Welcome to the Urban Ecology Lab Group at NCSU!
This site has been created so our students and faculty members can communicate about courses and research in Urban Ecosystems. We would also like to use this wiki so other urban ecologists can read about what we are doing and participate if they are interested!


To utilize the Triangle region of NC as a study system where we analyze policy relevant socio-ecological patterns and processes that can inform regional management and planning.

  • Metabolism of NC Triangle; Biomass Utilization in Cities; Energy Use, Landscapes and Lifestyles; Urban Forest Cover and Water Quality; Land Cover and Ecosystem Services

To elevate the Triangle’s representation in national studies that will enhance a comparative framework for understanding the sustainability and resilience of cities.
  • Land cover and human health, Sustainability Research Coordination Network (RCN), Distributed Urban Ecology Course

To contribute to the advancement of urban ecological theory internationally through development of the IMAGINE Program in South Africa.
  • Urban Ecology in a Developing World: Why advanced socio-ecological theory needs Africa (Frontiers), The IMAGINE Program in South Africa


Bigsby, K.M., McHale, M.R, Hess, G.R. (2014). Urban morphology drives the homogenization of tree cover in Baltimore, MD, and Raleigh, NC. Ecosystems 17(2): 212-227.

McHale, M.R., Pickett, S.T.A., Bunn, D.N., Twine, W. (2013). Urban Ecology in a Developing World: How Advanced Socio-Ecological Theory Needs Africa. Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment.
Pickett, S.T.A, Boone, C.G., McGrath, B.P., Cadenasso, M.L., Childers, D.L., Ogden, L.A., McHale, M.R., Grove, J.M. (2013). Ecological Science and Transformation to the Sustainable City. Journal of Cities 32(1): S10-S20.
Inkilainen, E., McHale, M.R., Blank, G.B., James, A.L., and Nikinmaa, E. (2013). The role of residential urban forests in regulating through fall: A case study in Raleigh, North Carolina. Landscape and Urban Planning 119: 91-103.

Peterson, M., Bondell, H., Lawler, M., Bigsby, K., McHale, M. (2013). Prediction indicators for voluntary carbon offset purchases among trail runners. Journal of Sport Behavior 36(3).

Zhang, C., Wu, J., Grimm, N., McHale, M, Buyanteuyev, A. (2013). A hierarchial Patch Mosaic Ecosystem Model for Urban Landscapes: Model development and evaluation. Ecological Modelling 250: 81-100.

Lawler, M. Steelman, T., McHale, M. Peterson, N. (2013). Barriers to Utilization of Municipal Biomass Residues for Bioenergy: A Wake County, NC Case Study. Journal of Extension 51(2).

Nelson, C., McHale, M.R., Peterson, M.N. (2012). Influences of landscape and lifestyle on home energy consumption: a case study of Raleigh, NC. Urban Ecosystems 15(4):773-793.

Peterson, M., Thurman, B., McHale, M., Rodriguez, S., Bondell, HD, Cook, M. (2012). Predicting Native Plant Landscaping Preferences in Urban Areas. Sustainable Cities and Society 5: 70-76.
Keto, E., McHale, M.R., Hess, G., Bullock, B., Blank, G. (2012). Design Choices Determine Urban Forest Characteristics in Raleigh, NC Parking Lots. Journal of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 38(2): 50-57.


McHale MR, Majumdar A, Grimm N. (In Review) Carbon Lost Vs. Carbon Gained: A study of vegetation and the associated carbon tradeoffs among land-uses in Phoenix, AZ. Global Change Biology.

*Beck SM, McHale MR, Hess GR. (In Review). Beyond Impervious: Urban Land-cover Pattern Variation and Implications for Water Quality. Environmental Management.

*Beck SM, McHale MR, Chesire HM, Nelson AC, Hess GR. (Submission November 2014). The High-Resolution Revolution: Exploring the Future of Urban High-Resolution Land-Cover Classifications for Municipal Planning and Scientific Analysis. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems.

*Metzger A, McHale MR, Hess GR, & Steelman T. (In Review, In Revision). Keeping Score: Enhancing Urban Metabolism to Include Standardized Sustainability Metrics. Urban Ecosystems.

Steelman T, Bradford L, Nichols E, James A, Ebersohn L, Omidire F, Scherman V, Bunn DB, McHale MR. In Prep (In Review). A Framework for Systematic Learning for Sustainability Science. Sustainability Science.

Schwarz K; Fragkias M, Zhou W, McHale MR, Grove JM, O’Neil-Dunne J, Boone CJ, McFadden JP, Buckley GP, Childers D, Ogden L, Pickett STA, Pincetl S, Pataki DE, Whitmer A, Cadenasso, ML (In Review, accepted with minor revision). Trees grow on money: Urban tree canopy cover and environmental justice. PLOS One.

*Youth, M., Hess, G., McHale, M.R., Peterson, M. (In Review, In Revision). Environmental Amenities influence Demographics – The Environmental Justice of reservoir creation. Local Environment.


Spraying to Make Lawns Green….But with Paint, Not Water

In the Shadows of the High Line

Ecological Urbanism for the 21st Century - The Chronicle of Higher Education -

Which is America's Best City? (2011 - RALEIGH?!)