The trimble gps unit is precon fi gured with a set of

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The Trimble GPS unit is precon fi gured with a set of data forms and pull down menus that contain selections for all the possible features that Mark would want to record for a tree, so that as the GPS records the location, all of the attribute information is auto matically stored in the unit as part of the data record. This makes the data collection process very e cient 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 campus trees are recorded into the GIS, Mark hopes to eventually make the database accessible to any organization on campus who might fi nd the information useful. For example, Facilities Man agement might use the data to facilitate its landscaping program; Advancement Services could identify trees of signi fi cant value that donors might wish to sponsor; or the Climate Action Task Force might fi nd the data useful for computing carbon o ff sets in support of Dickinson’s Climate Action Plan. Once completed, Mark also hopes to use the database to certify the Dickinson Col lege campus as an o cial arboretum for the purposes of re search, preservation, and education. For more information please contact Mark Scott at [email protected] . 3 4
THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONNECTION | 2013 14 Environmental Science and the Open Road by Anna Ramthun, ‘13 As an environmental science major I went through a variety of transfor mations in my behavior and the ways in which I view my surroundings. Some of these are obvious: the tendency to take reusable shopping bags to the store, the reuse of clothing items until they are undeniably worn out, the impulse to point out the browse line any time I’m passing through a forest that clearly has too many white tail deer. Others are more subtle, the skipping of the occa sional shower, a suspicion of food that claims to be “natural”, and an opposition to microwaving plastic. These idiosyncrasies have made their way into my day to day life over the years. However, nothing brings them out like a long car trip. I can no longer imagine what a normal person sees as they drive along a highway. Like me, they might con sider how fuel e cient their car is, worry that they are burning and paying for a lot of fossil fuel on this trip, and wonder if there might have been a better way to get there. However, this is only a small example 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 the fact that most of the fi elds I am driving past seem to be monocul tures. As monocultures they probably have a steep input of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which are probably running o ff into that ditch running along the road. I drive past land fi lls and wonder about how well their leachate collection systems are functioning. At other times, I will drive by a factory and wonder what its toxic release in ventory is, and whether the surrounding town wants it there or is reliant on the revenue it brings in.

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