How to become an ‘arbornaut’

Arboreal evangelist and National Geographic Explorer Meg Lowman shares tips for appreciating trees.

As deforestation occurs worldwide at an alarming rate, what could make us care and act? Perhaps spending time in and among trees, as National Geographic Explorer Meg Lowman does. A biologist, author, and self-described “arbornaut,” Lowman raises awareness of forests’ vital role—and helps developing nations create jobs—by promoting sky-high walkways and tree canopy tourism. “The canopy houses some 50 percent of terrestrial biodiversity,” she notes. Here are some ideas for arboreal appreciation.

Take a closer look at the characteristics of leaves on the trees in your area. “There are so many adventures on the life of a leaf surface,” Lowman says. “You just need to get out your journals and start recording observations over time.”

Relive the arboreal ascents of childhood but with today’s technology. Search online for specialized climbing courses to get the training and equipment needed to scale large trees.

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