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10. Agricultural Habitats

Jr John O Whitaker Indiana University Press ePub

The European settlement of Indiana during the agrarian heyday of U.S. history meant that over 90% of Indiana’s forests, prairies, and wetlands were converted to agricultural lands by the early twentieth century (Figure 10.1). A substantial amount has since been abandoned and become reforested, but not nearly to the extent that this has happened in the New England states. Indiana’s gentle topography and rich soils (especially in the glaciated half of the state) continue to make it productive farmland.

The practice of agriculture and its impacts on adjacent natural lands and wildlife have changed enormously over 200 years. Some sense of this is provided by Kohnke and Robertson’s (1966) vivid portrait of the state’s first 150 years of agriculture. They describe a typical farm in “the pioneer period” (1816–1865), “the horse and buggy period” (1866–1915), and the “industrialized agriculture era” (1916–1966).

1800. Native Americans were practicing extensive agriculture in Indiana at the time of European settlement. Crop fields were near villages, which in turn were near large streams such as the Wabash River. For example, the central Wabash area near Fort Ouiatenon was home to about 15,000 Native Americans in the late 1700s (Whicker 1916). Crops were grown in naturally open spaces, probably maintained by fire, or in clearings made in the forest. Old clearings were abandoned for newly cleared land as fertility was depleted, leaving forests in all stages of regrowth. Thus, Native Americans had an impact on the seral stage and composition of Indiana’s forest through their agricultural activities.

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4. Organizing for Success

Rudolph A. Rosen Texas A&M University Press ePub

This is a tale of two fundraising legends, each located in a coastal state but a continent apart. Both worked for chapters of the same organization. East and West, the chapters for which our legends worked thrived. With the blessing and oft-stated awe of chapter leadership, these two individuals assumed full responsibility for the annual fundraising events. Year after year, our legends managed the events from A to Z. Both worked hard and were successful. But that’s where the similarity ended.

Our legend in the East took control of the event in the most literal sense imaginable. He chaired every committee. He did every job he possibly could by himself. And in the few instances in which an activity was assigned to another, our legend chose his closest friends. Each assignment was divided into the most minute division of labor. The workers were expected to report progress or completion to our legend, then await the next assignment. There was no question that this was the legend’s fundraiser.

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9 The Late Carboniferous: Expanding Horizons

Jennifer A. Clack Indiana University Press ePub

9.1. Drawings of Late Carboniferous plants. (A) Sigillaria sp., a lycopsid (club moss) with a trunk up to 1 meter in diameter. (B) Psaronius sp., a tree fern related to the modern family Marattiales. (C) Callistophyton sp., a trailing pteridosperm. (D) Lepidodendron sp., a lycopsid (club moss) up to 54 meters high. (E) Calamites carinatus, a horsetail (Equisetales). (F) A member of the Cordaites family, a gymnosperm with trunk diameter up to 1 meter.

Late Carboniferous/Early Permian Biogeography and Paleoecology

During the Late Carboniferous, the continents, which had slowly moved southward through the Devonian and Early Carboniferous, changed direction and began to rotate. Gondwana and Euramerica gradually collided, initiating the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea. The world’s vegetation had differentiated into continental regions so that, for example, the Gondwana flora became quite distinct from those of Euramerica and of what are now China and Siberia. At this time, Euramerica, positioned in the tropics, was covered by a vast swamp forest, while to the north and south of it, evaporite deposits speak of arid climates (Milner 1993a).

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Dad

Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub

Dad

I’m sitting here with my Dad in the California convalescent hospital where he is spending the last days of his life. This is the man who had been a college All-American and professional football hero, was an Olympic-class track man, and had been the sparring partner for Freddy Steele, the middleweight boxing champion of the world. This is the dynamic, strong-minded giant who dominated my early years and who, in some ways, still does. Now he sits in a wheelchair, hooked up to a feeding tube inserted in a hole they cut in his stomach because he can’t swallow. He makes choking noises. He’s not wearing his teeth because they hurt, and his mouth is shriveled up into what you might expect on the face of a 91-year-old man.

It takes enormous effort for him to move any part of his body, and he clutches a rolled-up towel they put in each of his immobile hands. I have no idea why. They’ve put one of his old baseball caps on his head, probably to make him look more like a human being, but it’s on crooked and I feel stupid trying to straighten it out. Will that make him look more alive? It looks ridiculous.

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8. Beaches of Mississippi

Richard A. Davis Texas A&M University Press ePub

Beaches of Mississippi

THE beaches of Mississippi are found on two distinctly different coasts: the mainland and four barrier islands that are several kilometers from the mainland (figure 8.1). None of the barrier islands is accessible by vehicle. For this reason and because they are mostly public land, the islands are pristine. A regular ferry schedule in spring and summer conveys people to West Ship Island, a federal park. The mainland beaches are among the most beautiful and best cared for along the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Beach nourishment has been common on the mainland of Mississippi. The first such major projects were after Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Katrina (2005), which hit this coast very hard. A volume of 280,000 m3 of sediment was placed on the eroded beach at Pascagoula with the help of the federal government (figure 8.2). Farther to the west at Ocean Springs the beach is very well maintained. This area is dominated by fine sand with few shells. Wave energy is limited along this coast due to the offshore barrier islands that provide a level of protection. This low wave energy is evidenced by the vegetation near the strand line (figure 8.3). The Ocean Springs beaches also have groins to help maintain beach sediment.

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