The Sylvan Dell Nature Preserve and Farm in South Williamsport, PA. Sylvan Dell is a 229 acre plot of farmland that contains a wetland on the south section of the property. It lies just south of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The first humans we know of to settle on this land were the Susquehannock and later the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Native Americans. In the late 18th century, white settlers took the land away from the Haudenosaunee. In the 20th century, the famous ornithologist Robert Porter Allen was influenced by the broad range of bird species that would visit the wetland. Porter Allen would go on to save the Whooping Crane and Roseate Bill from extinction during his conservation work in New Jersey. Since the mid 20th century, industrial agriculture has encroached on the wetland, impacting biodiversity.
Building on this history and efforts to conserve the land and create a natural preserve, this report details three major areas of inquiry: Landscape Mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), SylvanBlitz: A Collaborative Educational Opportunity for Ecological Data Collection, and Educational Programming & Native American History Relevance.
Students produced this report as part of Environmental Studies 411 (ENST 411), a senior capstone course taught by Prof. Amanda Wooden.
© 2020. Quinn, Wisotsky & Aladwan