Conversation and dialogue are of fundamental importance in "To Understand a Tree." It has been a goal since the beginning of the project in 2019 to bring the issues and questions we are exploring to a broad range of audiences and students. We have done class visits with a wide range of classes at Smith College, the host institution for the project, in the disciplines of psychology, ecology, botany, art history, and studio art. I have given lectures on the project at many institutions, including The Center for Art in Wood, the California College of the Arts, Mildred's Lane, University of Cincinnati, New England College of Art and Design, Smith College, and UMASS Dartmouth. In addition, we have invited several "guest experts" to come to the site to share their viewpoints and knowledge with us. The project also seeded the interdisciplinary, collaborative investigation FOREST-BODY-CHAIR at Mildred's Lane in 2021. There will be more public engagements in 2022 and 2023.

a class visit with ecologist Paul Wetzel's Smith College class "The Natural and Social History of Place"

site installation with greenwood chair, key influential texts, and red oak for a class visit with ecologist Paul Wetzel's Smith College class "The Natural and Social History of Place"

a visit from greenwood chairmaker Chris Nassise

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Forester Yoni Glogower demonstrating a low-tech method of calculating the approximate height of a tree, using the principle of "similar triangles."

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Forester Tom Jenkins demonstrating how to read cues about lumber quality from bark variation in Red oak.

Smith College Ass't Professor of Art Alexis Callender (center) and students, working together to explore visual perspective, scale, and questions about climate change in a special drawing class session at the site

Students from Jimmy Grogan's "Botanical Economies" class (Smith College) engaged in a contemplative exercise at the site

Students from Jimmy Grogan's "Botanical Economies" class (Smith College) recording audio "site reflections," with the help of research assistant Sophia Hess (right)