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Forests in 25 Words or Less

By Alison Clausen

Today marks the U.N. International Day of Forests. I was asked recently for an “elevator pitch” in 25 words or less on why we should invest resources in saving tropical forests and, in particular, in tropical forests in Madagascar. To those of us working in conservation, this question seems like a no-brainer, so at first I took the question with a grain of salt. However, my questioner persisted and it made me realize both that it is not a no-brainer for everyone – particularly given the competing priorities for peoples’ attention – and that for the conservation community we need to be able to answer such questions if we are to engage people in our work.

The Quest For Sustainable Corn In Iowa

Ames, Iowa  – They don’t call it “The Corn State” for nothing. Within minutes of driving outside Des Moines, the landscape opens up. No hills. No buildings. Just farms. Sprawling farms, much of them planted with corn. And those tiny green shoots emerging last month from the dark rich soil represent a vast bounty. In…

Severe Erosion Reveals Earth’s Treasures

National Geographic Young Explorer Alizé Carrère is researching an innovative method of agricultural adaptation in the Malagasy highlands that has emerged in the face of severe deforestation. Known to locals as “lavaka”, literally meaning “hole”, they are massive erosional gullies that provide surprising agricultural and socio-economic benefits, turning a deforested landscape into one of opportunity,…

The Bitter And The Sweet: Finding Opportunity in the Life Cycle of Erosion

Young Explorer Alizé Carrère searches for a silver lining in what might otherwise be a tale of irreversible hardship.