Sewanee campus certified as a Tennessee Arboretum
The University of the South has long been known for its natural beauty. Generations of students and visitors have sat in the shade of a tree in the Quad, strolled through Manigault Park, and enjoyed the springtime splendor of Abbo’s Alley. Now the diversity of Sewanee’s trees has been documented and the campus recognized by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council as a certified arboretum.
Invading the Gate
Entering the Sewanee Domain entices the promise of Sewanee’s esteemed 13,000 acre forested. Just at the gates however, an invasive species, the white pine, lurks. White pine, Pinus strobus, is an invasive species to this area. Conservation-biology students Drake Schutt and Daniel Williams have created a study to understand P. strobus‘ effect on the structure of the surrounding canopy, subcanopy, and ground flora on the site by the gates.
Life on the Rocks
Resting on top of a mountain (The Mountain), Sewanee is not known for its good soils. With an average soil depth of around 4 feet deep, there are a number of outcrops that exist on the Domain. These outcroppings are distinct for their unique biodiversity. Students in Bio 130 are exploring how these threatened species live. By looking at twelve different outcrop sites, the group is studying how these two species compete over the same resources and exist in this relatively unstudied habitat.
Punks in Decay
Human inhabitants have had a substantial impact upon the forest ecology atop the Cumberland Plateau and subsequently Sewanee’s Domain has a variety of forests. While some areas have been harvested or planted with monoculture plantations such as the non-native white pine, others remain relatively unmanaged.
Drilling on The Domain?
Recent conversations are tackling the prospect of the University potentially drilling for natural gas on the Domain, noting the potential for locally sourced natural gas extraction. However, drilling done on February 22nd will be strictly for educational and research purposes. Previously, Sewanee met with geologists and other consultants to consider the possibility for hydraulic fracturing “fracking” on the Domain, with proponents arguing in favor of a source of local natural gas, as opposed to natural gas transported form a distant location. However, this proposal has been shelved for now, citing the University’s commitment to sustainability. Presently, drilling on the Domain will be for research use only.
Garden Interns provide Farm to Table link
Devante Jones C'16 prepares to transport head lettuce from the Sewanee Organic Garden to the cooler at McClurg Dining hall. Jones and fellow student, Julian Cope, interned on the University Farm throughout the summer of 2015.