Join us in welcoming the newest member to our research team, Dr. Francisco Escobedo, who has taken on the role of the LA Urban Center's resident social scientist! We are so happy to have him on board.
To get to know Francisco a little better, we asked him a few questions...
Why is the research you do important?
Over 80 percent of the United States and over 50 percent of the world’s population currently live in urban and Wildland Urban Interface areas. This has presented society and ecosystems with very complex environmental and natural resource sustainability problems. One approach to better understand these issues and inform decision makers, the focus of my work, is to study them by working across disciplines using an integrated and participatory approach.
What is a part of your job that would surprise most people?
The variety in the types of jobs I have had and place I have worked. I have been a Soil Scientist, Forester, Firefighter, Research Social Scientist, Extension Specialist and Professor in places like Alaska, Wilderness areas in New Mexico and Colorado, deserts in Arizona and Mexico, forests and mangroves in Florida and the Caribbean, tropical forests in Colombia as well as urban forests in New York, South America, Europe and China.
What do you want to achieve with your research in the next few years?
I am always trying to understand how forests improve people’s lives and how to best communicate the importance of forests to people. Sometimes you have to use mathematical models, statistics and economic theory or simply measure or plant trees. But often asking or answering questions is what is most important. But regardless of where you work or who you work with it is always important to understand and respect people’s opinions and views.