On August 22, we (nine students and two faculty) pile gear and more gear into vans and then drive the two hours from TRU to the Wells Gray Education and Research Centre 25 km north of Clearwater. The beginning of field school rests in chaos–bins of field gear to be sorted from personal gear, perishable vegetables that need to find a place in one of our two refrigerators, dry goods that must be organized into plastic totes. Eventually the chaos diminishes into a semblance of order as we turn a vacant field station into home. Over the next two weeks, we have the great glory of exploring the natural history of the Clearwater Valley and Wells Gray Provincial Park-venturing from the expansive heights of the Trophy Meadows trail, into the subdued stories of Placid Lake’s unique ecosystem, behind the pounding spray of Moul Falls.
Field school is intimacy in teaching, field school is immersion teaching, field school is the hope that carries me through the arcane traditions of academia, field school is about knowing the little things. Most importantly, field school is remembering that natural history matters.
Field school is being surrounded by images best captured in a field journal.
Enroute to Trophy Meadows
Looking down into Lake Sylvia over lunch, Aug 27, 2012
The iconic plants of Placid Lake–each with their own secrets that never fail to astound and delight me.
Field school is also about endings when you’re not ready to leave, yet you can already feel the absence of a daily rhythm that has marked your days for the last 10 days.