Naturalist Perspective Challenge: Visit a Conservation or Ecological Restoration Site

img_3213If we have time later in the semester, we’ll talk about preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services along with ecological restoration. But before temperatures drop further and days get even shorter, try to take the time to visit a place that has been deliberately set aside for nature. There are some really close by, like the Alewife Reservation and the Cambridge Stormwater Wetland; you can also get recommendations from Prof. Mertl and Prof. Morimoto.

Here are the instructions for this challenge: 


  1. Visit a conservation area, nature sanctuary, wildlife refuge or ecological restoration site.
  2. Just enjoy it.
  3. Look for signage there (or later look up information online later) about how the land there is being used. What’s important about the place you’re visiting? Is it set aside for wildlife habitat or migrations? Does it serve a particular species?
  4. Find a place where you can spend at least 10 minutes making some observations. Record these in your notebook, along with (as usual) the date & time, location and weather conditions. Were you able to see any of the things the signage or brochures (or information online) mentioned, such as native species or restored wetlands?
  5. Summarize your responses to  3 & 4 in a blog post. Please include photos if possible!

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