Oakland University

The Living ClassroomTranscript
0:04 > > [ MUSIC ] You walk down this little trail and then it kind of opens up into this space you would
0:08 never even realize exists when you ‘re up sitting in a classroom on campus .
0:12 [ MUSIC ] It ‘s good a bang-up way for me to feel

0:19 connected and know that everything I ‘ve been learning in all my classes
0:24 has real-world implications and I can see that there ‘s still good to be done .
0:29 There ‘s crucial work that we can do and
0:31 there ‘s a connection to be made with the natural universe .
0:34 [ MUSIC ]
0:45 > > The bio continue was set up for the purposes of research and education ,
0:49 and it ‘s about 110 acres .
0:52 It ‘s broken up into two different allotments ,
0:54 the western preserve and the Eastern preserve .
0:58 It ‘s a place to decompress .
1:00 It ‘s passive, it ‘s more placid ,
1:02 there ‘s birds chirping, there ‘s concern beautiful things to look at .
1:07 There are n’t in truth any other universities in Southeast Michigan that
1:10 have a nature keep on their main campus .
1:13 It ‘s in truth an island about diverseness .
1:15 It ‘s truly surrounded by a sea of development ,
1:18 of urbanization and sub-urbanization .
1:19 merely from the perspective of biodiversity ,
1:22 it ‘s fantastic to have this resource .
1:23 [ MUSIC ] So this wholly area is consisted a marsh ,
1:32 and it ‘s a particular type of wetland and what distinguishes it from early types
1:35 of wetlands is that the water originates from groundwater .
1:39 so this is up-welling groundwater and because it spends so much time belowground ,
1:43 it has a actually unique chemical constituency that reflects the local anesthetic geology .
1:48 This creates very specialize plant communities in
1:50 these fens and is one of the reasons that it ‘s such a unique ecosystem .
1:57 Historically, if you looked at this wetland ,
2:00 it was a very open landscape .
2:02 It was dominated by grasses and other herbaceous vegetation .
2:05 But in the absence of displace ,
2:07 what we have is woody impingement from the margin that finally
2:11 chokes out these wetland plants that would ‘ve been dominant historically .
2:14 One of the main goals is to get rid of these alien ,
2:17 encroaching woody plants that have become so dominant .
2:35 > > We are gathered here today to witness
2:38 an iteration of a very ancient tradition among autochthonal peoples .
2:45 The use of fire as medicine and as a way of caring for the land .
2:55 Prescribed burning has been the process of reintroducing fire
3:00 to the landscape in which fire has been a regular occurrence for thousands of years .
3:04 As a result the native plant species have become actually
3:09 well adapted and boom on the impacts of prescribed fire .
3:13 [ NOISE ] Wildfire can be damaging for certain but
3:19 the fires that we have here in Michigan are not like
3:23 the wildfires that we see images of out west .
3:26 Fire here is much lower to the ground
3:30 and it ‘s much more well contained and particularly appointed fire .
3:34 It is very one of the essential tools for
3:38 most Michigan landscapes to actually in full enhance the biological diversity .
3:43 [ NOISE ]

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3:54 [ MUSIC ]
4:04 > > So nowadays we ‘re going to take land samples from each of our control and
4:08 burn pots and then we will take them back to the lab
4:10 and analyze them for land moisture content .
4:13 That ‘s important because presumably the higher the water levels ,
4:17 the more microbial action and the higher the decomposition .
4:20 [ MUSIC ] It ‘s actually nice to come out hera and explore .
4:27 not only are we learning and carrying out our experiments but we besides
4:31 beget to see sol much natural biodiversity that it has to offer .
4:35 Fen ecosystem down here besides provides a distribute
4:39 of species that are not found elsewhere in Southeast Michigan ,
4:42 such as mink or flying squirrel .
4:45 It ‘s our job to protect it and preserve it american samoa much as potential .
4:48 A draw of the work that we ‘re doing here is we ‘re looking at the species that we have ,
4:57 they are invading the area that ‘s actually an authoritative one .
5:01 We ‘re not the merely localization that has this trouble ,
5:04 but not all locations that have this problem have
5:07 the resources to do all the research and understand the situation .
5:10 sol the goal with what we ‘re doing is to understand this type of situation that exists all
5:14 over the world and be able to apply what we ‘ve learned to all sorts of new situations .
5:19 [ MUSIC ]
5:25 > > We are planting a hale bunch together of
5:26 native plant species to fends and wetland prairies is to try to
5:31 learn more about management practices for those types of
5:34 ecosystems adenine well as rise up some of the floral species .
5:38 then the end measure is to stomp it .
5:43 so you want to stop it on all sides around there .
5:48 > > Without those floral species ,
5:50 there are no flowers for the pollinators and without the pollinators ,
5:53 there are no other species that rely on them to pollinate ,
5:57 a well as for food sources in addition to that .
6:00 So it ‘s just in truth important that we
6:01 out-compete some of these woody species with more flowers .
6:06 We hope that after planting a bunch together of these native species and
6:10 following them for either a summer or a few summers that we will
6:13 Understand more about invasive species and fens and how those are
6:16 actually affecting implant and restitution tactics .
6:19 [ NOISE ]
6:24 > > I hope this is the first step towards a batch of exchangeable activities in the future ,
6:28 we have a 110 acre nature conserve ,
6:31 about all of which needs some screen of renovation measure ,
6:35 whether it ‘d be seeded player planting or prescribed burns or the like .
6:38 I ‘m aspirant that we ‘ll do lots of this in the future .
6:40 [ MUSIC ]
6:45 > > I think if there ‘s anything that climate exchange is teaching us today ,
6:49 it is that we can not colonize every feather inch of distance on
6:53 the planet for homo use and inactive expect life to thrive .
6:59 We humans are not the supreme masters ,
7:02 but interdependent collaborators in the bio-diverse community of

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7:07 life whose intricate workings we ‘re merely beginning to wrap our heads around .
7:15 The bio preserves can be a school house for us in that respect .
7:20 [ MUSIC ]

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