Why spend time in trees?

Almost 50 percent of life on earth is estimated to live in tree canopies, yet this was an unexplored region until about 25 years ago. Much of my work has involved solving the challenge of just getting into the treetops: inventing gadgets, refining hot air balloon design, creating canopy walkways, working from cherry pickers and construction cranes. Once up there, I discovered that insects eat four times more leaf material than we imagined.

Is that important?