Have you ever wanted to learn to climb trees? Perhaps you’re an aspiring or practicing biologist whose next step is up? Or maybe you’re just fascinated by the idea of exploring the Eighth Continent—among the treetops? No matter why you’re fascinated by tree climbing, the TREE Foundation is happy to share information about “Discovering the Canopy”—an annual training event presented by Canopy Watch International.

Watch this short video to get inspired by their most recent training, held in August 2021.

Why is tree climbing important?

Tree canopies are home to over 40 percent of the world’s terrestrial species, though the exact number is unknown as many species remain undiscovered. Trees are also incredibly important for their role in regulating weather patterns and slowing climate change by absorbing carbon.

Despite the global importance of forest canopies, scientists actually know very little about what goes on in the treetops! Getting to the canopy requires specialized knowledge and equipment, which is often hard for aspiring canopy researchers to access. Without trained “arbornauts,” we are limited in how much we can learn about these amazing ecosystems. Luckily, programs like “Discovering the Canopy” teach aspiring researchers the skills they need to get up in the trees!

According to Canopy Watch, the course is “designed to break barriers, inspire minds, ascend to new heights, and to change lives one tree at a time while bringing environmental equity to forest research and conservation. The course explores the methods and secrets of canopy access, and teaches biologists and others to climb into the forest canopy so they can discover, document, and conserve biodiversity, and discover better versions of themselves along the way.

They offer the training at the lowest cost possible, they say, because their mission “is to change careers, change lives, and rewrite conservation history in tropical forests.”

Check out Canopy Watch International’s website and follow them on Facebook.

To dive even deeper, watch this powerful TEDx by Canopy Watch founder David L. Anderson, Ph.D. – The Transformative Power of Climbing Trees