Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Hank Oppenheimer

Mentor: Patty Lein

Domain(s): Science and Media






Title: enviro-on-the-go



The idea for my senior project was inspired by Richard LouvÕs book, ŌLast Child in the Woods,Ķ where he presented a new problem facing today's youth:  Nature Deficit Disorder.   With nature rapidly being depleted as a whole, it is imperative that youth today grow up with a greater sense of an attachment to and responsibility for the natural world. An investment in nature is needed for all generations of children if the natural world is to continue to be sustainable for humans. Children who feel connected to the natural community develop a greater sense of stewardship for and awareness of the millions of wildlife species and habitats being destroyed by human actions. I hope to help bridge the gap between nature and children by creating a family friendly multi-media trail guide for the iPhone and the Web. This tool will feature information about several East End trails:  the natural history of the area, interesting discoveries that can be made and key opportunities for interacting with nature on a first-hand basis.  The goal of my project is to use these virtual tools as a way of enticing families to put on their jackets and venture out into the wilderness.  Experiencing the beauty of these environments will help children find and create a lasting relationship with nature.







I was astounded by all of the positive feedback I receive about my project which I can use to better my enviro-on-the-go presentation. A few people told me that the natural ambient music I had in the background was a bit overpowering at points. Also, I stammered a bit too much when addressing one of the questions but the other oneÕs I was told were perfect responses. Many told me that I did a fantastic job on my presentation. My conclusion didnÕt reflect enough on my future with nature itself. Nature My senior project equipped me with knowledge in the fields of mobile application software development, web design, videography and post-production, photography, writing, and social activism. IÕve also improved a variety of personal skills that include time management, error acceptance, self-sufficiency, and self-discipline. I have also learned a lot about the ecosystem of the South Fork and about the various environmental initiatives. In the short term I hope to make and publish my enviro-on-the-go App to the iTunes App store before the end of the school year. IÕve also received opportunities to present my project at the South Fork Natural History Museum and at the Lower School for Earth Day. I feel that the skills IÕve learned through my senior project will help me in the future as I might pursue Communications, Environmental Studies or Computer Science Degree in college. IÕm so glad to have gone to the Ross School, where I have been able to develop my own passion for nature while giving back to the surrounding community. My mentor Patty Lein was awesome! We both had a great time no matter what: hiking the trails of the South Fork, editing the writings for my website, or being chased by wild turkeys! Thank you Patty and all otherÕs who have helped made this project possible!


Works Consulted


Amazon. Amazon. 2010 Decmeber <>.


Ash, Carol Crasson and Jim. Places of the South Fork Hank Oppenheimer. 28 November 2010.


Bottini, Mike. Mike Bottini. December 2010 <>.

—. Trail Guide to the South Fork with a Natural History. Sag Harbor: Harbor Electronic Publishing, 2003.


Children and Nature Network. Children and Nature Network. December 2010 <>.


Commons, Wikimedia. Pictures. Wikimedia Commons, Multiple Cities.

Drossel, Greg. Summer Camp. Ross School. Series. East Hampton, n.d.

East Hampton Trails Preservation Society. East Hampton Trails Preservation Society. December 2010 <>.


Hike LI. Hike LI. <>.


Jordan, Janet Lyons and Sandra. Walking the Wetlands. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1989.


Lein, Patricia. The South Fork Hank Oppenheimer. TonO'Days EveryMonth 2010.


Loren C. Petry and Marcia G. Norman. A Beachcomber's Botany. Chatham: The Chatham Conservation Foundation, 1963.


Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006.


Oppenheimer, Dr. John K. Interview. Hank Oppenheimer. 2010 йил 27-11.

Soundrangers Sound Effects and Royalty Free Music. Sound Rangers. 1998. 2010 йил 1-12 <>.


South Fork Natural History Museum. SoFo. November 2010 <>.


South Hampton Trails Preservation Society. South Hampton Trails Preservation Society. December 2010 <>.


Sterling, Dorothy. The Outer Lands: A Natual History Guide to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and Long Island. New York: W.W. Norton and Company Inc., 1978.


The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy: Long Island. December 2010 <>.


Villani, Robert. Long Island: A Natural History. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1997.


Outside Consultant


Carol Crasson

South Fork Natural History Museum Education Director


Carol proved to be very helpful and supportive about my project. She knew a lot about the local surroundings, is invested in my cause, and she gave great feedback.

Urban Reininger


Ross SchoolÕs very own Head of Technology Integration

Urban helped me with the technology aspect of my project. Some of the barriers he helped me break was the Objective-C coding, publishing the site, etc.