Author Archive: Susan Laszewski


Charred Forests, Melting Snow

You know how when it’s really hot out, you’re better off leaving the black shirt in the closet and going for something lighter? Well, according to new research, forests are having a similar issue. A study, conducted by Oregon State University researchers, funded by the National Science Foundation and published in Geophysical Research Letters, found […]

Tree Frogs’ Descent

When I was little, one of my favorite books was a picture book about rainforests that took the reader through all the layers of the tropical rainforest — from the ground on up to the canopy — and the plants and animals that live there. The idea that entire worlds existed one on top of […]

Giving Butterflies a Boost

The world’s monarch butterflies now fit into an area smaller than four football fields. Last March, we told you about how pesticides used in Canada and the U.S. are killing the milkweed the monarchs need to survive their long journey. A new study published in Conservation Biology details how another cause has aided the pesticides […]

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 […]