Dr. Amy J. Lynch


Title: Associate Professor
Office Location: BMPC 528
Email: alynch@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2724
Google Scholar Link: Dr. Amy J. Lynch  


  • Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.E.M. with a focus on Conservation Science and Policy, Duke University
  • B.S. in Environmental Technology, North Carolina State University
  • Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Area of Expertise

I am a social scientist in the field of urban planning with a background in ecology and conservation science. The latter informs and inspires my research as I seek to understand how cities and their suburbs can better support ecosystem services and ecological function, and in doing so, foster sustainable, livable, and resilient communities. My work is situated within urban planning, urban sustainability, and urban ecology and is published principally in environmental and urban planning journals.

Relevant Professional/Applied Experience

Prior to my academic career, I worked for several environmental non-profits and spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu where I worked with the provincial government as an environmental planner.

Research Programs/Grants/Interests

My research is primarily in two areas: 1) using ecological knowledge to assess and improve urban planning practice, and 2) the application of measurement and monitoring technology in urban and environmental planning.

Green space has been purposefully integrated into American cities since the late 19th century, but modern cities have been slow to consider its ecological implications or impacts. I work within this gap, investigating how local government planning and decision-making incorporate evidence-based ecological understandings and the ecological outcomes and potential of green space planning. I am particularly interested in greenways and urban/suburban habitat connectivity.
I also study how cities measure and monitor progress in the areas of urban and environmental sustainability and seek to create scholarship that facilitates clear and effective monitoring. I enjoy considering how emerging technologies can help overcome data collection limitations and aid understanding of the urban environment. To this end, I have used UASs and infrared user-counting technology. I have also conducted studies on how organizations use indicator systems to track and understand progress toward long-term sustainability goals.

Recent Publications/Journals/Books

  • Lynch, Amy J. (2022, in-press). Predictors of tree cover in residential open space: a multi-scale analysis of suburban Philadelphia. Urban Ecosystems.
  • Lynch, Amy J. (2021). The Role and Potential of Residential Open Space in a Suburban Green Space Network. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 58.
  • Dalzell, J. and Lynch, Amy J. (2020). Thinking Beyond the Bag Ban: Reusable Bag Habits and Motivators in Athens, Ohio. The Geographical Bulletin, 61(2) 71-83.
  • Lynch Amy J. (2019). Creating Effective Urban Greenways and Stepping-stones: Four Critical Gaps in Habitat Connectivity Planning Research. Journal of Planning Literature. 34(2) 131-155.
  • Arauz, Julio and Amy Lynch (2019). Enabling User Centered Distributed Stormwater Monitoring. Full Paper in CENTRIC 2019: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Advances in Human oriented and Personalized Mechanisms, Technologies, and Services. Valencia, Spain, November 24- 28, 2019. 1-6.
  • Lynch, Amy J. and Simon N. Mosbah (2017). Improving Local Measures of Sustainability: A Study of Built-Environment Indicators in the United States. Cities. 60. 301-313.
  • Lynch, Amy J. (2016). Is it Good to be Green?: Assessing the Ecological Outcomes of County Green Infrastructure Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 36(1). 90-104.

Classes Regularly Taught

  • GEO 204: Introduction to Urban Studies
  • PLN 320/GEO 521: Land Use Planning/Suburbanization
  • GEO 585: Field Methods
  • PLN 336/536: Environmental Planning
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