Urban Forestry and Natural Resource Management
The Urban Forestry and Natural Resource Management Program conducts research in areas such as forestry, climate change, Geographic Information System, wetlands, nanotechnology, (GIS), bioenergy and alternative sources. It conducts research in urban forest structure and function; the environmental benefits of urban forests; carbon sequestration and the urban forest effects on air quality; and urban forest effects on UV exposure in relation to proper vegetation design.
The term urban forest refers to all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area, including individual trees along streets and in backyards, as well as stands of remnant forest. Urban forests are an integral part of community ecosystems, whose numerous elements (such as people, animals, buildings, infrastructure, water, and air) interact to significantly affect the quality of urban life. Trees are managed in urban areas by taking tree inventories of the different species and doing risk-assessments of trees for structural damage and diseases. Removal of the high risk trees, maintenance of healthy trees and replanting new trees will continue tree sustainability for the communities. Part of the research conducted by SU Ag Center scientists is to ensure the tree health of urban forests.
Through collaborative efforts, it also addresses, urban sprawl, heat island, air quality improvement and species rating pertaining to urban forests and urban ecosystems. It provides education and training for Louisiana citizens especially minorities, in the practice of using urban wood from municipal tree removals for traditional wood products.
The goal of the program is to strengthen the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of Louisiana’s forestry and fisheries while enhancing the environment and wise use of the natural resources.
Zhu Hua Ning, Ph.D.