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Tree Canopy Survey

Our convening of faculty, students, and nonprofit organizations co-designed an experiential learning, data collection and analytical process to asset map, understand and improve tree canopy coverage in San Diego from a climate justice perspective. First, we created a persistent, team-based, community-engaged opportunity for students to meet USP2 course learning objectives by doing field research with faculty, staff and community partners. USP2 is a required lower division class (about cities and environmental justice in global perspective). Second, we established a process to provide community-based organizations (CBOs) with data, knowledge and tools they need to understand and equitably improve the San Diego-Tijuana city-region’s green infrastructure (parks and urban forests) from a bioregional and climate justice standpoint. Third, we attempted to generate institutional interest and additional progress toward making UC San Diego a Rooted University. We learned lessons about institutional connectivity, including the kinds of socio-technical, epistemic, and cultural barriers and bridges, on and off the UC San Diego campus, that can help or hinder prospects for enabling community-engaged teaching and experiential learning at a large enough scale to be significantly impactful.

Students-Generated Asset Map Galleries







Included below are more images below of USP2 Students surveying trees and the Youth Environmental Justice Academy (YEJA) graduation. The YEJA Academy reflects The Global ARC’s and Bioregional Center’s commitment to supporting Youth of Color in developing their voice and bringing it into the public dialogue. The goal of the Academy is to create a pipeline that trains and activates Youth of Color as activists and leaders in the Environmental Justice Movement in San Diego. The certificate of completion is co-awarded by the Global ARC and Bioregional Center. 

This is the USP2 Winter 2023 class, all of whom participated in the mapping of street trees.


Young Environmental Justice Advocates comparing the tree canopy on two streets.


For more photos, visit