New Publication on Sherman Creek Park Collaborative Research Project
Environmental Studies and Science professors Dr. Anne Toomey and Dr. Monica Palta published “Towards a Pedagogy of Social‑Ecological Collaborations: Engaging Students and Urban Nonprofits for an Ecology with Cities” in Urban Ecosystems (February 2023), an article about an experiential learning-based class that they ran at a small park in northern Manhattan last fall (2021). The other authors on the paper were Cam Becker, a Pace University undergraduate student, and Jason Smith, the manager of the park. The concept of ecology with cities calls for a broader scope of participatory research and pedagogical tools for engagement with urban environmental issues.
Projects that take an ecology with cities approach can provide opportunities for diverse audiences, including students, teachers, community members, and scientists, to participate in urban ecology, thus serving as potential steppingstones for further engagement. While there is increasing scholarship on the value of participatory approaches for increasing ecological literacy (e.g. citizen science), less has been written on the collaborative process of such experiences, particularly the social science aspects that can lead to successful outcomes and lessons learned.
This paper describes a collaborative research project that engaged undergraduate students and community outreach staff of an urban nonprofit organization to better understand social uses and values associated with a public park located on the Harlem River in New York City. The authors explore the outcomes of the project for both students and staff, and provide reflections for educators interested in using a pedagogy of social-ecological collaborations in urban contexts. This study argues that such an approach facilitates engagement between universities and community-based nonprofits to engage students in learning about the complexity, uncertainty, and value of urban ecosystem management.
Read the paper “Towards a Pedagogy of Social‑Ecological Collaborations: Engaging Students and Urban Nonprofits for an Ecology with Cities” here.
Read Dr. Finewood’s newest paper assessing barriers to accessing GSI incentive programs in the US
In a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Dr. Finewood and colleagues take an equity planning approach to assess barriers to accessing green stormwater infrastructure incentive programs.
Read Dr. Toomey’s “Facts Don’t Change Minds – Social Networks, Group Dialogue, and Stories Do”
In this blog post, Dr. Anne Toomey shares four ways researchers can engage with findings from the social sciences to better communicate their work.