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 Academics
Curricular Enhancement Program

Back to Courses Past and Present

students drill tree
Engineering 315: Ecohydrology, Andrew J. Guswa
Spring 2008 and Fall 2009

The Botanic Garden served as a laboratory/field site for this course on the measurement and modeling of hydrologic processes and their interplay with ecosystems. Students learned about plant adaptations to water and light through a self-guided activity at the Plant House; a lecture by Botanic Garden Director Michael Marcotrigiano, and a tour by Conservatory Manager Rob Nicholson, and a demonstration on root structures.

student collects data

Students returned to observe plants from water-limited ecosystems and water-rich environments. Students downloaded and analyzed data from a sap flux sensor (developed in a prior study by Katie Travis '08 and installed on the olive tree in the Conservatory) on plant water uptake, based on the science of heat transfer to infer the velocity of water in the xylem. Supplemental course funds were used for equipment.


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©2008 The Botanic Garden of Smith College
Northampton MA 01063

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 28, 2009.