delware environmental institute

UD's Buler take class up in hot air balloon to study landscape ecology

To best understand landscapes and how different ecosystems interact with one another, sometimes it’s necessary to take a bird’s-eye view. It was with that in mind that the University of Delaware’s Jeff Buler took students from his landscape ecology class up in a hot air balloon, so they could appreciate the inner workings of a landscape from the slow-moving confines of a hot air balloon basket.

“The purpose of the balloon trip was to give these students who are in the landscape ecology class a real-life landscape perspective. I thought the best way to provide that is to go up in a hot air balloon,” said Buler, associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology.

While there are other ways for the students to see a landscape from an aerial view — such as from a plane or via an aerial photograph or satellite imagery — Buler said that the finer details can be lost.