HJA 1-4

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Parr McQueen

HJA 1: In the introductory material (pages 1-14) the author asks the fundamental question, “What’s the story here?” After you have read the first chapter, answer the following questions (no more than a short paragraph per answer):

What do you expect to observe when we visit the forests of the H.J. Andrews?

One thing that stood out for me from the introduction was the prevalence of old growth conifers. I have never been to a forest in this section of the country before and I imagine it will be quite different. The trees and all around them will be full of life, but different than what I have seen.

What are some different ways of telling the story of these forests? How do methods of creative reflection support scientific inquiry and vice versa?

There are many different ways to tell the story of the forest and that is the idea behind this book. While it may be quite easy to perform scientific studies and publish data, that is not what the normal person sees. In this book are poems and essays and reflections about people’s time in the forest. It is this humanities work that allows us to make the connection between the data to our experiences, and better understand the world around us.

Why is the long-view critical to understanding the role of humans in the natural world?

The long-view is critical to understand because change always happens, but not always for the better. Protected forests were not originally for scientific research or enjoyment. They were protected as a way to manage profit and make sure that business could keep logging. Some of the changes that we do can have a long term affect. A relativity minor fault might magnify over time to become something larger than anyone thought possible. The forests will be here for way longer then a single person’s life. It is much harder to clean up a problem than not to start it in the first place so we must first stress the importance of learning the long-view of the human impact in the natural world.

For each of the main sections of the book (Part One, Two, and Three), read the Ground Work essays and at least three other entries for the section.  

HJA 2

Why was this theme chosen (e.g., Research and Revelation for Part One) to tell the story of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest?

“Research and Revelation” is the theme for part one of the book. This is a fitting topic for the first section of the book, because it defines what the purpose of Andrews forest is. Andrews is an Experimental forest, and is focused on providing access to research and experiments. Its not a place for only site seeing or enjoying nature, it has a more serious purpose. The use of the word “revelation”, tries to explain how much we have learned about the inner connected nature of life. Inside and outside of the forest things are more connected then people think, and one small change can have a larger affect then thought before.

What do you expect the landscape to look like from the passages in this section?

From these passages I imagine that the forest will be full of very tall old trees; lots of tall 500-year-old undisturbed nature. Yet next to this I think there will be many of the scientific experiments and modern tech. The section on decomposing and the 200-year log study gives me the impression that the ground will be very squishy, simply because I think that it will all be undergrowth that’s rotting away.

Provide an example or two of how the scientific context presented in the Ground Work essay is reflected in creative storytelling for the section.

One example I found is from the “Each step an Entry” response. Here Linda Hogan stresses how much life she experienced in the forest. Hogan describes how much the life is almost palpable in the air. She goes on to say how “micro filaments of life passing around and across one another”, and there are millions of things moving in and among the soil.  This all sounds very weak to me, but the science does actually support it. The ground work essays talk about how interconnected life is in the forests, and simply the immerse abundance of it. It will be hard to walk in the forest understanding every single thing going on around me.

What’s a question you have about the forest from reading these passages?

One question I have is the level of activity of scientific research. I understand that the purpose of the forest is mainly scientific research, but is there actually that much research going on at once? It almost seems that the book is glorifying how many discoveries come from this forest.

HJA 3

Why was this theme chosen (e.g., Research and Revelation for Part One) to tell the story of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest?

After talking about what we have learned about forests, the book gives us “Change and Continuity” which focuses on how much this forest in in particular has changed. Disturbances in the forest always happens, sometimes manmade sometimes not. Flash floods and fire have always changed the landscape of Andrews Forest. Sometimes these disturbances can be small, but other times change can flip the entire landscape upside down. Andrew lets us study these large change events, in order to draw parallels to how man made disasters can change other places. So far it has shown the reliance of the forest as a whole.

What do you expect the landscape to look like from the passages in this section?

Section two focused a lot on the human impact on the forest. While section one stressed the untouched nature of old growth forest, this explained clear cutting experiments and other scientific setups. I imagine that in the forest there will be a hard line between the natural and unnatural. It will not always be a hard line between clear cut and not, rather subtler things like compacted leaves. The contrast however will always be there, because this is an experimental forest, where people need to change things for their own studies often.

Provide an example or two of how the scientific context presented in the Ground Work essay is reflected in creative storytelling for the section.

Every story has two sides, and the essay titled “the otherside of the clear cut” shows this exceptionally well. Here owl protection and forest conservation battles loggers and profits. Although not a literal warzone, the author reminds us how there is always a winner and a looser to one situation. Then concludes with how the forest will always survive and adapt to what have happened to it. Much of the science in the groundwork supports this, although it is not as simple as it may seem. Even in the clear cut sections, new organisms may thrive in the open land where they did not enjoy the covered forest as much. The science supports that the small plants will be able to use the never before seen sun and raise to new heights. Even in what may appear to be all bad good can happen. Through all of this change, the forest will keep on living to another day and hopefully century.

What’s a question you have about the forest from reading these passages?

Regarding the clear cutting method for logging I wonder what percentage of the timber industry uses this method? In the media I know there are anti clear cutting articles but how much has this translated to actual practice. This question is slightly less about Andrews itself, and more about other less known forests and how lumber is harvested in modern times.

HJA 4

Why was this theme chosen (e.g., Research and Revelation for Part One) to tell the story of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest?

Concluding this book is, “Borrowing Others Eyes”. This refers to how different people interact with the forest and how their experiences differ. There is only one Andrews Forest, but a thousand different people who walk through it. Every single one looks at the forest in a different way, hearing different things and never observing it all. Different people focus on different things and not one person can process all the information out there. It is important to listen to what stands out to other people, because it may differ from your own.

What do you expect the landscape to look like from the passages in this section?

The main thing I took away from this concluding section was the amount of pure sounds the forest will have. I have been in deep caves where you cannot hear anything at all, and it is almost an alarming feeling. Being surrounded by not only tall trees but also the sounds of birds and insects will remind me how much is alive in the forest. All that life needs to be protected, but that can only happen if we observe it is there.

Provide an example or two of how the scientific context presented in the Ground Work essay is reflected in creative storytelling for the section.

Watershed hydrology is one of the topics presented in the ground work essays, and this is the study of how water moves in its environment. The reflection titled “Listening to water” best shows this key role water holds in the ecosystem. Here the author tells the story of the stream next to him. He presents the water as the life force behind the entire forest. Every drop of water on each leave, all the water in the stream, or dripping down his neck is connected. Every drop of water has the most stories to tell because it has traveled through the forest playing the most important role. For the author it is this water that supports the forest, not sunlight or other important nutrients. Yet much of this romanticized view is supported by the science in the ground work essay. Water does play one of the most important roles as it travels from the top of the mountain to the lowest valley, carrying important minerals and nutrients to living things that need it.

What’s a question you have about the forest from reading these passages

A more open ended question I have about Andrews forest, is how is the best way to preserve its legacy? Each person who wrote an essay came away with a totally different perspective. Everyone thought different of the forest. Yet most people agreed how special it was, and this makes me think that it needs to be shared with others.

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