Author Archive: Loose Leaf Team


The Rainmakers

By Katrina Marland If you follow environmental science at all, you already know that there’s a lot more we don’t know about how nature works than we actually do. When a new theory is introduced, I’m always interested because there’s that chance that it will explain some mystery people have been wondering about for ages […]

Wonderful Wetlands

By Michelle Werts Today is World Wetlands Day. For more than a decade, countries around the world have celebrated wetlands on February 2 in remembrance of the 1971 signing of the Convention of Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. Why do we celebrate wetlands every year? Where to begin? Wetlands is the broad term used to describe […]

Scores of Species

By Katrina Marland One thing that constantly amazes me about the environment is the staggering amount of diversity that you find in nature. Just the other day, this amazement resurfaced when the International Institute for Species Exploration released its “State of Observed Species” (SOS) report for 2011. This report sums up all of the species […]

A Deadly Mercury Cocktail

By Michelle Werts For years now, there have been studies and concerns about mercury levels in our oceans and bodies of water and how they affect aquatic life and consequently those of us that rely on fish and shellfish for sustenance — from children to birds and fish-eating mammals. But these studies hadn’t really examined […]

And Many More!

By Katrina Marland Yesterday, the state of Michigan celebrated its 175th birthday — it joined the Union on January 26, 1837. Around half this state is covered with forest, about 19 million acres of it. With that amount of forest coverage, it isn’t surprising that Michigan boasts a crazy number of state and national parks […]

The Music of Trees

By Michelle Werts As covered in the autumn issue of American Forests, tree rings tell compelling stories. Far from just revealing a tree’s age, they record natural events like volcano eruptions, the history of civilizations like the Roman and Aztec Empires and other moments in time. And, now, they make music. Yes, you read that […]

A Rainforest Without Rain

By Katrina Marland The Amazon rainforest is hitting the news again. I know it’s easy to get worn out hearing about the usually sad goings-on in this most vital of forests, but I find I’m always drawn to these stories. Even with the damage it has sustained, I’m still in awe of the Amazon. For […]

Lighting the Bat Signal

By Michelle Werts Bats. Such a simple word immediately evokes a few distinct images in my brain: running and shrieking humans being swarmed by the flying mammals, a certain playboy billionaire who likes to masquerade as one and some blood-sucking fiends of Transylvania. Unfortunately for our winged friends, false images like these mean that their […]

Saying Goodbye to the Senator

By Katrina Marland This week, Florida said goodbye to an old friend. A very, very old friend, in fact. The cypress tree — dubbed “The Senator” after Florida State Senator M. O. Overstreet, who donated the property around it to Seminole County in 1927 — was estimated to be around 3,500 years old, making it […]

Mapping Forest Threats

By Michelle Werts Last week, NASA Earth Observatory released as series of maps showing the world’s forests, as mapped from three dimensions: area, density and height. Through the work of researchers, we have one of the largest, highest-resolution forest biomass maps ever. Pretty nifty, huh? It is, in terms of the research and technology that […]