USF Uses Grant to Map, Estimate Environmental Benefits of Nearly 10,000 Trees on Campus
April 20th, 2017
Tampa, Fla. (April 20, 2017) – Researchers from the University of South Florida have recently completed a digital, interactive inventory of nearly 10,000 trees on the university's campus in Tampa. Faculty members in the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) spent more than a year compiling a precise count and condition check of almost every tree on campus, with the goal of developing plans to diversify tree populations and expand the canopy cover over the campus. The map also estimates that the trees provide annual environmental benefits of more than $1.1 million in terms of energy conserved, storm water filtered, air quality improved and carbon dioxide stored or removed.
"This is a unique project that allowed USF to map most of the trees on campus. The map and the detailed database are useful not only for tree management but also for education and research by students and faculty," said Kebreab Ghebremichael, PCGS faculty member and principal investigator of the project.
Using tree map software developed by USF and University of Florida's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, the
project has documented nearly all of the entire trees on campus. However, a few locations with very dense forest
and a construction site have not yet been included. Researchers and USF staff intend to complete the tree map,
as well as keep it updated as trees are planted or removed. The map is available for the public to view online:
The research is part of a $15,872 grant from the USDA Forest Services through the Florida Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.
"We are pleased to have led this tree inventory on behalf of the USF community. Balancing the economic, environmental and civil society needs of today and future generations remains our focus at the Patel College of Global Sustainability," said PCGS Dean Richard Berman.
Designated as a Tree Campus USA for the past six years, USF continues to show a commitment to being green by planting hundreds of new trees over the past few years. Funding for additional trees was also recently secured through USF's Student Green Energy Fund.
|About the University of South Florida|
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is
a high-impact, global
research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited
institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students,
the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF
is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the
National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as "Emerging
Preeminent," placing USF in an elite category among the state's 12 public universities. USF is a member
of the American Athletic Conference.