Interns develop their own Tree ID!

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This past week, San Lorenzo interns welcomed the amazing Prof. Joe McBride into the classroom as they continued there training and preparation for upcoming Tree Inventory with the Alameda Public Works Agency. Prof. McBride has been teaching Forestry classes for over 40 years at UC Berkeley and just recently retired, but that doesn’t stop him from sharing his excellence and experience with our youth!

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Prof. McBride had an awesome lesson plan lined up all towards interns getting a hands-on experience creating a taxonomic tree ID for the most common trees found in San Lorenzo (where we will be conducting inventory). First, interns learned about the importance of naming trees, including the different variables that go into naming of trees like characteristics, origins and so on.

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Than, Prof. McBride handed it off to the students, where they worked in small teams (Conifer Team & Hardwood Team) to organize the differences of each leave and tree sample into their very own dichotomous key. Interns were asked to draw out the different types of leaves so that anyone could be able to figure out the key. Drawing also helps with remembering and looking at the details.

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 Lastly, interns presented their key to the class, explaining their decision making process and how they arrived at their conclusion. Samples of leaves were handed out so all interns could get a first hand look on the differences that created these two keys.

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To end the fun filled day, interns took a visit outside where they were able to test our their guides to identify some trees on campus. We cant’t wait to take them out in the field when we start up our Tree Inventory in April!

Thank you Prof. McBride for joining us and sharing your wisdom!

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