Artifact Title: Ghost Forests

Medium: Video

Creators: Science Friday: Luke Groskin and Lauren J. Young

Video Length: 10:00

Video Title: “The Seeds of Ghost Forests”

Upload Year: 2019

Platform: YouTube

Uploader: SciFri

Screenshot in Image: 7:16

Image Credit: Daphne Moss

TERA Curator: Hillary Kaell

Ghost Forests

Sociologist David Burley wrote a book about the massive erosion in coastal Louisiana called Losing Ground, in which he commented that people’s attachment to trees “takes on spiritual and nearly ineffable meaning” (2010, 63). That is true of coastal scientists and engineers too, especially when it comes to “ghost forests,” areas where acres of trees have died due to erosion and salt-water intrusion. These artifacts are examples of the romantic, nostalgic language around mourning trees. In Science Friday, the authors write, “lining the coasts of North Carolina are wooden tombstones…ghost forests.” In the video, hydrologist Ryan Emanuel (0:19 min) comments, “my emotional response is to mourn the loss of those trees.” In general, trees are central figures in terms of how people relate to ecological change.