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Electronic Green Journal

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A Comparison of Tree Growth in Two Sites near Schefferville, Quebec

This aim of this study is to determine if there are differences in tree growth between two sites near Schefferville, Quebec (located at 54°48′N,  66°50′W): the Ephemeral Lake and Airport Woodland site. Tree core samples were collected in order to determine if the “stressed” condition might make a difference in the growth of the trees within the site, and to evaluate how trees may adapt to particular conditions. Cores were collected from 20 trees in the 100x100 meter stressed site, Ephemeral Lake. Core samples were taken from 30 trees located in the in the 10x10 meter ideal site, Airport Woodland.

Analysis of the tree cores showed that that there was no statistically significant difference in rate of trunk circumference (or diameter) growth, but rather, both the stressed and ideal forests displayed nearly identical growth rates. This seems to indicate that trees in both plots had similar amounts of water to facilitate their annual growth rate. However, average tree height and average vertical growth per year are highly statistically significant, and are thus found to be key factors. Trees in the stressed forest grow slower upwards (but not in thickness) than trees in the ideal forest, and they reach lower total height—by a factor of almost two—than trees in the ideal forest.

If we assume, for example, that the stressed forest under study constitutes a random sample of trees that, in a sense, comes from a population of “all stressed forests,” and similarly for the “ideal forest,” then we may conclude that stressed forests—ones exposed to heavy winds and facing unreliable water supply—tend to produce shorter and slower-growing trees than do forests under “ideal” conditions. Equally, the non-significance of the width-growth variable can indicate that it is not necessarily true that tree-width and tree-width-growth-rate are adversely affected by stressed environment.

On the other hand, there were differences in the heights—or lengths of trunks—of trees in the two groups. First, trees in the stressed group were less likely to be growing vertically. About half of the trees in the stressed group were tilted or growing with their main trunk underground. The trees in the ideal group, on the other hand, were nearly all growing vertically, with only a single tree identified as “slanted” rather than “straight.” Also, the trees in the stressed group grew upward at a slower rate than those in the ideal group, and displayed lower overall heights.


Exploration of Environmental Adult Education Participant Experiences and Implications for Future Practices

Initiatives promoting environmental adult education (EAE) through professional development (PD) ensures educators have the knowledge and skills to inform their audience about environmental literacy and stewardship.  However, no research has focused on reflective experiences of an EAE PD from educator participants at least five years after participation.  Eight past participants were interviewed to determine whether and how they saw their behavior changing in relation to natural resources conservation and how they shared these changes with others.  Analysis using the contextual lenses of EAE, outdoor experiential learning, and transformative learning theories led to five emergent themes: (a) becoming a more effective educator; (b) increasing awareness of conservation importance; (c) experiencing positive emotional effects; (d) augmenting behaviors that impact the environment; and (e) having positive experiences at the EAE PD location.  These findings may ignite new means for approaching curriculum specific content with heightened attention on the value of conserving natural resources.

Understanding Impacts of Environmental Stewardship Programs through Community Geography: Pro-environment Behaviors Cultivated and Reinforced

Environmental Stewardship (ES) is voluntary action on behalf of the environment. ES is typically practiced at environmental nonprofit organizations that offer stewardship programs. Because these programs are managed by individual organizations, relatively little external research exists on their impacts, e.g., diffusing norms and behaviors of ES more broadly across society. Responding to that research gap, this paper studies change in the environmental outlooks and behaviors of participants at two partner nonprofits in Texas using surveys (n=407) and interviews (n=5). Three categories of changes in environmental behavior are assessed: Natural Areas, Environmental Activism, and Water Awareness. Findings demonstrate that participation was linked to pro-environmental changes in all categories for the survey respondents. Follow-up interviews allowed us to capture additional aspects of ES not addressed in the survey. In all, ES can lead to greater uptake in selected pro-environment actions, higher awareness of environmental issues, and greater appreciation for natural amenities.

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The study was a content analysis of newspaper coverage of renewable energy in Nigeria. Four newspapers (The Guardian, Nation, Daily Sun and Vanguard) and the 364 editions studied were statistically determined. Both content analysis and survey research design were used. This was put in the context of Nigeria’s position as a major oil exporters, a potential powerhouse for renewable energy development, perennial power problems and environmental concerns due to fossil fuel exploration. The study found that newspapers gave dominant attention to ‘solution to renewable energy challenges, which was reported 62 times with a 33. 9 % score. Coverage focus was significantly dependent on the individual newspapers (P < 0.05). The study makes recommendations on areas of coverage such as technical support, while calling for further research attention on the context of energy reportage in Nigeria through more engagement with editors and reporters