Hello! My name is Eliza Skakel, and I am currently a senior at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Nature, History and Culture. I am from Vermont and was raised in the outdoors. My father was a forester and my mother kept extensive vegetable and flower gardens; an interest in the natural world was instilled in me at a young age.
After taking a botany course last year I became very interested in the local flora and fauna of the Pioneer Valley, and the common names that often inform what the plants were once used for (service berry, blooms in the spring when the ground has thawed enough to perform funeral services). I am excited to reveal whether this naming trend is also apparent in English garden plants both pre and post Columbus.
This project perfectly mirrors my interests and compliments my major. I am very excited to participate and will enjoy exploring our final product.