Emily Tianshi has loved coming to Torrey Pines State Preserve since she was young.
The beach and preserve is one of the very few places where its namesake grows. As a curious middle schooler with an interest in biology, she became fascinated with the rarely studied tree.
“Because the pine is so rare, nobody had studied its mechanisms before,” she says. “I would observe that the Torrey Pine needles are able to condense water from the marine layer that comes through the State Park and use that to water itself in the midst of drought.”