Celebrating 20 Years 1992-2012Preserving, Protecting and Interpreting American History and Landscape
These FREE programs are made possible thanks to a grant from Con EdisonCo-Sponsored by Audubon NY and The LIttle Garden Club of Rye
Saturday June 16 1-5pmReading the Forested LandscapeLecture, Book Signing and Walk with Tom Wessels
Based on the popular book, “Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England,” this program introduces people to approaches used to interpret a forest’s history while wandering through it. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested landscape. This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene. Was this forest once farmland? Was it logged in the past? Was there ever a major catastrophe like a fire or a wind storm that brought trees down?
Wessels takes that wonderful ability to discern much of the history of the forest from visual clues and boils it all down to a manageable guide that you can take out to the woods and use to start playing forest detective yourself. You’ll feel like a woodland Sherlock Holmes. No walk in the woods will ever be the same.
Tom Wessels is an ecologist and founding director of the master’s degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. He is the current chair of The Center for Whole Communities that fosters inclusive communities that are strongly rooted in place and where all people—regardless of income, race, or background—have access to and a healthy relationship with land. He is former chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation that fosters environmental leadership through graduate fellowships and organizational grants.
He served as an ecological consultant to the Rain Forest Alliance’s SmartWood Green Certification Program. In that capacity Tom helped draft green certification assessment guidelines for forest operations in the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, The Myth of Progress, and Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape.