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Students Share Their Results and Conclusions

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Blog |

For the past three years we’ve been fortunate to have the seventh graders from Catlin Gabel School focus their research attention on the health of our Timber Forest.   Here is a report on the questions their asked, the data they collected, and the conclusions that they’ve drawn.  We thank them, their teachers and the parent helpers for the important work.    When Macroinvertebrates Tell Their Story By: Thea Traw Catlin Gabel 7th Grade Class   Weather:  Cloudy and rainy, with a 50% chance of macroinvertebrates   On March 1st 2016, my science class from Catlin Gabel School returned to Louisgnont Creek, deep within the shadowy forest of Hyla Woods in the Nehalem Watershed. We did not know what to expect:  what had changed and what had stayed the same since we last visited a month ago? As we walked through the steady downpour of rain, however, we were not thinking of ways to attempt to write a blog. Instead, we were studying, observing, and questioning our surrounding and the mysteries within Louisignont Creek. I’ll start my eventful and interesting story at the beginning, though, so don’t worry.   Hyla Woods is an experimental forest, which strives to be self-sufficient, while treating the wildlife and trees with respect and the proper care. Following an ancient Catlin Gabel tradition (we’re the third year), we journeyed out to Hyla Woods to research and answer one question, which always remained in the forefront of our minds as we worked:  “Is Hyla Woods a healthy ecosystem?” We ran many tests to find the answer to this question, some plagued with more troubles than others (as you will see…). We took it upon ourselves to investigate this question because, as budding scientists, we need to learn how to conduct tests to find out how successfully an ecosystem is maintained, in our case, or just if an ecosystem is functioning properly in general. It is very important to understand if an ecosystem is healthy because Earth could be described as a GIANT ecosystem, so if we didn’t know how to assess if it is healthy, how can we save our home from threats like climate change?...

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I Caught Hell – And Deserved It

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Blog |

I thought they’d be pleased to see me, but they weren’t. Hands on their hips, they gave me a steely, stern look as I puttered up on my four wheeler “iron pony”. As soon as I shut down the engine, they accusatively asked “you didn’t drive down the road did you?”.  The four of them were mid way through completing our annual round of amphibian surveys in Mt. Richmond Forest.  After an early morning rendezvous with a logger, I was doing my best to find and catch up with them.  The cause of the upset was that I had just driven through puddles in the road that, unknown to me, were home to remarkable copepods, and larval Long toed salamanders and Pacific tree frogs. Being the human that I am, my first instinct was to be defensive, thinking to myself “since when did driving along a forest road become a crime?”. I kept my thoughts to myself – mostly.  Given some time to reflect, I now see that the difference in our perceptions highlights the type of cause and effect consequences that are at the heart of our forest restoration experiment.  Consider how these observations link from one to another: “Our endless and proper work is to pay attention” – Mary Oliver Working within the structure of our monitoring program, the close attention paid by my companions caused them to discover reproducing organisms that could so easily be overlooked. “We make places wonderful by giving them attention” – David Haskkell Their discovery, layered in with thousands of similar, unexpected discoveries, continue to make what could be considered an otherwise unremarkable 750 acre forest into a remarkably interwoven web of life. “It all turns on affection” – Wendell Berry Working outward from one copepod in the puddle in the road, attention led to wonder, led to affection which, in turn, serves as the motive force for choosing to know, value, and care for and restore land. Way leads on to way. “To cherish the remains of the earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”   – Wendell Berry I may be making too much of...

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