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Faces of the Forest celebrates Lindsay Campbell

Lindsay Campbell, U.S. Forest Service research social scientist, presents "Understanding Civic Environmental Stewardship Networks in New York City" at the MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: A Research Symposium in New York City March 2010. (Photo provided by New School University)

Lindsay Campbell, U.S. Forest Service research social scientist, presents "Understanding Civic Environmental Stewardship Networks in New York City" at the MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: A Research Symposium in New York City March 2010. (Photo provided by New School University)

Some people may not guess that Lindsay Campbell works for the U.S. Forest Service. After all, she does not work on a national forest. Rather, she loves her job in New York City and frequently travels the globe as a member of the U.S. National Team for fencing.

Campbell is a research social scientist on the Northern Research Station’s New York City Urban Field Station.

Ten years ago, she was a Princeton University alumni when she first met a representative from the Forest Service. Not long on the heels of Sept. 11, the Forest Service had been authorized by Congress to create a living memorials project to honor those impacted by the tragedy – by using trees.

Campbell joined the Forest Service and immediately began working on the Living Memorials Project. “This involved supporting emerging community-based memorials such as tree plantings and new parks, and documenting the creation and uses of these landscapes to better understand the stewardship of these sites,” Campbell said.

Reaching out to communities from Boston to the greater D.C. and Virginia areas as part of the project’s research, Campbell interviewed hundreds of people and visited numerous sites. This, she said, got her interested in urban stewardship more broadly.

Campbell was always interested in cities and environmental issues. Growing up outside of Cleveland, she noticed many vacant lots and buildings around the Rust Belt. Building on this interest, she explored the history of urbanization early in college. Today, she focuses on urban environmental stewardship such as individuals planting trees or organized engagement such as how community groups work with local government and business. She works frequently with the City of New York to explore the urban ecosystem.

Campbell is passionate about her job. She is also passionate about fencing. In fact, she is ranked third in the United States and is aiming for the London 2012 Olympics.

Fencing “is very tactical,” the four-time member of the U.S. world championship team said. “It’s as much of a game as it is a tactical sport. It’s intellectually interesting while also physically demanding.”

See what else Campbell has to say in the Forest Service special feature Faces of the Forest, a bi-weekly feature of the Office of Communication to showcase the people, places and professions within the agency.

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