Last weekend my Introduction to Environmental Studies class at Tulane University participated in a service learning day at the Woodlands Conservancy. We did this service learning work in collaboration with Sean Anderson (CSU Channel Islands), Tom Huggins (UCLA), and John Lambrinos (Oregon State University) – they are the PI’s on this project and they’ve been kind enough to let me and my students participate in their surveys. You can find more information about Sean’s lab here –
Sean Anderson • CSU Channel Islands • (805) 732-2732
Follow our March Trip:
Anderson Lab (old page): http://faculty.csuci.edu/sean.anderson/
NOLA Course Podcasts: http://tinyurl.com/748rwfl
Recent Louisiana Invasive Control Efforts: http://tinyurl.com/ae3sfky
Included here are some pics of us conducting tree inventories at the Woodland Conservancy. You can learn more about Woodlands here, http://www.woodlandsconservancy.org/
Our service work entails measuring tree species along regular transects through a forest that is currently threatened by storms, wind damage, and invasive species. Some of these invasive species are chinese privet and chinese tallow, and if these species take over, they will reduce the ability of the forest to protect New Orleans from hurricanes and wind damage. Unlike oak and cypress, tallow and privet are relatively skinny and fast growing trees and they do not withstand storm damage well. Our goals are to survey these woods, identify the invasive trees, and then the conservancy removes them. Sean’s study not only works to restore the health of this forest, but he is also measuring the efficacy of treating invasive species with round-up.
We do service because we are engaged with our community and the greater new orleans region – we do service because our work means something to the people around us. We do service so that we can learn to use classroom concepts in the field and so we learn how to apply our knowledge to causes that are socially and environmentally just. I use service in my classroom because all learning should be engaged and students should value their education for the good it can do for the world around them, not just the good it can do for themselves.