Educating the Public
Friends of Pando Workshops
Workshops form the core of our efforts to educate the public about the Pando. Since December 2019, we have delivered virtual workshops to college students in Utah studying natural sciences and biology. In Spring of 2021, we will expand our workshop program to include art and design students as well as private tree enthusiast groups who want to know more about the tree. In Fall of 2021, we will launch our K-12 workshop program and start public workshops once large public gatherings are deemed safe. Long term, it is our aspiration to record workshops and make them available on-demand via YouTube so they can be enjoyed by all.
Friends of Pando Website
As the world’s largest tree, Pando is the subject of countless international headlines every year and frequently cited in popular science books about trees. Although this activity promotes awareness about the tree, they often feature false or speculative claims about Pando that have no basis in science. The Friends of Pando website aims to provide an open information hub where the public and those who study and care for the tree can find up-to-date, science-backed information about the tree, share their experiences and learn about opportunities to take action.
In March of 2021, Pando will become the largest tree on the internet with its own Twitter account. Working to serve in the void between traditional government communications and the slower pace of scientific publishing, @iamthepando tree will provide a regular feed of facts, images, insights and inspiration to those seeking a more social relationship with the tree.
Pando Photographic Survey
Today, we do not have a complete photographic record of Pando, a vital document scientists and land managers need to understand Pando’s overall health and serve as a reference to monitor changes in the tree over time. In Summer of 2021, Friends of Pando will launch an all-volunteer effort to complete the first photographic survey of the world’s largest tree recording images and location data for 11,200 site across the tree’s 106 acres. Once processed, we make the result of that survey freely available online for scientist to study and the world to enjoy. An effort that will not only create the largest picture of a tree ever taken, but will set the stage for students and scientists to study the tree remotely while it provides a reference point for centuries to come.
Pando Artist in Residency Program
Today, in this time we are just coming to know about Pando, we not only lack a vital record of the tree, but also lack, a cultural and aesthetic record of the tree. In late Spring of 2021, Friends of Pando will deliver an innovative framework to establish a permanent artist-in-residency program with Fishlake National Forest. A program that will invite storytellers, visual artists, documentary artists, multimedia artists and those working on emergent research and story telling methods to record the tree in all the seasons of its life while living and working in the land Pando calls home.
“Pando: The World’s Tree” A Virtual Land Art Installation
Pando’s enormous scale and remote location make it a challenging subject to document, comprehend and fully appreciate – even for those who study and work to protect the tree. In order to promote awareness about the tree and to help people appreciate its scale, Lead Photographer of the Pando Photographic Survey, Lance Oditt, is working to bring Pando to the world. Using 360 degree cameras and LIDAR imaging, Lance will overlay the land mass Pando calls home onto locations throughout the world where people can experience the tree and walk its 106 acres via “virtual” hikes using their mobile devices.
Kids for Pando
Today, Pando does not enjoy formal protections as other unique trees like Redwood or Joshua Trees do. In Fall of 2021, Friends of Pando will launch educational workshops geared toward K-12 students inviting teachers, community leaders, students and their families to learn about the tree and take part in a letter writing program to appeal to Utah leaders to name Pando the official tree of Utah. An effort that will not only raise awareness about Pando, but also inspire the next generation of scientists and promote stewardship.
© 2021 | Design Hope Smith BA / Lance Oditt