From the archives: Ecologist Suzanne Simard on understanding the wisdom of forests

A woman sits under a large tree. A book cover.
Ecologist Suzanne Simard speaks with host Kerri Miller about her new book "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest.”
Courtesy of Penguin Randomhouse

The roots of ecologist Suzanne Simard’s love of forests are multiple generations deep.

Her family relied on forestry for their livelihood, and she was one of the early groups of women to carve out space within the logging industry.

But her experience didn’t mirror her family’s. As the scale of the industry’s business grew, Simard’s concern about the implications for the ecosystem around it eventually evolved into a new career path. 

Simard is now a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia and is working to reframe conversations about conservation.

In her book “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest” she writes, “This is not a book about how we can save the trees. This is a book about how the trees might save us.”

In June 2021, Simard talked with MPR News host Kerri Miller about what humans can learn from the way trees cooperate and communicate with other plants. Let this conversation whet your appetite for more science-based conversation coming this Friday.


To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. 

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