The Friends of Harold Parker are very excited to partner with The Friends of the Fells as sponsors of a Fundly campaign launched by Walter Kittredge, a member of both of our Boards. Walter seeks funding for a summer intern / research assistant with particular expertise in lichens and mosses. To quote from his Fundly page:
“Lichens and mosses have been used to monitor air and water pollution to which they are particularly sensitive, and are ideal organisms to monitor the effects of climate change as they react more quickly to environmental changes than do the flowering plants. They are, in a sense, the canary in the coal mine.”
Walter, whom many of you know from his popular “Get to Know the Forest” walks in Harold Parker, is a botanist who has worked at the Harvard Herbaria for 40 years. Anyone who has walked in the woods with Walter has witnessed his encyclopedic knowledge of plants. However, lichens and mosses are a bit out of his area of expertise, and engaging a summer intern is key to completing his survey. He points out that while the Fells and Harold Parker are only 10 miles away from each other, they are a half zone apart in temperature and have different ecologies. Establishing a comprehensive early 21st century inventory of the plants in each area as a baseline will inform climate change studies in years to come.
Funding for basic research is sadly lacking, particularly for fields outside of those with obvious commercial benefits. The Boards of our Friends’ organizations recognize that this project presents a wonderful opportunity to encourage students and scientists working in these fields. Visit Walter's Fundly site to learn more and make a contribution to support a project that will have long-range significance for our local environment.