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Recent Science Stories

Volunteers Count Every Street Tree in New York City

Devon Merriman, November 8, 2017 at 2:00pm

Did you know?  Over 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in cities or metropolitan areas, making urban trees more important than ever. Trees bring many benefits to human health—they filter air pollution, release oxygen, reduce mental stress, and absorb rainwater and noise.

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City street lined with trees
City street lined with trees.

Bats do not make it easy to study bats

Jane Hodgins, October 25, 2017 at 3:45pm

For decades, bats have defied scientists’ best ideas for keeping track of individuals, which is crucial to wildlife research. Banding (either legs or forearms) can result in injury, and banded bats are seldom recaptured anyway. Tattoos take too long. Holes punched in their wings are only visible for 5 months. Electronic tags have to be close to a reading device to work.

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bat wing anatomy
Photograph of a bat's left wing.

Baltimore's Urban Tree Canopy Flourishes

Jane Hodgins, October 12, 2017 at 9:15am

Tree canopy cover is a vital but impermanent urban asset. “Urban tree canopy” is the extent of the outer layers of leaves (or canopy) of a tree or group of trees. Tree canopy can increase dramatically in a year with excellent growing conditions, and just as dramatically it may disappear in a single season in the face of insect infestations or drought or a change in land use.

Washington Boulevard tree canopy

Graphic displaying urban tree canopy from 2007 and 2015
Tree cover surround Baltimore's Washington Boulevard in 2007 (top) and the same view in 2015 (bottom). Images courtesy of the University of Vermont.

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