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By Lindsay Whitehurst The Associated Press

Forest ecologist helps refashion Barbie dolls as scientists

SALT LAKE CITY — When Nalini Nadkarni was a kid, she’d run home from school, climb into one of the eight maple trees in her parents’ backyard and spend an afternoon there with an apple and a book.

That time in the treetops set the tone for the rest of her life: She’s now a forest ecologist at the University of Utah who’s dedicated her career to studying rain forest canopies.