July 2, 2012
“Not all green spaces are green,” says Michael C. Farmer, an associate professor of agricultural and applied economics at Texas Tech University. It’s his way of saying that not all green spaces are created equal. But figuring out what makes one space greener than another can be difficult because “land use decisions operate under short timelines and modest budgets.”
Four years ago, Farmer and his Texas Tech colleagues Mark C. Wallace and Michael Shiroya began looking for a way to differentiate between green spaces, a tool that would enable officials to easily pinpoint which landscapes have richer ecosystems, or simply put, which green spaces are more green. So they started counting birds.