Canopy Exploration, Review Of State Same-Sex Mariage Bans Begins, Competitive Walking

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Walking may seem like an average daily activity, but some people take it very seriously. Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett learn about the sport of competitive pedestrianism. Then they explore the canopies of global forests to learn about conservation and follow the federal review of state bans on same-sex marriage that begins Thursday.

Featured in this Show

  • What Forest Canopies Can Teach People About The World

    To better understand the importance of forests to the world, there’s only one direction to go if you’re Meg Lowman: Up.

    A biologist and canopy explorer, Lowman said she thinks there’s a lot people can learn about life on the ground by heading up into a canopy.

    “Believe it or not, that is the center of so much of life on earth,” she said. “We estimate that half of what lives on land actually lives in the tops of trees. It’s a pretty extraordinary place.”

    Lowman said that while the ground and canopy have a lot in common, treetops do offer plenty of sights not seen anywhere else.

    As an example, she pointed to the large amount of unique insects in the canopies, noting that they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. She also pointed out that the billions of leaves in a canopy function differently than those in other places.

    “Treetops have to create chemicals and thorns and fuzzy hairs to protect themselves from enemies,” she said. “It’s really kind of an amazing battlefield, but with a lot of different rules from what we’re used to on the ground.”

    For humans, there are practical reasons to be interested in canopies, as well.

    “Every time we explore something new in a forest canopy, we find it’s connected to everything else that’s related to human health,” Lowman said.

    She said a lot of the things living in the treetops provide ingredients for medicines, fabrics and dyes. In addition, many living things up there also help to produce energy and keep our water supply fresh.

    “It’s just truly a really critical piece to keep healthy for life on earth,” she said.

    Because the canopy is located at the intersection of air and land, Lowman said it also plays an important role in understand climate change.

    Lowman will be discussing her work on Friday, April 10 at Beloit College. She’ll be giving a talk called, “It’s a Jungle Up There: How Canopy Exploration is Conserving Global Forests.”

  • The Role Of Canopy Exploration In Global Forest Conservation

    The canopies of the world’s forest are places like no other. That’s according to a canopy explorer, who says there’s a lot we can learn about conservation, and the world around us, from the tops of trees.

  • In Utah Appeal, Federal Court Considers First Same-Sex Marriage Case Since DOMA Struck Down

    A federal appeals court in Denver begins reviewing a string of rulings that state bans on same-sex marriage do not stand in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June decision on DOMA Thursday. They will begin with the decision in Utah and consider Oklahoma next week.

  • Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport

    You’ve heard of people watching. But what about people watching people…walk? We talk to an author about the once popular spectator sport of Pedestrianism, or competitive walking.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Karl Christenson Producer
  • Meg Lowman Guest
  • Kimi King Guest
  • Matthew Algeo Guest

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