Thursday, 14 June 2007

serendipitous learning - academic on leisurely stroll makes interesting discovery!

How's this for an interesting by-product of the conference? Jana Tietze, of Humboldt University in Berlin, who was speaking at the conference (on attempts to introduce e-learning into Horticulture courses in her university) was wandering around our campus looking at the various trees (her particular interest) and discovered a really interesting looking, old oak near the "quad" of the university (the old building dating back to the 1840s). She photographed it and when she returned to her department consulted a colleague and they identified it as a very old example of Holm, or Holly, Oak (Quercus ilex) which originates in the Mediterranean Region, this species from Spain. This particular one seems to date to a period before the university building (and indeed shows on old maps as a large tree, according to local head gardener). The species was first introduced to England around 1600, thence to Ireland, and this one is likely to have been planted sometime in the 1700s!

The things you learn......

p.s. if you happen to be in Berlin next week (and why not?) then pop in to the Multimedia Days at Unter den Linden or Adlershof.

1 comment:

jantz said...

Thank you Iain ... very sweet! Well, if anyone cares for more information on tree... let me know! ;)
(you could publish one of the pics from the real tree)

But, what I really thought about the whole time in Galway is: What do I as a nature scientist need to study, cooperate and develop across the borders of time and space through the use of ICT? I am currently looking for tools and ideas that are mainly important for
subjects of nature scientiest. Humanities and social scientists are highly represented in my eyes and more or less easily satisfied by any application that deals with texts. But beyond that what is important for education and research in nature science?

(I don´t know, if anyone reads this comment back here, but I would love to have a discussion about this.)

All the best,