Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Controlled burning

Today, the SEI students began their day like any other with a trip to McClurg Hall for breakfast. We all headed over to Spencer Hall for our eight a.m meeting time for our morning session with Professor Smith. We toured an area of land which Sewanee students had chosen certain unwanted trees and plants to be logged out to try to restore the land to its “ natural state.” Certain pines such as white pines and loblolly pines were the ones removed. The college students also began controlled burns to kill the underbrush and destroy extra debris. The goal was to help the hard-wood trees such as oak, maple, and hickory make a come-back in the woods. The case study was created to see if the logging and burning of the introduced trees would help restore the land to what we believe it was like before European contact. We hiked the land and saw what plants and trees were making a comeback. After the morning session, we hopped back into the vans and headed to McClurg for lunch.

After lunch, we were able to tour the biology and chemistry departments and their laboratories. The SEI students also helped out at the school's organic garden. Following these events, the students were able to visit Professor Haskell’s home where we saw his impressive garden, livestock, and his adorable new puppy which is still unnamed. It would appear that he and his wife are almost “self-sufficient.” Finally, before the end of the day, a small group, including myself, chose to try and conquer a sand-stone wall on the Domain. This is commonly known as “bouldering.” After a full day, we are grateful to return to our dorm to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Joe Gonzalez

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