Author Archive: Katrina Marland


Getting the Dirt on Forests

There’s a lot we still don’t know about climate change, but one thing we do know is that forests are a vital piece of the puzzle. Forests are so intertwined with carbon, and carbon with climate, that there is no denying the role forests play in slowing climate change and addressing its effects. Despite the […]

Where There’s Smoke…

You don’t have to be a genius to know that wildfires can be very harmful. But we usually think of that damage as being contained to the forest or other areas physically touched by the fires. In reality, the consequences of a wildfire spread far beyond the reach of the flames. Effects of wildfires can […]

To Track A Killer

Species, that is. Invasive species are a big problem. They wreak havoc in our native ecosystems, result in massive losses of biodiversity and cost the U.S. billions of dollars every year. Some species are fairly obvious, such as the recently-publicized pythons in the Everglades, while others can be so subtle that you may not even […]

Transforming Forests

Thousands of years ago, central Africa’s Congo rainforest was much larger than it is today. Eventually, large sections of the forests were replaced by savannah and grassland. For a long time, scientists attributed this change entirely to the era’s climate growing warmer and drier, but a recent paper asserts that humans may have had a […]

Sounding It Out

You’re watching a movie. The leading characters are out in the woods, hiding from some monster or another, and all of a sudden everything goes silent. No birds chirping, leaves rustling or twigs snapping — all of it stops, and you know something bad is about to happen. Turns out, this isn’t just a cinematic […]

The Rainmakers

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 — or (sometimes […]

Scores of Species

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 that we already […]

And Many More!

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 and forests. It […]

A Rainforest Without Rain

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 one thing, it’s […]

Saying Goodbye to the Senator

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 one of the […]