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Four people stand in a snowy forest talking about the land use of Tufts' Grafton campus

(L to R) Anna, Griffin, Bri, and Allison observe a wetland created by beavers on Tufts Grafton campus.

Anna, Griffin, and Bri donned their snow boots to trudge through the freshly fallen snow covering the forest floor at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Allison Robbins, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, led the student group on their tour of the landscape covering this campus to experience first-hand the diverse fields, forests, and wetlands that play crucial roles in supporting learning, research, agriculture, and biodiversity across this campus.

Anna LaCombe, Griffin Veldran, and Bri von Beren, along with Dahlia Edwards and Mason Tomko, are graduate students studying urban and environmental policy and planning. As part of their Field Projects course, the team is conducting an inventory of the 600 acres of land at Tufts’ Vet School, located in Grafton, MA, to inform how the landscape will be managed for the next several decades. In the UEP Field Projects class, students are paired with a real-world stakeholder to complete a research project while developing project management and teamwork skills. The scope of this team’s project extends to various aspects of landscape management including farming, animal care, wildlife research, pedestrian and vehicle circulation, wayfinding, and overall campus aesthetics. Dano Weisbord, Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Director of Campus Planning, and Tina Woolston, Sustainability Program Director, are the designated project partners for the student team, ensuring alignment with the sustainability and decarbonization goals of the university. The project’s central focus on formulating a comprehensive landscape stewardship plan for the campus’s natural areas support Tufts’ broader sustainability goal to create inspiring, resilient campuses.