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Ben Stone is a graduate student in my lab, working on a project in Penstemon. For his project, he examined the impact humans have on nature.

MAY 23

Humans and Nature: The Good, the Bad, and the Aesthetically Pleasing

By Benjamin Stone

A wetland area near Minerva, Ohio. Wetlands are incredibly important ecosystems because they clean water, restore aquifers, and are habitats for a large diversity of flora and fauna.

When we think of nature, we normally envision something like a pristine forested habitat, or a tropical coral reef in crystal-clear waters.  These types of places certainly do exist (although they are becoming increasingly rare), but the unfortunate truth is that it is nearly impossible to find a natural system that has been left unblemished by mankind.  Sometimes these blemishes are small, like a plastic bottle cap or the tag from a cotton shirt, and sometimes they are far from subtle.  One of the most obvious and destructive practices of humans is the construction of roads and other amenities through natural environments.

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