Nature journaling class educates and inspires

Mitchell students on a beach for a class

Mitchell College students in Professor Diane Barcelo’s “Naturalist Journal” class recently spent time at Alewife Cove with members of the Alewife Conservancy, who talked about the cove’s history and importance, as well as the need for dredging to maintain the health of the ecosystem there.

With so many beautiful and interesting natural environments located right in Mitchell’s backyard, the class has had the opportunity to visit several other New London area destinations:

  • Connecticut College Arboretum
  • Lyman Allyn Museum and grounds
  • Waterford Beach
  • Ocean Beach
  • Mitchell Beach
  • Mitchell Woods

Professor Barcelo said her focus for the class is on connecting to the natural environment through observation by drawing, writing and poetry readings and discussion.

In addition to those from the Alewife Conservancy, guest speakers have included professionals from different fields. A biological illustrator from the Smithsonian Institution talked about her career in science and art. A scientist from Save the Sound discussed invasive species in the marshland and explained their effects on the health of native flora and fauna, water rise, and the future of coastal wetlands and communities. Mitchell adjunct professor Peggy Morgenstern talked about invasive plant life at Mitchell Beach and efforts to remediate the problem.

The semester culminates with independent projects that require the students to reflect on their experiences over the duration of the course.