, ,

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.

Read more…