[F&ES 788] / 2018-2019

Applied Urban Ecology

Credits: 3



Ecology is being transformed from a field historically disengaged from the human built environment to one that can provide insight into the understanding, design, and management of the constructed world. Urban ecology is central in this transformation. Urban ecologists are expanding their focus from “ecology in cities,” where they studied urban flora and fauna, to the “ecology of cities,” where they study human-biological interactions while also increasing their attention to the complex interplay among people, society, and environment. This reorientation has also catalyzed action-oriented initiatives. This course examines the current developments in urban ecology and looks at the transformative role it can play in shaping and managing urban environments. To this end, we examine fundamental issues in theory and practice that challenge the current understanding of urban ecosystems and that question the relationship between science and action in urban ecology. We also look at limitations and opportunities for conducting urban ecological research as well as methods specific to urban sites. The course includes fieldwork augmented with an overview of current literature in urban ecology, focusing on issues relating to science, application, advocacy, and contemporary concepts of stewardship. The final project includes an urban ecological design proposal and supporting research paper.