Preparation for the Botany Laboratory Mountain Field Trip

17 November 1998

On Thursday, 11 November 1999, weather permitting, the SC 250 Botany course will be making a hike in the mountains (Twementwemen). This is a physically challenging hike up into the "Nanwel" - the upland forest.

This is a hike into a beautiful, ancient, and wet place. A place of wonder, stunning scenery, and slippery rocks. You will see Pohnpei as it was in the beginning. You will see plants that grow only in the mountains, trees that grow only on Pohnpei. You will also see introduced and invasive plants that have climbed deep into the forest. You will also fall down and get muddy.

This mountain hike must necessarily be a voluntary hike; an alternative assignment will be available for those who, due to medical reasons or lack of sufficient fitness, cannot join this hike. The signing of a release form will also be necessary for this hike. The release form will read something like the following:

I, ________, understand that the mountain lab hike is physically demanding and strenuous. I am medically and physically fit for such a hike. I understand that wet trails in the mountains can be slippery and hazardous. I understand that this hike is voluntary and that I am under no compulsion to join this hike. I am aware that there is an alternative assignment available to me in lieu of the hike should I choose not to go. I hereby release the College from legal and financial liability should I injure or hurt myself while on this hike.

On the hike you will want to bring along water or juice (not soda) and, at your option, a light snack to eat. Be prepared to be wet, wear clothes and shoes appropriate to being wet and muddy. Bring a change of clothes for after the hike.

Each lab partner pair must, whether they climb the mountain or not, bring in either a can of meat (like Spam) or a few packs of ramen - something to give the family whose compound we will pass through on the way up the mountain. Those who choose not to climb can give their donation to those who choose to climb.

Due to the strenuous nature of the hike, and the distance, we will leave at 8:00 A.M. prompt from the A103 lab. You will have to get to class on time if you plan to leave your books in the laboratory. You do NOT want to be carrying books up this mountain. We will be ascending to where the selaginella grows. I'm estimating that we will reach roughly 1000 feet.

I was just up there on Friday, a combination of trotting and walking carried me to our end point in 45 minutes, it took me 20 minutes to come back down. I expect the class will take closer to an hour and half to get up the mountain and roughly 45 minutes to get down the mountain.

We will be walking on the road across from the College entrance road. We will be following the road to the end and then climbing up the trail that extends from the end of the road. If you come late and wish to climb, you will have to follow after us.

In preparation for the hike you should review lycopodium and selaginella, its relative, in your text book. You will also see acrocarpic moss of a size you might not have previously seen.

We will be taking pictures during the trip, you can choose to do plants that we see on this trip if they have not been done before. Bear in mind that you will likely need to collect three samples to dry if you choose to do plants seen on this field trip. You will also need to bring a copy of the 29 descriptors and pen or pencil and paper so you can do your descriptions - It is unlikely that more than one or two students will find plants they can do on this trip: few plants up there are in bloom at this time.

The photos from last year's hike are at:

Others are welcome to join the hike, or to join it as far up as they choose to go. I've been up the trail, I've also spoken to the family that lives along the trail who have said it is OK for the students to come and see the forest. The trail is a trail that leads eventually to a number of sakau patches. Quly Alex has indicated that due to its use by more than one family, the trail is considered somewhat more "public" than the trail the class tackled last year.

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