FORESTINFO.ORG

Eco-Links

Forestinfo.org's Eco-Link publications are a great way to learn about forest ecosystems, and explore related fields, issues and options. Click on each title below to download a PDF of the given Eco-Link.

Citizen Science: A Tool for Crowdsourcing Field Data

"For scientists, gathering large data sets for research can be a daunting task. Oftentimes it requires significant investments in time and money, especially if travel is required to complete the task. For non-scientists, opportunities to contribute to scientific inquiry and discovery can seem few and far between. Fortunately for today’s scientists and non-scientists alike, the rise of the Internet has given prominence to 'citizen science'. Citizen science is the term used to describe the process of gathering empirical information by means of crowdsourcing data. Data compiled from these inquiries may inform research trends (or lack thereof) that occur on local, state, national, and international levels."

Tree-Free Paper: A Path to Saving Trees and Forests?

"Whether paper is created from trees, agricultural fiber crops, fossil fuel based plastics or recovered and recycled fibers it will result in environmental impacts. It is thus important to think systematically about the steps involved throughout a product’s life cycle. Every step in planting, nurturing, tending, harvesting, collecting, transporting, and processing of raw materials has environmental impacts No raw material is inherently environmentally superior."

Materials and the Environment

"When you pick up your knife and fork in preparation for attacking a T-bone steak it is probably fair to say that you give no thought to the source of metals used in making the utensils or the sweat and equity of the miners who extracted the ore. It is similarly unlikely that you think about what went into creating the plate, the steak, the table they sit on, or the floor beneath. We tend to take these things for granted. Yet, in the course of a lifetime, each of us consumes large amounts of many different types of raw materials. Our consumption of materials results in environmental impacts around the world."

National Forests & Clean Water: Understanding the Relationship

"America’s rivers have historically served as indispensable thoroughfares for industry and commerce. Rivers continue to be important today for transportation as well as drinking water supplies and other uses. A key element uniting these issues of timber supply, forest fires and waterways lies in the relationship between forest health and the effectiveness of surrounding watersheds to absorb and regulate water flow."

Forests & Water Quality: How Forests Improve the Supply and Quality of Our Water

"The Blue Planet, our Earth, is seventy five percent water. With this abundance of water it would be easy to assume that water shortage would not be a problem. Unfortunately, numerous studies show how water shortages are increasingly becoming a serious concern worldwide. Given the limited amount of fresh water available for human use, it is of the utmost importance to manage our fresh water supply for the long term, promoting recycling at every opportunity. One way to do this is to help our soils absorb and retain rainfall through the careful management of forested watersheds."

Geology 101: What is it and how does it affect our daily lives?

"The processes that create physical geology determine the Earth’s landscape, the distribution of metals, mineral and energy resources, and the types of plant and animal life within a given area. Geology determines the places that are prone to volcanoes, floods, and other natural disasters. The study of geology teaches us what Earth was like in the past, allows us to understand the present, and predict future events. It also provides us with pertinent information and resources regarding fossil fuels, water, food, and the climate."

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