513 N Park Ave
- Ph.D., Purdue University, 1974
- M.S.F., Purdue University, 1971
- B.S.F., Purdue University, 1969
- V600 Capstone
- Environment & People
- Urban Forest Management
- Urban Ecology
- Workshop Seminar in Public Policy
Dr. Burnell Fischer is a clinical professor emeritus specializing in urban and community forestry. He joined Indiana University in 2005 after 15 years with the Indiana Division of Forestry where he served as the state forester and director. At O'Neill, Fischer teaches classes on urban forestry and conducts research on urban and community forestry practices and issues, forest resource policy, state government management and collaborative forestry. He leads the Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group.
Fischer served as the co-director and interim director of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis from 2012-14. He was the O'Neill Undergraduate Program director from 2008-11. He was an adjunct professor of forestry at Purdue University from 1997-2014.
In 2013, Fischer was honored with the Frederick Law Olmsted Award from the Arbor Day Foundation for his contribution to tree planting, conservation, and stewardship. Fischer has been instrumental in the growth of the Tree Campus USA program, which provides resources and recognition for colleges and universities that make tree care a priority. The Arbor Day Foundation has named IU Bloomington a Tree Campus USA 13 years in a row.
Fischer received a National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant, a $173,000 award from the U. S. Forest Service, as well as a second grant, a $35,000 award, from the U.S Forest Service Northern Research Station to study “Trees and People” – a two way street: A research program to assess the direct and indirect effects of urban tree-planting programs in the face of climate change (2013-18). This research project extended his continuing Indianapolis based pilot project to four additional cities and examines direct effects on tree survival as well as indirect effects of the tree-planting on the community organizations helping to implement the program. Results of this research has been published in numerous journals by Fischer and his students, as well as presented a national urban forestry conferences. The Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group continues this research.
Fischer has served in a wide range of organizations in the past 20 years: president and board member of the Indiana Urban Forest Council, board member of the national Alliance for Community Trees, board member of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, member of the Cities of Bloomington and Lafayette Tree Commissions, member of the USDA National Urban Forestry & Community Advisory Council, and president of the National Association of State Foresters.
- Ostrom Workshop Senior Research Fellow (2015)
- Indiana Urban Forest Council – Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award (2014)
- Frederick Law Olmsted Award, National Arbor Day Foundation (2013)
- National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant (2013), U. S. Forest Service
- O'Neill Teaching Award (2008), Undergraduate Instruction, Indiana University
- Indiana Arborist Association Distinguished Service Award (2004)
- President, National Association of State Foresters (NASF) (2003-04)
In the News
- "Workshop Honors Ostrom's Work" - Indiana Daily Student, June 22, 2014
- "It Takes a Community … to Grow an Orchard!" - Herald-Times, May 3, 2014
- "Sustainability an 'Operational and Academic Imperative' at IU Bloomington" - IU News Room, May 21, 2013
- "IU Bloomington Professor Burney Fischer Honored by Arbor Day Foundation" - HighBeam Research, April 23, 2013
- "Advice for Ash Tree Owners" - Herald-Times, November 30, 2012
- "How one looks and thinks about forests is important!"The Twig, Sycamore Land Trust (Fall 2021)
- "Climate change impacts and urban green space adaptation efforts: Evidence from U.S. municipal parks and recreation departments," (with Y. Cheng, J.R. Farmer, et al.), Urban Climate, (Sept. 2021)
- “Does collaborative tree planting between nonprofits and neighborhood groups improve neighborhood community capacity?” (with S.L. Watkins, J. Vogt, S.K. Mincey, R.A. Bergmann, S.E. Widney, L.M. Westphal, S. Sweeney), Cities (8 January 2018)
- “Defining urban ecology and connection to urban forestry,” Indiana Arborist Newsletter (Winter) 14-15. Reprinted in Agricultural Research and Technology, Open Access Journal ISSN 2471-6774 Opinion Vol 2(4)1p DOI:10.19080/ARTOAJ.2017.04.555637 (2017)
- “Tree mortality undercuts ability of tree-planting programs to provide benefits: Results of a three-city study,” ( with S.E. Widney, J. Vogt) Forests, 7(3): 65. DOI: 10.3390/f7030065. Special issue on “Urban and Peri-urban Forest Diversity and Ecosystem Services.” (2016)
- “Urban forestry and arboriculture as interdisciplinary environmental science: Importance and incorporation of other disciplines,” (with J.M. Vogt, R.J. Hauer), Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 6(2):371-386. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-015-0309-x. (2016; published online 11 August 2015)
- "Explaining planted-tree survival and growth in urban neighborhoods: A social-ecological approach to studying recently-planted trees in Indianapolis," (with J. Vogt, S.Watkins, S. Mincey, and M. Patterson) Landscape and Urban Planning, 136, pages 120-143, April 2015
- "Variations in the social networks of forest owners: The effect of management activity, resource professionals, and ownership size," (with T. Ruseva, T. Evans) Small-scale Forestry 13(3): 377-395 (2014)
- "A protocol for citizen science monitoring of recently-planted urban trees," (with J. Vogt), Cities and the Environment (CATE), Vol. 7: Iss. 2, Article 4, 26p.(2014)
- "Evaluating the USFS State & Private Forestry Redesign Program: A first look at policy implications," (with M. Cox, K. Mincey, T. B. Ruseva, and S. Tomas-Villamayor), Ecological Economics, 85:35-42 (2013)
- "Missing ecology: Integrating ecological perspectives with the social-ecological systems framework," (with M. Cox, G. Epstein, S.K. Mincey, and J.M. Vogt), International Journal of the Commons, 7(2) 432-453 (2013)
- “Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: A key to sustainable urban forest management,” (with T. Evans, S. M. Hutten, K. Mincey, S. Stewart, and J.M. Vogt), Urban Ecosystems, 16: 553-571 (2013).
- “Public-private interactions in the conservation of private forests in the United States,” (with T. B. Ruseva), in Human Environment Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions, (E.S. Brondizio & E.F. Moran,Eds.). Newark, NJ: Springer (2013).
- “Private residential urban forest structure and carbon storage in moderate-sized urban area in the Midwest United States,” (with T. Evans, S.K. Mincey, M. Patterson, and M. Schmitt-Harsh), Urban Forests & Urban Greening12(4) 454-463 (2013).
- “The shared stewardship and leadership of our private forests: Insights from forest landowners’ personal networks,” (with T. B. Ruseva), in Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook (D.R. Gallagher (Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2012.
- “Using stocking guides to take stock of forest institutions,” (with E. A. Coleman, and J.A. Kershaw), Society and Natural Resources25:2009-15 (2012).
- “The U.S. forest service and Its responsibilities under the national environmental policy act: A work design problem,” (with M. Auer, C. Freitag, J. Grice, K. Richards, and D. Seesholtz,), Public Organization Review,11: 135-153 (2011).