Our work on sword fern die-off was picked up by several news agencies this summer including King 5 News and the Associated Press. KUOW’s Eilis O’Neill did a nice radio piece which included the voices of my kids on a hike through the die-off zone (see photo below). Sierra Magazine also did a nice piece highlighting the role of citizen naturalists as “canaries in the coal mine” for ecosystem health and degradation. In this context, my students and I, along with a number of dedicated citizen scientists, have been following up on crucial observations made by a neighborhood naturalist, Catherine Alexander, in 2013. The upshot of this media coverage is that many concerned folks have come out of the woodwork to inform us of other sword fern die-off locales around the region. My students and I will follow up on some of these new sites, setting up sampling and monitoring protocols in those locations, while continuing the work in Seward Park.
For summaries of the sword fern die-off problem, see my earlier posts.