Brakke, D. F.. Towson University,
, . F.. ,

Walden Pond is a 25 ha seepage lake located near Concord, MA. It was made famous by H.D. Thoreau, who spent two years living along its shore. During this time, Thoreau, a self-proclaimed transcendentalist, made numerous observations on Walden. Although mentioned in the first sentence of Walden, no detailed description occurs until the second half of the book, following chapters on solitude, economy and bean fields. Nonetheless, the pages of Walden and Thoreau's Journals are rich with descriptions of the ponds, their characteristics and settings. Such descriptions, often metaphors for teachers of English literature, tell us much about the lakes in the landscape around Walden, "so remarkable for its depth and purity as to merit a particular description." While Thoreau may have gone to live near Walden for other purposes, as he evolved into an empiricist and a man of science, what did he come to understand about the ponds and how they functioned? I summarize the observations made by Thoreau and his descriptions, use personal observations and recent analyses to characterize Walden and the other ponds, and then compare them to lakes in other landscape settings. Through literature, one can read and teach science.
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 09:30 - 09:45am
Location: Eldorado Hotel
Code: SS53WE0930E