Hello and Happy New Year!
You are reading the LA Urban Center's first newsletter of 2021, welcome! As part of our new year and beyond strategy we are rolling out a quarterly newsletter that will share all the amazing projects and people that make up our research hub and we hope you stick around.
Here's What to Expect from our Emails...
  • New and Innovative Research
  • Spotlights on our Science Fellows, Partners, & Staff
  • Interactive Tools and Tips that may even help with your Research
  • Highlights from our Ongoing Projects
  • Upcoming Events and Funding Opportunities

Let's get started!
Introducing the Newest Member of our Team,
Dr. Francisco Escobedo!
Join us in welcoming the newest member to our research team, Dr. Francisco Escobedo, who has taken on the role of the LA Urban Center's resident social scientist! We are so happy to have him on board.

To get to know Francisco a little better, we asked him a few questions...

Why is the research you do important?

Over 80 percent of the United States and over 50 percent of the world’s population currently live in urban and Wildland Urban Interface areas. This has presented society and ecosystems with very complex environmental and natural resource sustainability problems. One approach to better understand these issues and inform decision makers, the focus of my work, is to study them by working across disciplines using an integrated and participatory approach.  

What is a part of your job that would surprise most people? 

The variety in the types of jobs I have had and place I have worked. I have been a Soil Scientist, Forester, Firefighter, Research Social Scientist, Extension Specialist and Professor in places like Alaska, Wilderness areas in New Mexico and Colorado, deserts in Arizona and Mexico, forests and mangroves in Florida and the Caribbean, tropical forests in Colombia as well as urban forests in New York, South America, Europe and China.   

What do you want to achieve with your research in the next few years?

I am always trying to understand how forests improve people’s lives and how to best communicate the importance of forests to people. Sometimes you have to use mathematical models, statistics and economic theory or simply measure or plant trees. But often asking or answering questions is what is most important.  But regardless of where you work or who you work with it is always important to understand and respect people’s opinions and views.   
Anything exciting that you are working on now that we should keep an eye out for?

I am helping the City of LA in developing a new Tree Ambassador program to help make tree cover more equitable in previously overlooked areas of the city. In the next year we will also be studying how wildfires in and near cities in California were affected by landscaping practices and how fuel treatments are affecting benefits such as property values, water quality and recreation. For another project we are also using satellite data and models to see how deforestation and the armed conflict in Colombia affected urbanization and incidences of malaria.

Dr. Francisco Escobedo began his career with the US Forest Service and he is excited to return to his roots as a US Forest Service Social Scientist with the LA Urban Center. We are excited too!

LA Canopy Viewer
Have you explored the LA Canopy Viewer? This high resolution, interactive map shows both existing and possible tree canopy coverage across Los Angeles County.

Users can explore neighborhoods, parcel, census track, zipcode, and city level tree canopy!

Story Map is also available for more information about this project. 
Announcing our 2021-2022 Fellowship Program
The LA Urban Center is excited to announce our call for proposals for our 2021-2022 Science Fellowship Program!

We are seeking to fill two fellowship slots, addressing key priority areas. The LA Urban Center provides research and science-delivery opportunities for graduate students from a diversity of academic disciplines. Selected Fellows conduct projects that contribute to the core mission and vision.

Fellows receive a stipend of $5,000 and are required to develop and deliver a presentation summarizing findings to date at the Spring 2022 Fellows Seminar.

And when you are ready...Submit your application online by March 12, 2021
Growing Vibrant LA Communities

Feb 9 | 10am-12:30pm (PST)
Español: Feb 10 | 10am

We're kicking off 2021 with the next installment of the Growing Vibrant LA Communities web series, a free event designed to empower, educate, and connect Angelenos to our shared urban forest.

This next webinar will tackle the issue of urban tree equity.

Join us on Tues, February 9th
 for our English session:
Join us Weds, February 10th 
for our Spanish session:
Save the Date: Spring Partners Meeting

Wednesday | May 12 | 1pm-2:30pm (PST)

Join us virtually to see what is germinating at the LA Urban Center from the LiDAR seed.

Our 2020-2021 Science Fellowship Cohort will be presenting their research preceded by our Urban Forest Equity Visiting Scholar, Dr. Vivek Shandas from Portland State University.

Don’t miss this organic Spring Partners Meeting!

More Details to Follow...

LA Urban Center Calendar
Stay connected with everything happening at the LA Urban Center!
We keep our online calendar up-to-date with events and activities, including our monthly webinar series.
We Get By with a Little Help from our Friends..
The LA Urban Center operates through a partnership among the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region and Research Station and the City of Los Angeles (City Plants and Recreation and Parks).

Joining in this collaboration are the many Federal, State, and local government partners as well as academia, industry, private, and non-profit organizations concerned with urban natural resources and socioecological resilience.