Department of Geography

Black Rock Forest Field Trip
Cornwall, NY

Sat/Sunday October 20-21, 2018

For declared Geography & Environmental Studies
majors & minors and graduate students

Forms Due By Noon on Monday October 15th to Tom Walter

Pictures from:
Spring 2015
Fall 2014

Fall 2013
Fall 2011

Spring 2010


October 2016


This field trip has been organized by:

  • Andrew Reinmann & Tom Walter, Department of Geography


Field Work Objectives: The research and education-focused objectives of Black Rock Forest provide students with the invaluable experience of seeing real-life field research experiments while offering opportunities for the instructor to greatly broaden the lens through which students understand ecosystems and the approaches scientists use to measure them.


Our trip will include the following:

  • Identification of local plants and animals.

  • Capacity to use species composition to “interpret” an ecosystem.

  • Working knowledge of theory and operation of instruments used to measure ecosystem processes such as photosynthesis and soil respiration 

  • Perform vegetation surveys of an ecosystem 

  • Learn how to use tree cores to reconstruct and interpret historical patterns in tree and forest growth dynamics 

  • Perform data analysis and interpretation of ecological data 

  • See NYC for its ecosystems, flora and fauna in addition to its built infrastructure

  • Gain understanding of past and ongoing research that is being conducted at Black Rock Forest, the region’s premier research station 

In addition we will:

  • Have a green building tour (solar panels, geothermal heating/cooling and composting toilets) of the Lodge and Science buildings.

  • Hike several miles in Black Rock Forest's 4000 acres on well-marked unimproved roads and trails.

The cost would normally be about $100 per person but we have funding from President Raab's Initiative to Increase Student Engagement and Co-curricular Activity and the cost will be $10.00 per person.

The cost for this trip is FREE and includes transportation via bus, lodging and food.

We plan to leave Hunter College's 68th Street West Building entrance at 8:30am Saturday and return to Hunter by 5:00pm on Sunday.

The Black Rock Forest Consortium Center for Science and Education has a Forest Lodge to accommodate overnight visitors. The Lodge has a commercial kitchen with stove, refrigerators, pots, pans, dishes, glasses and utensils. I'll (TBW) prepare a menu ahead of time and will purchase food the day before we leave on the trip. The small town of Cornwall is a 10 minute drive in case we forget anything.

The dorm rooms house 4-6 people each and sheets, a blanket and pillow are provided. I suggest bringing your own pillow. There are his and her bathrooms with showers.

Take a look at the Field Trip web page for more information and a trip reservation and waiver form you can download.

Bring lunch for Saturday and we'll prepare dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. The menu will include vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and there will be fruit and snacks available at all time. If you have any special food needs you can bring food and store it in the kitchen refrigerator.

There's cell phone reception and WiFi so you won't be cut off from the world.

To reserve a spot on the trip, fill out the forms below. Students should drop them off in Tom Walter's office mail box (room 1006N). The deadline for reservations for the trip is Noon, Monday, October 15th.

This trip is first come, first served. Slots fill up fast so get your forms in as soon as possible.

If the weather forecast for the weekend is bad we may cancel the trip.

You must submit the following forms (no staples):

Black Rock Forest (BRF) Home Page

Detailed Instructions to BRF

BRF Lodge Information






Forest Lodge