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Nalini Nadkarni

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is an emeritus professor of both The Evergreen State College and the University of Utah, one of the world’s leading ecologists and a popular science communicator. Dr. Nadkarni’s research and public engagement work is supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. @nalininadkarni

  • Although most trees lose their leaves just a few at a time, the leaves of gingko trees drop in synchrony, over the span of a day or two.
  • Until recently, archeologists dated the oldest human-made wooden structures as 5,000 years or younger — homes made by Neolithic Europeans, Buddhist temples of Japan and longhouses of Native Americans.
  • With the winter holidays approaching I'm baking festive goodies — a joyful counterpoint to our shortening days.
  • This morning, our lawn looked like the aftermath of some sort of tree party.
  • Fall is here! And for deer-hunters like me, that means it’s time for our annual trip to hunt for wild game in our bountiful wildlands.
  • I just returned from a field trip in Costa Rica. For decades, I’ve oriented myself in my study plots by sighting on a group of emergent fig trees that I call the “Four Sisters.”
  • Imagine that you’re in a forest on a windless, still day. You lie on your back and look up at the treetops high above you. Notice that none of the individual tree crowns touch each other, so that tracks of blue sky show in between them.
  • My husband, Jack, studies ants and he often charms me with his inexhaustible supply of insect stories. On a recent stroll, we found a scattering of Gambel oak acorns littering the trail. Stooping down to pick one up, Jack told me the story of the "acorn ants."
  • Ask any squirrel — acorns are delicious! Over our long cold winters, these portable packets of oak fruit provide nourishment to mammals and birds. On average, a single oak tree can produce over 10,000 of these nuggets each year.
  • Why does a tree drop its leaves?
  • When you're contemplating a remodel of your house, or trying to decide which cutting board to buy, how do you know which wood is best?
  • When you hold a handcrafted knife in your hand, what do you notice? The quality of the blade’s steel, the sharpness of its edge, and maybe the angle of its bevel.