By Tiffany Webb, First Year Student.
The incoming class of MES students found themselves exploring Pack Forest just three weeks into their very first quarter. This experience offered the new students an opportunity to learn about various forest management techniques, Pacific Northwest plant species, and techniques for field research. The students explored a few different experimental forest plots in Pack Forest, learning a variety of practices and techniques for increasing and maintaining forest production. Additionally, the students learned how to quantify things like ground cover composition and tree height.
pack2Most importantly, the students had an opportunity to think critically about the things they learned at Pack Forest. After exploring all day, the students joined for a seminar session in one of the cabins. While the professors directed the seminar questions, the students quickly jumped in to ask their own questions. This developed into a broad discussion of forestry practices and environmental concerns. The MES group was able to effectively identify many issues in the field of forestry and participate in an important discussion of such issues. Their discussion ranged from ecological aspects of forestry to philosophical questions of our human perspective of forest production. Overall, the students benefited from a beautiful day surrounded by forests, important information on forest practices, and a lively discussion of our role in environmental studies.