Environmental Studies

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Student researchers map importance of campus trees

In an ongoing study, ENV student researchers are mapping the importance of campus trees for the Ursinus community members in their everyday lives.

Using ESRI Geographic Information Systems technology and in-person interviews with students, staff, faculty, and alumni, student researchers in the Bears in the Woods project locate an individual’s favorite tree on campus and then collect information on why this tree is a person’s favorite. In the process, the researchers seek to understand what it is about the tree or wooded area of campus that creates particular significance for that individual. The study is ongoing, with findings providing much needed data to better understand how trees and woodlands contribute to individual and community well-being. The research project is part of Dr. Patrick Hurley’s People and Urban Forests Research Program.