Internship Mt Ascutney State Park


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  • Worked over 300 hours
  • The mountain lies within the boundaries of Mt. Ascutney State Park
  • Called the “White Mountain within the Green Mountains” (identical composition)
  • Mt. Ascutney is located in the Connecticut River Valley
  • This refers to the fact that the Sugar and Connecticut Rivers meet in the shadow of the mountain
  • Logging was perhaps the most widespread industry on the mountain because timber was Ascutney’s most accessible resource
  • Picture is of a Steam Donkey Similar to a dilapidated one on the Futures Trail. The Steam Donkey would be used as a replacement for oxen and horses as a means of generating power to move logs
  • The picture is of trolley tracks for lowering cut blocks down the mountain
  • Northern hardwood forest
  • Pink Lady Slippers pictured
  • Marginal wood fern pictured
  • Special programs on invasives, logging, Vermont deforestation
  • Internship Mt Ascutney State Park

    1. 1. My Internship: Naturalist, Mount Ascutney State Park
    2. 2. Location <ul><li>Mt. Ascutney State Park </li></ul><ul><li>Windsor, Vermont </li></ul><ul><li>Part of Green Mountain Range </li></ul>
    3. 3. What does a naturalist do? <ul><li>I held hour long nature hikes 3-5 times per week </li></ul><ul><li>Hikes commenced from a parking area (3/4 up mountain) and finished at the mountain summit </li></ul><ul><li>I served as a guide and nature interpreter </li></ul><ul><li>Primary function is to be an environmental educator </li></ul>
    4. 4. How was I trained? <ul><li>The Vermont Agency of Forests and Parks sent me to a 3-day intensive naturalist training camp </li></ul><ul><li>I learned how to give an interactive and interpretive nature presentation </li></ul><ul><li>I learned how to identify species using different field guides and references </li></ul>
    5. 5. What would a nature hike be like?
    6. 6. The Mountain <ul><li>Peak elevation: 3144 feet above sea level </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical rise: 2700 feet </li></ul><ul><li>Home to Ascutney Mountain Resort (ski area) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Formation <ul><li>The land was once much flatter, like the surrounding countryside </li></ul><ul><li>Land was overlain with schist </li></ul><ul><li>Formed about 100 million years ago when molten rock from deep within the earth forced up in a large dome-like shape into the schist </li></ul><ul><li>Molten rock never broke the surface and cooled without being exposed to air, forming granite </li></ul><ul><li>During the Ice Age, glaciers shifted down the Connecticut River Valley and scraped away shist, exposing the granite </li></ul>
    8. 8. Formation (continued) <ul><li>Very similar to formation of White Mountains of New Hampshire </li></ul><ul><li>Composed primarily of Conway biotite (variety of granite)--same exact mineral composition as White Mountains, not found anywhere else in Vermont </li></ul><ul><li>Ascutney is the only granite exposed mountain in the area </li></ul><ul><li>Today it is the most dominating topographical feature in southeastern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire </li></ul>
    9. 9. Monadnock <ul><li>Abenaki: “Mountain that stands alone” </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: an isolated, erosion-resistant mountain often times located within a valley </li></ul><ul><li>Conway biotite is particularly resistant to erosion, causing Ascutney to be the only mountain in the area </li></ul>
    10. 10. Early History <ul><li>“ Ascutney” is Algonquin/Abenaki for “meeting of the waters” </li></ul><ul><li>The earliest European settlers who came into the area around 1770 probably only hunted its forests and cleared some of its timber </li></ul><ul><li>Recreational hikers blazed a trail from the town of Windsor, VT to the peak of the mountain </li></ul><ul><li>In 1824, General Lafayette visited the U.S. and took a Grand Tour of the 24 existing states--a road was constructed to the top of the mountain so he could enjoy the views of one of Vermont’s tallest peaks </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Logging Era <ul><li>Logging was the most widespread industry at the turn of the century </li></ul><ul><li>Logging roads, skid paths, and dug-ways ascended all sides of Ascutney to about 2500 feet </li></ul><ul><li>Horses and ox teams assisted loggers in hauling timber down the mountainside </li></ul><ul><li>Deforestation was occurring throughout all of Vermont at this time and the state was over 85% deforested by the 1910s </li></ul>
    12. 12. The “Steam Donkey”
    13. 13. The Quarry Era <ul><li>Four separate granite quarries were worked at at different times </li></ul><ul><li>All quarries were around the 1500 ft. level </li></ul><ul><li>The Norcross (pictured) was the most extensive of the four quarries </li></ul><ul><li>Granite from Norcross Quarry used in the Alexander Hamilton Memorial in Washington D.C. </li></ul>
    14. 14. The Quarry Era (continued) <ul><li>Most of the excavated rock was used for millstones and building blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Granite is high in iron content and prone to discoloration and deterioration </li></ul><ul><li>The last Quarry closed in 1923 </li></ul><ul><li>Many deaths occurred due to cable breaks and other equipment failures </li></ul>
    15. 15. Park Development History <ul><li>The State of Vermont purchased a 560 acre parcel from Weston Heights, Inc. and a 640 acre parcel from E.J. York in 1935 </li></ul><ul><li>300 acres were purchased from the Bicknell Estate in 1938 </li></ul><ul><li>The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began development of Mt. Ascutney State Park in 1935 </li></ul>
    16. 16. Park Development History (continued) <ul><li>The original park (stone hut, ranger’s quarters, campsites) completed by 1939 </li></ul><ul><li>Four trails leading from the base of the mountain to the summit were constructed between the 1857 and 1983 </li></ul><ul><li>Trails: Weathersfield (from south), Futures (from southeast), Windsor (from northeast), Brownsville (from north) </li></ul><ul><li>All are about 3 miles in length, vertical rise of 2700 ft. </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Trees <ul><li>Deciduous: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Red Maple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sugar Maple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Beech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White Birch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellow Birch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White Oak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pin Oak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Elm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conifers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Northern White Pine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balsam Fir </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Red Spruce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue Spruce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern Hemlock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Northern White Cedar </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Exotic Wildflowers <ul><li>Jack-in-the-Pulpits </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Slippers </li></ul><ul><li>Canada Mayflowers </li></ul>
    19. 19. Ferns <ul><li>Lady Fern </li></ul><ul><li>Marginal Wood Fern </li></ul>
    20. 20. Seasonal Streams and Vernal Pools <ul><li>Several vernal pools exist in various areas of the mountain </li></ul><ul><li>Streams are mostly seasonal, or dependant on rain </li></ul><ul><li>Seasonal 80 ft. waterfall </li></ul>
    21. 21. Why educate the public on environmentalism? <ul><li>To spread awareness of the sensitivity of forests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invasive species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Destruction/deforestation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation of the nation’s natural treasures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To get more people involved! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Fini