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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » RINHS Lecture: Bearing Witness to the Past, Charles Cogbill
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Events &Lectures &News RINHS on 23 Apr 2008 05:16 pm

RINHS Lecture: Bearing Witness to the Past, Charles Cogbill

Bearing Witness to the Past: What Original Town Surveys Tell Us About the Presettlement NewTree_Sketch England Landscape

by Charles V. Cogbill, Ph.D.
Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecological Research Project

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
Weaver Auditorium · Coastal Institute Building
Greenhouse Road, URI, Kingston Campus (map)

A common practice of colonial land surveyors was to record “witness trees” as part of the description of property bounds. These trees were useful as durable and relatively immovable references for corners or other major points of a property boundary. Since witness tree annotations noted the tree species, there are imbedded within the land records of towns across New England a significant data base for the biogeography of presettlement forests. Cogbill will describe his study of witness tree data from 153 towns, and the conclusions drawn with regard to the species composition and patterns of presettlement forests.

Charles Cogbill works on all aspects of the history, composition, dynamics, and management of the vegetation of north-eastern North America. He is the historical ecologist with the Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecological Research Project, and is currently conducting field research at the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Station.

This event is free & open to the public. Doors open at 6:45 for refreshments & fellowship.

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