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The Science Behind Kansas City's Brilliant Autumn

Fall foliage scene at Kansas City cemetary
Photo by Sara Jane Crane
Fall foliage scene at Kansas City cemetary


Kansas City, MO – In case you haven't noticed, the leaves around Kansas City seem to be especially vibrant this year. Trees are ablaze in brilliant red, gold and orange. But are the trees especially colorful this year? To get some answers, KCUR's Susan Wilson stopped by the Linda Hall Library to consult with groundskeeper Scott Reiter about the science behind this year's fall foliage.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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