Boundary Layers Walk at the Oregon Eclipse Festival

This past summer I created a walk featuring workshop exercises about plants and wind in the landscape for my Guerilla Science Residency. My goal was to introduce the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the Atmospheric Boundary Layer, and how plants shape it. We used ribbon wands to observe wind direction and turbulence, and observed tree movements to estimate wind force.

In this post I describe Boundary Layers Walk as it was prepared for the Oregon Eclipse Festival. I’ve since revised the Boundary Layers Walk. More background in a previous post.

Colleen Donaldson and Sarah Vitak assisted me in rehersing and running the workshops, and Skyler Greene took photos. The AREN Project supported my revision and illustration.

the walk

We began the walk with ribbon wands and engaged in freeform exploration of winds while walking away from the music festival.



Our first exercise was a transition from laying to standing, observing the sensations of the wind.




We swayed like trees to get a feel for response to wind. revised version. We also waved each of our arms at clashing rhythms, a technique trees use to dissipate force.

me as a tree


branch waving time

We swooshed around as a vortex street to understand turbulence.

tree in the wind overhead



We systematically deployed ribbon wands to observe the turbulence behind a tree.

Ribbon wand illustration