Discoveries Archive

  • The Case for Snow thumbnail

    The Case for Snow

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2014
    Trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere and play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change. But a study by researchers at Dartmouth…

  • Seasons are Shifting thumbnail

    Seasons are Shifting

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    It may be tough to believe after this past year, but it appears that winters are getting shorter and shorter. By studying the growth cycle…

  • Pining for Clean Air thumbnail

    Pining for Clean Air

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    Since 2010, many white pine trees in northern New England have become infected with one of several fungal diseases that have caused yellow and brown…

  • Deer Density Dilemma thumbnail

    Deer Density Dilemma

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    When Maine zoned two percent of the northern part of the state as deer wintering areas in the 1970s, its goal was to provide habitat…

  • Green Building thumbnail

    Green Building

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    The materials that birds use to build their nests vary widely between species, from twigs and grasses to mud and even their own saliva. Hawks…

  • Chronic Wasting thumbnail

    Chronic Wasting

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    In northern states, where deep snowpack causes deer to spend much of the winter under the dense canopy of evergreen stands, the animals’ nitrogen-rich waste…

  • Aerial Tricks thumbnail

    Aerial Tricks

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    Satellites are commonly used to monitor large-scale environmental changes, and airplanes are often used to get a clearer picture of the overall health of particular…

  • Conflicting Carbon Conclusion thumbnail

    Conflicting Carbon Conclusion

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2014
    Most New Englanders would agree that one way to reduce our environmental impact is to reduce our use of fossil fuels. And most would also…

  • Surveillance for Survival thumbnail

    Surveillance for Survival

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2014
    For more than a dozen years Ken Schmidt has been studying how animals eavesdrop on one another. The Texas Tech University professor said that one…

  • Temperature and Timing thumbnail

    Temperature and Timing

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2014
    The scientific process is a long and complex trail that sometimes leads to dead-ends and conflicting results before clear conclusions can be drawn. Throw in…

  • Adelgid vs. Scale thumbnail

    Adelgid vs. Scale

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2013
    When the hemlock wooly adelgid, an invasive pest that sucks the life out of eastern hemlock trees, made its appearance in New England forests in…

  • Nemus Power and Light thumbnail

    Nemus Power and Light

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2013
    Trees capture sunlight to produce chemical energy, and they may soon be teaming up with the sun to produce electricity, as well. A team of…

  • On Birds and Windmills thumbnail

    On Birds and Windmills

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2013
    For those concerned about climate change, renewable energy development is a nobrainer. And the breezy mountaintops of New England, far from human population centers, appear…

  • Butterflies Take Note Before Taking Flight thumbnail

    Butterflies Take Note Before Taking Flight

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2013
    Climate change is affecting a wide range of wildlife, from plants and bees to birds and trees. A new study led by biologists at Boston…

  • Soil: Can It Take the Heat? thumbnail

    Soil: Can It Take the Heat?

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2013
    Soils throughout the world store more carbon, in the form of organic matter, than all of the vegetation and atmosphere combined. Microorganisms in the soil…

  • A Rugged Pair of Genes thumbnail

    A Rugged Pair of Genes

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2013
    A project to map the genes of spruce and pine trees has revealed that the genome of conifers has remained pretty much the same for…

  • More Buzz on Pesticides and Bees thumbnail

    More Buzz on Pesticides and Bees

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2013
    The widespread decline of both wild and managed bee populations has raised alarms for more than a decade due to the importance of bees as…

  • Interiors: Disappearing Fast in a Forest Near You thumbnail

    Interiors: Disappearing Fast in a Forest Near You

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2013
    Inventories often report that forested lands across the U.S. and elsewhere are declining, but those studies simply look at the total deforested area. A new…

  • Doing Nothing For Forest Recovery thumbnail

    Doing Nothing For Forest Recovery

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2013
    When a stand of trees is blown down in a storm, the typical practice is to salvage as many saleable trees as possible. But a…

  • A Chemical Romance…Among Mosses thumbnail

    A Chemical Romance…Among Mosses

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2012
    A common species of moss (Ceratodon purpureus) that lives in weedy and forested habitats has been found to use an unusual strategy to reproduce: it…