Erica Spotswood's picture

Erica  Spotswood

Applied Ecologist
Resilient Landscapes Program
Erica received her PhD from UC Berkeley in the Environmental Science, Policy & Management department, and most recently has worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Katie Suding on mechanisms of resilience in California grasslands. She studied the seed dispersal of invasive plants by birds in Tahiti (French Polynesia) for her dissertation. Erica also has worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Central Africa, worked in West Africa in the Peace Corps, and was a research assistant in Costa Rica. 
She'll be working on a number of Resilient Landscapes projects, including Resilient Silicon Valley, the Southern California wetlands strategy, and the Delta historical visualization project.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Resilient Silicon Valley (Project)

Drawing on resilience science, regional data, and local expertise, we will develop the vision and tools that will allow stakeholders in the region ensure that local actions contribute toward the creation of a high-functioning and resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Photo by Shira Bezalel

Re-Oaking (Project)

“Re-Oaking” is an approach to reintegrating oaks and other native trees within the developed California landscape to provide a range of ecosystem services. The concept has emerged from SFEI's research into the distribution and characteristics of California's former valley oak savannas -- a distinctive, widespread habitat that was mostly lost a century ago. Now valley oaks and other native trees are being recognized for the benefits they did -- and could again – provide, as communities design the ecologically healthy and resilient landscapes of the future.

Announcing the release of Re-Oaking Silicon Valley: Building Vibrant Cities with Nature (News)

Could restoring lost ecosystems to cities play a role in building ecological resilience across landscapes? In Re-oaking Silicon Valley, a new report by SFEI, we explore this opportunity in our region. Both beautiful and functional, native oaks can be excellent choices for streetscapes, backyards, and landscaping. Requiring little water after establishment, oaks can save money by reducing irrigation requirements while sequestering more carbon than most other urban trees common to our region.

Photo Credits: Micha Salomon (L), Dee Shea Himes (R)

Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands (Project)

The Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands project will enhance resilience to climate change through the implementation of several multi-benefit environmental projects by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, SFEI, and 15 other organizations. The project has two major components: Multi-benefit Urban Greening and Tidal Wetlands Restoration. Through both components, we are developing science-based strategies that inform the design of innovative implementation projects.

Image courtesy of Estuary News magazine

SFEI’s Re-oaking Silicon Valley appears as a feature in Estuary News magazine (News)

Over the past century, oaks have been lost from fertile valleys across California to make way for agriculture, and then for cities. Yet cities could make room for their return; by harnessing the many greening activities that are already occurring, oaks could be planted along streets, in yards, and on corporate campuses. Re-oaking could help build ecological resilience while providing benefits for people such as carbon storage and water savings.

SFEI work on Landscape Resilience and Urban Biodiversity featured in Google Blog and Fast Company Story (News)

Our partnership with Google to enhance the ecological resilience of urban landscapes is featured in a story by Fast Company, a Google Blog post, and an accompanying video.

SFEI's new Landscape Resilience Framework outlines attributes of ecological resilience (News)

SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program has developed a Landscape Resilience Framework, with the goal of facilitating the integration of resilience science into environmental management, urban design, conservation planning, and ecological restoration. The framework proposes seven key landscape attributes that contribute to ecological resilience, providing details and examples on each.