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Olivia Box

Olivia Box

Olivia is a writer, beekeeper, and an ecologist. Currently, she is a graduate student at the University of Vermont where she is studying forests threatened by climate change and invasive pests. Her freelance work has been featured in Northern Woodlands, Massive Science, and The Counter. You can follow her work at  @oliviafaybox or see her complete portfolio here.
Downtown Los Angeles skyline

How to Plant Trees in the City: It’s Complicated

Trees in cities have the ability to sequester carbon, provide shade, and mitigate flooding. But no one tree fits all environments.
An autumn leaf on a branch

Will We Lose Fall Foliage to Climate Change?

The brilliant hues of autumn are created by a variety of factors that shift year by year. A warming planet is already one of them.
Oak tree

What Does a Tree See?

A hundred-year-old red oak in a Massachusetts forest told a writer and a team of scientists secrets about change over time.

Wood: The Best “New” Building Material?

A 2017 study for an 80-story wooden structure in Chicago was an opportunity to examine the potential for the building material's future.
Scenic View Of Wind Turbines Against Sky During Sunset

How Wind Energy Could Affect Marine Ecosystems

As giant turbines pop up offshore, changes to underwater habitat and sediment will come, too.
Salmo trutta (Brown trout)

To Study Today’s Ecosystems, Look to History

An unlikely source of data about the decline of trout in modern Spain: a book from the 1850s.
A person wearing a denim jacket

Could Our Love of Clothing Promote Sustainable Fashion?

There are some clothes you hang on to, year after year, because they're durable and amazing.
Aerial View of Boreal Nature Forest in Summer, Quebec, Canada

Climate Change’s Dangerous Effects on the Boreal Forest

The forest's unique ecosystem protects the world's largest carbon sink—the Earth's permafrost layer. But for how much longer?
42nd Street in Manhattan, New York

Could More Urban Trees Mitigate Runoff and Flooding?

With climate change comes more flooding. As cities confront the risks and potential damages, trees could become even more important.
A Spring Peeper rests casually on a garden flower.

Are Peepers Starting to Peep Earlier?

The call of the common frog species Pseudacris crucifer is a reliable marker of spring. Will climate change affect that?
Firefighters monitor a controlled burn at Bouverie Preserve on May 30, 2017 in Glen Ellen, California

Smoke Pollution from Prescribed Burns vs. Wildfires

Government can regulate air quality. But some policies on smoke might be self-defeating.
Bobolink

Restoring Native Grasslands to Help Birds

Grassland birds, such as the prairie chicken, plover, and bobolink, need a complex environment of varying structure, area, and grass types.
Olive groves, vineyards and farms on rolling hills of Abruzzo. Italy

Soil Health Can Positively Affect Farm Revenue

In a case study from Italy, researchers found that biodiverse soil had good economic results for farms.
Permaculture in Stockholm

Permaculture is Agriculture Reimagined

No permaculture site is the same, but all draw on a unifying set of principles to maintain biodiversity and create resilient systems now and in the future.
tree bark

Tree Bark and Fire

A tree's hard outer bark helps it survive. Studying why it's thicker on some trees than others could help scientists understand how to protect them.
Poison ivy

With Climate Change, Poison Ivy May Get Itchier

Bad news for the estimated 80 percent of the human population that's allergic to the dreaded—and abundant—leaves of three.
Tree Rings of a Stump

How Tree Ring Records Can Help Predict Droughts

Inside the trunks of trees lies a wealth of data on climate that goes back generations.
Cattle in a forest

Silvopasture; Or, Why Are There Cows in the Woods?

Cattle grazing on invasive plants in longleaf pine forests could benefit ecosystems and farmers alike.
Dried flowers

Which Flowers Bloom First and Why?

A massive collection of dried flower specimens demonstrates that climate change disrupts the timing of spring blooms.
Small white flowers bloom on the end of a cherry tree branch near the base of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

Is Your Favorite Tree an Invasive Species?

Some superstar trees in the US are actually invasive to their ecosystems. Blossoming cherry trees, for example.
A dead tree in a forest

What Happens to a Tree When It Dies?

Decomposing trees on the forest floor become "dead wood"—a part of ecosystems that researchers are only beginning to understand.
Swimming beaver (Castor fiber)

A Comeback for Beavers?

As two researchers found out, rewilding a species can be done in different ways, sometimes with different outcomes.
Lodge-pole pines c. 1857

Good News for the Lodgepole Pine!

The long-lived species' survivor genes are dispersed from the Yukon to southern California, meaning that it has a good chance of weathering climate change.