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Call for Abstracts: Civic Science in Urban Forestry

Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, ISA’s scientific journal, has an open call for abstracts (through December 1, 2016), inviting researchers to submit to a special issue focusing on civic science in urban forestry, stewardship of urban greenspaces, and participatory research and civic ecology.


Civic Science in Urban Forestry: Engaging the Public in Data Collection, Knowledge Production, and Stewardship

Guest editors

Lindsay K. Campbell, US Forest Service (New York City, NY), lindsaycampbell@fs.fed.us Rebecca C. Jordan, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), rebecca.jordan@rutgers.edu Lara A. Roman, US Forest Service (Philadelphia, PA), lroman@fs.fed.us


Jason Grabosky, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), grabosky@aesop.rutgers.edu


Scope of the special section

Citizen science has been gaining prominence in urban forestry in the past decade, with municipalities and nonprofits engaging volunteers in tree data collection. Related forms of public engagement have also brought diverse stakeholders into the fold of knowledge production and stewardship of urban green spaces, including participatory research and civic ecology. These varied approaches, while they have different disciplinary foundations, all connect as a means of engaging the public in the study and management of urban trees: what we refer to here as civic science in urban forestry.

Yet as municipalities, states, nonprofits, and scientists engage in various forms of civic science, there is a need for basic research about the conceptual frameworks of civic engagement in urban forest research, empirical evidence about best practices for applying citizen science and other participatory approaches to research and practice, and impacts of volunteering on the participants themselves. This special issue of Arboriculture & Urban Forestry (AUF) aims to advance the scholarship of civic science in urban forestry. We invite authors to submit article abstracts related to the following topics:

  •  Meanings and uses of citizen science, participatory research, and civic ecology in urban forest research and practice
  •  Characteristics and motivations of volunteers in civic science for urban forestry
  •  Conservation psychology, environmental stewardship, and science literacy outcomes of citizen science in urban environments, including youth education
  •  Trade-offs in using volunteers vs. paid workers, such as with urban tree inventories and monitoring
  •  Understanding volunteer data quality for urban trees
  •  New technologies for volunteer data collection and data sharing for citizen science in urban forestry
  •  Best management practices for civic science in urban forest research and practice
  •  Co-production of urban forestry knowledge by scientists, managers, and the public

Articles may fall under any of the following types:

  •  Original Research: Original fundamental research that contributes to the scientific foundations that support the disciplines of arboriculture and urban forestry.
  •  Reviews: These include literature reviews or syntheses of previous work that identify trends, designate areas for new work, and/or compare competing theories.
  •  Empirical Analyses: Appropriate for analysis of procedures, equipment, or management systems that will lead to the improvement of best management practices.
  •  Short communications: Appropriate for original research investigations that report preliminary or novel results on limited data sets.

Short abstracts due December 1, 2016

Authors are invited to submit abstracts (250 words maximum) of manuscripts for the special issue, due December 1, 2016. Submissions should also include a list of authors, their affiliations, a title for the article, and a note about which article type the submission falls under (Original Research, Reviews, Empirical Analyses, Short Communications). Abstracts should be emailed to guest editor Lara Roman, lroman@fs.fed.us, with the subject line: “AUF special issue.”

Accepted abstracts invited to submit manuscripts between March 1 – June 1, 2017

The guest editors and AUF associate editors will review the submitted abstracts. Those selected for the special issue will be invited to submit a full manuscript to AUF between March 1 – June 1, 2017. Note that the journal does not have a specific length limit but brevity is preferred.

All full manuscripts must follow the journal’s instructions to authors, including submitting through Manuscript Central:


About the journal

AUF is the bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal of the International Society of Arboriculture, the professional society of arborists. This publication disseminates new and original research findings centered on the care and management of trees in urban environments to researchers and professionals in urban forestry.

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