Urban environmental education and biodiversity experiences
MSc, Eco


Urban Biodiversity Experience and Exposure: Intervention and Inequality at the Local and Global Scale





Faculty Advisors:

Paige Warren
Charlie Schweik


Project Abstract:


I am currently working on two projects related to urban biodiversity. The first project concerns how young people connect to nature in and out of school. I work with teachers in the city of Springfield, MA, to understand what 4th grade students do after participating in a biodiversity-rich environmental education program (called “ECOS”). How does such a program change environmental attitudes and interests? The second project seeks to understand why we see different patterns of wealth and biodiversity in cities throughout the world, in collaboration with the Urban Biodiversity Research Coordination Network. In some cities, wealthier neighborhoods have a greater diversity bird species, for example, while in other cities, wealthier neighborhoods have a lower diversity of birds. What is it about those cities that explain the different patterns? Together, these two projects will improve our understanding of who has access to biodiversity in cities, why we see different patterns in different places, and how we can use programs like environmental education to promote engagement with nature.


Recent Publications:

(Note: my past work concerned how people experienced heat in cities)

Kuras ER, Hondula DM, Brown-Saracino J. 2015. Heterogeneity in Individually Experienced Temperatures (IETs) within an urban neighborhood: Insights from a new approach to measuring heat exposure. International Journal of Biometeorology 59:1363-1372 doi: 10.1007/s00484-014-0946-x

Vanos JK, Midel A, McKercher GR, Kuras ER, Ruddell BL. 2016. Hot playgrounds and children’s health: A multiscale analysis of surface temperatures in Arizona, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning 146:29-42.

Hondula DM, Kuras ER, Longo J, Johnston EW. 2016. Toward precision governance: Infusing data into public management of environmental hazards. Public Management Review, in press. 

Longo J, Kuras ER, Smith H, Hondula DM, Johnston EW. 2017. Technology Use, Exposure to Natural Hazards, and Being Digitally Invisible: Implications for Policy Analytics. Policy & Internet doi: 10.1002/poi3.144

Kuras ER, Bernhard MC, Calkins MM, Ebi KL, Hess JJ, Kintziger KW, Jagger MA, Middel A, Scott AA, Spector JT, Uejio CK, Vanos JK, Zaitchik BF, Gohlke JM, Hondula DM. 2016. Opportunities and Challenges for Personal Heat Exposure Research. Environmental Health Perspectives, in press.