Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Health Sciences
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University
B.A. in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic
Areas of Interest:Community-engaged Research, Environmental Justice, Public Health, Science Communication, Urban Ecology
Office Location:5363 Public Affairs Building
Kirsten Schwarz is an urban ecologist working at the interface of environment, equity, and health. Her research focuses on environmental hazards and amenities in cities and how their distribution impacts minoritized communities. Her work on lead contaminated soils documents how biogeophysical and social variables relate to the spatial patterning of soil lead. Her research on urban tree canopy has revealed large scale patterns related to income and tree canopy as well as historical legacies that impact this relationship. Most recently, Dr. Schwarz led an interdisciplinary team working on a community-engaged green infrastructure design that integrated participatory design and place-based solutions to realizing desired ecosystem services.
Her expertise in science communication and engaging communities in the co-production of science was recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) naming her a Fellow in the Leshner Leadership Institute in the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. Dr. Schwarz’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, AAAS, and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Dr. Schwarz has a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Northern Kentucky University where she directed their Ecological Stewardship Institute.
Schwarz, K., A. Berland, and D.L. Herrmann. 2018. Green, but not just: Rethinking environmental justice outcomes in shrinking cities. Sustainable Cities and Society 41:816-821.
Ossola, A., L.A. Schifman, D.L. Herrmann, A.S. Garmestani, K. Schwarz, and M.E. Hopton. 2018. The provision of urban ecosystem services throughout the private-social-public domain: a conceptual framework. Cities and the Environment 11(1): Article 5.
Herrmann, D.L., W-C Chuang, K. Schwarz, T.M. Bowles, A.S. Garmestani, W.D. Shuster, T. Eason, M.E. Hopton, C.R. Allen. 2018. Agroecology for the shrinking city. Sustainability 10(3):675.
Cutts, B.B., J.K. London, S. Meiners, K. Schwarz, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2017. Moving dirt: Soil, lead and the unstable politics of urban gardening. Local Environment 22(8):998-1018.
London, J.K., K. Schwarz, M.L. Cadenasso, B.B. Cutts, C. Mason, J. Lim, K. Valenzuela-Garcia and H. Smith. 2017. Weaving community-university research and action partnerships for environmental justice. Action Research 16(2):173-189.
Schwarz, K., R.V. Pouyat, and I. Yesilonis. 2016. Legacies of lead in charm city’s soil: Lessons from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(2):209.
Herrmann, D.L., K. Schwarz, W.D. Shuster, A. Berland, B.C. Chaffin, A.S. Garmestani, and M.E. Hopton. 2016. Ecology for the shrinking city. BioScience 66(11):965-973.
Schwarz, K., B.B. Cutts, J.K. London, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2016. Growing gardens in shrinking cities: A solution to the soil lead problem? Sustainability 8(2):141.
Cutts, B.B., D. Fang, K. Hornik, J.K. London, K. Schwarz and M.L. Cadenasso. 2016. Media frames and shifting places of environmental (in)justice: a qualitative historical geographic information system method. Environmental Justice 9(1):23-28.
Berland, A., K. Schwarz, D. L. Herrmann, M.E. Hopton. 2015. How environmental justice patterns are shaped by place: terrain and tree canopy in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Cities and the Environment 8(1):Article 1.
Schwarz, K., M. Fragkias, C.G. Boone, W. Zhou, M. McHale, J.M. Grove, J. O’Neil-Dunne, J.P. McFadden, G.L. Buckley, D. Childers, L. Ogden, S. Pincetl, D. Pataki, A. Whitmer, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2015. Trees grow on money: urban tree canopy cover and environmental justice. PLoS ONE 10(4).
Zhou, W., M.L. Cadenasso, K. Schwarz, and S.T.A. Pickett. 2014. Quantifying spatial heterogeneity in urban landscapes: integrating visual interpretation and object-based classification. Remote Sensing 6(4):3369-3386.
Schwarz, K., K.C. Weathers, S.T.A. Pickett, R.G. Lathrop, R.V. Pouyat, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2013. A comparison of three empirically based, spatially explicit predictive models of residential soil Pb concentrations in Baltimore, Maryland USA: understanding the variability within cities. Environmental Geochemistry and Health 35(4):495-510.
Schwarz, K., S.T.A. Pickett, R.G. Lathrop, K.C. Weathers, R.V. Pouyat, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2012. The effects of the urban built environment on the spatial distribution of lead in residential soils. Environmental Pollution 163:32-39.
Osmond, D.L., N.M. Nadkarni, C.T. Driscoll, E. Andrews, A.J. Gold, S.R. Broussard Allred, A.R. Berkowitz, M.W. Klemens, T.L. Loecke, M.A. McGarry, K. Schwarz, M.L. Washington and P.M. Groffman. 2010. The role of interface organizations in science communication and understanding. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(6):306-313.
Boone, C.G., M.L. Cadenasso, J.M. Grove, K. Schwarz, and G.L. Buckley. 2010. Landscape, vegetation characteristics, and group identity in an urban and suburban watershed: why the 60s matter. Urban Ecosystems 13(3):255-271.
Zhou, W., K. Schwarz, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2010. Mapping urban landscape heterogeneity: agreement between visual interpretation and digital classification approaches. Landscape Ecology 25(1):53-67.
Cadenasso, M.L., S.T.A. Pickett, and K. Schwarz. 2007. Spatial heterogeneity in urban ecosystems: reconceptualizing land cover and a framework for classification. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(2):80-88.
Grove, J.M., M.L. Cadenasso, W.R. Burch, Jr., S.T.A. Pickett, K.Schwarz, J. O’Neil-Dunne, M. Wilson, A. Troy, and C.Boone. 2006. Data and methods comparing social structure and vegetation structure of urban neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. Society and Natural Resources 19:117-136.