This is our laboratory: Ecology classes study the local landscape

IMG_9975Each year, the introductory ecology and evolution class participates in a multi-year study assessing how the history of agricultural usage and abandonment has affected ecosystem patterns over our local lanscape –  once almost entirely cleared and now over 80% forested. In addition to conducting quantitative vegetation sampling, we ‘read’ stories told by stone walls, soil properties, and remnant trees like this white oak, whose growth form indicates that it was well-established when this site was still an open pasture.

Class excursions also explore the rich diversity of habitats and communities found within a short van-trip from the College, including sub-alpine forests near the summits of surrounding mountain ranges (here, Mt. Greylock in the Taconic Mts., the highest point in

Ecology class in the lab - at the summit of Mt. Greylock

Ecology class in the lab – at the summit of Mt. Greylock

Massachusetts).

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>