The Center will continue to align with the national goals of the USDA Forest Service as a primary area of focus. These include: urban forest assessments (Urban Tree Canopy, i-Tree Eco and Hydro); climate change; science delivery, communication, and outreach; engaging youth with nature, urban tree risk management; and disaster planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Task 1. Facilitate urban forest assessments and develop related technology. Communities must continuously inventory and assess their natural resources in order to effectively plan and manage urban forests to obtain the maximum benefit for residents and visitors.
Task 2. Maximize urban forest protection. Urban forest and other urban natural resources (like soil and water) are under constant threat from a range of natural and anthropogenic stressors (e.g. storms, development, population density, invasive pests, lack of or inappropriate management).
Task 3. Assess urban forest correlates of climate change. Urban forests and the people that live and work in them will experience a range of negative and positive environmental responses to climatic changes. Many of these are not fully understood or appreciated.
Task 4. Increase the awareness of and deliver information about urban and interface forestry issues in the South and nationwide.
Task 5. Engage diverse constituents in Center programs and projects, provide information in a variety of formats for diverse audiences, and develop and facilitate partnerships and collaborative approaches.
Task 6. Connect youth with outdoor learning experiences and better understand the effects of nature-based learning.
Task 7. Assess the efficacy of outdoor learning and nearby recreational opportunities as a means of increasing school performance, promoting healthy lifestyles, promoting increased outdoor activity outside of school time, and increasing environmental literacy.