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New York City Urban Field Station

Job Opportunities

Resource Assistant Program,
The U.S. Forest Service Resource Assistants Program (RAP) is a rigorous and immersive paid experience for U.S. citizens or permanent residents interested in natural and cultural resources careers who are at least 17 years old. Resource assistants are recruited by partner organizations and work under the direction of Forest Service staff to accomplish mission-critical work that develops leadership, critical thinking, and strategic communication skills.

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Forest for All NYC

Forest For All NYC logoForest for All NYC is a cross-sector coalition created to bring a shared vision, plan, and more champions to protect and grow New York City's urban forest. Everyone in New York City deserves equitable access to trees and their many benefits to human health and well-being.
Learn more and view the NYC Urban Forest Agenda >>

Forest in Cities Resource Library

Forest in Cities A National Network logo.
The Forests in Cities Network is a national network dedicated to promoting and advancing healthy forested natural areas in cities across America through science, management, partnerships, and communications.

Landscapes of Resilience

Hurricane Healing Garden
Rockaway Recovery - On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept up the East Coast causing a storm surge that devastated parts of New York. This is the story of how nature, vital to our health and well being, has helped one Queens community unite and heal.
#sandy #natureeffect

Featured Publications

Cover image from publication - STEW-MAP in the New York City region: survey results of the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment ProjectSTEW-MAP in the New York City region: survey results of the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project In this report, we share our preliminary findings about the civic stewardship groups working to care for the local environment through conservation, monitoring, management, transformation, education, and advocacy.


Cover image from publication - Green Readiness, Response, and RecoveryGreen Readiness, Response, and Recovery: A Collaborative Synthesis is a collection of case studies, interviews, and personal reflections inspired by a national workshop. This publication includes lessons learned from a diverse group of practitioners and researchers about the ways in which environmental stewardship has served as a catalyst for revitalizing communities.


Cover image from book- Grassroots to GlobalGrassroots to Global: Broader Impacts of Civic Ecology features scholars and stewards exploring the broad impacts of civic engagement with the environment.


Cover image from book- City of Forests City of FarmsCity of Forests, City of Farms: Sustainability Planning for New York City’s Nature is a history of recent urban forestry and agriculture policy and programs in New York City. The book examines PlaNYC, the city's sustainability plan, to consider how and why nature is constructed in New York City.


[image:] cover image of Common Ground Request for ProposalsCommon Ground: Art, Data, Ecology at New York State Field Stations - This report assesses the potential for collaboration in New York State between the arts and field stations. It provides an overview of how and where this transdisciplinary work is currently taking place, and makes recommendations to advance this effort across the state.

News, Blogs, and More


Additional News, Blogs, and More


Meeting the Needs of a Dynamic Urban Forest

The New York City Urban Field Station's mission is to improve quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management. It began as a partnership between the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. The Urban Field Station does the following:

  • Promotes environmental stewardship and ecological literacy (people’s understanding of ecology) to improve human well-being in New York City, the country’s largest and most diverse metropolitan area. 
  • Works with land managers to create innovative “research in action” programs that support urban ecosystems.
  • Conducts comparative research and shares findings with decision makers and researchers in other metropolitan regions in the United States and around the world.
  • Links to a growing network of U.S. Forest Service scientists and university partners who focus on urban research.


SWALE. NYC Urban Field Station artist-in-residence Mary Mattingly has created a floating food forest that invites the public to cultivate fresh food as the barge travels through NYC harbors and acts as a setting for conversations about food and public policy. (Courtesy of A Blade of Grass Foundation’s Fieldworks).


International Day of Forests 2018: Forests and sustainable cities (via Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

360° Tour with Videos

The people who live on the Rockaway Peninsula are resilient. This suburb of New York City lost more than 70 residents in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The area was further devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. With the help of the U.S. Forest Service and other partners, the community is restoring areas damaged by the storm. By using urban forestry and urban agricultural practices, the landscape will be more resilient to future storm events. Many projects are completed or in progress.  

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Highlighted Projects

[image:] Map showing stewardship areas in NYCSTEW-MAP

The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP)  is helping us understand how individual citizens, non-profit organizations, businesses, and governments work together to care for specific places and the environment in general . STEW-MAP uses a broad definition of ‘environmental stewardship’ that includes conserving, managing, monitoring, advocating for, and educating the public about local environments (including water, land, air, waste, toxics, and energy issues).

[photo:] The painted tree is a special feature and part of the resilience walk in Joplin, MissouriLandscapes of Resilience

UFS staff are conducting cross-disciplinary research, funded by the TKF Foundation’s program “Open Spaces Sacred Places: The Healing Power of Nature”, that explores how urban green spaces promote individual and community resilience in Joplin, MO and New York City. The two cities face distinct stressors and are in different stages in their recovery timeline (an EF5 tornado in May 2011 vs. Superstorm Sandy in October 2012). Collaborating with Cornell University and local partners in each city (Drury University, City of Joplin, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, TILL Design), the research team seeks to understand how the processes of collaborative planning and stewardship of natural resources can support recovery from a wide range of disasters and disturbances.

Researcher interviews fishermanReading the Landscape

This citywide social assessment seeks to inform the adaptive management of New York City parkland.  Working in partnership with the Natural Areas Conservancy, Forest Service researchers developed a rapid methodology for understanding the socio-cultural values and services of parkland.  Over the course of 2013-2014, the research team assessed over 9,000 acres of City and Federal land and interviewed over 1,000 parks users.  Data will be shared via a geodatabase, white papers, and journal articles. These social data can be integrated with ecological assessment data collected by the NAC.

Interns evalutating health of treesUrban Tree Health
NYC Urban Field Station researchers are developing a methodology designed to quantify urban tree health at a relatively fine scale, and throughout all phases of tree decline. We have been collecting these tree health metrics for both street trees and park trees within NYC. Starting in 2014, a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities program has involved TNC LEAF interns in collecting tree health metrics.

MillionTreesNYC logo - IM INMillionTreesNYC

Forest Service researchers serve as science advisors to MillionTreesNYC, a project that aims to plant and care for one million new trees in New York City. MillionTreesNYC is a joint project of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York Restoration Project that builds on the sustainability goals of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030. Scientists from across the Northern Research Station have provided  research, monitoring, and evaluation to support the MillionTreesNYC project.

[photo:]  Man standing in middle of a circular stone planter under consturction  inside an urban park. photo credit: Steffi GrahamThe Green, the Grey, and the Human 

Urban Field Station researchers are collaborating with faculty at NYU and SUNY-Buffalo in an interdisciplinary effort to explore critical connections between green infrastructure (e.g., parks, open spaces), grey infrastructure (e.g., streets and buildings), and human health and well-being. This research is funded in part by a contract from the USDA Forest Service to the NYU College of Dentistry, and a consultancy from the NYU College of Dentistry to Dr. Sara Metcalf. It investigates both the underlying structures of the city as well as the human innovations (e.g., individual actions, organizational networks, new forms of governance) that arise in response to competition over scarce urban space, reflect diverse cultural values, and shape the course of natural resource management in cities.

Urban Natural Resources Stewardship at Northern Research Station

The NYC Research Focus Areas fall within the NRS Theme Urban Natural Resources Stewardship.

Each year, we provide a progress report on all the research at the New York City Urban Field Station. Read our current NYC Urban Field Station Progress Report (pdf)