Vanessa Lee's picture

Vanessa Lee

Associate Environmental Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program
Urban Nature Lab

Vanessa joined SFEI in 2021 while completing the final year of her dual master degree in Landscape Architecture Environmental Planning and City Planning at UC Berkeley. She works across the fields of urban planning, environmental modelling and landscape architecture, with a keen interest in web design and 3D visualization. Prior to joining SFEI, she developed her skills through diverse projects ranging from landscape restoration in Hong Kong which entered as one of the finalists of the Landscape Institute Awards 2020, research on debris flows in Montecito, CA which won the first prize of ASFPM Student Paper Competition 2021, to typhoon-resilient landscape design in Hong Kong which won the 2020 Excellence in Landscape Design Award at UC Berkeley. She enjoys interdisciplinary and international projects and is very excited to learn and grow at SFEI.

Related Projects, News, and Events

New Ecology for Heath report forges tighter connections between human and ecological health (News)

The same features in urban parks that support biodiversity can also benefit human health. Even biodiversity itself may help us — and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) wants to see more of it. To that end, the nonprofit released an innovative report in September called Ecology for Health. It’s a practical guide for planners and designers to aid both biodiversity and human health in urban settings.

Reconnecting Riverside with its River: Integrating Historical and Urban Ecology for a Healthier Future (Project)

This study focuses on a segment of the Santa Ana River Parkway in and around the City of Riverside, where multiple habitat restoration projects are underway.

Ecology for Health (Project)

The Ecology for Health guide is based on an extensive review of ecological literature on the potential of cities to support native plants and wildlife, as well as research exploring the health benefits of access to biodiverse greenspace. Anyone making decisions about land use and urban design in cities across the world can benefit from the recommendations in this guide (including community-based organizations, local non-profits, local leaders and policymakers, city planners, urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, gardeners/horticulturists/arborists, residents, and landowners). 

Preparing for the Storm (Project)

Catalyzed by the extensive damages caused by the Winter 2016-2017 storms and the opportunity to align flood response with major habitat improvement, Preparing for the Storm is an innovative public-private partnership to improve watershed health and resilience in the Alameda Creek watershed.

Recently completed “Sycamore Alluvial Woodland Restoration and Enhancement Suitability Study” (News)

The “Sycamore Alluvial Woodland Restoration and Enhancement Suitability Study” addresses distribution and regeneration patterns and restoration strategies of sycamore alluvial woodland (SAW) habitat, a unique and relatively rare native vegetation community adapted to California’s intermittent rivers and streams. The report was produced by SFEI and H. T.

Managing Open Space in Support of Net Zero (Project)

Protecting carbon stocks and increasing carbon sequestration can support climate change mitigation and maintain healthy, resilient ecosystems. To support SFPUC managers in making informed carbon management decisions, the Alameda Watershed Carbon Assessment offers scientific guidance on the watershed’s current and potential performance as a natural climate solution. This assessment was framed by two main objectives: to quantify current carbon stocks in the Alameda Watershed, and to evaluate opportunities to enhance carbon sequestration in its vegetation and soils.

Making Nature’s City Toolkit (Project)

In partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Urban Alliance, the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) has developed the Making Nature’s City Toolkit

Introducing the Making Nature's City Toolkit (News)

Making Nature’s City Toolkit (makingnaturescity.org) is an interactive, beautifully designed website that guides cities through an actionable, science-based approach to support biodiversity in cities. Based on SFEI’s 2019 report titled Making Nature’s City, the Toolkit is intended to make the report’s core urban biodiversity framework more accessible to actors and decision-makers in cities across the world. 

Ecological Horticulture at the Presidio (Project)

Look at any urban landscape in the Bay Area and the imprint of horticulture can be readily seen: plants bred to grow well in urban conditions, to require little maintenance, and to fulfill a design aesthetic. While these plants are a triumph of the success of plant propagation, they often have little connection to local ecosystems, and they do not necessarily yield the best support for native biodiversity.