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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2017

  • Title: The Falling Muse
  • Author: Salua Rivero (Miami Dade College)
  • Abstract:

    Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is currently on the decline because of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA, Adelges tsugae). This microscopic insect has infested most of the Hemlocks in the Eastern United States, including the ones at Harvard Forest. This tree is a foundation species, which means that its decline will affect multiple animal, plant and human communities. To gain insight on this species and its decline, I collaborated with designer-in-residence, David Buckley Borden and senior ecologist, Aaron Ellison to create art installations that would represent the research results on the Hemlock and our thoughts about this declining forest stand. While creating these installations, I also made my own smaller, temporary installations which I photographed and wrote accompanying essays and poems to. I thought about our relationship to the Hemlock and our emotions towards its decline and created pieces that could contribute to the idea that we, humans, plants and animals, are connected to and affected by this species. The temporary installations were made with materials found in nature such as leaves, rocks, tree stumps, moss and seedlings while also using man-made materials found in the art studio such as aluminum tape, wooden boxes and spray paint. The materials themselves, put together, illustrate the idea of how we interact with nature and the completed photographed pieces represent how we interact with the Hemlock species and its ecological community.

  • Research Category: Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions; Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens; Conservation and Management; Biodiversity Studies