HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

City Tech Students Discover Climate Change at Botanical Gardens

Second visits usually reveal so much more, and so it was last Friday when students from City Tech University returned to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to learn about phenology, sustainability, water conservation, early — very early —  spring blooming, all through the lens of climate change.

Clicking away on their cameras were City Tech students in Professor Robin Michals’ Communication Design Photography Class. They joined students in Professor Blake’s Natural Disaster Class in this second leg of the collaborative project. Student photographs and essays are focusing on impacts from the changing climate on nature. The goal at the end of the semester is to publicly exhibit student photographs and essays.

Magnolia bud last week at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Photograph by City Tech Student Deandre Barnett

 

Although it was cold and rainy, students attentively listened to BBG’s Kate Fermoile, Director of Exhibitions and Barbara Kurland, Director of Learning and Partnerships. Fermoile talked about BBG’s sustainably designed Steinberg Visitor Center, an earth sheltered construction built into the side of a hill replete with a living green roof. The building uses energy efficient geothermal for heating and cooling eliminating the need for fossil fuels, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases and the warming climate.

The sustainable Steinberg Visitor Center at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

 

Professor Michals’ students snapped pictures of buds popping out on trees as they listened to Kurland talk about phenology — the leaf-out and bloom times of trees. The photographers will continue to document specific trees throughout the semester. As the climate warms so are the early arrival of leaf buds, cherry blossoms and magnolias. This past January the mild winter surprised many when cherry blossoms to flowered in Central Park.

Barbara Kurland teaches City Tech photography students about phenology

Students learned about BBG’s new water conservation, a multi-year sustainability project that was completed last year. The rainy day seemed apropos as students watched rain water filling garden streams and ponds. The water is collected, filtered and recirculated with groundwater, reducing dependence on freshwater and lessening the amount of water that flows to the combined sewer system. BBG estimates the system will reduce the garden’s freshwater usage from about 22 million gallons to about 900,000 gallons per year and significantly reduce storm-water discharge.

Both classes ended up in the Discovery Garden, the BBG’s famous learning spot where visitors are encouraged to touch, smell and observe plants and animals living in micro versions of meadows, marshes and woodlands.



City Tech Students at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Photograph by City Tech student Kendra Kuo

By the end of the two hour class the weather had become quite inclement but City Tech students persevered and embraced the study of nature and its newly adaptive growing patterns.

ClimateYou.org will be featuring more photography and accompanying essays by City Tech students in the coming weeks and months.

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN

ClimateYou-City Tech-Brooklyn Botanic Garden Three-Way Collaboration

In spring 2020, an innovative three-way collaboration took place between ClimateYou, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and two City Tech classes. It was a success. City Tech students in Professor Robin Michals’ Communication Design Photography Class and those in Professor Reginald Blake’s Natural Disaster Class joined together to explore

BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Greenhouse Effect

For the first time in a long time, I went to the and unexpectedly enjoyed it even though it was a required class trip. I found it amazing that the major environmental factors that we talk about in class were demonstrated in such a relatively small garden. The greenhouse

Take action in the fight against climate change