Notes from the Field Station

20 Sep

Hi there! My name is Jessa Finch and I am a senior here at Smith College. I’m studying Biology with a minor in Landscape Studies, and this year I am interning at CEEDS, helping to keep you up to date with the happenings at the amazing, yet sometimes elusive, MacLeish Field Station.

Me at an invasives workshop

As you may know, thanks to a generous gift from Jill Ker Conway, Smith College dedicated the Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station in May 2008. The field station, located in West Whately about 20 minutes from campus, strives to foster field-based environmental research, in addition to outdoor education and low-impact recreation.

Historically, this site was used primarily for agriculture and grazing, as indicated by the many stonewalls found throughout the site. Currently however, the field station is utilized by an assortment of Smith College groups and departments, ranging from experimental research, to First-year orientation trips, and architecture studios (read more).

Recently, Smith received a major three-year grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to develop an environmental education and research facility on the site (read more). The Bechtel Environmental Classroom aims to achieve the Living Building Challenge, requiring the building to generate all of its energy with renewable resources, and develop its own water system, among other impressive demands. As construction begins this fall, I will routinely post updates and pictures documenting the progress of this exciting project in our attempt to earn the world’s toughest green building rating. Stay tuned for more information on the field station and this remarkable undertaking!

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-Jessa Finch (’12)

CEEDS MacLeish Intern

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