Author Archive: Susan Laszewski


Making Sense of the Weather of 2012

New research published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society is helping to determine the role that climate change may have played in a number of 2012’s most extreme weather events. Seventy-eight meteorologists, working in several teams, analyzed the likelihood of the weather events under different models: those representing current levels of atmospheric greenhouse […]

Calculating Your Green Home

Last month, we joined our friends, American Rivers, in helping to spread the news of the importance of green infrastructure and encourage the EPA to update its approach to managing stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure, which is part of the urban forest, captures rainwater and allows it to be absorbed into trees, roots and soil, rather […]

California Dreamin’ of Clean Air

Taking deep breaths can help relieve stress, but depending on where you live, the air you breathe may lead to other health problems. A new study by a team of MIT researchers has found that air pollution in the U.S. contributes to more than 200,000 premature deaths each year. The researchers tracked ground-level emissions from […]

In the Nick of Time

Two very special anniversaries were celebrated over the weekend, and, as fate would have it, they are tied together in a providential way. It’s been seven years since the discovery of Hyperion, the coast redwood that knocked the Stratosphere Giant from its place as record holder for world’s tallest tree. But its 379.65-foot height is […]

Big Trees for Big Owls

Last week, we posted an interview with American Forests Science Advisory Board member Dr. Jerry Franklin about the importance of big, old trees. He told us how old trees fill an ecological niche that young trees just can’t provide: “Big, old trees have suffered the slings and arrows of climate, insects and diseases, and so […]

Showing Support for Clean Water

From basement backups to beach closures, polluted runoff can have big costs for communities. In 2011, polluted runoff caused 47 percent of beach closing and advisory days. A study of 28 popular, yet polluted, beaches in Southern California calculated that swimmers suffered an estimated 1.5 million gastrointestinal illnesses, resulting in an economic loss of between […]

Giant Growth Spurt

This week, there’s new insight into some of America’s favorite trees. On Wednesday, a group of researchers from the University of California-Berkeley, Humboldt State University and the Marine Conservation Institute presented findings from a four-year study of coast redwoods at a symposium at Berkeley. By taking core samples from redwoods on 16 test plots, they […]

A Fund Worth Fighting For

The next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors, take a moment to thank the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Given that this fund has protected land in every U.S. state — including such iconic recreation areas as Grand Canyon National Park — and supports more than 41,000 state and local park projects, chances are […]

Birthday Bear Hugs

Smokey Bear is turning 69 today, and I have reason to believe it may his best birthday party yet. Why? Because there will be a lot more hugs to go around! Smokey is taking a less authoritarian approach toward educating people about wildfire prevention these days. Rather than disapproving looks and stern warnings, he’s opting […]

Beetles Cultivating Disaster

Avocado lovers, beware. A study recently published in Fungal Genetics and Biology suggests a threat facing avocado crops in California and Florida could take a new turn. Ambrosia beetles of the Euwallacea genus bore into avocado trees to farm Fusarium fungi, which they use to feed their young. It’s well-known that these fungi can damage […]