The Little Big Changes – how big is your backyard?

I received my Bachelors in Ecosystems and Human Impact (Sustainability Studies Program) this May from Stony Brook University. It’s a multidisciplinary program which covers variety of subjects in sustainability – from economics, environmental chemistry to anthropology and ecology. As I plan my courses, my advisors often asked me and my other peers ‘what do you…

Me and the deer poop…

Walking into the woods is something I do on a pretty regular basis. When I get too stressed out, I just wander out into the woods to explore, find cool rocks, or even just sit there for a minute to listen. I know all the woods on campus. I know where all the deer, rabbits,…

Invader from a foreign land…

A few days ago, as I trekked through the Ashley Schiff Nature Preserve with my class, I felt like an invader in a foreign land. I had no business here. I am a college student who does part-time work with computers, and as a result, nature does not agree with me. I can appreciate nature,…

We’ll never know unless we start looking

On a very, very taxing day Professor Pochron decided to drag my exhausted and non-athletically equipt body to the other side of campus for a long… long… looooonnnngggg nature walk. As a moody teenager and college student it is my duty- No, my obligation to complain about any physical activity that I didn’t think of…

Termites!

While walking through the Ashley Schiff Preserve with my class, the quantity of things I like to call ‘nonliving living things” disinterested me. These trees, fungi, moss and leaves bored me and I wanted to find something fun. So I set forth on my quest; flipping over rocks, rummaging through leaves with a stick, and…

Look at the little things

Stepping into the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve on the first day of October and felt like I had stepped back in time. The trees date back to the 1700’s and have Tarzan like vines wrapping around them, with the surrounding herbaceous plants covering the forest floor in a thick brown, orange and green canopy. While…

Chicken of the Woods

I’ve always been a nature girl. I played in mud until an embarrassing age (now), hiked, camped, and just explored basically since I was born. I’ve had internships that hinged on knowing nature. I’ve participated in competitions where the whole point was to identify different organisms. Despite all that, I am terrible at plant identification….

Finding beauty

October 1st marked the first day I set foot in the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve. At first, I was skeptical about how this little “field trip” would go. Especially because the first thing my professor said was “look at all this poison ivy.” Despite avoiding the poison ivy and fearing all the spiders, I started…

Flying free in Ashley Schiff Preserve

Every Monday I attend my three-hour population studies class expecting to be lectured for the whole duration. On the first of October, professor Pochron decided to mix things up a bit when she suddenly exclaimed “who wants to have class outdoors?” It seemed like a good way to kill class time, so the students in…

Hanging out with orchard orbweavers

Featured above is the Leucauge venusta, commonly known as an Orchard Orbweaver. I first noticed this spider hanging out on a web amongst the forest underbrush. I stared at the spider hesitantly and froze at the thought of getting close. Michael Schrimpf, our guide, encouraged me to get it on camera, and as though the…