The Trimble GPS unit is preconfigured with a set of data formsand pull‐down menus that contain selections for all the possiblefeatures that Mark would want to record for a tree, so that as theGPS records the location, all of the attribute information is auto‐matically stored in the unit as part of the data record. This makesthe data collection process very eﬃcient and much more accu‐rate than simply writing notes on a piece of paper.This is an ongoing project and as more data about the campustrees are recorded into the GIS, Mark hopes to eventually makethe database accessible to any organization on campus whomightfind the information useful. For example, Facilities Man‐agement might use the data to facilitate its landscaping program;Advancement Services could identify trees of significant valuethat donors might wish to sponsor; or the Climate Action TaskForce mightfind the data useful for computing carbon offsets insupport of Dickinson’s Climate Action Plan.Once completed,Mark also hopes to use the database to certify the Dickinson Col‐lege campus as an oﬃcial arboretum for the purposes of re‐search, preservation, and education.For more informationplease contact Mark Scott at[email protected].34
THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONNECTION|201314Environmental Science and the Open Road byAnna Ramthun, ‘13As an environmental science major Iwentthroughavarietyoftransfor‐mations in my behavior and the ways inwhich I view my surroundings. Some ofthese are obvious: the tendency to takereusable shopping bags to the store, thereuse of clothing items until they areundeniably worn out, the impulse topoint out the browse line any time I’mpassing through a forest that clearly hastoo many white tail deer.Others aremore subtle, the skipping of the occa‐sional shower, a suspicion of food thatclaims to be “natural”, and an oppositionto microwaving plastic.These idiosyncrasies have made theirway into my day to day life over the years. However, nothing bringsthem out like a long car trip. I can no longer imagine what a normalperson sees as they drive along a highway. Like me, they might con‐sider how fuel eﬃcient their car is, worry that they are burning andpaying for a lot of fossil fuel on this trip, and wonder if there mighthave been a better way to get there. However, this is only a smallexample of the strange ways in which my mind works on long drives.Scenery is perhaps the biggest trigger of my considerations.Starting with the things I learned in intro classes, I contemplate thefact that most of thefields I am driving past seem to be monocul‐tures. As monocultures they probably have a steep input of chemicalpesticides and fertilizers, which are probably running offinto thatditch running along the road. I drive past landfills and wonder abouthow well their leachate collection systems are functioning. At othertimes, I will drive by a factory and wonder what its toxic release in‐ventory is, and whether the surrounding town wants it there or isreliant on the revenue it brings in.