Nalini M. Nadkarni

Born: 13 October 1954; Bethesda, Maryland
Married: 1983, John T. Longino; Children: 1 son, born August, 1989; 1 daughter, September 1992
Contact: The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington 98505; Phone: (360) 867-6621; Fax: (360) 866-6794;;

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B.S., Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 (with honors); Junior Year Transfer to University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1974-75
Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, College of Forest Resources, 1983
Fundamentals of Ecology Course, Organization of Tropical Studies, Costa Rica, summer, 1979
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 1983-84

Community and ecosystem ecology of tropical and temperate forest canopies; the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity and community function; the development of database tools for canopy researchers; dissemination of research results to non-scientific audiences; partnering of scientists and artists to enhance conservation of forests.

1991 to present: Member of the Faculty, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
1989-91: Director of Research, The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida
1984-89: Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
1977-78: Research Assistant, Wau Ecology Institute, Papua New Guinea
1977: Instructor, Department of Biology, University of Technology of Papua New Guinea

Associate Research Staff, The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Research Associate, Missouri Botanical Garden
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, Department of Biology
Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington, College of Forest Resources

Ecological Society of America
Association for Tropical Biology, President, 2002
International Canopy Network, Co-founder and President, 1994-present

Robert Hefner Endowed Lecture, Miami University , 2005
Pettigill Endowed Lectureship, University of Michigan , 2005
Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, 2004
Member, Committee for Public Understanding of Science and Understanding, AAAS
Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Miami, 2003-2004
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001-02
Association for Tropical Biology, President, 2001-02
Board Member, The Nature Conservancy, 1998-2001
J. Stirling Morton Award, The National Arbor Day Foundation, 1997
Alice and Rolla Tryon Endowed Lecture in Tropical Botany, University of South Florida, 1996
Council Member, Association for Tropical Biology, 1994-97
Jane and Whitney Harris Lectureship, International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri, 1994
Morgan Endowed Lecture in Science, 1992
Jessie B. Cox Chair in Tropical Ecology, Selby Gardens, 1989-91
Margery Stoneman Douglas Endowed Lecture, 1989
University Fellowship, University of Washington, 1979-82
English-Speaking Union Travel Fellowship, 1982
Northwest Science Association Scholarship, 1981

2002-2003: National Science Foundation Informal Science Education Program: The Research Ambassador Program: empowering scientists to communicate research to public audiences ($74,955)
2002-2003: National Science Foundation Database Activities Program: Expanding forest canopy databases and database tools - branching out to ecology (167,784) (with J. Cushing)
2003-2004: National Science Foundation Ecosystem Program (with K. Bawa & W.J. Kress): Travel support for an international conference on tropical ecosystems ($52,310).
2002-04: National Geographic Society Conservation Trust: Ambassadors for conservation: enhancing scientific outreach to non-scientists. National Geographic Society ($19,990).
2001-02: National Geographic Society Conservation Trust: An exploration of new ways to understand and conserve forest canopy biota. National Geographic Society ($29,900).
2000-01: National Science Foundation Ecosystem Program (with K. Bawa & W.J. Kress): Travel support for an international conference on tropical ecosystems ($52,310).
2001-02: National Science Foundation Ecosystem Program (with K. Bawa & W.J. Kress): Workshops to articulate and disseminate research priorities in tropical biology ($24,090).
1999-2003: National Science Foundation Database Activities Program (with J. Cushing): Databases and database tools for canopy science - what trees can teach us about integratingdatabase use into the research process ($721,181).
1999-2003: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (with J. J. Ewel). Temporal changes in functiona differences among life forms and their consequences for ecosystem processes in tropical forests. ($184,000).
1999-2003: National Science Foundation Ecology Program: Effects of disturbance and global climate change on tropical cloud forest canopy communities: an experimental approach ($370,117).
1999-2000: National Science Foundation International Program: The articulation and dissemination of collaborative visions for forest canopy research: an international workshop ($29,520).
1997: Murdock Charitable Trust Partners in Science Award: Participation of a high school teacher in study of canopy moss biology in the Pacific Northwest ($7,000).
1996-98: National Science Foundation Database Activities Program (with J. Cushing): Enhancing researcher and site productivity at shared research facilities: database tools for analyzing forest canopy information ($180,000).
1996-98: National Science Foundation Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology: Long-term studies of canopy communities in Monteverde, Costa Rica ($80,000).
1996-97: National Science Foundation Database Activities Program (with J. Cushing): Database
support for shared ecological research sites ($168,000).
1993-95: National Science Foundation Database Activities Program (with G. Parker): The analysis of three-dimensional spatial information of tree and forest canopy structure: a planning grant ($132,873).
1992-94: National Geographic Society Research Grant: Investigation of the floristics and distribution of epiphytes in a neotropical cloud forest ($20,450).
1990-93: National Science Foundation Research Grant Ecosystems Program: The role of epiphytes in cloud-forest nutrient cycles: models and mechanisms ($236,000).
1987-89: National Science Foundation Research Grant Ecology Program: The role of canopy organic matter in cloud forest nutrient cycles ($199,200).
1988-89 and 1989-90: National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Grant Supplement: Ecological aspects of canopy organic matter in a neotropical cloud forest ($8,000).
1989-90: Institute of Museum Services Conservation Project: Use of model bar code labeling system for plant specimens at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens ($25,000).
1989-90: California Space Institute (with J. Melack): Incorporation of three-dimensional treemapping into forest radar models ($17,500).
1987-91: Whitehall Foundation: Use of computer graphics to portray three-dimensional dynamic biological systems ($89,000).
1985, 1986, 1991: National Geographic Society Research Grant: The ecology of epiphytes in cloud forest ecosystems ($35,400).
1983: Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid: Uptake of nutrients by adventitious canopy roots using radioisotopes ($200).
1981-83: Man and the Biosphere Research Grant (with C. Grier): The role of epiphytes in temperate and tropical rainforest nutrient cycling ($50,000).

Evergreen Faculty Sponsored Research awards: 1996, 1998, 2001 ($3,000 each).
Evergreen Foundation Fund for Innovation Awards: 1999, 2002 ($5,000 each).
Evergreen Provost Fund: Feasibility study for Forest Canopy Walkway Project ($7,600).

Science, Ecology, American Journal of Botany, Selbyana, Biotropica, Madroño, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Oecologia, Plant and Soil, Pedobiologia, National Geographic, Ecosystems, Lichenologist, Wadsworth Publishing Company, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press.

National Science Foundation (Ecology and Ecosystems Programs, Biotic Surveys and Inventories, Research Initiation at Minority Institutions Program, U.S. Latin America Cooperative Science Program), Organization for Tropical Studies, National Geographic Society Committee on Exploration and Research, Florida State Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Washington State Biodiversity Initiative.

National Science Foundation (Research Experience for Undergraduates Panel, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant Panel, Biological Facilities Program, Committee of Visitors, Long-term Ecological Studies Programs); National Research Council Committee on Biodiversity.

University of Minnesota, University of California (Riverside, Santa Cruz, Davis), Wellesley College, California State College, Missouri Botanical Gardens, California Academy of Sciences, University of Florida, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, National Science Foundation Workshop on Tropical Soil Organic Matter, University of Hawaii, University of Florida, University of South Florida, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Miami Univ., University of Washington, Appalachian State University, Museum of Science at Boston, Oregon State University, Cary Arboretum Institute for Ecosystems Studies, Brown University, Stanford University, University of Miami, University of British Columbia, Pacific Lutheran University.


Gressitt, J. L. and N. M. Nadkarni. 1979. The ecology of Mt. Kaindi: Montane forest ecology of Papua New Guinea. Wau Ecology Handbook No. 5.

Bledsoe, C. S., N. M. Nadkarni, W. Littke, and R. Edmonds. 1981. Use of cellulose filters for infection of the mycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma crustuliniforme in Douglas-fir seedlings. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 112: 45-47.

Nadkarni, N. M.1981. Canopy roots: convergent evolution in rainforest nutrient cycles. Science 213: 1024-25 (with cover photograph).

Nadkarni, N. M. 1984. The biomass and nutrient capital of epiphytes in a neotropical cloud forest, Monteverde. Biotropica 15:1-9.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1985. Nutrient capital of canopy epiphytes in an Acer macrophyllum community, Olympic Peninsula, Washington State. Canadian Journal of Botany 77:136-42.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1985. Canopy plants of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Spanish and English version). Tropical Science Center information pamphlet.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1986a. An ecological overview and checklist of epiphytes in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Brenesia 24:55-62.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1986b. The effects of epiphytes on precipitation chemistry in a neotropical cloud forest. Selbyana 9:47-52.

Fonteyn, P., M. Stone, M. Yancy, J. Baccus, and N. M. Nadkarni. 1988. Determination of community structure by fire. In Edwards Plateau Vegetation: Plant ecological studies in central Texas, edited by B. Amos and F. Gehlbach. Baylor University Press.Nadkarni, N. M. 1988. Tropical ecology from a canopy perspective. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences. 12:189-208.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1988. Use of a portable platform for observation of animal behavior in tropical tree canopies. Biotropica 20:350-51.

Grier, C., K. Lee, N. M. Nadkarni, G. Klock, and P. Edgerton. 1989. Productivity of forests of the United States and its relation to soil and site factors and management practices: a review. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-222, Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.Nadkarni, N. M., and R. Primack. 1989a. A comparison of mineral uptake by above- and below- ground roots of Salix syringiana using gamma spectrometry. Plant and Soil 113:39-45.

Nadkarni, N. M., and R. Primack. 1989. The use of gamma spectrometry to measure within- plant nutrient allocation of a tank bromeliad, Guzmania lingulata. Selbyana 11:22-25.

Nadkarni, N. M., and T. Matelson. 1989. Bird use of epiphyte resources in neotropical trees. The Condor 69:891-907.

Callaway, R., N. M. Nadkarni, and B. Mahall. 1990. Blue oaks and pasture productivity: is there a relationship? Fremontia 37: 42-43.

Longino, J., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1990. A comparison of ground and canopy leaf litter ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) in a neotropical montane forest. Psyche 97:81-94.

Nadkarni, N. M., and J. Longino. 1990.Macroinvertebrate communities in canopy and forest floor organic matter in a montane cloud forest, Costa Rica . Biotropica 22:286-89.

Nychka, D., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1990. Spatial analysis of points on tree structures: the distribution of epiphytes on tropical trees . Institute of Statistics Mimeograph Series No. 1971.

Vance, E., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1990. Microbial biomass and activity in canopy organic matter and the forest floor of a tropical cloud forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 22:677-84.

Callaway, R., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1991. Seasonal patterns of nutrient deposition in a Quercus douglasii woodland in central California. Plant and Soil 137:209-22.

Callaway, R., N. M. Nadkarni, and B. Mahall. 1991. Facilitation and interference of Quercus douglasii on understory production in central California. Ecology 72:1484-89.

Clark, K. C., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1991. A bar code plant inventory system. The Public Garden 6:32-34.Nadkarni, N. M. 1991. Review of Vascular Epiphytes, by D. Benzing. J. Bromeliad Society 41:263.

Nadkarni, N. M., and T. Matelson. 1991. Litter dynamics within the canopy of a neotropical cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Ecology 72:2071-82.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1992. The conservation of epiphytes and their habitats: summary of a discussion at the international Symposium on The Biology and Conservation of Epiphytes. Selbyana 13:140-142.

Nadkarni, N. M., and K. Ferrell-Ingram. 1992. A bibliography of biological literature on epiphytes: an update. Selbyana 13:3-24.

Nadkarni, N. M., and T. Matelson. 1992a. Biomass and nutrient dynamics of epiphyte litterfall in a neotropical cloud forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 24:24-30.

Nadkarni, N. M., and T. Matelson. 1992b. Biomass and nutrient dynamics of fine litter of terrestrially rooted material in a neotropical montane forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 24:113-120.

Vance, E., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1992. Root biomass distribution in a moist tropical montane forest. Plant and Soil 142: 31-39.

Ingram, S., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1993. Composition and distribution of epiphytic organic matter in a neotropical cloud forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 25:370-383.

Maffia, B., N. M. Nadkarni, and D. P. Janos. 1993. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae of epiphytic and terrestrial Piperaceae under field and greenhouse conditions. Mycorrhiza 4:5-11.

Matelson, T. J., N. M. Nadkarni, and J. T. Longino. 1993. Survivorship of fallen epiphytes in a neotropical cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Ecology 74:265-269.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1994. Diversity of species and interactions in the upper tree canopy of forest ecosystems. American Zoologist 34:321-330.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1994. Factors affecting the initiation and elongation of above-ground adventitious roots in a tropical cloud forest tree: an experimental approach. Oecologia 100:94-97.

Nadkarni, N. M., and G. G. Parker. 1994. A profile of forest canopy science and scientists - whowe are, what we want to know, and obstacles we face: results of an international survey. Selbyana 15:38-50.

Bohlman, S. T. Matelson, and N. M. Nadkarni. 1995. Moisture and temperature patterns of canopy humus and forest floor soils of a montane cloud forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 27:13-19.

Matelson, T. J., N. M. Nadkarni, and R. Solano. 1995. Tree damage and annual mortality in a montane forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Biotropica 27:441-47.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1995. Good-bye, Tarzan: the science of life in the treetops gets down to business. The Sciences 35:28-33.

Nadkarni, N. M., T. Matelson, and W. Haber. 1995. Structural characteristics and floristic composition of a neotropical cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Journal of Tropical Ecology 11:481-95.

Ingram, S. W., K. Ferrell-Ingram, and N. M. Nadkarni. 1996. Floristic composition of vascular epiphytes in a neotropical cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Selbyana 17:88-103.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1996. Review of: Tropical Forests: Management and Ecology. In Forest Science, edited by A. Lugo and C. Lowe, 42:252-53.

Nadkarni, N. M., G. G. Parker, E. D. Ford, J. B. Cushing, and C. Stallman. 1996. The International Canopy Network: a pathway for interdisciplinary exchange of scientific information on forest canopies. Northwest Science: 70:104-08.

Clark, K. L., N. M. Nadkarni, and H. L. Gholz. 1998. Growth, net production, litter decomposition, and net nitrogen accumulation by epiphytic bryophytes in a tropical montane forest. Biotropica 30:12-23.

Clark, K. L., N. M. Nadkarni, D. Schaefer, and H. L. Gholz. 1998a. Cloud water and precipitation chemistry in a tropical montane forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Atmospheric Environment 32:1595-1603.

Clark, K. L., N. M. Nadkarni, D. Schaefer, and H. L. Gholz. 1998b. Atmospheric deposition and net retention of ions by the canopy in a tropical montane forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Journal of Tropical Ecology 14:27-45.

Ghosal, S., A.V. Muruganandam, S. Chauhan, K. Kawanishi, K. Saiki, and N. M. Nadkarni. 1999. Crown humus: Part I - The chemistry of the canopy organic matter of rain forests in Costa Rica. Indian Journal of Chemistry. Section-B, Organic including Medicinal. 38: 67-75.

Nadkarni, N. M. 1999. Bridging gaps between science and society. Giant Screen Theater Association Conference. Proceedings of a Symposium in Giant Screen Films and Lifelong Learning, 28-32.

Lyons, B., N. M. Nadkarni, and M. P. North. 2000. Spatial distribution and succession of epiphytes on Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) in an old-growth Douglas-fir forest. Canadian Journal of Botany 78:957-68.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2000. Colonization of stripped branch surfaces by epiphytes in a lower montane cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Biotropica 32:358-63.

Nadkarni, N. M., A. R. Cobb, and R. Solano. 2000. Interception and retention of macroscopic bryophyte fragments by branch substrates in a tropical cloud forest: an experimental and demographic approach. Oecologia 122:60-65.

Cobb, A. R., N. M. Nadkarni, G. A. Ramsey, and A. J. Svoboda. 2001. Recolonization of Bigleaf Maple branches by epiphytic bryophytes following experimental disturbance. Canadian Journal of Botany 79:1-8.

Gradstein, S. R., D. Griffin III, M. I. Morales, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2001. Diversity and habitat differentiation of mosses and liverworts in the cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Caldasia 23:203-12.

Merwin, M. C. and N. M. Nadkarni. 2001. 100 years of tropical bryophyte and lichen ecology: a bibliographic guide to the literature from 1901-2000. Tropical Bryology 21:97-118.

Merwin, M., S. R. Gradstein, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2001. Epiphytic bryophytes of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Tropical Bryology 20:63-70.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2001. Enhancement of forest canopy research, education, and conservation in the new millennium. Plant Ecology 153:361-67.

Nadkarni, N. M., and J. B. Cushing. 2001. Lasers in the jungle: the canopy database project. Ecological Bulletin 82:200-01.

Nadkarni, N. M., M. C. Merwin, and J. Nieder. 2001. Forest canopies: plant diversity. In Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, edited by S. Levin, 27-40. Academic Press, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Chandra, A., and N. M. Nadkarni. 2002. Four realizations of forest canopy retranslocation data. Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Auditory Display, Kyoto, Japan, July 2-5, 2002.

Hietz, P., Wanek, W., Wania, R., and N. M. Nadkarni. 2002. 15N natural abundance in a montane cloud forest canopy as an indicator of nitrogen cycling and epiphyte nutrition. Oecologia 131(3):350 - 355.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2002. Trees and spirituality: an exploration. Northwest Dharma News 15:10-13.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2002. When preaching to the choir isn't preaching to the choir: churches, trees, and environmental perspectives. Environmental Practitioner 4:188-190.

Nadkarni, N. M. and R. Solano. 2002. Potential effects of climate change on canopy communities in a tropical cloud forest: an experimental approach. Oecologia 131:580-84.

Nadkarni, N. M., D. A. Schaefer, T. J. Matelson, and R. Solano. 2002. Comparison of arboreal and terrestrial soil characteristics in a lower montane forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Pedobiologia 46:24-33.

Cushing, J. B., B. Bond, R. Dial, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2003. How trees and forests inform biodiversity and ecosystem informatics. Computing in Science and Engineering 5:32-43.

Gradstein, S. R., N. M. Nadkarni, T. Kromer, I. Holz, & N. Norse. 2003. A protocol for rapid and representative sampling of vascular and non-vascular epiphyte diversity of tropical rain forests. Selbyana 24:105-111.

Merwin, M., S. Rentmeester, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2003. The influence of host tree species on the distribution of epiphytic bromeliads in experimental monospecific plantations, La Selva, Costa Rica. Biotropica 35:37-47.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2003. In the treetops: life in the rainforest canopy. World Book Science Year Book 2003:54-67.

Rains, K. C., N. M. Nadkarni, and C. S. Bledsoe. 2003. Epiphytic and terrestrial mycorrhizas in a neotropical cloud forest, Costa Rica. Mycorrhiza 13:257-264.

Reich, A., J. J. Ewel, N. M. Nadkarni, T. Dawson, and R. D. Evans. 2003. Nitrogen isotope ratios shift with plant size in tropical bromeliads. Oecologia 137:587-590.

Yanoviak, S. P., G. Kragh, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2003. Spider assemblages in Costa Rican cloud forests: effects of forest level and forest age. Studies on Neotropical Fanua and Environment 38:145-154.

Yanoviak, S. P., N. M. Nadkarni, and J. Gering. 2003. Arthropods in epiphytes: a diversity component not effectively sampled by canopy fogging. Biodiversity and Conservation 12:731-741.

Bawa, K.S., W. J. Kress, N. M. Nadkarni, and S. Lele. 2004. Beyond paradise—meeting the challenges in tropical biology in the 21st Century. Biotropica 36:437–446.

Bawa, K.S., W. J. Kress, N. M. Nadkarni, S. Lele, P. H. Raven, D. H. Janzen, A.E. Lugo, P.S. Ashton, & T.E. Lovejoy. 2004. Tropical ecosystems into the 21 st Century. Science 306:227-228.

Ishii, H. T., R. Van Pelt, G. G. Parker, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2004. Age-related development of canopy structure and its ecological functions. Pages 102-117 in M. D. Lowman and H. B. Rinker, editors. 2nd edition. Forest Canopies, Second Edition. Academic/Elsevier, San Diego.

Nadkarni, N. M. 2004. Not preaching to the choir: communicating the importance of forest conservation to non-traditional audiences. Conservation Biology 18:602-606.

Nadkarni, N. M. and M. Sumera. 2004. Old-growth forest canopy structure and its relationship to throughfall interception. Forest Science 50:290-298.

Nadkarni, N. M., D. A. Schaefer, T. J. Matelson, and R. Solano. 2004. Biomass and nutrient pools of canopy and terrestrial components in a primary and a secondary montane cloud forest, Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management 198:223-236.

Schonberg, L., J.T. Longino, N.M. Nadkarni, S.P. Yanoviak, and J. Gering. 2004. Arboreal ant species richness in primary, forest, secondary forest, and pasture habitats of a tropical montane landscape. Biotropica 36:402-409.

Van Pelt, R. and N. M. Nadkarni. 2004. Horizontal and vertical distribution of canopy structural elements of Pseudotsuga menziesii forests in the Pacific Northwest Forest Science 50:326-341.

Van Pelt, R. Sillett, S.C., and N. M. Nadkarni. 2004. Quantifying and visualizing canopy structure in tall forests: Methods and a case study. Pages 49-72 in M. D. Lowman and H. B. Rinker, editors. 2nd edition. Forest Canopies, Second Edition. Academic/Elsevier, San Diego.

Yanoviak, S. P., H. A. Walker, and N. M. Nadkarni. 2004. Arthropod assemblages in vegetative vs. humic portions of epiphyte mats in a neotropical cloud forest. Pedobiologia 48:51-58.

Fischer, A., and N. Nadkarni. 2005. Moss conservation behind bars: prison inmates help researchers cultivet threatened mosses. Conservation in Practice 6:35-36.

Clark, K.C., N. M. Nadkarni, and H. L. Gholz. 2005. Retention of inorganic nitrogen by epiphytic bryophytes in a tropical montane forest. Biotropica 37: 328-336

Nadkarni, N.M. 2006. Portrait of the artist as a young sapling: trees as artists and mobile entities. The Science Creative Quarterly. Issue 2.

Nadkarni, N.M. 2006. The moss-in-prison project: disseminating science beyond academia. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8(4): 442-443.

Yanoviak, S.P., N.M. Nadkarni, ,and R. Solano J., 2006. Arthropod assemblages in epiphyte mats of Costa Rican cloud forests. Biotropica 36(2): 202–210.

Cushing, J.B., N.M. Nadkarni, M. Finch, A.C.S. Fiala, E. Murphy-Hill, L. Delcambre, and D. Maier. 2007. Component-based end-user database design for ecologists. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems. 29(1): 7-24.

Nadkarni, N.M. 2007. Ecological outreach to faith-based communities. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 6(5): 332-333.

Arenofsky, J. 2007. High on Conservation. American Forests. Spring 2007: 47-48.

Nadkarni, N.M. 2007. Tree Climbing Scientist Makes Surprising Discovery.

McIntosh, A.C.S., Cushing, J.B., Nadkarni, N.M., and Zeman, L.. 2007. Database design for ecologists: composing core entities with observations. Ecological Informatics. 2:224 236.

Nychka, D., and N. M. Nadkarni. Three-dimensional analysis of the distribution of epiphytes in tropical tree crowns. Biometrics. In press.

Lowman, M. L., and N. M. Nadkarni. 1995. Forest canopies. Academic Press, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
Nadkarni, N. M., and N. T. Wheelwright. 2000. Monteverde: the ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.


Articles concerning research in adult popular magazines:
Boston Globe (1987), National Geographic (December 1991 and January 1996); Glamour (1990); Audubon (September 1998); Brown Alumni Monthly (July 1995), New York Times (1992, 1994), The Evergreen Review (1996), Natural History (February 1985), Pacific Magazine, The Seattle Times (October 1995, January, 2000), New York Times, International Herald Tribune (September 2003), Science Creative Quarterly (September 2007).

Articles concerning research for children's magazines:
Highlights for Children (October 1992); Ranger Rick (December 1995); Boy's Life (April 1998); Dragonfly (April 1996); Scholastic News for Kids (April 2002), Scholastic Scope for Teens (March 2002).

Radio programs:
Earth and Sky Science Reports, Canadian Public Broadcasting (1998); KAOS radio interview (2002).

Public Lectures:
Alice and Rolla Tryon Endowed Lecture in Tropical Botany, University of South Florida, 1996.
Jane and Whitney Harris Lectureship, International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri, 1994.
Morgan Endowed Lecture in Science, Appalachian State College, 1992.
Margery Stoneman Douglas Endowed Lecture, University of South Florida, 1989.
Live … from National Geographic, Seattle Lecture Series 2000.

Internet communication:
Online "live chat" on Scholastic Discovery Online (1997); Grist online magazine journal (2001;

Online "live chat" on Arbor radio. December 14, 2006.

Television programs:
The Infinite Voyage, WQED (1988); The Second Voyage of the Mimi, Bank Street College of Education (1989); Good Morning, America (1992); Oregon Coast Guide (1994); Bill Nye the Science Guy, PBS (1997); Living in Tall Trees, TV Asahi (1997); Anyplace Wild, (1998); NBC Dateline (1999); National Geographic Today (2003); Dragonfly TV for Kids (2003).

Tropical Rainforests - IMAX movie produced by the Minnesota Museum of Science (1992); Heroes of the High Frontier (National Geographic Society Television Special, 1999; Emmy Award for Best Documentary Film, 2000).

Interdisciplinary Symposia:
Developing the forest canopy researcher's workbench: computer tools for the 21st Century. An NSF-sponsored workshop for computer scientists and canopy researchers, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, March 15-18, 1995.
Eco-agro-urban visions: new structures integrating architecture and nature, University of Hawaii and the International Canopy Network, Honolulu, Hawaii, 4-6 March, 1999.
Exploring connections between art and science to study natural history: a symposium, International Canopy Network and Monteverde Studios, Monteverde, Costa Rica, May 6-9, 2002.
Art-Science Chautauqua on trees and forests, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, 8 April-3 May, 2003.


International Canopy Network:

To help meet the communications needs of the emerging field of forest canopy studies, I co-founded the International Canopy Network (ICAN) with J. Clement in 1994. We established a non-profit organization (501(c)3) the objective of which is to enhance pathways of communication among researchers, educators, and conservationists concerned with forest canopies and forest ecosystems. ICAN is supported by memberships and donations, and has a Memorandum of Agreement with The Evergreen State College. The eight-member Board of Directors and the 27-member Scientific Advisory Committee provide oversight. Activities are carried out by one part-time permanent staff member, the volunteer Board, and work-study students from The Evergreen State College. The ICAN provides a sustainable model of a small, scientific grass-roots organization that functions effectively and efficiently to coordinate communication activities of an emerging area of science.

Our core activities include:
· publishing a quarterly newsletter ("What's Up?"),distributed to 750 members in 62 countries
· providing an electronic e-mail bulletin board (administered by the Long-Term Ecological Research program of the National Science Foundation
· maintaining an active Web site (
· organizing scientific symposia and meetings
· establishing a list and collection of "classic" canopy scientific citations
· implementing an outreach project for children ("Ask Dr. Canopy!"), in which children can write or e-mail questions about canopies to the collective persona of Dr. Canopy, comprised of eight volunteer canopy researchers
· developing curricula on forest canopies for primary and secondary schools
· disseminating scientifically sound information to adults via magazines and the Internet
· consulting to the media on articles and films that concern forest canopy organisms

Other Research Planning Activities:

I have been the leader or co-leader in the following large-scale, long-term planning efforts:

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Long-term Planning Group, Monteverde, Costa Rica, October 16-18, 1990. Support from the MacArthur Foundation
Forest Canopy Research Planning Workshop, Oxford, U.K., Nov. 20-24, 1999. Support from National Science Foundation and European Science Foundation
Research Priorities in Tropical Biology, Association for Tropical Biology, three-year sequence of workshops and retreats to articulate and disseminate research priorities in tropical biology, Bangalore, India (2001); Panama City, Panama (2002); Aberdeen, Scotland (2003). Support from the National Science Foundation, International Program and Ecosystems Program


A recurring theme in my professional work and in my personal life has been to juxtapose and integrate people from different disciplines in an atmosphere of mutual respect to gain raise awareness, gain new perspectives, and solve complex problems.

Canopy Database Activities: Three-day symposium (The Evergreen State College, 1995), co-organized with J. Cushing. Brought forest canopy researchers and computer scientists
together as part of a long-term effort to create data management tools for the emerging field
of forest canopy studies.
We invited 15 canopy researchers and 10 informatics experts to identify potential analysis tools, create a draft information model, and identify developmental tasks and research questions. This led to our current Canopy Database project, which has received $1.1 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation (1995-2003). We have since created tools for canopy data acquisition, management, and visualization (;

Agro-eco-urban architecture: Three-day symposium (1999) in Honolulu, Hawaii, co-organized with architects M. and P. Anderson in response to the growing distance between humans in nature, especially in urban environments.
We assembled an interdisciplinary group (architects, designers, urban planners, forest ecologists, agriculturists and horticulturists) to envision and design practical physical structures that place humans in close contact with nature. The 27 senior contributors and 15 students participated in talks, discussions, and design charettes. Designs for structures discussed at the conference have since been developed. (

Art-Ecology Symposium in Monteverde: Three-day symposium (April 16-17, 2002) in Monteverde, Costa Rica, co-organized with S. Gilmar and M. Lawton.
Ecologists and artists participated in bilingual lectures, discussions, and field experiences to examine they could augment each other's awareness and understanding of the tropical cloud forest. Significant partnerships were forged, and resulted in collaborations that created ecologically sound environmental education and conservation materials.

Old Forests, New Eyes: Invitation to the canopy (August 16-28, 2002) Washington State.
With the support of a grant from the National Geographic Society Conservation Trust, I invited a group of 23 visual artists, musicians, forestry company executives, field ecologists and taxonomists. We also included people who had literally never seen the canopy - blind people and tundra-dwelling Inuits - to get fresh perspectives. We climbed to canopy-level platforms in an old-growth primary forest and adjacent secondary forest to observe, interpret, and record our observations. The experience helped raise awareness of the different values inherent in forest ecosystems. I am currently developing a composite exhibit of the artistic and scientific results of that experience (

Legislators Aloft: Invitation to the canopy (September, 2003) Washington State.
Working with The Nature Conservancy's legislative liaisons, I invited 14 legislators and staff members from the Washington State to ascend platforms to discuss relevant policy issues concerning biodiversity, forest management, and global climate change. This developed active links between scientists and state-level decision-makers that will enhance communication about other environmental issues.

Evergreen Art/Science Chautauqua: Three-week event (Spring, 2003), co-organizing with five arts faculty, to provide a venue for the expression of human connections to trees and forests through the medium of visual and performance art and the sciences.
Supported by a Fund For Innovation grant from the Evergreen Foundation, we will host and celebrate student, faculty, and outside community art, theater, and dance performances, as well as presentations of science projects and lectures to the College and the outside communities.

Thoughtcatchers: In 1999, I initiated a group to meet one evening a month to simply discuss ideas. The participants represent a wide range of professions, academic disciplines, and ages. Leadership and topics rotate each month. I am now starting Thoughtcatchers chapters in other cities across the country as a grass-roots effort to promote the practice of active, face-to-face, and creative thinking about ideas on a regular basis and to help weave such actions into our daily lives.


In 2001, I received a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore the obstacles that scientists face in disseminating their research to non-scientific audiences. Most scientists present results and conservation messages to "environmentally aware" non-scientists via the media. In contrast, I explored how to raise awareness in non-traditional audiences (those who do not normally gravitate to natural history media or informal science education institutions such as science museums). My approach was to directly link my research and conservation messages about forest canopies with activities and objects valued by non-traditional audiences. I designed and am implementing projects to raise awareness and inspire these audiences to learn and care more about trees, and by extension, nature.

Preaching to the Choir: Trees and Spirituality in Places of Worship: I approached churches, synagogues, and temples with the offer to provide a guest sermon on the topic of trees and spirituality. I emphasized both the universal spiritual symbolism of trees and the ways that trees and forests are portrayed in the sacred writings of particular religions. I have given 11 talks in places of worship of many faiths, and have been able to insert conservation and ecological messages with the spiritual discourse. Contrary to my preconceptions, I learned that audiences in places of worship are receptive to sustainable stewardship of the environment. Using a spiritual perspective to gain access to the many people who practice formal religion is a powerful tool that could be used by the scientific and conservation communities.

Canopy Camouflage Clothing: Wearing clothing that depicts trees and canopy plants in our professional and personal lives is a direct way to raise awareness of their aesthetic beauty and to incite informal conversation about trees on a daily basis. With a nature photographer, graphic artist, and fabric designer, I have created prototype botanically correct "canopy camouflage" clothing. I am working towards distributing these (via small clothing companies) with accompanying informational cards that describe the biology and importance of the organisms depicted and the Web site address to the International Canopy Network. In this way, the wearer becomes a "walking docent" about the nature images represented on her/his clothing.

Nature-made baseball cards: Baseball fans recognize that bats in the American League and the National League must be made out of wood. That provides the link between trees and America's favorite sport. I have begun to engage major league baseball players to endorse trees. We have made mockup baseball cards, with images of Tony Gwinn and Mark Macguire accompanied by promotional lines ("I bat for trees," "Trees: a big hit," "Without trees, I'd be batting zero"). The reverse side of the card displays facts about trees and the Web site address of the International Canopy Network.

Tree logo Skateboards: Urban youth value the sport of skateboarding. Skateboard decks are made of wood, which provides a link to trees. With a student graphic artist, I have developed a skateboard logo that depicts a tree intertwined with the Web site of the International Canopy Network. My students and I are marketing these at local skateboard parks and Web-based outlets.

Canopy rap and graffiti art: I taught young rap singers from inner city environments to climb up to canopy platforms on the Evergreen State College campus. They produced a remarkable set of rap songs that integrate elements of the forest canopy environment and hip-hop culture. This in turn inspired a group of urban graffiti artists to create a mural about forest canopies that incorporates urban and wildland imagery.

Treetop Barbie: The Barbie doll has long been an icon of female appearance and behavior for young girls. I contracted with a local tailor to make a set of Barbie clothes that replicate the clothing that female canopy researchers wear when we ascend to the canopy. This will provide an alternate role model, one of action, strength, and academic interests. I am marketing this doll to Mattel, Inc., and an alternative doll company, Get Real Girl dolls.

Trees and Healing: Trees can be symbols for healing and sustaining life in the face of adversity and disease. I have given four talks on "Trees and healing: a forest scientist's perspective" to residency and training programs in hospitals in Washington State and Virginia. I show images of living trees that sustain tumors, loss of limbs, and heartwood disease to suggest that doctors might use images and metaphors of trees as a symbolic source of inspiration for their patients.

Plants in Prisons: Numerous social programs demonstrate the rehabilitative properties of working with plants by incarcerated persons, usually for growing food or traditional horticulture. I have developed a program in which prisoners grow canopy-dwelling mosses in sustainable ways. This will allow prisoners to handle living plants during incarceration and provide them with a marketable skill after release. Developing the protocols to "farm" mosses will also help alleviate a growing ecological pressure on old-growth forests, the unsustainable "mining" of mosses for the horticulture trade. I work with male inmates at the Cedar Creek Correctional Institution.


In the next decade, I plan to continue with my canopy ecological research in Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest in partnership with my post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates. I have current and pending grants from the National Science Foundation to pursue basic research questions in canopy ecology. I will also continue to develop canopy database tools.

I also wish to pursue innovative ways to communicate my, and others', research results to non-scientists. Experience from the outreach projects described above, coupled with my science background and contacts, has led to a vision of creating a "Research/Conservation Ambassador Program." I wish to apply what I have learned to other scientists and other fields of science so that they their research results can be disseminated to non-traditional lay audiences.

My dream is to establish a self-sustaining program that will promote communication of research to non-scientists by researchers themselves. Support will stem from grants I am currently seeking from research and conservation agencies, and from revenue generated by sales of the products described above (e.g., canopy camouflage clothing, baseball cards, skateboards, Treetop Barbies). These resources will provide honoraria, letters of recognition from high-ranking academics, training in the building of Web sites, obtaining contacts of audiences for scientists, and developing new products that embody the awareness of nature's importance to humans. This will facilitate direct transfer of information about the multiple values of nature and science to society in creative and innovative ways.

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Nalini Nadkarni
The Evergreen State College
Lab II 2259
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-6621