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a research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington

Portfolio for Jessica M. Vogt

Research Associate, CIPEC and Visiting Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Furman University

School / Program:
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Major: Environmental Science
Minor: Ecology (Biology Department)

Research Areas:
Urban ecosystems, urban forestry, urban tree planting program evaluation, tree growth
Dissertation Title:
Urban tree planting, tree maintenance institutions, and the success of recently-planted trees

Dissertation Committee:
  • Dr. Burney Fischer (SPEA)
  • Dr. David Good (SPEA)
  • Dr. Keith Clay (Biology)
  • Dr. Laurel Cornell (Sociology)
  • Dr. Rich Hauer (Department of Forestry, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point)

Dissertation Abstract (completed and successfully defended, July 2014): 

My dissertation portfolio addresses the question: What is the impact of maintenance on planted urban street tree outcomes? It uses data from a sample of recently-planted trees in Indianapolis neighborhoods. Chapter 1 reviews the literature on the costs of maintaining and not maintaining urban trees, and finds that the costs (monetary or biological) of maintenance activities that are not line items in City budgets, such as watering, are not well studied. Chapter 2 presents a protocol for learning more about recently-planted urban trees, including evidence of tree care and maintenance, using citizen scientists to augment data collection abilities of professionals. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the impact of watering strategies on neighborhood-planted trees in Indianapolis, finding that collective watering positively impacts tree survival (Chapter 3), but that there are other elements of watering strategies (e.g., signed agreements) that also have a positive impact on tree outcomes (Chapter 4). To explore the impact of maintenance scenarios on tree outcomes more explicitly, this dissertation concludes by proposing that future research should examine the type of maintenance activity, who performs the maintenance, and the intensity, frequency, duration, and extent of maintenance activities. Linking this information to the costs of maintenance activities will allow researchers to determine what is optimal maintenance, and help urban forest managers make better decisions when allocating limited maintenance resources

Curriculum Vitae

Jess Vogt