How much is a tree worth?

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.

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After orienting ourselves to this new and beautiful place, we came up with group agreements and introduce ourselves to our instructors.

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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.

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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.

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We closed the day with a quiz to check our learning and a debrief circle after a brief nature hike.

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On Tuesday morning we awoke to a beautiful, clear day to hike up to an old growth forest.

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Mr. Fleming found much to keep him entertained during our lecture on the characteristics of old growth.

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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:

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...and we sat on a log in the woods to crunch the numbers.

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With data collection done we tramped back down the hill, enjoying the scenic vistas along the way.

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And closed the session in our classroom on campus pulling together our presentation for our Science Symposium!

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Wednesday we head into the park!