Illegal logging erodes biodiversity, exacerbates climate change, and bankrolls political corruption. Law enforcement officers, corporations, and consumers require new tools to trace wood products back to their points of origin. Cutting-edge genetic technologies can help, but in order to do so, they will require extensive reference materials from high-value timber species.
As an Adventure Scientists volunteer, you can provide these currently unavailable samples and help unlock the potential of DNA-based technologies to combat illegal logging.
This spring and summer, Adventure Scientists is calling on hikers, mountain bikers, kayakers and more to help collect leaf and wood samples from bigleaf maple trees throughout their range (first field season is focused on Pacific coast of North America).
The resulting genetic database will be used to help reveal whether certain hauls of timber were harvested legally––or not. And it will pave the way for even more impressive conservation tech in the future.
So dust off your pack, lace up your boots, and see if you have what it takes to be a part of the next great Adventure Scientists project!
Find out more:
cc- @Nina Hadley