See the updated program here.

Register here.  The event will be in Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT

Watch via Livestream on Feb 5-6, 2015 here:

Some of the speakers have given permission to share their presentations.  The presentations are linked here:

Kris Ebi

Jason Vargo


Watch the 2014 symposium on urban ecosystem services via Livesteam here.

Check out this one-pager from the EPA: Resources on Green Stormwater Infrastructure Implementation

Please note two agenda updates: Carter Strickland, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the keynote speaker. Robert Mendelsohn will be the first speaker following the keynote, not Edward Barbier.

See the updated program here.

Registration to attend this event in person has closed.  Registration for the main room closed at 1 pm on Jan 13th. Registration for the overflow room closed at 11pm on Jan 16th, but now we will have room in the overflow.  To register for the overflow on the day of, come to Kroon's 3rd floor.  The webcast link is:

Early registrants, please arrive on time to ensure that you get a seat in Kroon.

See the updated program here.

Call for Posters


The Urban Ecosystem Services Symposium:

New Tools for Understanding Ecosystem Management in an Urbanizing World


A Yale/Hixon Center, NYC Parks and USFS NYC Field Station Partnership

 January 24, 2014

The Urban Ecosystem Services Symposium will explore the application and utility of urban ecosystem services scholarship by bringing together academics on the cutting edge of this science and city managers using the approach for urban planning. The event will assess the major questions and merits of urban ecosystem services across global, regional, city, and community scales.   

Keynote Speaker Carter Strickland, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Morning Talks:  Approaches to Understanding and Quantifying Urban Ecosystem Services  

Speakers will showcase diverse ecosystem services models sharing how they canquantify, monitor, and describe the urban ecosystem services in cities.  They will explore how these tools have been applied, current limitations and what they accomplish that other models cannot.

  • Edward Barbier, University of Wyoming, Valuing Urban Ecosystem Services
  • Erika Svendsen, USDA Forest Service, “Visualizing our social infrastructure: Understanding and mapping urban environmental stewardship”
  • David Nowak, USDA Forest Service, “i-Tree: Assessing ecosystem services and values from trees”
  • Leslie Shoemaker, Tetra Tech,  SUSTAIN (System for Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis INtegration-  a stormwater BMP modeling and planning tool)
  • Rob McDonald, Senior Scientist for Sustainable Land-use, The Nature Conservancy, “Quantifying the value of natural habitats in minimizing flooding risk”

Afternoon Panels

Panel 1: The Urban Micro-Climate

The panel includes a mix of researchers, urban planners and municipal policy-makers to connect science and research to on-the-ground projects.  What urban microclimate management strategies are being practiced and what goals (comfort, health, energy reduction) do we hope to achieve with them? Is the effectiveness of these management strategies quantifiable? How do we combine positive and negative effects into a common set of matrices?  How should we improve current ways of measuring urban heat island to better represent human exposure?

  • Moderator: Professor Xuhui Lee, Yale University
  • Winston Chow, Arizona State University
  • Aaron Durnbaugh, Sustainability Director at Loyola University
  • Stuart Gaffin, Columbia University
  • Dr. Tom Matte, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Health and Human Hygiene

Panel 2: Green Infrastructure and Stormwater

The panel includes a mix of researchers, regulators, community-based program managers and municipal policy-makers. The goal is to encourage a conversation that connects the most recent green stormwater infrastructure research, development and regulation to on-the-ground projects.The moderated discussion following short presentations from each panelist will focus on questions like:  Within the world of sustainable stormwater management, what do we need to care about next?  What questions for research are the most pressing? Where are the gaps in knowledge?  What’s are the barriers to widespread implementation?

  • Moderator: Jennifer Hoyle, Yale University
  • Franco Montalto, Drexel University
  • Ellen Gilinsky, Director for Office of Water on Ecosystem Services, EPA
  • Mike Houck, Executive Directorof the Urban Green Space Institute at Portland State University 
  • Aaron Koch, Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability, City of Chicago Department of Water Management  

Panel 3: Coastal Protection, Sea Level Rise, and Hurricanes in NYC and NOLA

How are coastal cities working with natural capital to attenuate sea level rise and coastal flooding in extreme events?  This panel will build on experience and case studies to elaborate on ES related to coastal adaptation. Building on the discussions on models in the morning, we will explore the relevance and shortfalls of the models used to assess coastal risks for FEMA, NOAA, NWA and ACOE. What is the role of FEMA, the Federal Flood Insurance Program, community disaster recovery funds and block grants, and scientists analyzing trade-offs between gray (levees) and green (marshes)? What lessons does New Orleans have for New York? What lessons are valuable across urban to rural gradients?

  • Moderator: Alexander Felson, Assistant Professor, Yale University
  • Denise Reed, Chief Scientist, Water Institute of the Gulf
  • Dan Zarrilli, Director of Resiliency for the City of New York 
  • Roselle Henn, Chief, USACE North Atlantic Division
  • Gavin Smith,Associate Research Professor; Executive Director, UNC Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters; Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence

Panel 4: Social and Cultural Processes of Urban Ecosystem Services

This panel advances the notion that social and cultural processes are critical to the health and resilience of urban ecosystems; that these processes are complex; and that they require inquiry. The question remains: how do we understand the role of social and cultural processes and infrastructure in urban ecosystems; and how do we factor this understanding into ecological assessments that so often rely on quantitative data and biophysical indicators? The conversation will explore the dynamics of social and cultural values and their bearing on urban ecosystem services, natural resource management, and human well-being.

  • Moderator: Erika Svendsen, U.S. Forest Service, Research Social Scientist, Northern Research Station
  • Morgan GroveU.S. Forest Service, Research Social Scientist, Northern Research Station
  • Hans Hesselein, Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy
  • Keith Tidball, Cornell, Associate Director of the Civic Ecology Lab and Program Leader for the Nature & Human Security Program
  • Lindsay Campbell, U.S. Forest Service, Research Social Scientist, Northern Research Station

________Schedule _______

Thursday January 23, 2014:

7:00-9:00         Dinner for conference guests, faculty members and selected students.  

Friday January 24, 2014:

8:00-9:00         Breakfast

9:00-9:15         Symposium Introduction Dean Peter Crane

9:15-9:45        Keynote: How can ecosystem services help build sustainable, resilient cities? 

9:45 to 12:00   Approaches to understanding and quantifying urban ecosystem services  

12:00-12:45    Lunch              

Afternoon Panels on Selected Bundles of Ecosystem Services

12:45-1:45       Urban Micro-Climate

1:45-2:45         Green Infrastructure and Stormwater

3:00-4:00         Coastal Protection, Sea Level Rise, and Hurricanes

4:00-5:00         Social and Cultural Processes of Urban Ecosystem Services

5:00-5:15         Closing Remarks Gaboury Benoit

Biographical Sketches of Speakers

Dr. Edward B. Barbier is the John S Bugas Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming. His main expertise is natural resource and development economics as well as the interface between economics and ecology. He has served as a consultant and policy analyst for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations, the OECD and the World Bank. Professor Barbier is on the editorial boards of several leading economics and natural science journals, and heappears in the 4th edition of Who’s Who in Economics.  He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 21 books, and published in popular journals. His books include Blueprint for a Green Economy (with David Pearce and Anil Markandya, 1989), Natural Resources and Economic Development (2005),A Global Green New Deal (2010), Scarcity and Frontiers: How Economies Have Developed Through Natural Resource Exploitation (2011), Capitalizing on Nature: Ecosystems as Natural Assets (2011) and A New Blueprint for a Green Economy (with Anil Markandya, 2012).

Dr. Lindsay K. Campbell is a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. She is based at the New York City Urban Field Station, which is a partnership between the Forest Service and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. The NYC Urban Field Station is dedicated to improving the quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management.  Her current research explores the dynamics of urban politics, natural resource stewardship, and sustainability policymaking.  She is co-PI on several long term, interdisciplinary research projects.  These include the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP), which maps the social networks and spatial turf of civic, government, and private actors working on environmental stewardship in New York City—and is now being replicated in Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Juan.  As well, she helped lead the research of the Living Memorials Project, which examines the use and stewardship of open space post-September 11, and received the 2007 EDRA/Places Award for Research.  She is a co-PI of the TKF-foundation funded “Landscapes of Resilience” team examining open spaces and sacred spaces in Joplin, MO and New York City.  She is a member of the NSF-funded ULTRA-EX team examining changes in land cover, ecosystem services, and stewardship in New York City’s urban forest.    She is also a member of the MillionTreesNYC Advisory Committee and Research and Evaluation Subcommittees.  Dr. Campbell holds a BA in Public Policy from Princeton University, a Masters in City Planning from MIT, and a PhD in Geography from Rutgers University.

Roselle Henn is Deputy Director for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), National Planning Center of Expertise for Coastal Storm Risk Management (PCX-CSRM), leading the Hurricane Sandy North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS), from Jan 2013 to present. While compiling the study, scientists and engineers will consider future sea-level rise scenarios and integrate economic, climatological, engineering, environmental and societal data from Virginia to Maine to develop a comprehensive framework to reduce coastal flood risk and promote resiliency. Ms. Henn is the Environmental Team Leader for the USACE North Atlantic Division (NAD) with primary responsibility for ecosystem restoration throughout the region which extends from Maine to Virginia.  In this capacity she is the Senior Subject Matter Expert on environmental policy and compliance, leading environmental teams located in NAD’s five Districts (New England, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk) working on watershed planning and estuarine restoration. She is the regional environmental interface with other Federal Agencies including EPA, NOAA, and DOI, Regional Partners, and NGOs and represents NAD in collaborative efforts which transcend District/political boundaries, such as the restoration and protection of Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin Commissions, and the Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin and in Climate Change initiatives, Coastal America, the Mid-Atlantic Federal Partners on the Ocean, and the Corps Invasive Species Leaders Team.

Hans Hesselein, Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, grew up on a family-owned nursery in central New Jersey, cultivating a passion for plants at a young age. Hans graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University in 2004. He has spent time working internationally in Germany as well as at several domestic landscape architecture firms, including a position as Associate at Dirtworks, PC in Manhattan. Hans joined the Gowanus Canal Conservancy as the Director of Special Projects in December, 2010 and was asked to serve as Executive Director in 2013. Throughout his time at the Conservancy, Hans has been responsible for developing and managing green infrastructure projects, watershed planning initiatives and volunteer stewardship programs. Hans comes to the Conservancy with a strong background in horticulture, construction technology, community engagement and landscape architecture.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Cas Holloway Deputy Mayor for Operations on August 4, 2011.  As Deputy Mayor, Cas oversees 11 mayoral agencies and offices and assists the Mayor in overseeing the Police Department, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Labor Relations.  After Hurricane Sandy Cas oversaw Rapid Repairs, the City’s first-of-its-kind program to restore power, heat, and hot water to thousands of New Yorkers in their homes; and the creation of A Stronger, More Resilient New York, the City’s plan for long-term resiliency. From January 1, 2010 until his appointment as Deputy Mayor, Cas served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Cas appointed DEP’s first Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability; created an energy team to develop a new generation of natural gas and renewable energy investments; initiated Water for the Future, a $2 billion package of investments that will repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct; and developed the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan to improve water quality in the City's waterways. From 2006 until his appointment at DEP, Cas served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler and as Special Advisor to Mayor Bloomberg. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College and with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

Mike Houck, Executive Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, has worked on local, regional, and national urban park and greenspace issues since 1980 when he founded the Urban Naturalist Program at the Audubon Society of Portland. Houck’s work over the past twenty years has focused on integration of the built and natural environments in the Portland-Vancouver region and incorporating green infrastructure for the city of Portland’s watershed and stormwater planning efforts.  He is co-founder of The Intertwine Alliance a new nonprofit dedicated to creating a world class park, trail, and natural area system for the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region.  The Alliance is also a member of the national Metropolitan Greenspaces Alliance whose members represent Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Cleveland, Milwaukee, San Francisco Bay Area, and Portland metropolitan greenspace initiatives. 

Aaron Koch is the Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability in Chicago’s Department of Water Management. He is responsible for implementing the water initiatives in Sustainable Chicago 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s roadmap for environmental stewardship and economic development. Aaron previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. He was an author of the water chapters of PlaNYC, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sustainability plan, as well as the New York City Wetlands Strategy and the Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan. As part of this work, he was a creator of New York City’s strategy to improve stormwater management through a $1.5 billion public investment in green infrastructure. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a faculty member in Columbia University’s Master of Sustainability Management program.

Dr. Robert McDonald is the Senior Scientist for Urban Sustainability at The Nature Conservancy.  He researches the impact and dependences of cities on the natural world, and is the lead scientist for much of the Conservancy’s urban conservation work.  Currently Dr. McDonald is leading a global team of scientists mapping where the cities of the world get their water, and evaluating their dependence on ecosystem services and their vulnerability to climate change.  He is also working on a book, entitled “Conservation for Cities”, which documents the role green infrastructure can play to the well-being of urban residents. Another major research interest is the effect of U.S. energy policy on natural habitat and water use.  Prior to joining the Conservancy, Dr. McDonald was a Smith Conservation Biology Fellow at Harvard University, studying the impact global urban growth will have on biodiversity and conservation.  He also taught landscape ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, helping architects and planners incorporate ecological principles into their projects. He holds a B.S. degree in biology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D in ecology from Duke University.

Dr. Franco Montalto, PE is a licensed civil/environmental engineer and hydrologist with 20 years of experience working in urban and urbanizing ecosystems as both a designer and researcher. His experience includes planning, design, implementation, and analysis of various natural area restoration and green infrastructure projects. As an Associate Professor in Drexel University’s Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, he currently directs the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Laboratory. He also heads up the Green Infrastructure Sector of the NOAA-funded Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), a five-year research initiative. Dr. Montalto is also the founder of eDesign Dynamics LLC, a consulting firm based In New York City that specializes in green infrastructure and ecological restoration. Previously, Dr. Montalto served as the Wetlands Engineer at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, where he was responsible for the engineering design of the 139-acre Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus, NJ among other large urban wetland restoration projects. He has worked overseas in various capacities in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America and is the author of numerous publications in the water resources and environmental fields. He was also formerly a Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, a Fulbright Scholar, and an Adjunct Professor at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where he received his first degree. His graduate degrees are from Cornell University.

Dr. David J. Nowak is a Project Leader with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Syracuse, NY.  He has authored over 225 publications and is a recipient of the:  National Arbor Day Foundation’s J. Sterling Morton Award; R.W. Harris Author’s CitaDavid J. Nowak is a Project Leader with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Syracuse, NY.  He has authored over 225 publications and is a recipient of the:  National Arbor Day Foundation’s J. Sterling Morton Award; R.W. Harris Author’s Citation from the International Society of Arboriculture; American Forests’ Urban Forest Medal; Distinguished Science Award of the Northeastern Research Station; Forest Service Chief’s Honor Award for Engaging Urban America and the New York State Arborists-ISA Chapter Research Award.  Dr. Nowak was also contributing member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His research investigates urban forest structure, health, and change, and its effect on air quality, water quality and greenhouse gases. He also leads teams developing software tools to quantify ecosystem services from urban vegetation (e.g., UFORE and i-Tree programs). Dr. Nowak received a B.S. and M.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Dr. Leslie Shoemaker joined TetraTech in 1991, and she is currently responsible for our strategic planning, business development, sustainability, and corporate communications functions. Dr. Shoemaker coordinates our Strategic Initiatives Program, which supports company-wide collaboration on key services in our major growth markets. Dr. Shoemaker is our Chief Sustainability Officer. She also leads the water resources modelling and systems development team and consults on the development of policy and programs for watershed management and sustainable communities. Dr. Shoemaker has more than 25 years of industry experience and has previously served in various technical and management capacities including project engineer, project manager, vice president, and technical practice leader. Dr. Shoemaker holds a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Hamilton College, a Master of Engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Erika Svendsen is a research social scientist with the U.S. Forest Service in New York City.  Her primary area of expertise is urban natural resource stewardship with a specific focus on civic engagement, human well-being and governance. Her work is dedicated to cultivating diverse communities of knowledge and practice in order to improve the lives of people, strengthen communities and sustain our environment. Dr. Svendsen is part of the NYC Urban Field Station, a unique partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and other community, academic and government partners. The Urban Field Station was created to improve quality of life in urban areas by conducting, supporting and fostering collaborative research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management.  Dr. Svendsen is a recipient of 2007 EDRA/Places Award for Living Memorials National Research: 9-11 and the Public Landscape.  She received the US Forest Service Chief's Award for her work in cities and the Early Career Scientist Research Station Award in recognition of STEW-MAP, a tool for mapping civic environmental action and managing ecosystem services in New York City.  STEW-MAP teams have developed in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Juan.  Recently, Dr. Svendsen has served as an advisor on MillionTreesNYC , Vibrant Cities Urban Forests, the US Forest Service Urban Field Station Network and DOI’s Strategic Sciences Group.   She is also a graduate of Yale FES ’93. 

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