Conservation of our planet’s botanical resources and ecosystems


Summer 2017 REU program in Ethiopia – Now Accepting Applications

In Summer 2017, the REU Site at Colby College in Waterville, Maine will offer eight undergraduate students the chance to conduct path-breaking interdisciplinary research on the ecological, economic and cultural roles of church forests in Amhara, Ethiopia.
During the 8-week program (June 12-August 9), students will train at

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Ethiopian Church Forests – Opportunities and Challenges for Restoration

PhD thesis “Ethiopian Church Forests: Opportunities and Challenges for Restoration”
by Dr. Alemayehu Wassie Eshete

General Introduction

Tropical dry forests are among the most exploited forest ecosystems of the world and have been increasingly fragmented (Cabin et al., 2002). The fragmentation results in small stands of forest bordered by open,

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A Chat with Canopy Meg

by Jenna Yonegaga
As an aspiring ecologist and rather nerdy science enthusiast, having the opportunity to meet Meg Lowman was a gift to me. Our class took a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, one of the largest and most prestigious natural history

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Conservation of the Ethiopian church forests: threats, opportunities and implications for their management

From the Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 551–552, 1 May 2016, Pages 404–414:
In the central and northern highlands of Ethiopia, native forest and forest biodiversity is almost confined to sacred groves associated with churches. Local communities rely on these ‘church forests’ for essential ecosystem services including

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Ethiopian conservation partner, Alemayehu Wassie, recognized for work in the church forests

CONGRATULATIONS to our Ethiopian conservation partner, Dr. Alemayehu Wassie, for his feature in this African Geographic article!  TREE is very proud to partner with this wonderful Ethiopian scientist!
From Africa Geographic Magazine:
Dr. Alemayehu Wassie – Forest Ecologist, Ethiopia
Alemayehu Wassie works in northern Ethiopia where most of the area’s

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Fashion versus Function in the Canopy? Levi’s talk to CanopyMeg

In this article from Levi Strauss & Co., CanopyMeg is described as being a modern day pioneer who wears her Levi’s® in the rainforest treetops.
Dr. Meg Lowman is a woman of many titles; she is an American biologist, educator, ecologist, writer, editor and public speaker. But of

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NSF undergraduate students turn summer research into thesis project

NSF undergraduate students turn summer research into thesis project

NSF undergraduate students Janice and Jacob turned their summer research into thesis projects. They worked inside the beautiful new conservation walls constructed at Goha church forest, thanks to a unique partnership of local Coptic priests and TREE Foundation.

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Beza Books Given Out to Kids in Ethiopia

Dr. Meg Lowman giving out Beza books to local Ethiopian children.

For every English version of Beza sold one copy was distributed FREE in Amharic to an Ethiopian child!
Thank you to those of you who purchased this book which is helping us conserve Ethiopia’s forests, as well as educate the next generation about the importance of their natural

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The Wise Man Built His House Among the Trees

The Wise Man Built His House…Among the Trees
Klaus DeBoer, Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, VT
Summer 2015 REU Site: Undergraduate Research into the Cultural, Economic and Ecological Significance
of Church Forests in South Gondar, Ethiopia (
Earlier this year, I applied for a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

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Encyclical Letter and the importance of church forest conservation


Below is commentary written by Ezana Habte-Gabr regarding the use of Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter, “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home“ to highlight the impact of humans on nature:
Little is known about Encyclical letters outside the ecclesiastic sphere of the Roman Catholic Church. The media

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