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Clarisse Hart

Clarisse Hart directs science outreach and education programs at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. Prior to her work in communication, she was a field ecologist studying spiders, carnivorous plants, and humpback whales (never at the same time). She has an MFA in nonfiction from Emerson College and a BA in environmental studies from Mount Holyoke College. Her recent writing has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Harvard Gazette, and Worcester Living Magazine. She is currently helping to edit her colleagues’ book Hemlock: A Forest Giant on the Edge, to be published in 2014 by Yale University Press.

While Our Backs Are Turned

Petersham, Massachusetts, my home for the past six years, hasn’t changed much since the early 1900s. If anything, the place has grown more tree-filled and sedate. A small rural town of twelve hundred people, it’s too far from Boston to…