Dumbarton Oaks Park



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Your final team report is designed to tie together the major themes and topics of course material while focusing on your specific site. The idea is that your previous midterm paper and research, and our in-class discussions feed into this report and act as background resources to get you started. Together, all the assignments should provide you with a comprehensive review of a conservation-significant site while illustrating and integrating broad environmental issues. Your paper should focus on key concepts relating to your site. The report is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your new-found knowledge plus your understanding of the ecological concepts and environmental issues we have covered during the semester. Imagine that your reader is new to environmental studies and knows nothing about your site or why it might be important here in DC. Workflow Work within your team, designating tasks and sections of the paper as you see fit. This is a co-authored paper and each team only needs to submit one copy of the final paper for assessment. One team member should take the responsibility to be lead author on one section as described below, however. To allow for individual grading, please indicate in your paper which team member was the lead author of which section. Content Organize your report into the sections outlined below. Wherever possible, work together to use examples that relate to each other so that the paper ends up with as much natural flow and transition from one section to the next. Use your literature resources, cite articles and book chapters where appropriate, and use the language of ecology and environmental science wherever possible.


Team Member 1: Measurement and Monitoring (~ 1000 words) Describe example monitoring programs, research studies, and measurement techniques that involve collecting data relating to a particular species, the ecological community, biodiversity, water quality, air quality, vegetation distribution, or an ecosystem process at your site. Include anything you think is relevant and important to your site and its management. Illustrate how these activities have increased knowledge, informed management decisions and / or helped meet legislative objectives.



Team Member 1: Interviews (~ 1000 words) Summarize your three interviews by describing your subjects, the questions you asked, and your interviewees’ responses. Provide an interpretation of the meaning and significance of those responses within the context of the environmental issues we have covered in this course.




The approximate length of each section of this paper is given above. Your report should therefore, be around 4,000 words long in total (2,000 words total per author), excluding a list of citations at the end. Given that relatively short total length in relation to the amount of material to be covered, you should aim to be as succinct as possible without losing any key information or ideas. You may format your paper and citations in whichever way you deem most appropriate, but aim for a logical and consistent formatting throughout. Feel free to include any illustrations that you find helpful to explain your ideas. Assessment You will be assessed on: 1. The clarity, succinctness, and overall organization of your report; 2. How well you have addressed each of the section’s objectives and questions as described above; 3. The appropriateness of your ideas, examples, case studies, citations and review to the concepts you are being asked to cover; 4. How accurately you have interpreted and presented evolutionary, ecological and environmental concepts; and 5. How well the length of each section matches the word counts suggested above. The majority of your grade for this assignment will be based on your individual contribution (70%) and the remainder a collective team grade based on the cohesion and logical flow of the paper as a whole (30%). This paper is worth 30% of your total course grade. One electronic copy of your team’s paper should be uploaded to the appropriate Assignment on Blackboard no later than Midnight, Tuesday, December 15th





Dear Ms. Milstein,


Dimitri, Tivon and I are students at the University of the District of Columbia, and we were assigned Dumbarton Oaks Park as our research site, for our Environmental Field Problems class. We are all very excited to learn about the projects that take place there, and the measuring and monitoring technologies used.


Part of our research is to conduct interviews with the people responsible for managing the park and projects and education of the public. Given the unfortunate circumstances, our group thought that the best way to conduct these interviews would be via email. If you could provide us with some more information on any of the following questions, at your earliest convenience, would be much appreciated.


  1. What is the current extent of invasive species in the conservancy?
  2. what is the required amount of native species required in the meadows?
  3. What monthly metrics indicate the extent of flooding in the conservancy?
  4. What is the volunteer response during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how does this affect the meadow restoration project?
  5. Are there other concerns, other than flooding, caused by climate change, or other anthropogenic factors?


One of the Response:



Thank you for looking at Dumbarton Oaks Park for your final project. Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy is the private partner to Rock Creek Park, National Park Service. As such, we fundraise and direct volunteers in the Park under the direction of the National Park Service. Dumbarton Oaks Park is a 27 acre designed oasis that is contiguous and managed by NPS. The Park was the wild garden of Mildred and Robert Bliss’s 53 acre private estate, Dumbarton Oaks. The estate grounds were designed by Beatrix Farrand, first American women landscape architect and only female founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Our website, www.dopark.org and https://tclf.org/sites/default/files/microsites/landslide2020/dumbarton-oaks.html will provide more information on the Park history and some of the challenges.  The Blisses dissolved their estate in 1940 giving the upper formal gardens, buildings and collections to Harvard University and the wild garden, Dumbarton Oaks, to the people of the United States to be managed by NPS. The Park fell into disarray in the 1970’s & 80’s when NPS shifted focus and funding. DOPC was formed in 2011 to help NPS restore, promote and maintain the Park. We also suggest you reach out to Chief Ranger Nick Bartolomeo, nick_bartolomeo@nps.gov, to get his perspective as well.


  1. What is the current extent of invasive species in the conservancy? DOPC monitors the Park and another surrounding 8 acres for invasive species. We actively try to eliminate the woody and annual species through volunteer activities, however the invasive vines and stilt grass are a real challenge. We employ manual and chemical control measures.
  2. what is the required amount of native species required in the meadows? DOPC has reseeded 7 acres of meadows with native grass and sedge seeds. This was accomplished by first spraying the meadows with roundup several times to completely kill the vegetation prior to the reseeding. The meadows require maintenance through removing invasive plants and mowing at key points during the year.
  3. What monthly metrics indicate the extent of flooding in the conservancy? DOPC does not take any water measurements though we do some qualitative monitoring by photographing the dam structures and other points in the Park to document storm damage.
  4. What is the volunteer response during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how does this affect the meadow restoration project? The NPS is key to the meadow mowing and COVID completely impacted their ability to complete this in 2020. NPS also curtailed volunteer activities in the Park under COVID until just recently. This has impacted the ability to control invasive plants and the Park needs maintenance! With the surge in virus now, we do not believe that we will hold volunteer events in the near future. 
  5. Are there other concerns, other than flooding, caused by climate change, or other anthropogenic factors? The Park has seen a significant increase in use during the COVID era as people find it a soothing relaxing green space where they can walk, exercise, sit, draw, play with their children and dogs, etc. This increase in use brings increased wear and tear on trails as well as an understanding of the challenges facing the Park.

Let us know if we can provide any additional information




My classmate advise:

  1. The responses to the interview questions are in the email, the first part might be copied but look specifically at the QUESTIONS, the responses are written right next to it and you can use that for the writing the 1000 words. Keep in mind, this only one response. If anything, do your other assignments while you wait for more responses, so you have an easier time completing that part of the research


  1. like I said wait for more responses, don’t just recite their words, try to elaborate and do the research for Measurements and Monitoring

If it was me, I’d probably find research that matches my responses with organizations that are in partnership with Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy


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