"We need lots of citizens to observe nature. Anyone can see the pictures of polar bears, but what does it look like in my backyard, with my animals or my plants?"
For three decades, Martha Carlson, has been farming sugar in her New Hampshire woods. Recently, however, she has been seeing changes in syrup production and quality as average winter temperatures rise. The stately sugar maples that contribute to the area's maple syrup and foliage tourism industries have been losing their leaves earlier in the season and the syrup is losing its sweetness. Martha is passionate about saving the maple trees, which could disappear entirely by 2100 due to climate change.
In a video by Climate Desk, Martha tells her story and conveys the significance of New Hampshire's maple trees. At a time when many are retiring, Martha enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of New Hampshire to learn more about how human activity is threatening the trees and decreasing sugar content in the sap. A former teacher, Martha aims to make scientific research accessible to citizens, teachers, and children. She founded the Maple Watch program where students from local schools collect sap samples for analysis, with the hope that they can preserve both the trees and the region's longstanding tradition of sugar farming for future generations.
Image is a screenshot from the video.