The Center for Resilient Landscapes (CRL) located on Rutgers' George H. Cook Campus is a collaborative research effort of Rutgers University, the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
Current research emphases of the CRL include:
- Understanding resilience within complex landscapes under conditions of global change, periodic disturbance, and urbanization.
- Evaluating strategies for increasing socio-ecological resilience.
- Designing scientifically informed tools to facilitate state and community responses to natural disturbances and extreme events.
CRL research is targeted to the needs of planners, professionals, students, volunteers, and communities. The geographic scope of the CRL extends to the Northeast Region, a highly populated region with a diversity of people and land uses. The center focuses on New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the nation. Located along the I-95 corridor, New Jersey is central to all of the northeastern cities in the region. Particular attention is devoted to the urban-rural gradient and disturbances that are prevalent in New Jersey, such as: fire in the wildland-urban interface, extreme storm events, diseases, insect and animal pests, invasive plants, as well as developmental pressures and changing economies and markets.
The objective of the center is to focus on the development of social-ecological system resilience, from short-term recovery, to longer-term restoration, to fundamental system re-organization or resistance. CRL personnel are studying and supporting improved urban and rural natural resources stewardship and its linkages to enhanced community well-being, public attitudes and behaviors, and sound policymaking.
The CRL provides traditional (classroom, studio, and field-based) student training enhanced with career-track (internship, fellowship, temporary and long term federal recruitment) opportunities. Seminars focused on these efforts and broader issues of disturbance and resilience in a forested context will be organized on the Rutgers campus. Students working with the CRL will have the opportunity to:
- Interact with research professionals and natural resource managers by conducting basic, applied, and participatory research.
- Contribute to research projects that meet identified needs.
- Develop and present extension educational programming.
- Link research findings to action-oriented recommendations and educational materials.