Posts filed under 'Spring 2018'

Looking Towards Spring Semester: Earth Week!

-By Julia Montgomery


For the past seven years, William and Mary has extended Earth Day in April to a week-long celebration where students come together for events that bring them outdoors and take a chance to reflect on issues of sustainability. Before coming to William and Mary, I had always considered Earth Day a chance to marvel over mother nature and appreciate all the things it has to offer. Now, I’ve learned that Earth Week can mean much more than that.

I have been co-chair of Earth Week this past semester along with the chair, Abby Davidson, planning what type of message we want to convey throughout the week. In past years, there is always a theme with the goal of opening up students and the community to topics that they may be unfamiliar with or be interested in learning more about. This past year, the theme was “The World Around Us” where students were able to participate in a Crim Dell restoration, clean up the James River, and sunset paddleboarding on Lake Matoaka. Combining
activities that give you the chance to enjoy time with your friends in the spring and reflect on the impacts that our habits have on the environment and how we can improve them is the main goal of Earth Week.


The theme for Earth Week 2018 will be Dinner Table Conversations: From Farm to Fork and Back
Again. This idea brings up questions of where our food comes from, how it is made, if we are eating the smartest things, and so much more. The COLL300 theme for the spring semester is sustainability, which ties in perfectly with the purpose of Earth Week. On Wednesday, April 18th, the school is welcoming Vandana Shiva. Environmental activist, author of over twenty books and scientific advisor are just a few of her titles. This will be a very exciting chance to hear the voice of a global scholar with a wealth of knowledge in several fields. Throughout the rest of the week, we wanted to bring in an opportunity to participate in a community service events that is environmentally aware and gives back to the community. We will have several other activities with the theme of sustainability and food to foster awareness and bring the community together,
all culminating with the Earth Day Festival taking place on April 21st.

Earth Week is a great opportunity for the campus to promote environmentally aware practices to the students and bring up deeper issues in society that need to be addressed. As a institution of higher learning, colleges can shape the ideals and mindsets that students walk away with when they graduate and go about making changes in the real world. Being exposed to these types of topics are important and Earth Week is a great way to integrate them into the daily lives of students. Our goal is to make it fun and educational and hopefully,
if we do it right, enough people will walk away choosing to make a difference that can have an impact on our environment here at William and Mary. So, when the week comes around in April, remember it’s more than just a chance to say “happy birthday mother nature!”. Take the opportunity to go out and learn more about what we can do to help our planet.

March 17th, 2018

Mapping the Crim Dell

-By Erin O’Hara

We are tree people now. This semester, Maura Finna (2020), Kelsey Robarts (2017, SoB), and I continued a storied EcoAmbassador project, Crim Dell Mapping. We began the semester with maps and data left from the semesters before and took off running, identifying all of the trees in the Crim Dell. Our goal was to create a map of Crim Dell trees that could change and be used for many years to come. We created a skeleton and it’s up to future twamps to create an incredible body of work.

This is the map that was produced after Fall 2016.

This is the map that was produced after Fall 2016.

My favorite part of this project was learning how to identify trees. We employed the expertise of our advisor, Professor Beth Chambers, and used East Coast flora identification guides to name all of the trees with diameters of greater than four inches. Now I am able to identify many species of trees on campus and around Virginia, a skill that comes in handy sometimes.

My new favorite tree is a Sycamore, or Platanus occidentalis

My new favorite tree is a Sycamore, or Platanus occidentalis

There is also an ArcGIS desktop version, located in the Center for Geospatial Analysis at William and Mary database.

This is the ArcGIS Desktop version of our map.

This is the ArcGIS Desktop version of our map.

For further information on this project or for help using our data, feel free to contact me at

erin 4

Trees-out, my fellow flora enthusiasts!

January 17th, 2018


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