“You live in the big here. Wherever you live, your tiny spot is deeply intertwined within a larger place, imbedded fractal-like into a whole system called a watershed, which is itself integrated with other watersheds into a tightly interdependent biome. At the ultimate level, your home is a cell in an organism called a planet. All these levels interconnect. What do you know about the dynamics of this larger system around you? Most of us are ignorant of this matrix. But it is the biggest interactive game there is. Hacking it is both fun and vital.”
Kevin Kelly

Last week’s quiz was huge hit! Were you surprised by what did (or didn’t) know about the place you call home? This week we’re upping the ante with questions about the natural communities of flora and fauna around you. When you think about it, these are nature’s example of the people and groups that are in your life.

This week’s quiz will reveal how good you are at shifting your perspective from “ME” to “WE”. Greater awareness of the natural history and communities around you creates a spill-over effect, heightening your sensitivity to the human groups you live and work with. You’ll notice that you’re more aware of the ripple effects of your actions — and the better you get at this, the better systems thinker you become. Take the quiz, and watch what happens when you’re back at the office or at home!

The Natural History Quiz – Week Two

I know it’s tempting, but don’t rely on your good friend Google to answer the questions until you’ve given it your best shot. First, take an educated guess, then ask your friends or colleagues to see if more heads are better than one. Enjoy, and let us know what you discover in the comments!

1)  Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.
2)  Name five birds that live here. Which are migratory and which stay put?
3)  Where is the nearest wilderness area? When was the last time a fire burned through it?
4)  What minerals are found in the ground here that are (or were) economically valuable?
5)  Name three wild species that were not found here 500 years ago.
6)  What primary geological processes or events shaped the land here?
7)  Right here, how deep do you have to drill before you reach water?
8)  Where is the nearest earthquake fault? When did it last move?
9)  What species once found here have gone extinct?
10) Name one invasive plant and how it is changing your landscape.

Bonus Question

What was the dominant land cover plant here 10,000 years ago?


Give yourself one point for each unassisted correct answer.
1-3    It’s hard to be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all.
4-5    You’ve got a firm grasp of the obvious.
6-7    You’re paying attention.
8-9    You know where you’re at.
10-11 You not only know where you’re at, you know where it’s at.

You won’t want to miss the next week’s quiz — this one will really challenge your knowledge of place! See you then.


About the Author

Beverly Winterscheid

Beverly Winterscheid Beverly Winterscheid, Ph.D. is the Founding Partner of the Center for Nature & Leadership, the Leadership Professor at the Bard Sustainability MBA in Manhattan, and the originator of nature-based leadership development. She's combined a career as a business exec with that of developing the current and next generation of leaders, who our world so desperately needs. Her specialty is assisting people in seeing and fulfilling their largest potential in service to the world's greatest needs. She does this through personal coaching, programs at the Center for Nature and Leadership, her writing and speaking engagements, and through the Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Fund, which assists needy Malawian women to obtain a secondary education, which she co-founded. When she's not helping fearless leaders, you can find her sailing on the Chesapeake Bay or in the San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado any time of year! Contact her at beverly@natureleadership.org. View all posts by Beverly Winterscheid

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