EGMT 1520: Seeing the Forest for the Trees

To say someone “can’t see the forest for the trees” means that they are too caught up in the details to understand the big picture. In this class we will try to do both: to pay attention to individual trees but also to consider the forest. We’ll look at the trees on Grounds, and spend time outside engaging trees through sight, sound, and smell (and you’ll each choose a tree to observe for the duration of the course). We’ll seek to understand what trees do over the course of the year and over their lives, but also how they relate to other parts of their environment, from squirrels and fungi to human beings. We’ll explore how scientists have expanded the ways that they observe trees and forests, and what these discoveries tell us about the role of forests in a time of climate crisis.