This research uses essential oils from fragrant plant species to map forest succession in Prospect Park, Brooklyn—from old-growth to current and future scenarios. Forests pre-logging smelled different from today's forests, and that smell is ever-changing as forest succession and climate change march on.
This project is a sensory teaching tool to talk about the delicate complexity of our forests in a warming climate and was developed in conversation with faculty at the University of Michigan Biological Station. In addition to distilling and packaging plant essences, outcomes include photography, drawings, and microscopic video footage. Funding provided by a Pratt Institute Research Seed Grant (2019-2020 academic year).
Learn more on the website thinair.site.
Watch a video essay that explains the science behind the project.