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Sass Klaassen and Driessen header - snail app

Sass Klaassen and Driessen: Sensing Movements of Trees and Snails

dendrochronology more-than-human sensors social media trees

In this Smart Forests Radio episode, we are in conversation with tree-ring researcher Ute Sass Klaassen at Van Hall Larenstein and Wageningen University & Research, and multi-species geographer Clemens Driessen at Wageningen University & Research. Their research illustrates different more-than-human approaches to engaging with seemingly slower entities like trees and snails by using digital technology. Ute discusses how sensors enable the analysis of the interaction between tree vitality and climate change, such as rate of growth and water transport in stems. To obtain a fuller picture of how trees react to extreme climate events, she explores ways to combine remotely sensed data from drones and satellites with data from tree sensors. Clemens shares an artistic design research project, Unwhorl, developed in collaboration with Mari Bastashevski and Sam Lavinge, which visualises the traces snails leave as they interact with an iPad.

Interviewer: Michelle Westerlaken

Producer: Harry Murdoch

Listen on Apple, Google, and Spotify.


This radio episode was produced by the Smart Forests project funded by the European Research Council. Smart Forests is led by Professor Jennifer Gabrys and is based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Header image: Traces created by snails interacting with the Unwhorl app on iPads. Image source: Unwhorl [image]. Retrieved 12 January 2024, from https://www.unwhorl.com.

Smart Forests Atlas materials are free to use for non-commercial purposes (with attribution) under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. To cite this radio episode: Sass Klaassen, Ute, Clemens Driessen and Michelle Westerlaken, "Sass Klaassen and Driessen: Sensing Movements of Trees and Snails", Smart Forests Atlas (2024), https://atlas.smartforests.net/en/radio/ute-sass-klaassen-clemens-driessen. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10687346.

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smart forests radio
Sass Klaassen and Driessen header - snail app