CURes had an amazing 2017 filled with research, publications, and community engagement. Before sharing our highlights, we would like to thank all of our donors, partner organizations, LMU colleagues, and funders, without whom our work would not be possible.
The CURes team embarked on a range of applied science research projects over the last year.
- Pete Auger, Maria Curley, and undergraduate student researchers completed an urban forestry study for the City of Colton, which surveyed 8,000 trees in public spaces.
- Michele Romolini conducted a study of stewardship organizations (STEW-MAP) in LA County through a social survey and subsequent geographic and social network maps. Dr. Romolini plans to continue this work through additional analysis and new data collection.
- Eric Strauss joined a team of 15 expert scientists convened by the Annenberg Foundation to study the human-animal bond and how it relates to urban
Dr. Strauss and Curley at PetSpace.
ecosystems. CURes further developed our relationship with the Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista through student volunteers, lectures, developing educational materials, and events.
- Romolini also completed a three-year social survey of the Baldwin Hills Parklands, which engaged 38 student research assistants over 1,934 field hours to assemble 1,729 visitor surveys. The CURes team presented these final results to the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Board in October.
- Auger, Curley, and a team of seven undergraduate student researchers worked together to conduct the first year of a coyote assessment in Long Beach. This work will continue for another two years so that the City can better understand its coyote population.
- Erich Eberts, the Research Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year and currently a graduate student at the University of Toronto, conducted research on torpor of nesting female hummingbirds using thermal imaging. Eberts worked with Dr. Auger, Curley, and students on campus, who continued surveying the hummingbird nest sites on LMU’s campus into the fall semester. Eberts will continue this work as part of a master’s thesis.
Dr. Auger at the Frazier Park site with one of the wolf hybrids.
- CURes, alongside other scientists, embarked on a wolf hybrid project inFrazierPark, CA, to learn how wolf-dog hybrids can inform us of human psychiatric diseases.
CURes continued our applied activities and educational programs in 2017.
Alex Isaev (LMU ’18) presenting at the 2017 LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium.
CURes continued to mentor undergraduate and graduate students in urban ecology research. These students presented 15 posters at the 2017 LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Two also participated in the 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Program at LMU. Additionally, two graduate theses and one undergraduate thesis were produced in 2017.
- Golly, K. (2017). Assessing the distribution of Environmental Stewardship Organizations and demographics in Los Angeles County. (Advisors: E.G. Strauss, M. Romolini, B. Gilbert)
- Simso, E.R. (2017). Analyzing the Impact of Demographics on Residents’ Use and Understanding of Urban Green Spaces. Honor’s Thesis, Loyola Marymount University. (Advisors: E.G. Strauss, M. Romolini)
- Sinclair, S. (2017). Analysis of micro-plastics found in Great Lakes sediments. Master’s Thesis, Loyola Marymount University. (Advisers: E.G. Strauss, Landry J.M.)
Finally, CURes researchers and faculty fellows were highly engaged in the scientific community throughout the year. First, CURes research was presented at four conferences, three in the Los Angeles area and the fourth in Minnesota. Three publications for the CURes team (in bold) were also released in 2017, as seen below:
- Locke D.H., Romolini M., O’Neil-Dunne J.M., Galvin M., Strauss E.G. (2017). Understanding tree canopy change in Coastal Los Angeles through geodemoraphic segments and land use. CATE Journal, special issue on Climate Change in Mediterranean Cities.
- Romolini, M., Strauss, E.G., Bruce-Eisen, S., & Simso, E.R.(2017). The Value of Urban Parklands: A User Study of the Baldwin Hills (Research Report). Los Angeles, CA: Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience. PDF
- Kawecki, S., Kuleck, G., Dorsey, J.H., Leary, C., & Lum, M. (2017). The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) in waters of the Lower Ballona Creek Watershed, Los Angeles County, California. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189(6), 261.
Once again, we sincerely thank and appreciate the sponsorship and community support that makes the work at CURes possible. We look forward to continuing to engage in dynamic urban ecology questions in 2018 and beyond.