Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Suzanne Simard
In conversation with Jia Tolentino
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Episode Summary

One of the world's leading forest ecologists shares from her first book to bring us deeper into her intimate world of trees. In Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, Suzanne Simard traces her journey from growing up in a logging community in the rainforests of British Columbia to her incredible work as a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence. Illuminating how trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life, Simard brings a greater humanity to understanding trees and their connections to one another and to other living things. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls of James Cameron's Avatar) and authors (Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Overstory) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. Simard will be in conversation with The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino, who has investigated many stories of cultural reckoning from youth vaping to sexual assault. As our world finally begins to turn its attention to the harsh reality of climate change, please join ALOUD for a profound look at how the inseparable bonds between living things enable our survival.

Participant(s) Bio
Suzanne Simard was born in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia and was educated at the University of British Columbia and Oregon State University. She is a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry.

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker whose work includes an exploration of youth vaping and essays on the ongoing cultural reckoning about sexual assault. Previously, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. She grew up in Texas, attended the University of Virginia, served in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, and received an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her first book, the essay collection Trick Mirror, was published in August 2019.