Blog

The Paw-Paw : Maryland’s Native Tropical Fruit

Did you know that Maryland has it’s own “tropical” fruit that could be growing right in your backyard? The Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba) is a fruiting tree found across the Eastern United States which produces large fruits which are not only edible, but delicious as well. In fact, the pawpaw produces the largest edible fruit…

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The Escalation of Wildfires

The wildfire season in the United States broadly runs from spring until fall. Wildfires are a natural and beneficial component of many ecosystems. Wildfires reduce leaf litter, improve wildlife habitats, and even stimulate new forest growth (National Park Service 2011). Prescribed burns are intentionally set fires in order to prevent catastrophic fires that can happen…

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Fire History and Policy in America

Historically, fire was used as a tool by Native Americans to reduce understories and to purposely alter the landscape.  In the early 1900’s, fire became a hot topic in the U.S. due to wildfires.  Gifford Pinchot, considered the father of forestry as the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, wanted to control and prevent…

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Listen to Your Mother (Tree)

Did you know that trees communicate with one another? Through a system of underground “information highways” conducted through fungal filaments, trees can send signals to one another, and even identify relationships with one another! In a well-connected forest, each day is like an extended family reunion. Similarly to humans, trees which have been around the…

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The Importance of Silviculture

What is silviculture and why is it an important aspect of forestry? Silviculture is the art and science of cultivating trees in a forest for ecological and economical advantage.  It is the controlling of a forest based on establishment, structure, composition, and growth.  There are six main principles of silviculture which include the imitation of…

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The Impact of Salt on the Ecosystem

  It’s that time of year when roads are treated and salted in preparation for ice and snow. While road salt can help prevent collisions and allow safer travel in the winter, there is a great cost to us and our environment when using it. Road salts are most commonly made from sodium chloride, and…

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Inflation Reduction Act and the Future of Urban and Community Forestry

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. This act is the most significant action Congress has taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s history. This act aims to curb inflation by reducing the budget deficit and investing into clean energy. The US Forest Service…

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Have you ever heard of a food forest?

Imagine being able to grow and harvest your own food, but only having to use a fraction of the resources and maintenance required in conventional farming, as nature does the heavy lifting. I recently visited Forested, a local food forest located in Bowie, MD and it was a fascinating and eye-opening experience. Situated in the…

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Restoring Indigenous Land Tenure Rights: A Powerful Tool to Mitigate Climate Change and Advance Human Rights

Amidst the escalating impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, urgent solutions are imperative. A promising strategy gaining prominence involves restoring land tenure rights to Indigenous Peoples. For centuries, Indigenous communities sustainably and holistically managed natural resources through Traditional Ecological Knowledge, an adaptive body of knowledge accumulated through observations of an ecosystem, passed down by…

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The Alarming Connection Between Public Health Disparities and Trees

Across the nation, the presence or absence of trees in neighborhoods may seem like a simple aesthetic concern. However, research indicates a deeper and concerning connection between public health inequities and the unequal distribution of tree cover. Tree disparities in urban areas are far from random, but rather a reflection of historical and social injustices…

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Saltwater Intrusion on the Eastern Shore: Climate Change and Forestry

Growing up in Annapolis, I knew the Eastern Shore of Maryland very superficially, only passing by it on my way to the beach. When I reached high school and began to develop more interest in the natural sciences, I began to notice an odd sight. I’d drive by and see vast expanses of dead forests…

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Reforesting Iceland

Recently, I studied abroad in Iceland as a US department of State Gilman Scholar. The main focus of this trip was to study renewable energy; however, my attention was especially interested with the unique landscape and ecology of Iceland. One of the most notable things you’ll notice upon arrival in Iceland is the stark lack…

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