American National Parks

The National Parks System is one of the best American ideas. Although this an urban themed blog, I want to share my recent and mostly non-urban American Road Trip, which was organized to visit 12 American National Park Areas. I believe that National Parks, by connecting people to nature,  inspire environmental action in natural areas as well as in cities. You can download my trip report, or view photos and route here:



Future Cities, Future Citizens

Future Cities, Future Citizens was a seminar in Shanghai last week. Organized by the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), the seminar gathered researchers and students from several countries who presented their urban environmental projects. I collaborated with SRC through the Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell University last summer. I worked with students and an educator at Rocking the Boat in the Bronx, New York City, to describe the impact of their oyster reef restoration project on ecosystem services. We have submitted our data to the Urban Planet Atlas, and then students prepared and conducted a presentation at the seminar in Shanghai.

Download: 2010-Shanghai

Link: Rocking the Boat travel blog

Photo below: Alex Severino and Govin Baichu (students) and Dawn Henning (educator) conducting a presentation at the Nordic Light House in Shanghai.

The Bronx students met with students from Sweden, Kenya, China and India, and shared their environmental restoration and monitoring projects.

Dawn, Govin and Alex – thank you for your thank you card! – Alex

Rocking the Boat on Calf Island

Rocking the Boat takes its students from the Bronx, New York City, to a 5-day sailing and rowing trip in the Long Island Sound. I went to observe this trip when students were camping on Calf Island in Connecticut. Urban students experienced tidal wetlands, sandy beaches, mixed forest and coastal shrubland habitats with many birds and interesting geological features. Several of these participants have never camped overnight before.