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group gathered around in field of grassCollaboration is central to CAP LTER’s interdisciplinary research and education model. When CAP LTER began its work in 1997, we recognized that conducting research on the ecology of the city required working across disciplinary boundaries, which was a relatively new concept at the time.

This approach has fostered long-term collaborations among scientists in the biological, physical, social, and engineering sciences. It has led to a new generation of scientists who think broadly about urban ecology and employ a variety of methods to answer research questions. Our Interdisciplinary Research Themes are an example of such collaboration in action.

Our collaborative model extends to working with other research projects and programs that address urban systems. We continue to engage new partners outside of academia in our research and education initiatives, including municipalities and school districts. Our Scenarios work demonstrates how collaboration can foster new thinking and planning for a sustainable future.

Urban sustainability and resilience are increasingly important guiding visions for cities. Urban ecology can bring useful knowledge and perspectives on the future development of cities, but requires collaborative approaches to address city planning and management needs.


Affiliated Research Projects and Programs

CAP LTER conducts research in collaboration with several other research projects and programs that focus on urban ecosystems.

Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partners with agencies, NGOs, policy makers, corporations, and academic institutions locally, nationally, and globally to conduct research and policy-related work toward achieving biodiversity conservation outcomes.

Decision Center for a Desert City advances knowledge about decision making under uncertainty in the context of water sustainably and urban climate-change adaptation through conducting climate, water and decision research, and developing innovative tools to bridge the boundary between scientists and decision makers.

Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network integrates social, ecological, and technical systems to inform cities’ transition to resilience by deploying flexible, adaptable, socially equitable, and ecologically based infrastructure while facing a higher incidence of extreme events, more culturally diverse communities, and continued urbanization.

Urban Water Innovation Network Sustainability Research Network is a consortium of research, public engagement, and educational programs that addresses challenges that threaten urban water systems by creating technological, institutional, and management solutions to help communities increase the resilience of their water systems and enhance preparedness for responding to water crises.

Urbanization and Global Environmental Change program seeks to better understand how urban areas affect and are affected by global environmental change, at local, regional, and global scales.

Our Research and Education Partners

We collaborate with a range of non-profit and public sector institutions and initiatives to co-produce knowledge, address environmental issues, and educate the next generation of citizens and leaders.

Arizona Science Teachers Association inspires, engages, and supports science teachers in preparing STEM learners for success.

Arizona Association for Environmental Education strives to enhance the quality, scope, and effectiveness of environmental education in Arizona, working with diverse audiences to promote professional development, networking, and collaborative relationships.

Central Arizona Conservation Alliance is a regional partnership of diverse but like-minded organizations who have come together to develop strategies and engage the community to learn about, care for and conserve desert mountain preserves and protected areas of the Phoenix metropolitan region.

Field Institute, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy involves citizen scientists, academic scientists, and experts from environmental and conservation oriented organizations in conducting research to guide the conservation of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Homeward Bound provides transitional housing, employment services, and other forms of support to low-income families with children that are homeless, recently evicted, or fleeing a domestic violence situation.

National Sustainability Teacher’s Academy equips K-12 teachers with the knowledge, skills and tools to infuse sustainability concepts and practices into schools to prepare the next generation of leaders to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

SEEDS Program, Ecological Society of America aims to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to participate in and assume leadership roles in ecology.

Sustainable Cities Network is a bridge between ASU’s research and technical capabilities in sustainability and the front-line challenges facing cities as well as a vehicle for sharing knowledge and coordinating efforts to understand and solve problems and a clearinghouse of best practices cities can apply to their unique problems and goals for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.