The urban environment is expanding at a never before seen rate. Existing natural environments within urban centres, such as forests or woodlots, are exposed to increasing anthropogenic pressures of degradation, fragmentation, biological invasion and destruction.
One key to our capacity to understanding these changes will be ongoing monitoring through time. If such monitoring is democratized and publicly available then one may assume that a marginalized environment may become more valued by the human population. On the University of Guelph campus in Ontario, Canada, the ìDairy Bushî is an 8.5 ha woodlot that has been part of the city and the university campus since 1830. The sign outside the Bush reads, "The Dairy Bush is a unique and delicate example of Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest in Southern Ontario, and serves as an outdoor laboratory for University of Guelph students."
Starting in August 2009 and continuing 1 time/week until this moment I visit the Dairy Bush weekly to document time in this urban woodlot using GigaPan panoramic images.
Panoramas through time nearby to ongoing Malaise trap insect collections in the old-growth forest of the Shaw Woods Outdoor Centre (www.shawwoods.ca ) The mission of the Shaw Woods Outdoor Centre is, "To foster an ethic of responsible environmental stewardship by providing unique experiential environmental education and outdoor learning opportunities to local school groups, communuity organizations and the public at large."
Photos from the the newly opened National Arboretum in Canberra, ACT. The ANU has a number of research plots here that we will be monitoring with gigapans and other "next gen" monitoring tools.