History of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Although this brief post can not provide the depth and breadth of research conducted by the BES LTER over the past 20 years, we hope that it inspires you to learn more about our site. Program description The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) began in 1998 with three questions to advance the understanding of urban areas […]

Where Does the Baltimore School of Urban Ecology Apply?

The short answer is “Not just in Baltimore.”  Let’s explore this more deeply.  A school of thought is a broad way of thinking, strategy for research, and approach to problem solving that applies across a topic area.  A school of thought may be named for a particular place where it originated while applying to any […]

What Do People Value About BES?

The 2018 twentieth annual meeting of BES participants, institutional partners, and interested citizens, provided an opportunity to ask people what they thought the most important finding or contribution of BES had been over those 20 years.  We were expecting suggestions that suggested specific results, or particular educational contributions.  We were surprised by the results. First, […]

What’s Hidden in the New York Times Maps of All the Buildings in America?

Much well deserved amazement and attention has been heaped on the recent map of “every building in America,” by Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and John Schwartz, published on 12 October 2018 in the New York Times.  The Times’ interactive maps are a real treasure and a wonderful opportunity to explore the multiple geographies of the […]

Why is Urban Sustainability so Hard? The Trap of the Sanitary City

A few months ago, I was having a lively discussion with some serious and dedicated undergraduates at a university I was visiting.  The fact that they were disappointed with their training in sustainability came up — They felt they weren’t being told how to practice sustainability.  This provided an opportunity for interesting engaged discussion, and […]

Evolution of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Since 1997, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) has enjoyed the support of the Long-Term Ecological Research Program of the Division of Environmental Biology of the US National Science Foundation. That support is coming to an end, but the Baltimore Ecosystem Study will live on, due to the desire of key partners who have been joined […]

Why Do Urban Ecology?

The ecological science of understanding the structure, workings, and change of urban places has three main reasons to be (raisons d’être, if you prefer the French).  One is the fact that urban systems are one of the world’s most dynamic and increasingly predominant environments.  The second is that ecological understanding can contribute to improving cities […]

How Does a Long-Term Study Adjust Its Framework while Preserving Data Integrity?

Long-term ecological research is faced with seemingly contradictory constraints: It must maintain a consistent stream of rigorously comparable data over time while at the same time responding to conceptual and theoretical changes in the disciplines underlying those data.  How can such opposing  constraints be reconciled?  BES has faced this challenge in developing its most recent […]

Seeking Applicants to Join a Research Project Focused on Green Infrastructure

Our research team has four positions available: Three Postdocs and a Research Support Specialist(“RA”) for social-ecological assessment of green infrastructure. Our interdisciplinary, social-ecological research team is pleased to announce the availability of four research positions to assist with a project entitled, “Environment, Health, and Poverty: is Green Infrastructure a Universal Good?” We use green infrastructure […]

Two Ways to Discover Disturbance

Ecological disturbance is often defined as an event that disrupts the structure of a specific system (Pickett & White, 1985).  This kind of material or physical disruption is important because it can result in changes in behavior of the system, or leave heterogeneous structural legacies that affect the system in the future (Pickett, Cadenasso, & […]