Urban Nature Stewards

Studying Urban Nature 

Since 2012, we have been trying to understand how native plants contribute to urban biodiversity. We began studying the arthropods (insects and spiders) that are found in urban yards, as well as birds. Do yards that are certified backyard habitat have greater abundance of arthropods and subsequently, birds that feed upon them? We recently completed a pilot study (Plant-Arthropod study 2015) that you can access at the bottom of this page.

We will continue to study the plants, insect species, and birds. You, too, can participate. See any of the topics  below.


The different modules include  plant identification and data collection, bird identification and data collection, and insect data collection. Before research can begin, you should become familiar with the species we will encounter, understand some of the basic ecological topics (Urban conservation biology and landscape ecology) relevant to understanding how backyard habitats might influence biodiversity. To download these units, click on the title below:

Native plants of the Pacific Northwest

Birds of the Pacific Northwest

Backyard butterflies, moths and caterpillars

Urban backyard native foodwebs

Ecology for Gardeners

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Plant-arthropod_2015.pdf299.32 KB