In the 2015 spring semester, I received Copeland Grant money to take a summer trip to the Shenandoah River Valley in Virginia in order to conduct research for my Senior Independent Study. I wrote my Junior I.S. in the spring as a prospectus that would lay the foundation for my senior thesis. This was a study on the environmental history of the American Civil War and the dynamic relationship that existed between the natural environment and the war in the state of Virginia. While in Virginia, I visited the Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park, the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, the Tredgar Iron Works, the Fort Harrison Battlefield, the Cold Harbor Battlefield, and the Manassas National Battlefield Park. I was also able to talk to a number of park rangers and volunteers throughout my trip, which provided me with new insights on the relationship that the natural environment had with the war.
I will draw from this trip throughout the writing of my I.S. and will utilize a lot of the data and photographs that I obtained to create a digital map project that will accompany and strengthen my I.S. I cannot thank the Copeland Funding Committee enough for the opportunity to take such a memorable trip that will also contribute to the writing of a strong Independent Study.
-Izzy Perman, ’16