Unearthing a Buried Treasure, Part II: Student’s Vision for Trail Renovation Enabled by Fellow Students

Eliot Nagele by one of two man-made ponds that are part of the trail.

Eliot Nagele (SEBS 2015) stands by one of two man-made ponds that are part of the trail.

The Arbor Trail is located behind the University Inn and Conference Center on the Douglass Campus. Rutgers purchased the property in 1965. The Inn is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the trail will have its grand re-opening on Rutgers Day 2015 on April 25, as part of the Inn’s anniversary celebration. Student volunteers will give tours of the trail and there will be giveaways of wildflower seed mix.

In 1908, armed with a degree in mechanical engineering, young Sydney Bleecker Carpender began his business career with the Brunswick Refrigerating Company, a manufacturer of refrigerating and ice-making machinery. Carpender became the company’s vice-president and general manager in 1911, at age 27. That same year he had a manor built on his family’s property in New Brunswick for him and his wife, the former Louise Johnson, daughter of one of the founding brothers of Johnson & Johnson. A horticultural enthusiast, Carpender created a unique man-made landscape on the estate complete with rolling meadows, ponds and a wooded trail established with select landscape plantings and trees. [Read more…]

Parking Lot Weed Research from Prof. Struwe’s Lab Featured on “Plants are Cool, Too” Series

Dr. Chris Martine, the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics and Research at Bucknell University, and his film team have been producing the video series, “Plants are Cool, Too,” which is co-sponsored by the Botanical Society of America. The goal is to highlight that plant research is indeed cool, fascinating and important. The episode, “Extreme Weeds of Parking Lots,” features the extreme plant life of the asphalt jungle and the research of Associate Professor Lena Struwe’s lab. It was sponsored by the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, was filmed in the Cook Campus parking lots in October.

Video: Extreme Weeds of Parking Lots : Plants Are Cool, Too! Episode 6

Film Dedicated to Late Professor George Morren Explores the Cambodian Genocide Through the Eyes of a Former Child Soldier

George Morren and Janet Gardner with Sayon Soeun and his wife, Sophy Theam, during one of their meetings in Lowell, Mass.

The late George Morren and widow Janet Gardner with Sayon Soeun and his wife, Sophy Theam, during one of their meetings in Lowell, Mass.

The widow of former SEBS human ecology professor George Morren, filmmaker Janet Gardner, produced the documentary, Lost Child – Sayon’s Journey, which is dedicated to Morren’s memory. The documentary will be shown on THIRTEEN (WNET) at 10:30 p.m., April 30, and broadcast on public television stations nationwide. Morren played a key role in the development of “Lost Child,” which tells the story of Sayon Soeun, a former child soldier for the Khmer Rouge, who is now an American citizen with a wife and family in Lowell, Mass.

Morren and Gardner met with Sayon and his wife about telling Sayon’s story and helping to find his lost family in Cambodia. Morren did the research to identify a DNA laboratory that could determine whether Sayon was related to the people he meets in the film who claim to be his lost siblings and extended family. Unfortunately, Morren did not live to see the finished film. He passed away in September 2011, more than a year before its completion. Morren’s name does appear in the credits and the film is dedicated to his memory. Below is a description of the film and the director’s work by The Gardener Documentary Group. [Read more…]

Rutgers Team in Award-winning Film Featured in NPR Interview

Dena Seidel filming in the Antarctic.

Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking director Dena Seidel filming in the Antarctic.

On the eve of its New York City debut on April 17, the Antarctic Edge: 70o South film team of Rutgers marine scientist Oscar Schofield, Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking director Dena Seidel and film student Gabriela Elise talk with Leonard Lopate about their collaboration on this award-winning film.  Schofield reveals the changes he’s observed in the Antarctic, signs of a rapidly changing climate. Listen to the interview on NPR’s Leonard Lopate Show.

The Arbor Trail

The Arbor Trail brochure, created in 1976 by then Cook College student Roy K. DeBoer. Click on image to view the entire brochure.

The Arbor Trail brochure, created in 1976 by then Cook College student Roy K. DeBoer. Click on image to view the entire brochure.

Rutgers environmental planning and design major Eliot Nagele (SEBS 2015), stumbled upon the remnants of a trail behind the University Inn and Conference Center when he was cleaning up a nearby creek in 2013. His work to renovate the trail and restore it as an outdoor classroom is documented in Unearthing a Buried Treasure, Parts I and II. The original trail was installed by Sydney Bleecker Carpender when he built the estate in 1911. After the purchase of the property by the University in 1965, the “Arbor Trail” was maintained and used by Cook College for a period as an outdoor classroom and a brochure was developed as a guide for the trail. Nagele notes that some of Carpender’s plantings mentioned in the brochure are still alive, specifically the Japanese maple and the weeping beech trees by the Inn. The story of the University’s use of the Arbor Trail is told by the former Landscape Architecture (LA) student who created the guide in the 1970s, Roy K. DeBoer (CC 1978), son of late Professor Roy H. DeBoer, and current LA Instructor.

DeBoer recalls, “I drew the Arbor Trail guide for the Estate back in 1976 at the request and under the direction of Dr. Bruce Hamilton, affectionately just known a “Doc”. My recollection is that his wife, Ellen, actually did the text and typing with him for copying. He taught the plant materials courses in the LA Dept. for many years, and was instrumental in getting the Alpha Zeta service fraternity and other members of the Cook College student body to participate via their labor to do significant work to rehabilitate the gardens back in the mid to late 70’s. The original sketches for the Arbor Trail were drawn at the size printed in the brochure, they were very small….. it was very low tech, and no budget. No computers, scanners, or digital anything to assist. It was all Xerox and cut and paste.” [Read more…]