Honestly one of my favorite classes thus far has been the workshop/field ecology classes. Every Tuesday the class goes out to the landscapes around us to learn more about how they are formed, what plants grow there, and to get a better sense of the ecologies we are working within. While this is constrained to the area around Philadelphia from the Jersey shore to Hawk Mountain the class does an excellent job of showcasing a variety of landscapes.
Despite the fun these trips are very demanding. They are full days, 8 AM to 5 PM, out hiking around with a full back pack of drawing supplies, lunch, bug spray, hats, extra sweaters, etc. Travel time is between 30 to 2 hours depending on location. Once there it is a race to keep up with the professor. While you are jogging with a fully packed back pack there is a sketchbook in hand drawing sections of the region, noting plant species, photographing said species, and generally trying to soak it all in. Aside from lunch, there are a few stops in which longer drawing excercises are carried out.
It is nice to be outside learning not only the science of the area but also how to represent and express the beauty around you within your sketchbook.
These photos of the field trips I think express the overall joy and fun of the trips. I love this class and look forward to what the spring will bring!
One thing I would suggest to make the classes easier is to really work out before taking this class. Focusing on cardio and running, long distance, would have helped a ton!! While I managed to keep up I certainly was not in the front of the class. I have permanemtly added cardio to all my workouts in response to this class which helped towards the end.
Also pack a lot of food!! These trips are physically draining. You will need the water and the food to keep enough energy to keep up.