FYS 158 Reading the Earth

First Year Seminar
Faculty: 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.

See the students' journal for the class.

cherry tree in bloom