Gordon in the News: last updated 04/02/2008

Forest Forensics: A Presentation By Tom Wessels On His Book, Reading The Forested Landscape

March 3, 2008

Kristin Schwabauer
Office of College Communications


WENHAM, MA- On Tuesday, April 8, author and ecologist Tom Wessels will lecture on his book Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the President's Dining Room in the Lane Student Center and will end in the A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel.

Wessels presentation will demonstrate how one interprets the history of forests by wandering through them. His lecture will include visual evidence such as markings on trees, patterns of decay on tree stumps, the shapes of trees, and where and how stone walls are constructed within a forest, all of which is considered to be "forest forensics."

For over 30 years, Wessels has given informational workshops on the natural history of landscapes in the U.S. As the founding director of the masters degree program in conservation biology at Antioch University New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, Wessels continues to teach there as an ecology professor in the departments of Environmental Studies and also teaches an Educating for Sustainability class with the education department. Wessels was the former chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation which serves to advance environmental leadership through grants and graduate fellowships and he continues to work with the Rain Forest Alliance's SmartWood Green Certification Program as a consultant.

In addition to writing Reading the Forested Landscape, Wessels has also authored The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future, Untamed Vermont: Extraordinary Wilderness Areas of the Green Mountain State and The Granite Landscape: A Natural History of America's Mountain Domes from Acadia to Yosemite.

This public event is co-sponsored by the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library and tickets can be purchased at www.hwlibrary.org or through the Essex National Heritage Area site for $10 per person. Following the presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to meet Wessels and purchase autographed copies of his book. For more information, contact Kristin Schwabauer in the Office of College Communications, Gordon College, at 978.867.4037 or email  or Jan Dempsey at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library at 978.468.5577 or .


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.