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Publications & Documents

Scientistsʼ Warning on Climate Change and Medicinal Plants

The recent publication of a World Scientistsʼ Warning to Humanity highlighted the fact that climate change, absent strenuous mitigation or adaptation efforts, will have profound negative effects for humanity and other species, affecting numerous aspects of life. In this paper, we call attention to one of these aspects, the effects of climate change on medicinal plants. These plants provide many benefits for human health, particularly in communities where Western medicine is unavailable.

Network modelling, citizen science and targeted interventions to predict, monitor and reverse bee decline

Pollination is fundamentally important to ecosystem function and human food security.
Recent reports of dramatic insect declines, and pollinator decline in particular,
have increased public awareness and political motivation to act to protect pollinators.
This article maps commonly proposed management interventions onto known drivers
of bee decline, and identifies forage and nest site provision as a tractable management
intervention that can simultaneously address multiple drivers of decline.

Resistance of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) saplings to larval feeding by the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)

European ash is a significant tree commercially, ecologically, and culturally. It is currently
threatened by two invasive species, the fungus that causes ash dieback and
the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle. We show that saplings of European ash are much
less susceptible to EAB than black ash, which has suffered severe damage in North
America, but have similar resistance to Manchurian ash, which coexists with EAB in
East Asia. Selecting ash with stronger resistance to dieback is unlikely to decrease its

Strategic science planning for responsible stewardship and plant protection at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture is comprised of managed ecosystems, which can include forests, rangelands
and crops; these managed ecosystems are vital resources, providing a host
of economic and societal benefits. However, these systems face a multitude of
challenges: from climate change and limited natural resources; to exotic pests and
pathogens; to growing global populations and food demands. Responding to these
global challenges requires interdisciplinary innovation and strategic planning to

Cooking up Diverse Diets: Advancing Biodiversity in Food and Agriculture through Collaborations with Chefs

Biodiversity in and across food and agriculture systems provides tremendous value to present and future generations. However, across the world we are losing genes, species, and ecosystems faster than we can account for them. With one million plant and animal species at risk of extinction, our society is challenged to address the drivers of ecosystem degradation and species loss. Increasingly, the negative impacts of agriculture and food systems on biodiversity are being raised as well as the global risks to health associated with unhealthy diets.

Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators

Across the United States, a growing number of schools and educational programs are planting gardens, engaging in Farm to School activities, and integrating plant science into the curriculum. To support and expand these hands-on learning activities, schools are exploring ways to build new infrastructure or reinvest in existing facilities such as greenhouses. Unfortunately, many school greenhouses are underutilized or only a single knowledgeable and dedicated teacher is enabling their use.

Campus-Based Ecotourism: A Case Study on the Power of Local Ecotourism

Academic campuses across the Great Plains can serve as landscapes for teaching and learning about native flora of cultural importance with regard to food, medicine, and lifeways. Campus visitors (tourists) and local community members could benefit from more place-based understandings of how indigenous plants provide nourishment of the mind, body, and spirit to

Experience Bees: Community Outreach Tool for Bee Conservation Efforts

Despite the importance of bees, there is a gap in the public's understanding of them. To help address this gap, we developed the outreach tool Experience Bees, a series of simple learning and hands-on activities to teach community members about bees and their importance in our landscapes. Program evaluation showed that participants learned about bees and were more willing to consider bees when planting their own gardens, demonstrating that a suite of simple activities can have a positive impact on people's knowledge of bees and their importance.

SEL Field Guide

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is difficult work. It requires thinking and talking about ongoing emotions and relationships, topics that are complicated and sometimes taboo. This field guide presents curriculum features (organizational practices that support SEL) and standards for SEL practices (things staff can do with youth), that aim to help adults teach youth how to encounter, understand, and surmount challenges, and experience success within the context of strong positive relationships.

Waste Audit: Appalachian State University

Consistent with the zero waste commitment, Appalachian State University has completed a comprehensive waste audit on campus, and has identified a need to reimagine their waste stream management. Appalachian State University contracted Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) to conduct an audit of the landfilled solid and hazardous wastes generated on campus. This audit reported data from the assessment and measurement of municipal solid waste and hazardous waste generated on Appalachian’s campus.  


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