|Principal Investigators||Dr. Marina Alberti, Dept. of Urban Design & Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA|
The UERL is directed by Professor Marina Alberti and includes interdisciplinary PhD students, post-doctoral research associates, research scientists, and affiliate faculty from diverse disciplines all studying coupled human-natural systems. As part of the University of Washington’s innovative leadership in urban ecology research and education, the UERL transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries to address some of society’s most challenging problems.
UERL is providing the scientific information required to make ecologically sensitive land-use planning and management decisions in urbanizing regions, and they are beginning to empirically characterize the underlying processes and mechanisms linking urbanization patterns and ecosystem function. Primarily, their work has focused on the Central Puget Sound Region, an area which has spatially abrupt gradients of moisture, nutrients, and temperature that result in a spectacular diversity of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Their research aims to understand the interactions and mechanisms that govern the dynamics of urban ecosystems and empirically test hypotheses about how they evolve through these complex interactions. They use GIS analysis of remotely sensed data, empirical field measurements, modeling, and scenario planning. The research spans five areas: urban landscape patterns, urban carbon dynamics, near-shore and urban water, land cover change models, and adaptation and scenario planning (with a specific focus on ecosystem services and climate change).