parks and other open spaces all play a significant role in creating good places to live. My work helps planners, municipal employees, elected officials, NGOs, tree advocates, and others understand how to manage natural resources to improve quality of life and achieve environmental justice.
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D. Public Policy Analysis and Urban Planning. 1999
- Northeastern Illinois University, M.A. Geography and Environmental Studies 1992
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.A. South Asian Studies 1982
- Environmental Design Research Association
- American Psychological Association
- American Sociological Association
- International Society of Arboriculture
- Society for Conservation Biology
Featured Publications & Products
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Davis, Amelie Y.; Copp, Cindy; Ross, Laurel M.; Bouman, Mark J.; Fisher, Cherie L.; Johnston, Mark K. 2014. Characteristics of stewardship in the Chicago Wilderness Region.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Hirsch, Jennifer. 2010. Engaging Chicago residents in climate change action: Results from Rapid Ethnographic Inquiry.
- Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc; Westphal, Lynne M.; Longoni, Mario. 2010. Fish consumption risk perception among anglers in an industrial urban area.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2010. How to build multifunctional agricultural landscapes in the U.S corn belt: add perennials and partnerships.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Gobster, Paul H.; Gross, Matthias. 2010. Models for renaturing brownfield areas Chapter 19.
- Atwell, Ryan. C.; Schulte, Lisa. A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2011. Tweak, adapt, or transform: Policy scenarios in response to emerging bioenergy markets in the U.S.
- Johnson, Michelle L.; Locke, Dexter H.; Svendsen, Erika ; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Westphal, Lynne M.; Romolini, Michele ; Grove, J. Morgan. 2019. Context matters: influence of organizational, environmental, and social factors on civic environmental stewardship group intensity.
- Watkins, Shannon Lea; Vogt, Jess ; Mincey, Sarah K.; Fischer, Burnell C.; Bergmann, Rachael A.; Widney, Sarah E.; Westphal, Lynne M.; Sweeney, Sean . 2018. Does collaborative tree planting between nonprofits and neighborhood groups improve neighborhood community capacity.
- Browning, Matthew H.E.M.; Kuo, Ming; Sachdeva, Sonya; Lee, Kangjae; Westphal, Lynne. 2018. Greenness and school-wide test scores are not always positively associated A replication of "linking student performance in Massachusetts elementary schools with the 'greenness' of school surroundings using remote sensing".
- Asah, Stanley T.; Bengston, David N.; Westphal, Lynne M.; Gowan, Catherine H. 2018. Mechanisms of children's exposure to nature: Predicting adulthood environmental citizenship and commitment to nature-based activities.
- Kuo, Ming ; Browning, Matthew H. E. M.; Sachdeva, Sonya ; Lee, Kangjae ; Westphal, Lynne . 2018. Might School Performance Grow on Trees Examining the Link Between Greenness and Academic Achievement in Urban, High-Poverty Schools.
- Belaire, J. Amy; Westphal, Lynne M.; Minor, Emily S. 2016. Different social drivers, including perceptions of urban wildlife, explain the ecological resources in residential landscapes.
- Gobster, Paul H.; Floress, Kristin; Westphal, Lynne M.; Watkins, Cristy A.; Vining, Joanne; Wali, Alaka. 2016. Resident and user support for urban natural areas restoration practices.
- Svendsen, Erika S.; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Fisher, Dana R.; Connolly, James J.T.; Johnson, Michelle L.; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Locke, Dexter H.; Westphal, Lynne M.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc; Grove, Morgan; Romolini, Michele; Blahna, Dale J.; Wolf, Kathleen L. 2016. Stewardship mapping and assessment project: a framework for understanding community-based environmental stewardship.
- Watkins, Cristy; Westphal, Lynne M. 2015. People don't talk in institutional statements: A methodological case study of the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework.
- Watkins, Christy; Westphal, Lynne M.; Gobster, Paul H.; Vining, Joanne; Wali, Alaka; Tudor, Madeleine. 2015. Shared principles of restoration practice in the Chicago wilderness region.
- Belaire, J. Amy; Westphal, Lynne M.; Whelan, Christopher J.; Minor, Emily S. 2015. Urban residents' perceptions of birds in the neighborhood: Biodiversity, cultural ecosystem services, and disservices.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Watkins, Cristy; Gobster, Paul H.; Heneghan, Liam; Ross, Kristen; Ross, Laurel; Tudor, Madeleine; Wali, Alaka; Wise, David H.; Vining, Joanne; Zellner, Moira. 2014. Social Science Methods Used in the RESTORE Project.
- De Sousa, Christopher A.; Wu, Changson; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Assessing the effect of publicly assisted brownfield redevelopment on surrounding property values.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Landscape, community, countryside: linking biophysical and social scales in US Corn Belt agricultural landscapes.
- Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Linking resilience theory and diffusion of innovations theory to understand the potential for perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt.
- Lu, Jacqueline W.T.; Shane, Megan; Svendsen, Erika; Campbell, Lindsay; Fragola, Cristiana; Krasny, Marianne; Lovasl, Gina; Maddox, David; McDonnell, Simon; McPhearson, P. Timon; Montalto, Franco; Newman, Andrew; Pehek, Ellen; Rae, Ruth A.; Stedman, Richard; Tidball, Keith G.; Westphal, Lynne; Whitlow, Tom. 2009. MillionTreesNYC, Green infrastructure, and urban ecology: building a research agenda.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Longoni, Mario; LeBlanc, Cherie L.; Wali, Alaka. 2008. Anglers' appraisals of the risks of eating sport-caught fish from industrial areas: lessons from Chicago's Calumet region.
- Fernandez-Juricic, Esteban; Zollner, Patrick A.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc; Westphal, Lynne M. 2007. Responses of nestling black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) to aquatic and terrestrial recreational activities: a manipulative study.
- Kramer, Daniel Boyd; Polasky, Stephen; Starfield, Anthony; Palik, Brian; Westphal, Lynn; Snyder, Stephanie; Jakes, Pamela; Hudson, Rachel; Gustafson, Eric. 2006. A Comparison of Alternative Strategies for Cost-Effective Water Quality Management in Lakes.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Ostry, Michael E. 2006. Decisions at the water's edge: sustaining riparian landscapes in the midwest.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Levengood, Jeffery M.; Wali, Alaka; Soucek, David; Stotz, Douglas F. 2005. Brownfield redevelopment: a hidden opportunity for conservation biology.
- Gobster, Paul H.; Westpahl, Lynne M. 2004. The human dimensions of urban greenways: planning for recreation and related experiences.
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2003. Social Aspects of Urban Forestry: Urban Greening and Social Benefits: a Study of Empowerment Outcomes.
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2003. Water, water everywhere... integrated riparian research in the North Central Region.
- Westphal, Lynne M.; Isebrands, J. G. 2001. Phytoremediation of Chicago's brownfields: consideration of ecological approaches and social issues..
- Westphal, Lynne M. 2000. Increasing the trustworthiness of research results: the role of computers in qualitative text analysis.
- Westphal, Lynne. 1999. Growing Power : Social Benefits From Urban Greening Projects.
- Gobster, P. H.; Westphal, L. M. 1998. People and the River: Perception and Use of Chicago Waterways for Recreation..
- Gobster, Paul H.; Westphal, Lynne M. 1998. People and the river: perception and use of Chicago waterways for recreation..
|Birds Connect Urban Residents to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services|
Birds can help urban residents make connections to the outdoors. Forest Service scientists surveyed urban residents and found that most of them ...
|Children’s connections to nature prove to be lasting|
Childhood nature experiences have lifelong positive effects. Children’s voluntary engagement with nature, as opposed to exposure through schoo ...
|Models for Ecological Restoration in Urban Areas: Lessons From the USA and Europe|
NRS researchers Paul Gobster and Lynne Westphal and a German colleague, Matthias Gross, analyzed urban restoration projects and developed severa ...
|Resident and visitor support for urban natural areas restoration|
Resident and visitor beliefs about whether a given restoration practice, such as controlled burning, is already being used at a site can be a po ...
|Shared Principles of Ecological Restoration|
Restoration is growing in application, and Forest Service scientists found a set of guiding principles in effect throughout the Chicago Wilderne ...
|Street-Level Views of Climate Change|
Forest Service researchers and partners interviewed residents of two Chicago neighborhoods about their awareness of climate change and their own ...
|Tree Cover Boosts Academic Performance in Chicago Public Schools|
An analysis of academic achievement within Chicago Public Schools suggests that a higher proportion of tree cover, relative to grass and other v ...