Event Title

Iowa State University Students’ Knowledge of and Views on Urban Forests

Date

12-2015 12:00 AM

Major

Forestry

Department

Natural Resource Ecology and Management

College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project Advisor

Janette Thompson

Project Advisor's Department

Natural Resource Ecology and Management

Description

Urban forests provide an important array of psycho-social and ecosystem benefits for city residents. In recent years attention has focused on management of urban forests to maintain and increase these benefits. However, there have also been increasing threats to urban forests from insects and diseases, such as the emerald ash borer (EAB). This insect has been identified in twenty-eight counties in Iowa, and causes death of all species in the ash genus, leading to concerns about how to best manage ash trees and mitigate EAB impacts. I conducted a survey of students enrolled in biological science and liberal arts majors at Iowa State to assess their knowledge of urban forests and their views about urban forest management, and to determine if their perspectives differed. The majority of respondents in both groups understood what an urban forest is, but biological science majors had stronger opinions about desirable urban forest characteristics and management, including approaches to mitigate for EAB. Differences in opinions among respondent populations may have been related to their background and relationship with nature. Overall, this study demonstrated that college-age students who may hold future decision-making roles with respect to urban natural resources are knowledgeable and care about urban forests.

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Dec 1st, 12:00 AM

Iowa State University Students’ Knowledge of and Views on Urban Forests

Urban forests provide an important array of psycho-social and ecosystem benefits for city residents. In recent years attention has focused on management of urban forests to maintain and increase these benefits. However, there have also been increasing threats to urban forests from insects and diseases, such as the emerald ash borer (EAB). This insect has been identified in twenty-eight counties in Iowa, and causes death of all species in the ash genus, leading to concerns about how to best manage ash trees and mitigate EAB impacts. I conducted a survey of students enrolled in biological science and liberal arts majors at Iowa State to assess their knowledge of urban forests and their views about urban forest management, and to determine if their perspectives differed. The majority of respondents in both groups understood what an urban forest is, but biological science majors had stronger opinions about desirable urban forest characteristics and management, including approaches to mitigate for EAB. Differences in opinions among respondent populations may have been related to their background and relationship with nature. Overall, this study demonstrated that college-age students who may hold future decision-making roles with respect to urban natural resources are knowledgeable and care about urban forests.