About the Project
Forests after Florence is a new citizen science project from North Carolina State University's Reconciliation Ecology Lab. The projects aim is to provide an urban ecological research experience to disaster-impacted students and to measure the impact of this experience on student's persistence, resilience, and scientific identity. NC State will work with 50 undergraduate students that have been impacted by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael to collect time-sensitive data about the storms damage on urban forests. This community-engaged research project will involve students affected by the storms in personally meaningful, relevant learning tasks.
The project has two major goals:
1) To promote science learning, resilience, and persistence among students from communities affected by the storms
2) To collect vital, time-sensitive data on impacts of the hurricane on urban forests to inform future urban ecosystem management in Eastern North Carolina and beyond.
As part of this project, students will complete pre and post test measures of their science identity, their academic persistence, and their resilience, as well as an assessment of forestry knowledge and responses. In addition, they will also complete a daily journal reporting changes in their interest in science and identity as a scientist, to capture progressive changes across the learning experience.
The project will use photographic analysis to assess the extent of damage to trees and the storms impacts on urban infrastructure including: 1) aerial photographs and remotely sensed images for before-after comparisons on city-/region-wide scales; 2) 360-degree photos taken from the ground to analyze the three-dimensional structure of the urban forest and effects of hurricane damage; 3) images and reports from social media postings; 4) longer-term comparative analyses using available historical images.