Urban gardening can be a great way to gain access to fresh food and time outdoors, and our urban forests massively benefit our communities, but gardeners should be wary of potential toxic metals and chemicals in the soil.
Shubhendu Sharma, a young industrial engineer who formerly worked for Toyota, was inspired by the production-line efficiency. Inspired by the staggering statistic that we lose about 36 football-field’s worth of forest in any minute, he founded Afforestt with the idea that forests can be produced just as efficiently.
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde hypothesizes that we can use the bio-luminescent qualities of jellyfish and mushrooms to create glow-in-the-dark tress to replace street lights. After learning about biomimicry, a method of imitating models and systems found in nature to solve complex design issues, he began working with the State University of New York and Alexander Krichevsky who had unveiled genetically modified glow-in-the-dark plants earlier this year.
Higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and longer growing seasons predicted for the future may require that some tree species move into new areas to adapt to these new conditions. Those unable to adapt or move quickly enough may succumb to climate change: researchers with the U.S.
“Fingerprinting trees” may seem time-intensive and futuristic, but in an attempt to promote sustainable forestry in Indonesia, the largest producer of tropical timber, a project led by the University of Adelaide plans to do just that. By developing DNA markers for important timber species, certain trees will be able to be tracked from forest to final product.
New research by the North East State Foresters Association and the Northern Forest center shows the importance of a forest-based economy: in the four-state region of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, forest-based economic activity accounts for over $33 billion annually as well as 178,000 jobs.
Mountain pine beetles have destroyed millions of acres of forest in the Rocky Mountain West. The marred wood left behind is difficult to clear, creating safety risks such as fire hazards. However, designers in Colorado and Montana are finding new ways to use this excess pine.
Researchers in Madison have created a spongelike aerogel that has the potential to quickly and efficiently absorb oil. “The idea is that you could throw this aerogel sheet in the water and it would start to absorb the oil” said Shaoqin Gong, who runs a bio-technology-nanotechnology lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.
Major watershed restoration efforts for the Tongrass National Forest/ Twelvemile Creek watershed on the Prince of Wales Island were begun in 2009, including wildlife habitat and streamside vegetation improvements, fish crossing and road condition improvements, and major in-stream channel work. This work, which was concluded in 2013, improved the habitat of a large variety of species, ranging from steelhead trout to wolves and black bears, and repair damage from long-ago, under-regulated log
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