FYS 158: First-year Seminar, Reading the Earth
Sharon Seelig, Fall 2008, 2010, 2012.
This course focuses on natural observation, practiced on the Smith campus and in the Connecticut River Valley. Students keep journals of their observations, write these up in a variety of forms, and discuss related written texts. View the group journal.
Activities include visits to campus gardens, guided walks along
the Mill River, a visit to the Dinosaur Footprints to understand how the Valley might have looked
in other ages, discussions of how people have approached questions of description and
identification, instruction and practice in use of a tree identification key, and a tour of
greenhouses in the Lyman Conservatory, which provide different experiences in each area.
Students also visit related collections at the Mortimer Rare Book Room and Smith College
Museum of Art and/or Smith College Archives. Course funds support field trip expenses and an
honorarium for a naturalist to lead the Mill River walk.