In the foreground, a woman looks at a tree up close. In the background, a woman looks at a clipboard with notes.

“Under a Spreading Chestnut Tree”

A look at UNH’s potentially blight-resistant American chestnut plot
Key Facts: There were once nearly four billion American chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees in the Eastern United States. It was among the largest and tallest trees in the region. During Colonial America, the American chestnut was highly valued for its resistance to rot. It was used for everything from log cabin foundations to flooring to caskets. Later on, it was used for railroad ties and...
Research tower in a forest, shot from above with fall colors emerging

Forestry Researchers Share $1M NSF Award

Collaborative project creates regional connections in forest economies
Because forests don’t recognize state lines, a new initiative funded by the National Science Foundation taps researchers from UNH and across Northern New England to accelerate innovations in forest ecosystem management and forest products in the region. UNH forestry researchers Mark Ducey, professor and chair of natural resources and the environment, and Andy Fast, forest industry state...
A row of students wearing backpacks walk away from the camera. They wear winter jackets. The ground is covered by dead leaves.

Hike More, See More Trees, Worry Less

UNH research explores the link between forest biodiversity, psychological wellbeing and education
Research Goals: Examine the relationship between wildlife biodiversity, forest management, perceptions of biodiversity, and psychological wellbeing in recreational hiking, with the aim of investigating how higher biodiversity and accurate perceptions of biodiversity contribute to increased health benefits. The popularity of hiking in the United States continues to surge, and that’s good...
A photo of a chipmunk poised on a log in a forest. Chipmunks help disperse fungal spores.

Who’s Bringing the Fungi?

New research examines role of wind and small mammals in dispersing fungal spores
Fungi from left to right, top then bottom row, Jackson's slender amanita (Amanita jacksonii), orange mycena (Mycena leaiana), shaggy scalycap (Pholiota sp.), golden trumpet (Xeromphalina campanella), Violet-toothed polypore (Trichaptum biforme), and a deer truffle (Elaphomyces verruculosus) with chew marks on it. Key Finding: Two of the most common ways that fungal spores are...
A map showing northeastern and northern Atlantic seaboard states, from Ohio through New England. Counties in pink indicate where beech leaf disease has been found.

New Research into Potential Impacts of Beech Leaf Disease (BLD) to Begin at UNH

Using tree rings to forecast decline and mortality of a keystone species
BLD Impacts: Beech leaf disease (BLD) is a new and emerging forest threat, first observed in the United States in 2012 in Ohio. Since then, the disease has spread east and to the north and south and now can be found across New England. BLD symptoms have been observed in native American beech trees—as well as European and Oriental beech—of all different sizes and ages, with symptoms appearing...
A researcher in the field tests water sampling while taking into consideration the potential environmental impacts of his research.

The 5 Rs of Environmentally Conscious Research

A newly proposed framework for mitigating research impacts on the environment
The Environmental Responsibility Framework Key Finding: A UNH research team has proposed the Environmental Responsibility 5-R Framework (ER5F) to help scientists reduce the environmental impact of their research. The framework is centered around five Rs: Recognition, Refinement, Reduction, Replacement, and Restoration. ER5F encourages researchers to: Recognize that research can have...
Researcher David Moore collecting sap from beech trees in a forested area. Snow covers the ground. David crouches next to a bucket.

Tapping Into New Syrup Flavors

Diversifying the syrup industry: NHAES research studies producing syrups from non-maple trees
Long before the snow melts and the heavy coats get stored for the season, the quintessential signs that spring is not too far away in New Hampshire are maple trees that become dotted with buckets and the coming alive of the sugar shacks that have been hibernating for many months. In 2022, three New England states—Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont—and New York were in the top six states producing...
Water from a faucet

When It Comes to Well Water in the Summer, All Is Not Well

UNH Research Finds Spikes in Harmful Bacteria During Warmer Weather
More than 44 million people in the United States depend on private drinking water wells that are not federally regulated. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire and collaborating institutions found that current monitoring practices do not accurately reflect groundwater pollution risks because spikes in harmful bacteria, like those from animal and human waste, vary depending on the season—...
Scanning electron microscope image of ant head, colored red and blue

Extreme Close-Up, Ant Edition

UNH scanning electron microscope magnifies leafcutter ant head
    Students in associate professor of natural resources and the environment Jeff Garnas’s forest health course got an up-close look — extremely up close — at the head of a tropical leafcutter ant, collected in Ecuador in 2022. University Instrumentation Center analytical scientists Nancy Cherim and Mark Townley imaged this ant head using a scanning electron microscope at 60x magnification. “...
A night-time game camera photo taken of a striped skunk. The white and black sunk is walking on all fours through a leaf covered clearing while looking at a stick staked into the ground.

The Importance of the Lowly Skunk

UNH researcher examines abundance factors of striped skunk across contiguous United States
Try searching for “skunks in New Hampshire” and you’ll see numerous listings for pest control services. But the omnivorous striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis)—New England’s only native skunk species—plays an important but often underappreciated role in the region’s ecosystems as a predator and seed disperser. Skunks are also an important indicator of how wildlife might respond more broadly to...