By Kendall Sommers, V Form
Science Site Analysis: A Mountain School Project
Student Note: This fall, I took a semester off from St.Mark’s and attended a semester school in Vershire, Vermont called The Mountain School. It’s a school focused on outdoor education and connection. We had two required courses, English and Environmental Science. After each unit in e-sci, we would have a final reflection where we wrote chapters on all the topics we had covered. The point of this project was to have a book at the end of the course containing all the content we had learned. Included below is my 3rd chapter, my science site. This unit was a little different from the others; we picked a place in the woods on campus and analyzed it over the course of the fall months. The idea of this project was to learn to be independently observant and develop our scientific analytical skills. Also, it connects to the school’s mission statement regarding building a connection to a place. The project below included my description of my site, my map and timeline I created, and my hypothesis regarding the history of the site.
Chapter 3: Science Site Analysis
Directions: To get to my center point you must first sign out on the board with a faculty member (rule number 2!) and then begin walking on the inner loop clockwise. Continue along the loop until you reach Siberia, then take a left onto the trail leading up to pine top. Here, the grass will be a bit taller and you will see a tree on the left of the path with a really long branch that turns up at a right angle. Now, walk uphill on this path until you reach another path going off to the right. Follow this path downhill for about 60 paces until you reach my site’s center point! You will know you have arrived if the trees around you are mainly coppiced white pines and to your right (south west) there is a clearer section of the woods with no canopy, but filled with ferns. The site is on a hill facing the SE, so check your compass. Also, far to the left you will see the canopy begin to change, but most of the area around you should be filled with those big coppiced white pines, white ash trees, and sugar maples. Are you there? Wonderful! There is so much more at my site to discover, let’s dive in!
Kendall Sommers is a V former from Southborough, Massachusetts. She is a poet and writer and loves to do that in her free time. She loves being outside, exploring (aka getting lost in the woods), reading, painting, listening to music, and getting to know people.