The American Association of Geographers (AAG) virtually hosted their 2021 Annual Meeting April 7-11, 2021. The welcome video by Executive Director of the American Association of Geographers, Gary Langham, announced that this year’s annual meeting is the second all-virtual event for AAG and this year’s meeting success is evidenced by the “over 5,000 registrants in nearly 3,000 presentations in 1,000 sessions”.
Environmental Studies professor, Patrick Hurley, and environmental studies alumna, Sarah Becker ’20, presented their virtual paper, “Assessing Access to Culturally Significant Species in New York City, USA’s Urban Forest: The case of Ginkgo biloba and Morus species Harvesting by Chinese Americans and their Descendants”. Marla Emery of the U.S.D.A Forest Service was also a co-author on the paper. Patrick and Sarah presented their paper on April 10, in the third of four sessions on the topic of Trees in the City: Socio-Ecological Dynamics in the Urban Forest.
In their talk, Patrick and Sarah detailed the research methods they used to examine the urban forest foraging of Ginkgo biloba and mulberry trees in New York City by Chinese/Chinese-Americans and to assessing how accessible these species are to this culturally distinct group of foragers. Their findings revealed that Ginkgo trees are highly accessible to Ginkgo foragers, particularly in Lower Manhattan of all places, mulberry trees are much less accessible. Further, the study revealed the ways that New York City’s transit system facilitates access for both species. These findings are intended to provide critical insights for urban forest managers.