Reading the Landscape


Tom Wessels is a professor of ecology in the Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch New England Graduate School. He has conducted workshops in Landscape Ecology throughout the United States for over 30 years. He is a past Chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, which fosters environmental leadership through fellowships and grants. Mr. Wessels now serves both as faculty and on the Board of the Center for Whole Communities in Mad River Valley, Vermont.
He is also the author of two books on landscape ecology, Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England and Reading the Granite Landscape: A Natural History of America's Mountain Domes from Acadia to Yosemite. Tom's latest book, The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future , displays how our present course toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and wasteful use of resources, runs opposite to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, Wessels challenges, that progress depends on a growing economy.

20050303145910.jpg Reading the Landscape July 20-25, 2015

Join us for this ninth annual ecology retreat at Medomak Retreat Center. This five day workshop will immerse participants in the process of reading the landscape as a means to forge a stronger connection to place. A variety of forest, wetland, and mountain communities will be explored in mid-coast Maine including the granite domes of Acadia National Park.

During this ecology workshop, within each community Tom will lead discussions in geologic history, interpret cultural and disturbance histories from the evidence at hand, examine plant adaptations, and discuss evolutionary ecology.

Participants should be in reasonably good physical condition to fully participate in this environmental retreat. These studies involve moderate level hikes. Call us with any questions or concerns you might have.

For pricing click on the registration form in the upper right hand corner of this page.

To view a tenative schedule for the week click here

For information on accommodations at Medomak click here

Our location, in the mid-coast region of Maine, offers a host of recreational activities. For more information click here

To view a suggested packing list click here

For more information call us toll free at 866-633-6625

Here's what our participant's are saying about Tom's workshops:

"Overall one of the nicest weeks I've ever had as an adult! Terrific company, much learning, many laughs! This week exceeded my expectations."

"Being here, the food ,the people, the beauty and the learning was great. Having to leave not so much. I will take home with me a calm fullness in my heart."

"Tom's retreat met my expectations and then some. Medomak is a great place. It offers great food and a nice proxcimity to other points in Maine."

"Tom was a great teacher and mentor for the week. Thank you for everything - This experience you provided to me was more than I could have asked for. I hope to share more adventures here in years to come."

"The Acadia hike, canoe trip to the marsh and the outing to Fernald's Neck Preserve were all favorites. The accomodations were just right, your staff is excellent and the food & company wonderful!"

"This workshop was worth every penny I paid and more."

"Tom is a truely great group leader - creating a enjoyable, lively learning community. My time here was definately worth it!"


" I will absolutely recommend this workshop to my family and friends."

"I loved the food, it was the best. Your staff is very professional and took good care of us."

"The food was STUPENDOUS. "

***Cancelation policy***

Initial $100 deposit is non-refundable.

Cancellations made less than 8 weeks from the date of your arrival will render tuition non-refundable unless the vacated accomodations are filled by others on our waiting list. In the case that an accomodation is filled by someone on our waitlist, tuition will be refunded less the $100 deposit.

Cancellations must be made by speaking with a Medomak Director.

A $25 cancelled check fee will be charged for returned checks.