Tuesday, May 6, 2014

interesting projects by the U.S. Forest Service

Meet Erika Svensen of the U.S. Forest Service and read about a couple of her projects:
Recently, my colleagues and I received a grant from the TKF Foundation, a private non-profit that funds publicly accessible urban green space. The project, entitled Landscapes of Resilience: Understanding the Creation and Stewardship of Open Spaces Sacred Places, focuses on acute disasters (such as the Joplin tornado and Hurricane Sandy on the east coast) and compares these disturbances with chronic, longer term economic disruption in our communities. We are studying when, where, how and why residents use greening activities as a mechanism for resilience and restoration. You can learn more about this project here: http://civicecology.org/tkf.php for more details. 
In addition to my current research, I am part of the New York City Urban Field Station. The field station’s mission is to improve the quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management. It began as a partnership between the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Here is a link to the NYC Urban Field Station site: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/nyc/ 
One of my first research projects with the U.S. Forest Service resulted in a multi-year study to understand the meaning of community-based memorials and acts of environmental stewardship after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Living Memorials Project http://www.livingmemorialsproject.net/ documented and investigated over 700 memorials nationwide, made them accessible in an on-line national registry, and findings were synthesized in articles, presentations and multi-media exhibits. Our research examines the emergence of September 11 memorials as part of a social-ecological process of resilience and the ways in which ordinary space becomes sacred. Our partnership with artists and designers enabled us to produce an exhibit, Land-Markings: 12 Journeys through 9/11 Living Memorials at the National Park Service’s Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street. We were honored to receive the 2007 EDRA/Places Award for Living Memorials National Research: 9-11 and the Public Landscape.

Full bio here: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/people/esvendsen

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