Communities and Collaboratives: Arboretum Collaborative Showcase

by: Carole Nash

Mid-October has a way of piling it on. At the very moment the fall semester kicks into high gear, consuming us with all things academic, the trees of the mid-latitude deciduous forest peak with color, reminding us that we live in a most remarkable place of high biodiversity that provides inspiration and a ready source for teaching. This fall, in particular, has been filled with surprising moments when my focus on work has been broken by the sight of a brilliant gold hickory or blazing maple. On my way to CFI’s offices this week, I stopped at the Higgs Grove of hardwoods by Rose Library to say hello to these old friends and check the acorn crop. A little worse for wear from June’s derecho, the oaks of this small stand will wear their muted russets and burgundies by the end of the month, as they have for decades.

These stalwarts of East Campus, perhaps too often relegated to a setting for our daily activities, signal another annual event that celebrates community: the Arboretum Collaborative Showcase. The Arboretum Collaborative, established three years ago to increase faculty awareness about environmental stewardship and infuse sustainability content into curriculum, has fostered the work of thirty faculty members from across the University. This year’s cohort – faculty from Art History, Foreign Languages, Math and Statistics, Communications, Political Science, Media Art and Design, and Graduate Psychology — will present their course re-designs on Friday, October 19 at Rose Library. Drawing from their own disciplinary backgrounds and their passion for bringing environmental stewardship into the classroom, the 2012 Arboretum Collaborative Fellows invite you to join them near the oaks and expand your community.

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