Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A04. Understanding Our New England Forests

In this seminar we will examine the natural history and ecology of the New England woods. You will learn to identify the common flora and fauna of the New England region and gain knowledge and appreciation of the complex interactions found in a seemingly familiar ecological community with both field-based activities and field trips. Past geology, climate and human cultures have helped create the ecosystem we see today. We will explore the human impact on New England forests, both historically and currently. Through selected readings you will learn how native groups of people, and then European colonists, changed the landscape. We will also consider how your lifestyle decisions directly impact the environment.

At the end of the course you will have a better appreciation for the natural world and your role in it. Weekend field trips include, a visit to The Pequot Museum in CT, Ponkapoag Bog in Canton, MA, the Beech Forest in Provincetown, MA, and the National Seashore Park, Cape Cod, MA.

Deborah Cato
Instructor of Biology