Grounds serve as labs
for class research
of Thomas Jefferson's ideas for the University was that the Academical
Village serve as a laboratory for students. Buildings such as
the Rotunda and pavilions exhibit different architectural elements,
for example. Students continue to benefit from the proximity of
Jefferson's classical structures and the availability of his plans
and drawings for the University Grounds and other buildings.
This semester, two faculty members are taking their students outside
to Central Grounds where they are conducting original fieldwork.
They show how Jefferson's intention is being adapted and carried
out today, truly enhancing the learning environment.
students chart microclimates in pavilion gardens
gardens where the University's first students grew vegetables,
environmental sciences majors taking a new class, "Climate of
Engineered Landscapes," are studying how plantings create microclimates.
"Since it's a student research-oriented course, I'm using the
Grounds," said Bruce Hayden, environmental sciences professor.
"The Pavilion gardens are very specific landscapes, walled off
from one another, each with a different design" -- and a slightly
different climate. Full story.
class in hands-on pursuit of University history
Under a canopy of golden maple leaves,
19 U.Va. students bustled about the grounds of Monroe Hill last
week. Sifting through the earth they'd carefully shoveled from
six backyard pits, the students searched for artifacts to shed
new light on the history of the site, which predates the University
and doubles as their classroom this semester.
of glass, ceramic fragments, nails, bones, post-holes, brick --
these are the gems historical archaeologists hope to find. And
that's what students in Benjamin Ford's "Archaeology of Central
Grounds" course are turning up. "It's what keeps you digging,"
said one of his students, who discovered brick paving in a shovel
test pit to the side of the house. Full story.