Shadow Forests

Sample Studios Exhibition, Spring 2022 - Student Q&A


Shadow Forests focuses on the intersections of deep time,

climate change, and the expansive life and death of forests.

(Questions 1-6 can be answered by close observation of the exhibition)


1.Where is the oldest fossil forest ever discovered? ___________________________________

2.Where are the four ancient forests presented in Shadow Forests? _____________, _________________, _____________________, ___________________


3. Where is Svalbard?_______________________________

4. Please name two  of the oldest tree species _________________, _______________________

5. What is the name for the study of ancient plants and trees?_________________________

6. Why were ancient trees so important?____________________________________

7. What tree species can you identify around your home? How do you identify them, by the leaves, or something else? ____________________________________________________


8. Do you think that art is a valuable way to learn about science? Why/Why not?

9. Which piece(s) of art in Shadow Forest did you feel drawn to artistically? Which were interesting scientifically? Why? __________________________________


10. Can you think of three ways to protect trees and/or rebuild forests? _____________________________, __________________________, ___________________________





  1. The oldest fossil forest ever discovered is in Cairo, New York (US) in the Catskill Mountain region.

  2. The four ancient forests presented in Shadow Forests are located in: Cairo, NY; Gilboa, NY: Svalbard, High Arctic; Macroom, Ireland (Gilboa isn’t shown, but is referred to in Shadow Forests digital story)

  3. Svalbard is in the High Arctic, above Norway

  4. Four ancient tree species: Cladoxylopsids, aneurophytes, lycopods, archaeopteris

  5. Paleobotany is the name for the study of ancient trees and plants

  6. Ancient trees were important for many reasons, perhaps the most important is that as they began to grow taller and larger, they drew more carbon dioxide out of the environment around them and contributed to creating an environment that became habitable by many species, including humans

  7. Independent responses

  8. Independent responses

  9. Independent responses

  10. Independent responses