Scientists & Staff

Lindsay Campbell

Lindsay Campbell

Research Social Scientist
290 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY, 10007
Phone: 212-637-4175

Contact Lindsay Campbell

Current Research

My current research explores the dynamics of civic stewardship, environmental governance, and sustainability policymaking--with a particular emphasis on issues of social and environmental justice. Here are a few examples of my projects:

STEW-MAP (the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project) is a longitudinal assessment that analyzes the organizational capacity, spatial locations, and networked relationships of thousands of civic stewardship groups. The methodology and approach began in New York City and has been replicated in a 15+ different domestic and international locations, including Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Juan, PR, and Paris, as part of a collaborative network of researchers and practitioners interested in understanding and supporting stewardship.

The Living Memorials Project examined September 11 as a disturbance to which people respond, including through acts of stewardship. We continued this research longitudinally to understand how community-based stewardship persists and changes over time. This project led to the Landscapes of Resilience project and the FS edited volume Green Readiness, Response, and Recovery: A Collaborative Synthesis.

City of Forests, City of Farms explores how the politics and practices of urban forestry and urban agriculture in New York City are negotiated. It centers on the municipal long term sustainability plan, PlaNYC2030. From this entry point, it analyzes the network of actors, institutions, discourses, and socio-natural environments that constitute urban forestry and urban agriculture. It asks: what actors via what institutions make what claims in order to shape the goals that are set within the plan? What accounts for the varied treatment of urban forestry and agriculture in a single city within a single sustainability planning process? How do the goals of the plan alter resource management practices going forward? This book was published in 2017 by Cornell University Press.

Research Interests

I am a founding member of the New York City Urban Field Station, which was jointly created by the Forest Service Northern Research Station and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The Urban Field Station develops and applies adaptive management and science to improve human well-being and the environment in urban metropolitan areas. I develop a number of applied projects at the interface of research and practice for the Urban Field Station on issues ranging from urban forestry planning and management, to ecological literacy, to green jobs. I participate in coalitions and efforts such as the MillionTreesNYC campaign and the Forest for All Coalition.  I create transdisciplinary spaces of collaboration between land managers, scientists, artists, and other practitioners. In partnership with The Nature of Cities, I created and co-lead our Urban Field Station Collaborative Arts Program.

Why This Research is Important

My research aims to reveal how urban social-ecological systems are structured and function in order to support human well-being and environmental quality. I use social science methods to understand the dynamic relationships between people and nature, particularly in urban context--but with applications across urban-to-rural gradients--to enable more effective and equitable natural resource management. I use co-production and transdisciplinary approaches to engage "many ways of knowing" and to develop more inclusive approaches to knowledge development.


  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Ph.D. Geography, 2013
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Master Of Arts Geography, 2011
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Masters Of City Planning Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2006
  • Princeton University, B.A. Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, 2002

Professional Organizations

  • Forest for All NYC Coalition (2019 - Current)
    Leadership Team
  • Science and Resilience Institute @ Jamaica Bay (2019 - Current)
    Research Committee
  • Freshkills Park (2015 - 2018)
    Science Advisory Committee
  • Million Trees NYC (2007 - 2015)
    Steering Committee and Research and Evaluation Sub-Committee
  • Urban Ecology Collaborative (2003 - 2006)
    Steering Committee and Research Committee

Awards & Recognition

  • Forest Service Northern Research Station Director's Award, 2015 Early Career Scientist Award
  • Forest Service Chief's Award for Engaging Urban America, 2009 Received by the NYC Urban Field Station for "Restoring NYC's Ecosystems"
  • Forest Service Chief's Award for Engaging Urban America, 2009 Notable Government Document Award for Restorative Commons
  • Forest Service Northern Research Station Partnership Award, 2008 Received by the NYC Urban Field Station
  • Forest Service Northern Research Station "Civil Rights Outstanding Location Award", 2008 Received by the NYC Urban Field Station
  • EDRA/Places Award for Research, 2007 "Living Memorials National Research: 9/11 and the Public Landscape"
  • Forest Service Chief's Award for Technology Transfer, 2003 Received by the Living Memorials Project

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Other Publications

  • Campbell, Lindsay K. 2017.  City of Forests, City of Farms: Sustainability Planning for New York City's Nature.  Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 290 p.

National Research Highlights

Kayakers at Freshkills Park site Photo provided by NYC Parks. New York City Parks.

Forest Service Research Evaluates Public Response to Transformed Landfill

Year: 2016

City parks are easy to love, but would you love, or visit, a park that used to be a landfill? As part of a team that included the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and university partners, Forest Service social scientists Lindsay Campbell and Stephanie Snyder explored public response to Freshkills Park, the largest landfill-to-park transformation ever undertaken in the United States.

Social assessment crew member interviews park user on Jamaica Bay. Joana Chan, USDA Forest Service

Scientists Assess Social Meaning of Jamaica Bay Region Parkland

Year: 2014

The Jamaica Bay region of New York City is a focus of resiliency planning and adaptive management efforts. Working with natural resource managers and ecologists from the Natural Areas Conservancy and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Forest Service social scientists developed a method to assess the use and social meaning of parkland in the region. These social data will be integrated with ecological assessment data to inform management strategies and practices citywide.

MillionTreesNYC Training Program participants at a volunteer planting day in Staten Island, NY. Brian Aucoin, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Forest Service Partnership with MillionTreesNYC

Year: 2013

The demand for a well-trained green-collar labor force will increase as many cities implement sustainability and green infrastructure plans. Additionally, many green jobs training programs are intended to provide pathways out of poverty for low-skilled workers. Forest Service scientists investigated young-adult graduates of green-jobs training programs in New York City and found not just positive environmental attitudes and behaviors but also increased self-confidence in young graduates.

Kayakers in Freshkills Park, NYC. Forest Service

From World's Largest Landfill to New York City's Newest Park

Year: 2012

The story of the restoration of Fresh Kills Salt Marsh, Staten Island, NY

Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2022