Welcome to the Mt. Rainier Institute! We departed Monday morning at 8:45am and arrived just after 10:45 to a welcome circle and fun and games on the field.
After orienting ourselves to this new and beautiful place, we came up with group agreements and introduce ourselves to our instructors.
After a short tour we headed out to the field to explore the ecological, aesthetic, and economic value of the Pack Forest site. In order to do this we first had a crash course in plant identification and habitat.
Then, we learned the basics of calculating the board feet a tree could offer if milled for lumber. This involved learning how to use DBH (diameter at breast height) tapes, a clinometer, and some math.
We closed the day with a quiz to check our learning and a debrief circle after a brief nature hike.
On Tuesday morning we awoke to a beautiful, clear day to hike up to an old growth forest.
Mr. Fleming found much to keep him entertained during our lecture on the characteristics of old growth.
Once our group had decided upon our question (What is the correlation between the DBH and the height of the lowest branch the Douglas Fir (pseudotsuga menziesii)), we used a very scientific method of throwing a ball in the air to choose our sample trees.
Once we found our trees we needed to perform a series of measurements in order to collect our data:
...and we sat on a log in the woods to crunch the numbers.
With data collection done we tramped back down the hill, enjoying the scenic vistas along the way.
And closed the session in our classroom on campus pulling together our presentation for our Science Symposium!
Wednesday we head into the park!