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Signs of Summer: Breathing for a Living

Monday, July 22, 2019, by Alexis Helgeson, Wiley Hundertmark, and Ilana Vargas
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What we want people to know: The effects of climate change are all around us; evidence of climate change can be assessed at all levels of the forest, down to individual trees.


In our group we research forest productivity and carbon cycling. Wiley studies the growing conditions and cycling of nutrients and polluti at forest edges. Alexis and Ilana study changes in red oaks and red maples due to light availability and co2 concentration and how these variables relate to canopy density. We are all interested in understanding how particular forest systems are adapting to our changing world. We know that trees sequester 30% of anthropogenic carbon emissions. By tracking forest productivity and growth we can predict how forests will contribute to future atmospheric changes. 


As part of our Environmental Sign Making workshop, artist and educator David Buckley Borden showed us how to combine images in the culture with scientific information to convey facts and attitudes about our research to a wide audience.