Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

February 14, 2007 10:37 AM

Favorite Classes at Cal

This topic is way too hard! At least I can pick more than one class. If I had to pick only one class, it would be an agonizingly difficult decision to make. Anyhow, my favorite class outside of CNR is easily German 157, which was on how Luther, Kant, and Hegel (German philosophers) thought out the concept of freedom.

My favorite ESPM courses are silviculture (185), tree taxonomy (108A), forest ecology (102A), and forest operations (182). These all involve exciting, adventurous field trips. Tree Tax had the best field trip. It was taught by Ralph Boniello, an ESPM grad student. We took a field trip through the Sierra Nevada and looked at tree species and their ecosystems, from oak woodlands to

high-elevation coniferous forests. We stayed overnight near a river. We set up tents, and we had this secluded site all to ourselves. It looked like a shanty town. I didn't sleep in a tent. Rather, I stayed out and gazed at the heavens.

Joe McBride's forest ecology course was cool. Joe always shows slides of what he's talking about. Now he's into PowerPoint, but I liked the good ol' slide projector too. During our field trip, Joe showed us how to use different field instruments. That was the one really hands-on field trip that I've been on. Field trips are usually observational, but this one was different.

I remember one silviculture trip with Kevin O'Hara, we went to Green Diamond timberlands and to their seedling nursery. We met a couple of the Green Diamond employees for breakfast at this neat restaurant that has been featured on Huell Howser's California's Gold. We had lumber-jack portions of pancakes and eggs. Loggers used to frequent this place back in the day, and now there's a museum within the restaurant for old logging camp equipment and photographs. There was another field trip at Blodgett, one of U.C.'s research forests. Kevin and the forest manager, Bob Heald, made us pancakes for breakfast (and for snacks throughout the day--hey I don't let leftovers go to waste). I think this was also the trip during which an owl hooter called a spotted owl and it swooped down to catch a mouse on a student's arm. Maybe this was all during one weekend trip. It was two years ago. At any rate, both of the field trips were memorable.

But the best classes were during the summer of '04 at Forestry Camp....

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