Service Learning at the ARB

May 17th, 2012 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Posted on behalf of Alyce Flanagan, UW student intern

our first planting


This spring one of my classes gave me the option of doing a service-learning project instead of writing a research paper. I jumped at the opportunity to gain some sort of real world experience instead of sitting in the library.  I ended up volunteering in the vegetable garden at the UWBG Arboretum, and it has been an enjoyable experience.  It is great to have an excuse to spend a few hours outside, get dirt on my hands and learn about growing food.  The class that my arboretum service learning is connected to is Global Food Policy.  Modern cultures have become extremely disconnected from our sources of food.  Technology allows for the mass production of cheap food, and working in a garden has given me perspective on how what it takes to grow vegetables.

Food is a vital resource that is frequently taken for granted.  Growing and gathering food is something that was an integral part of our ancestors’ lifestyles.  In recent years, we have grown away from this routine.  Food is bought from the grocery store, and we have only a vague idea of where it was before that. My Global Food Policy class looked at where food was before it got to the store.  Our severe disconnection from the production of the food we eat is unfortunate, but it is a system that we are totally reliant on. Learning about food; where is comes from and how its grown, is the first step to not taking food and this its large scale production for granted.

Food sovereignty is an issue that relates to peoples right to decide what food they eat, where it comes from, and how it is produced.  In America, most people would say that they have the right to choose their food, but in reality, much of our food is under the control of a few big agricultural businesses.  Growing at least some of our own food is an important step towards food sovereignty.

future pickles

The vegetable garden at the UWBG Arboretum is intended to teach children about the process of growing food, and hopefully inspire in them an interest in growing their own food. Volunteering at the Arb has done just that for me.  Watching plants grow over the course of a few months is somehow exciting and motivational.  Hopefully sometime in the next few years I will be able to start a garden and become at least a little less reliant on the mysterious system that produces food that feeds the world.

I am looking forward to visiting during the summer and seeing how the garden has changed.

3 sisters garden

 

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Supporting LIDAR research in the Washington Park Arboretum

May 17th, 2012 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer
graphic
Three‐dimensional 
visualization 
of 
the 
Arboretum
 derived 
from 
LiDAR 
and 
aerial
 photo. Graphic by Jeff Richardson

Did you know that the Washington Park Arboretum often serves as a research site for researchers at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences? Recently, researchers at UW have been using the Arboretum to study LiDAR and its applications. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a method of airborne laser scanning that can be used as a tool to inventory and manage forests. Below are some of the research papers discussing their findings.

Akira Kato, L. Monika Moskal, Peter Schiess, Mark E. Swanson, Donna Calhoun, Werner Stuetzle, Capturing tree crown formation through implicit surface reconstruction using airborne lidar data.  Remote Sensing of the Environment. Volume 113, Issue 6, 15 June 2009, Pages 1148-1162.

Kim, Sooyoung; Hinckley, Thomas; Briggs, David. Classifying individual tree genera using stepwise cluster analysis based on height and intensity metrics derived from airborne laser scanner data, Remote Sensing of Environment. Volume 115, Issue 12, 15 December 2011, Pages 3329-3342.

Moskal, L.M.; Zheng, G. Retrieving Forest Inventory Variables with Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) in Urban Heterogeneous Forest. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 1-20.

Richardson, Jeffery J.; Moskal, Monika; Kim, Soo-Hyung. Modeling approaches to estimate effective leaf area index from aerial discrete-return LIDAR. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 149, Issues 6–7, 15 June 2009, Pages 1152-1160.

Vaughn, N.R.; Moskal, L.M.; Turnblom, E.C. Fourier transformation of waveform Lidar for species recognition. Remote Sensing Letters, 2011, Volume 2, Number 4, 347 – 356.

Vaughn, N.R.; Moskal, L.M.; Turnblom, E.C. Tree Species Detection Accuracies Using Discrete Point Lidar and Airborne Waveform Lidar. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 377-403.

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New Issue of the Rare Plant Press

May 17th, 2012 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

The latest issue of the Rare Plant Press is out.  Learn about the rare Astragalus plant, projects to conduct a population  estimate of the largest Sidalcea oregana var. calva and mapping Sisyrinchium sarmentosum populations, and more! The Rare Plant Press is a publication of Rare Care, a program dedicated to conserving Washington’s native rare plants.

Astragalus sinuatus photo

Astragalus flower close-up photo by Julie Combs


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