Care. Connect. Conserve.

These are three focal points of our magazine, a fitting combination to represent a changing audience. Our readers are from an always-connected generation of environmentally aware young adults. The process of putting Branches together was an exercise in organized chaos. Combining the creative minds of journalism students with the analytical focus of computer science students was a fascinating experience—really, an experiment.

Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, is a 3,600-acre conservation site and research center. The experts and educators there proved to be pivotal in the processes of reporting, photographing and shooting videos. We have dedicated a department to the amazing things we learned at Holden through attending tours and conducting interviews at the arboretum.

After 15 weeks of reporting, traveling, writing, editing, designing, coding, brainstorming and squabbling, I believe we have pulled together an amazing piece of work. The future of magazines is intertwined with technology, be it iPads or websites or smartphone apps. Through building Branches, we embrace the future and explore some of its many interactive options. From beautifully edited video of expert interviews to aerial photos captured on a drone, the writers and producers have stopped at nothing to tell our story.

We hope to inspire you and surprise you. I am proud of this production and the many individuals who helped bring it to fruition. Branches represents what the creative and technological minds of the future can do. So, dear reader, tap and swipe away to enjoy the product of our hard work.

-Kelli Fitzpatrick, Editor-in-Chief