SAVE MR. SWEET!

There are many reasons Mr. Sweet should be one of the 10 trees that is saved from being cut down. Mr. Sweet is one of the first trees that prospective students see when thy come on to campus. Why would anyone want to cut down a tree that has been through the construction of the new part of the admissions building? Another reason to not cut down Mr. Sweet is because of how pretty of a tree it is. The tree has star shaped leaves, which is unique from other trees. One thing that is different about Mr. Sweet is that his leaves in the fall can range in colors from yellow to red to purple. Who wouldn’t be interested in seeing a purple tree leave when they walk on campus? Sweet gum trees are able to provide cover for many birds and mammals. blogpost11#1Why would someone want to cut down a tree that animals use for their home. How would you feel if someone came along and chopped down your home? Mr. Sweet was even able to provide cover for me at the beginning of the semester when it was very hot out and all I wanted and needed was shade. Sweetgum trees can also be planted to prevent erosion. See a lot of squirrels on campus? Well guess what, sweet gum tree seeds are eaten by squirrels. It would break my heart to see Mr. Sweet get cut down.

 

SAVE MR SWEET!

Mr. Sweet Provides So Much

Mr. Sweet has provided many uses for many generations. It has provided many individual uses including use for me. it has also provided for the local community that it is a part of. Finally it provides use for the campus as a whole. There are some basic needs that Mr. Sweet helps provide for.

Mr. Sweet is able to provide many things for me as an individual. The first is a place that provides shade during the hot summer months thanks to the leaves being green and plentiful. It helps give me oxygen so I am able to breathe. The carbon dioxide that Mr. removes from the environment is then stored as wood fiber. From there the carbon dioxide is able to converted into clean water and oxygen, which is then released back into the environment. Mr. Sweet also provides a calm space where one can go if there are feeling stressed or upset about something that happened that day. These are just some of the ways that Mr. Sweet is able to provide for me as an individual.blogpost10#2

Mr. Sweet is able to do many things for the local community that it is a part of. First it provides a shelter for the animals during the summer months when they want to get out of the sun. Mr. Sweet can also be used as a place where a bird nest’s can be created and protected from the different elements. Mr. Sweet is able to provide a place where animals can always coming back to.

Finally there are many things that Mr. Sweet does for the community as a whole. The main one is it provides oxygen for everyone to breathe. It also is able to provide the students and faculty a place to go for when we need to take a step back from reality and just enjoy our relationship with nature. Overall, Mr. Sweet has been very loyal through time and has been able to provide us with many different things that can be use for us.

HEP vs. NEP: NEP more relevant

Earlier in the course of the semester, there were two paradigms that Catton and Dunlap explained. The first was HEP which is defined as the Human Exceptionalism Paradigm. This held the view that humans are different from all other organisms, all human behavior is controlled by culture and free will, and all problems can be solved by human ingenuity and technology. NEP is defined as the “New Environmental Paradigm”. There are 3 main assumptions of this paradigm according to Catton and Dunlap. The first is that human beings are just one of the blogpost#9#1species that are interdependently involved in the biotic communities that shape our social life. The second assumption is the linkage of cause and effect and feedback in the web of nature hat produce many unintended consequences from purposive human action. The last assumption is that the world is finite, which means there are potent physical and biological limits constraining economic growth, social progress, and other societal phenomena. After spending the course of a semester with a tree I believe there is one that is more relevant to our society today, which is NEP.

After spending this entire semester learning about environmental sociology there are many reasons why I believe NEP is more relevant. The first reason is that people are unaware of what their actions may have on the environment. For example people can disrupt the balance of nature and not even realize that they have done it. There are people that cut down trees all the time and they pay little attention to what effect that may have on the ecosystem. One thing that people need to know is that the Earth has plenty of natural resources but we need to learn how to develop and use them properly. More people need to be aware of the water issue on the planet and need to be given ideas for how they can help. This gets back to the point that humans are seriously abusing the environment. A lot of times people do something to harm the environment but they don’t even take a second glance to make sure that what they did has not had a bad consequence. Overall there are many things that can be done to take us off the path we are on right now where most of the resources would be used up very quickly and where there would be a lot of issues that are left for the next generation to figure out how to handle.

 

Anderson, Mark, and M. New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale (2012): 260-62. Berkshire Publishing, 2012. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

Catton Jr., William R., and Riley E. Dunlap. “Environmental Sociology: A New Paradigm.” American Sociologist 13.1 (1978): 41-49. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

Dreary Day

It was early December when I finally made it back to Mr. Sweet. The weather was much cooler and it was gloomy outside. It was very cold and I found myself wishing that I had worn more layers and could watch Mr. Sweet from inside somewhere. There were 3 main categories of things that I paid attention to. The first was people. The next were things from the material world such as cars. Finally I wanted to pay attention to different things in nature that were around me.

Mr. Sweet always finds it interesting to see what the students around him are doing and how they are treating each other. Since it was supposed to be a cold day, everyone was bundled up with heavier coats with some sort of nice lining. Some people were even wearing hats to protect their ears. Most girls were wearing boots and a lot of guys were wearing sneakers. Either way, there were little or no people that were wearing open toed shoes. Mr. Sweet also noticed that there were not a lot of students walking around. He wonders if this is because the students are trying to get to where they need to be fast. However when there were students, there would be bursts of them. All of these students were walking very fast trying to get inside the nearest building. Some students were walking around with something warm which is maybe helping to keep their hands warm. If people didn’t have a cup of some sort, they had their hands in pockets or within sleeve to try and stay warm. There were some students who were only wearing a sweatshirt, made me wonder how warm they actually were. Some girls have scarves around neck to stay warm. The next thing that I paid attention to were the cars that passed by Mr. Sweet.

When I visited with Mr. Sweet in the morning there were not a lot of cars that went by. However, I did hear the loud noise of a truck going down High Street. Over the course of time that I spent with Mr. Sweet there were different cars that were all different colors. Some were quieter then others. Unlike last time, there was no loud music coming from cars like last time. I noticed that there was a white van outside Drayer, blogpost8#2which made me wonder if something is getting fixed. One truck that went down High Street had back window open. I wonder if the entire truck was freezing. I saw DPS going down the street where the International House is, I wondered if they were doing rounds to see if they saw anything suspicious. At one point, there was a build up of cars at the light. Some cars were going much faster then others like what was seen before. The last thing I paid attention to were the sounds and sights of nature.

One thing that I noticed right away was that there was no sound or sight of any animals. A lot of the trees around Mr. Sweet had no leaves on them. There were dark clouds right about where I was sitting which made me think that maybe there was more rain coming. One of the only sounds I heard was jingling, which made me wonder if something was broken. Spending time with Mr. Sweet has been an interesting part of my semester.

The Last Few Days of Warmth

It was early October when I decided to spend some more time with Mr. Sweet. It was a clear day with a high of 76. There were many things that I paid attention to. The first thing I noticed go by was the automobiles. There were definitely a mixture of cars and trucks. The sounds that cars were making caught my attention were noted. The students were each individual in their own way. The last thing that was interesting to pay attention to was nature.

There were many different things that were noted when looking at the trucks and cars that went by Mr. Sweet. The first was that there was a truck beeping sound like it was backing up. There was a gold chevy that backed up and moved into a different lane. There were small and bigger trucks that passed by. There were lots of cars that had their windows down trying to enjoy the last days of warmth.

Blog Post #7 picture1

There was a fire truck that went by which made me wonder how serious of a fire it was. There were lots of trucks that drove by. There was a buildup of cars that started to happen back towards where Mr. Sweet was located. There were some cars that started to slow down gradually when they saw brake lights while others waited until the last second. There were many different colored cars including white. I was able to hear cars starting up like they were leaving to go to a different location. I noticed that when there was an elderly person driving a car they seemed to be more careful. I also was able to hear the sounds of one motorcycle driving by Mr. Sweet. There were many different types of music that were coming out of cars. Some cars just sped by not caring to stop and take in the local environment. There were 2 red trucks that were carrying heavy load that crossed College Street with a blue car trying to keep a safe distance. One of the last things I noticed with my eyes was bike riders going by Mr. Sweet. Next it was time to pay attention to the student body.

There were many different things that students did that I found interesting. I saw a tall girl in a black sweatshirt stop to pick something up. I saw two students: one with backpack and another with just a bag walking towards Drayer. I even saw one of my suitemates walk by in green sweatshirt by himself listening to music. I saw a girl in a blue girl talking on phone, hoping that she pays attention to what she is doing. There was even a little girl riding around the admissions parking lot on a razor. There were a lot of sunglass wearers. I saw two people walking German Sheppard, which made me miss my animals at home. Finally I paid attention to nature.

There were very few things that were noted about nature. I noticed the different types of leaves that were on the different trees. I heard many crickets but I didn’t hear many birds. I wonder if the very few sounds was because the different animals were preparing for cold weather ahead. Until next time Mr. Sweet.

The Life of Mr. Sweet When the Weather Starts Getting Colder

When sitting outside with Mr. Sweet there were four main things that I paid attention to. They included cars, sounds, students and other miscellaneous things that were happening. The very first sound that I heard was the clock loudly striking four times to signal that it was 4 in the afternoon. Luckily for me there were some moments where there were only sounds of nature when I could sit and just enjoy the moment that I was outside in October and it was still 70 degrees outside. All around me there were skateboarders and bikers going over the bumps in the sidewalk creating a “dudump” sound. There are crickets making chirping sound while birds cheep towards each other in order to get another one’s attention. There are crinkling of leaves from behind me which causes me to look back to see 3 students walking towards their house. There is even loud laughter coming from building close to me. The loudness of the laugh signifies that it must have been something very funny. A loud alarm going off like there was a door open that shouldn’t be open for an extended period of time.sweetgum#11

There were also many cars that went by during the time that I was sitting with Mr. Sweet. There was blaring of a loud horn to signify that somebody doesn’t like something that is going on. Some cars have the windows down enjoying the last of the nice fall weather. There are some cars that speed so fast by me like they don’t care about any of the other cars around them. There was even a black Harley Davidson that went by me. There was an older looking car have windows down also trying to enjoy the weather before it gets too cold. A car speeds by with two guys in it blasting music and it is easy to tell that they are college guys probably not freshmen though. There are a few cars parked on the street but not as many as I thought there would be. There was a truck that drove by with the brakes squeaky as it came to a stop. Within the cars some people are holding the wheel very tight near the top while others have one hand on wheel looking relaxed. One interesting thing that caught my attention was a green John Deere driving on the road with several cars behind going slower then cars coming in the opposite direction.

There were many other miscellaneous things that I witnessed. One of which including when looking at Mr. Sweet I noticed that some of his leaves are turning red, while there are other leaves that are still green, and still some leaves that have already hit the ground. I was able to smell fire burning like something is being cooked outside. As time goes on I can feel myself putting my hands in my sweatshirt in order to stay warm. The sun continued to get lower and lower until I could barely see it from behind a tree which means I no longer need to sunglasses that I’ve been wearing all afternoon. Finally the last thing I paid attention to was what the students were doing.

There was a great diversity in what students and people were doing and wearing. There were girls walking and talking. One pauses to pauses to put sunglasses on. When they got closer to me they stopped and doesn’t start again until they are a few feet away. One guy walked past me in Dickinson gear listening to music while playing on his phone. There is a girl in black the runs past in business attire wear like she is late for something. There is another girl that ran by me with pink sneakers on and a blue armband to listen to music. There was an older couple that walked by with 2 small dogs that were deep in conversation. There was a guy wearing a suit with one hand in pocket looking like he has had a rough day. It seemed like at some point that everyone was inside. There was also a guy with a backpack with stroller with 2 young children 1 of which is crying. Finally I see my friends walking towards me which signals it is time for dinner and time to say goodbye to Mr. Sweet until the next time.

Sounds From the Modern World

Mr. Sweet Gum is in the perfect place to be subjected to sounds from the natural and modern world. These sounds vary greatly and evoke different types of emotions that are very different from each other. While sitting with Mr. Sweet Gum there were more modern world sounds heard then sounds that should be coming from the natural world. Natural sounds were the ones that stood out last because people often had to be spending closer attention to them in order to be able to hear them over all the other sounds that were being produced.

Some of the natural world sounds by the admissions building including birds chirping, squirrels running through leaves and leaves being blown. Some other natural sounds included other mammals making sounds such as crickets and the leaves in the tree moving in tune when there was a gust of wind. Modern world sounds often varied. Some of the sounds included the screeching of tires like there was about to be an accident, and music blaring from speakers from car which also included loud bases that must have been installed in the car. Lots of truck engines were heard as well as some exhausts of cars being louder then others in order to grab the attention of people that were around. When it came to the cars there were also squeaky brakes. Skatesweetgum#9boards and bikes would often make a sound as they passed over the gaps that are in-between each individual piece of sidewalk. There were conversations among students, which included many different things. When there were guys near Mr. Sweet Gum they were often much louder then girls who came by him. There were also people yelling things however I was able to tell what exactly there were yelling about. Finally there was the noise from a dogs leash banging against something else. There are many different emotions that can be evoked after listening to different sounds.

When listening to sounds of nature there is a sense of calmness. It is like nothing needs to be done and people can just take a step back and enjoy nature for what it is. There is also contentedness in nature like there is nothing more that a person could need. Joy comes from nature because it shows that the human race is actually able to do something that could benefit the greater good. There is also peacefulness so that people can reflect on things that are truly important to them in that movement and can leave a bad day behind them. One of the last feelings that come from nature is the sense that there are no expectations but only gratitude. When a person goes out in nature, they often won’t be looking for anything specific just taking everything they see in stride and enjoying every moment of it. Sounds from the modern world evoke completely different emotions including anger. Anger because some of the inventions in this world are causing more harm then good. There is also annoyance that people can do things certain way. A person can also feel upset that people are taking advantage of something that was created especially for us to enjoy but not to destroy. Finally there are expectations for something including a certain date for a product to come out that could change the world. Overall the emotions coming from nature are the better and more important ones and therefore should be felt more often. One day I hope that the natural and modern world will be able to evoke the same emotions in a person.

An Afternoon Observing Like Lepold

sweetgum#8
When I am doing any sort of schoolwork there have to be certain physical conditions that need to be happening in order for me to get things done. However depending on what specifically I am working on these could be very different conditions. For example sometimes I need complete silence all around me if I am studying for an exam. Other times there can be soft music playing in the background if I am doing regular homework for certain classes that involves reading. In some bizarre cases I even need friends around to help me motivate myself so I can do something for myself later. There are many scientific skills that exist today, some of these include: comparing, observing, sort and organizing, predicting, experiment, evaluate, and apply. Observations were used to understand what was going on with in nature the different months of the year. It was then time to evaluate and apply what was seen to see what could be done for future years in order to make in better.

I decided to sit with my tree on a Saturday afternoon at around 430. I was very surprised at how many different things I saw considering that my tree is over by admissions which I feel does not get as much foot traffic as a lot of other trees on campus. With my eyes there were many things that could be seen. For example there were people biking and people walking dogs. There were many cars driving by some that were louder then others depending on who was driving the car and how old of a car it was. There were many people walking to and from places. If a person was by himself or herself they were often looking down at phone not paying attention to people around them. People were also wearing all sorts of outfits. Lots of people were wearing sneakers and some people were even wearing shorts considering that it was quite mild out. While I was sitting by my tree I heard people having conservations but once they got closer to where I was they would quiet down until they were a good distance away from me. Many leaves were being moved by the wind because it is just that time of year. Birds were talking to each other. Squeaky brakes coming from a car would make me wince and not music blasting from their windows which meant I knew they were approaching quickly while I didn’t notice other cars until they were right in front of me.

Touch is something that is very important in nature. For me I could feel the sunrays coming down and touching different parts of my body. I was able to feel the rough and smooth part of the tree bark. I could feel the coldness of the metal table under me. At the same time I could feel the warmness and softness of clothes. In terms of smell I was able to smell the freshness of air and the fumes that were coming from some cars. While sitting with Mr. Sweet Gum I started thinking about certain things that occurred while I was observing. For example I could count how many people walked by, how many people were talking, and how many people are by themselves versus in a group. I could also see if people had a people liked trees with green or red flowers. Paying attention to the different smells that arose in the area could also be interesting. By sitting with my tree things that I wouldn’t have paid attention to in nature are starting to be incorporated into my daily thoughts.

 

Leopold, Aldo, Charles Walsh Schwartz, and Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac. With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River. New York: Oxford UP, 1966. Print.

Mr. Sweet: A Life That Gets Turned Upside-down

It has been 15 years since Mr. Sweet has joined the Dickinson College community. Through its life here in Carlisle it has seen a lot of different things happen to it. The first was when it was first being planted where it is now. When it was first being planted there was space all around it. He was able to relax and spread out all of his branches without worrying about any trees or buildings interfering with it. As time went on trees were planted and the landscape started to change.

About 4 years ago, Mr. Sweet could feel a change happening all the way from his leaves down to his toes. He could feel that there were going to be changes happening in the Carlisle community. The first event that Mr. Sweet witnessed was on August 22,2012. On this day there were a bunch of cars that seemed to have a lot of things packed in a small space. He could feel that there was one person in the bunch of cars that would come to care about trees and would protect him and other trees on campus as much as possible. Mr. Sweet wasn’t able to see exactly where the girl went but he hoped that he would be able to see her and would be able to guide her in some ways. It was later that week when he finally saw her again. She was taking a walking tour of campus and she was the only one in her group that actually took a couple minutes to look around at the different things that were a part of nature on campus. This was the trees first sign that what he thought about her would actually come true.

sweetgum#6It was about the same time on campus when the tree noticed that there was a bunch of materials that were coming onto campus. Little did Mr. Sweet know that some of the materials were coming to help a project that was going on a few feet away from where he was. He wanted to stop the construction but knew it would be of no use. He was only a tree and he needed to have a voice in the human population. He hoped it would be the girl that he saw walking around with her friends. Only the girl did not come but Mr. Sweet was lucky he did not have any more construction projects going on directly around him. He did however hear of many other projects including the demolition of the depot and the Kline Center pond. He also heard of all the additions to the Rector Science Complex.

Mr. Sweet had a lovely day on September 7, 2015. This was when the girl finally came and stopped in front of him one again to take in his magnificent structure. As the arborist talked him, he paid attention to how the girl was reacting. He could tell that she was generally interested in all there was to know about the tree. It was then that the Mr. Sweet knew he could always be there for her and could help her in anyway possible even if the tree isn’t right in the path that she would normally take every day.

 

Leopold, Aldo. 1949. “A Sands County Almanac.” Oxford University Press.

Journey To My One and Only Sweetgum Tree

When going on the walking tour of all the trees on campus I didn’t know what to expect. I wondered if I would immediately fall in love with a tree or whether I would just pick a random tree because all the other trees had been chosen. This was not the case at all, I knew when I saw my chosen tree it was immediately the one that I wanted to learn more about and wanted it to be all mine. The name of my tree is the Sweetgum or liquidambar styraciflua. The name is what convinced me even more that the tree was the one for me. There were many important details that should be considered when talking about my tree.

My tree is located outside of the Admission Building closer to where the new addition to the building is. There are several smaller trees around it none of which had the same story that the Sweetgum tree did. Mark started by saying that the tree has had a rough time since the construction of the new addition to the admissions building. This has to do with the soil that the tree is in not being the best. The soil has lost some of the nutrients that it should have. One of the first things that should be known is that the tree is native to parts of the east coast of the USA including parts of Pennsylvania. The species of tree can be invasive in the south. The tree is part of the USDA zones 5-9. This means that the fruit of the Sweetgum tree will do the best in these environments. There are many other important details to know about the tree such as the size, bark and branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit.

sweetgum#4

The Sweetgum tree here on campus is somewhere between 60 and 75 feet tall. The tree could grow up to be 150 feet tall. The trunk of the tree could be anywhere from 2-3 feet wide. These trees have a very good lifespan of about 400 years. One of the other interesting things about my tree is the bark and branches. The bark is light bro
wn and there are some grey streaks that run through it. A piece of the bark could weigh up to 37 pounds. The branches have twigs that have star-shaped pith. This means that the tissue is soft or spongy. One of the other things about the tree that is quite interesting are the leaves of the tree. The leaves are star-shaped which is very unique. There are very few trees that have leaves that are shaped like stars.

Overall my tree is very interesting and unique compared to many others trees. The location and leaves of my tree is what makes it distinct. The look of my tree can be especially related to the November chapter of A Sand County Almanac where it talks about the desolate landscape of late fall. This is relevant to my tree because soon when I go to visit it in the coming weeks it will be nothing but a bunch of twigs.