Late Quaternary Landscapes of the Belfast Area: Site Characteristics and Associated Vegetation

Instructor:  Fred Bowers

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Suggested Reading

As one travels around Maine, beautiful landscapes are everywhere. One wonder why there are a variety of forest types and why bogs are here or there, or what determines the existence of blueberry barrens. Some landscapes are natural, but due to a long history of logging and farming, true natural landscapes are hard to find. Many landscapes are recovering their “naturalness” and, though not natural landscapes, they are in successional phases of regrowth. The underlying geology and soils and erosion are critical elements that predict the nature of the future landscape. We will discuss these landscape features and elements. We will learn fundamental concepts of geology, soils, and forestry that are necessary to understand the landscape-forming-processes of the late Quaternary period (13,000 years or less).

No class limit. No required text, but the book Gawler, S. And A. Cutko. 2010. Natural Landscapes of Maine: A Guide to Natural Communities and Ecosystems. ISBN: 978-0-692-12292-1is easily purchased online from the State of Maine WebShop. Anyone who does not wish to purchase the book can follow the course by reading the Fact Sheets online by clicking here.

Fred Bowers holds a Ph.D. in Forest Soils from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research work in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska necessitated understanding soil science, geology, mineralogy, chemistry, and forest ecology. Prior to that, he earned an M.S. in agronomy and soil pedology from Rutgers University. After 27 years working as a Research Scientist for the New Jersey DEP, he retired and moved to Belfast. He taught the Spring 2019 Senior College course entitled “Understanding Your Surroundings; Rocks, Soils and Landscapes.”