James J.T. Connolly just began working as an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University. He received his doctorate in Urban Planning from Columbia University in 2012. His research focuses on the institutional challenges of urban environmental policymaking. While at Columbia, he worked as a staff researcher at the Earth Institute and the Spatial Information Design Lab. His publications have focused on New York City and have analyzed the organizational structure of urban environmental stewardship, the governance challenges of environmental justice, and the spatial extent of changing ecological conditions in the city. He is developing a book based on his dissertation on effective models of state-level urban environmental policymaking. He was recipient of a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is co-editor of Searching for the Just City: Debates in Urban Theory and Practice.
Erika S. Svendsen is a social scientist for the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and Director’s Representative for the New York City Urban Field Station. She works in collaboration with city agencies and non-profit partners to better understand the impact of community-based, environmental stewardship in urban areas. In conjunction with the New York City (NYC) Department of Parks and Recreation, Dr. Svendsen is the Director's Representative of the Urban Field Station, which is both a physical place to conduct research and a network of scientists and practitioners dedicated to supporting urban ecosystems. She is also the co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC Research and Evaluation Subcommittee and was the director of GreenThumb, NYC’s city-wide community gardening program, from 1997 to 2001. Prior to this work, she worked as the international fellowship director for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Leadership and Development Program. Her current research is focused on understanding civic stewardship patterns in cities, forms of hybrid governance and the study of personal motivations for urban stewardship. She is working as a partner on the Environmental Stewardship Project, specifically helping to expand STEW-MAP. For more information, go to www.nrs.fs.fed.us/nyc/