Ecology, Infrastructure, and Social Justice

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Researchers in this cluster focus on the interdisciplinary application of research methodologies from environmental science, ecology, planning, engineering, and public health and policy to address complex issues around food, energy, water, and biodiversity. Research is primarily focused on evidence-based design solutions in urban and rural settings in the United States and internationally, with a special emphasis on vulnerable populations in low-income settings in which poverty, climate change, and social injustices are likely to have a magnified impact. Research within this cluster is highly collaborative; students partner with representatives from governments and nonprofit organizations, professionals, and other educators to research real-world problems. Department faculty members offer the potential to link research in this realm to regional and international partners in Asia, South America, and Africa. The professors in this cluster are also affiliated with Environmental Studies.

Our faculty have long-played an integral role in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE), a center for innovative, interdisciplinary research at the nexus of ecological, economic, and social sustainability. As the university’s oldest sustainability institute, the ISE is a thriving center for collaborative research, technical assistance, and policy education.

Along with a multi-university partnership, the department hosts the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Sustainable Cities and Landscape Research Hub, which brings together researchers and practitioners to examine Pacific Rim cities in the context of their many landscape interdependencies. The goal of the hub is to advance the sustainability of human societies through analysis and critique that lead to actionable plans for mutually supportive relationships between cities and their surrounding landscapes.

Related Faculty

Jacques Abelman
Chris Enright
Bart Johnson
Yekang Ko
Jun Lee
Rob Ribe
Kory Russel

Selected Faculty Publications

Parham, S. and Abelman, J. (2018). Food and Urban Design. In Zeunert, J. & Waterman, T. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Food and Landscape. Abingdon: Routledge.

Abelman, J. (2016). Cultivating the City: Design Research for Productive Infrastructures in the Global South. In Wiskerke, H. (Ed.), Amsterdam Academy of Architecture: Research-Reflections-Projects. Amsterdam: Architectura & Natura Publishers.

Abelman, J. (2015). Cultivating the City: Infrastructures of Abundance in Urban Brazil. Urban Agriculture Magazine (RUAF), 29: 62–65.

Hulse, D., Branscomb, A., Enright, C., Johnson, B., Evers, C. and Bolte, J. (2016). Anticipating Surprise: Using agent-based alternative futures simulation modeling to identify and map surprising fires in the Willamette Valley, Oregon U.S.A. Landscape and Urban Planning, 156: 26–43.

Wu, H., Hulse, D., Bolte, J. and Johnson, B. R. (2015). A scenario-based approach to integrating flow-ecology research with watershed development planning. Landscape and Urban Planning, 144: 74–89.

Mhuireach, G. Á., Betancourt-Román, C. M., Green, J. L. and Johnson, B. R. (2019). Spatiotemporal Controls on the Urban Aerobiome. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7:43.

Fischer, A. P., Spies, T. A., Steelman, T. A., Moseley, C., Johnson, B. R., Bailey, J. D., … and Kline, J. D. (2016). Wildfire risk as a socio-ecological pathology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(5): 276–284.

Johnson, B. R. and Hill, K. (eds.). (2002). Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Ko, Y. (2018). Trees and vegetation for residential energy conservation: A critical review for evidence-based urban greening in North America. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 34: 318–335

Ko, Y, Jang, K. and Radke, J.D. (2017). Toward a solar city: Trade-offs between on-site solar energy potential and vehicle energy consumption in San Francisco, California. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 11(6): 460–470.

Ko, Y. and Radke, J.D. (2014). The effect of urban forms on residential cooling energy use in Sacramento, California. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 41(4): 573–593.

Ko, Y., Lee, J-H., McPherson, E.G. and Roman, L.A. (2015). Long-term monitoring of Sacramento Shade program trees: tree survival, growth and energy-saving performanceLandscape and Urban Planning, 143:183–191.

Noh, S., Lee, J.-H., Lee, S. and Seo, D.-J. (2019). Retrospective Dynamic Inundation Mapping of Hurricane Harvey Flooding in the Houston Metropolitan Area Using High-Resolution Modeling and High-Performance Computing. Water, 11(3): 597.

Noh, S., Lee, J-H., Lee, S., Seo D.J. and Kawaike, K. (2018). Hyper-resolution 1D-2D urban flood modeling using LiDAR data and hybrid parallelizationEnvironmental Modelling and Software, 103: 131–145.

Lee, J-H., Biging. G.S., Gong, P. and Fisher J.B. (2016). An Individual Tree-Based Automatic Registration of Aerial Images to Airborne LiDAR DataPhotogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 82(9): 699–710.

Ribe, R. (2013). Public Perceptions of West-side Forests: Improving Visual Impact Assessments and Designing Thinnings and Harvests for Scenic Integrity. In Anderson, P. (ed.) Density Management in the 21st Century: West Side Story. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service General Technical Report, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.

Ribe, R., Ford, R. and Williams, K. (2013). Clearfell Controversies and Alternative Timber Harvest Designs: How Acceptability Perceptions Vary Between Tasmania and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Journal of Environmental Management, 114(1):46–62.

Ribe, R. (2009). In-stand Scenic Beauty of Variable Retention Harvests and Mature Forests in the U.S. Pacific Northwest: The Effects of Basal Area, Density, Retention Pattern and Down Wood. Journal of Environmental Management, 91(1):245–260.

Russel, K., Tilmans, S., Kramer, S., Sklar, R., Tillias, D. and Davis, J. (2015). User perception of and willingness to pay for household container-based sanitation services: experience from Cap Haitien, Haiti. Environment and Urbanization, 27(2): 525–540.

Tilmans, S., Russel, K., Sklar, R., Page, L., Kramer, S., and Davis, J. (2015). Container-based sanitation: assessing costs and effectiveness of excreta management in Cap Haitien, Haiti. Environment and Urbanization, 27(1): 89–104.

Ho, J., Russel, K., and J. Davis, J. (2014). Evaluating the efficacy of Euclidean distance and self-reported travel time as proxies for water fetching distance. Journal of Water and Health, 12(1): 173–183.