Ashley Schiff Dictionary

[Ashley Schiff Dictionary] is a weekly post made on our social media page featuring various words that are related to our Preserve, our Preserve history, and forestry in general, and their definitions.


this week’s word is Sustainability. The concept of Sustainability, and the idea of sustainable development has emerged as a goal of modern societies fairly recently. It encourages businesses, industries, governments, and individuals to think about the long-term benefits during their everyday decision-making processes.
Now the applicability of the term sustainable has expanded beyond science and engineering to art, sociology, cultural studies, and even economy.
Despite the broad aspects the word carries, this word is often misused to replace certain words due to the simplicity behind the idea itself – ‘more environmentally conscious’. Some people argue that it might not be possible to achieve a ‘truly sustainable world’. But not everything has to be perfect. Someone should start somewhere, like how we start paying attention to the little trees and plants before we look at the entire forest 🌳

#definitions #sustainability #trees #woods #sustainable #development #sustainableliving #sustain #future #environment #nature #environmentallyfriendly #wild #wilderness #life

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Anthropocene ;an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth' history when human activity started to have a significant impact on on the planet's climate and ecosystems. National Geographic Resource Library'


This week’s term is Anthropocene.Anthropocene Epoch is a proposed geological era to describe the significance of human activities on this planet’s geology and ecosystems.
Although this is not a officially recognized term in science or any international standard, many societies and organizations uses this term to address the human impact, represented by anthropogenic climate change.


The first word of the year is Biodiversity! It’s been 10 years since the United Nations, governments, and various organizations all over the world celebrated the International Year of Biodiversity back in 2010. The slogan used back in 2010 was ‘Biodiversity is love. Biodiversity is life’.

Biodiversity is defined as ‘the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part.” Biodiversity can be measured by the number, variety and variability of living organisms in an area. -> and this measurement related to the non-living objects and environment makes ‘ecology’, the relationship between living and non-living factors.
The diversity includes the diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems(ecosystem diversity).

Forests hold the majority of the planet’s terrestrial species, and have the most diverse ecosystem. Furthermore, with these benefits, they produce timber, firewood, medicinal plants, and crops for those who lives around the area as well.

A carefully designed protected area can help protecting the biodiversity, connectivity between ecosystems and areas (for species that migrates or that requires wider habitat). Of course, smaller parks and preserves can play a huge role depends on the location as well.

Visit to learn more about the biodiversity facts about the Ashley Schiff Preserve, Stony Brook, New York!


This week’s term is Ecology. Ecology is a rather familiar to some of you, but also, a word that you probably never have to use depends what you study/do.

Ecology is the scientific study of the process influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interactions among organisms, and the interactions between organisms and the transformations and flux of energy and matter (Cary Institute)

One of the most commonly known definition of Ecology is ‘the study of the relationship between organisms and environment.’ (Haeckelian) Along with this definition, other definitions are also used – the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms (Andrewartha and Birch 1954).- to describe the word and idea of Ecology.

The Friends of Ashley Schiff Preserve’s work and its mission is in the core of the idea and discipline of ecology. We hope to preserve the area forever wild, and see the impact the Preserve can bring to the campus, the community, and the local environment in general. various work has been done, also as a variation of ecology, using the Preserve.

visit to learn more

Open Space

word of the week is Open Space! Open space, or green space, is defined as any piece of land that is undeveloped(has no bullrings or other built structures) and is accessible to the public.

Open spaces includes park, schoolyards, playgrounds, vacant lots, community gardens, and even cemeteries!

Open spaces often bring recreational values, environmental values, and public health values to the area and local communities.

On Stony Brook University campus, Ashley Schiff Preserve is a great example of an open space.

The area where the main campus is located was originally all wooded land, and the campus has been expanding since. It is not clear if the proposed master plan from the facilities department will come true. But from rough GIS analysis, we can expect that the campus will only loose more green spaces in the future.

It is easy to forget how much those open spaces mean to us until it’s gone, and you are the only one who can change the future. And the Friends of Ashley Schiff Preserve is here to maximize the values of the open spaces for everyone, and continue keeping it ‘forever wild’ for the greater community. Visit to learn more!

Environmental Awareness

This week’s term is ‘Environmental Awareness’. Environmental Awareness means.. the growth and development of awareness, understanding and consciousness toward the biophysical environment and its problems, including human interactions and effects. Thinking “ecologically” or in terms of an ecological consciousness.

In a wider senses, environmental awareness can simply mean how much you know about your environment and surroundings – for example, can you tell the difference between frogs and toads?

Simple knowledge on how our friends in the wilderness can change our behavior, and make us think one more time before we do anything – when we take trash away, when we go for a walk or hike, or when we simply look at them and realize how much benefit we’re getting from them.

If you have any suggestions for the Ashley Schiff Dictionary, don’t hesitate to message us or comment below!

Plant Blindness

he Friends of the Ashely Schiff Preserve have decided to post one word that’s related to our Preserve, or forestry in general every once in a while, and here’s our first word.

Plant Blindness – it refers to ‘the inability to see it notice the plants in one’s own environment’. And the Botanical Society of America’s expanded its terms into three variations.
(a) the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere, and in human affairs; (b) the inability to appreciate the aesthetic and unique biological features of the life forms belonging to the Plant Kingdom; (c) the misguided, anthropometric ranking of plants as inferior to animals, leading to the erroneous conclusion that they are unworthy of human consideration.

In urban environment, including university campuses, we often forget about how important role the plants play around us and most of us are ‘diagnosed’ with plant blindness. More exposure to the nature through walks and hikes, bringing your attention from your phone to outside of the windows once in a while can be very helpful, and the Friends seek to help the students and community members with this matter on our campus! Feel free to make your visit to the preserve anytime, and tell us what you can see! 🌳🌲🌿🌱