Interpreting the Landscape at MacLeish

14 Jan

We had a great first day at the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station with this January’s “Interpreting the New England Landscape” class yesterday.  Eight students from Smith and Amherst College worked with local naturalist and Smith alumna, Laurie Sanders, to begin exploring connections within and surrounding the forest.  We learned about Yellow-bellied Sap Suckers and their preference for American basswood;  we began to recognize some significant tree species; and we were introduced to the ways in which human activity influence the composition of our forests.

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After lunch in the Bechtel Environmental Classroom to warm up from the persistent cold wind, we ventured back out to “meet” some trees, create sound maps, to sketch and reflect on our experiences.  We wrapped up our first day writing “weather-grams” – cold wind was a dominant theme – to hang on a tree for others to have a glimpse into our day. 

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 We are looking forward to working with each other all week and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the 6th grade classes from the Smith College Campus School on Friday.  We’ll be working on activities that will allow them a glimpse into the wondrous New England Landscape.
 
-Reid Bertone-Johnson
Lecturer, Landscape Studies Program
Manager, MacLeish Field Station, CEEDS

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