Green Infrastructure

CURes' green infrastructure research focuses on the interrelationships between key species in urban areas, and ways to regain and bolster ecosystem services.

Ballona Wetlands Conservancy

Equipment setup to collect mosquito larvae through a filtration system in the Ballona Freshwater Marsh.
Equipment setup to collect mosquito larvae through a filtration system in the Ballona Freshwater Marsh.

In a multi-year study, CURes is developing education, social, and scientific research projects in the Ballona Wetlands Freshwater Marsh to better understand the habitat and how it integrates with urban life in Los Angeles. The 2018 season will addressed issues including mosquito populations, hydrology, water quality, and vector control. In 2019, the CURes team is continuing mosquito population monitoring and writing a white paper on wetlands management.

To learn more about wetlands, view our Wetlands Restoration Resources

Native Gardens

The CURes team is working on planting and monitoring native garden projects in the Greater Los Angeles area by working with students at local schools to teach them about native and edible gardens, as well as their pollinators. As partners in Ballona Discovery Park, our staff helps manage and monitor the native and medicinal gardens.

Los Angeles Beautification Team Urban Forestry Research

As part of a CAL FIRE urban forestry grant, the Los Angeles Beautification Team (LABT) provided a subcontract to CURes to monitor street trees planted to combat climate concerns in disadvantaged neighborhoods. CURes is monitoring over 150 trees in the San Fernando Valley and will also provide community workshops on the intersectional impacts of trees. Read the CURes Blog for more information.

Past Studies

Los Angeles Tree Canopy Assessment and Prioritization Project

This project used high-resolution imagery and LiDAR data to map the urban tree canopy (UTC) and land cover of the coastline of the Los Angeles region. CURes contracted with researchers at the University of Vermont and Savatree Consulting Group, who are experts in high resolution, high accuracy UTC assessments. In Phase 1, we completed a UTC assessment for coastal Los Angeles (read the full report). These types of assessments provide valuable information on the extent and location of our urban forest canopy. The dataset also offered a baseline land cover map, which allowed us to examine questions about resource distribution and social equity.

Forest Inventory and Assessment

From 2016-17, CURes conducted a tree inventory, in association with Jack Sahl & Associates, of all the trees within the public domain of the City of Colton. This included trees in cemeteries, parks, schools, and major cross-streets throughout the city. Interdisciplinary student and staff teams gathered data on the size, distribution, age, health, and energy efficiency of over 8000 trees. Read more on the CURes blog.

Rain Gardens

CURes faculty fellow Dr. John Dorsey led teams of LMU students in monitoring the pollutant retention of storm water runoff in a Culver City rain garden. The goal of this project was to determine how natural infrastructure solutions can impact the amount of pollution entering into waterways and water systems.