…at Starker Forests
Helping students climb the ladder to responsible citizenship
by Dick Powell
This past summer I attended the World Forestry Center’s International Educator’s Institute (IEI). As an environmental educator without any formal pedagogical or interpretive training, I found this week-long workshop enlightening and very worthwhile.
The part of IEI that I found most useful was called the “Pedagogic Steps in Environmental Maturity.” It validated what we’ve been doing.
Read the article here. (From the 2012 CLEARING Compendium).
Teachers and school administrators now can access Oregon Forest Resources Institute’s The Oregon Forest Literacy Program, a K-12 Conceptual Guide to Teaching and Learning about Oregon Forests. The new program provides a framework for educating Oregon’s K-12 students about forests.
Developed by a diverse and collaborative statewide group, the effort resulted in a plan with three components: a conceptual framework; a K-12 scope and sequence; and connections to service-learning projects developed by teachers.
The conceptual framework identifies important forest concepts, the scope and sequence is a blueprint for when to teach the concepts, and the service-learning projects provide an instructional strategy for how to teach the concepts. The Oregon Forest Literacy Program, in essence, provides guidance on the “what,” “when” and “how” of forestry education.
The guide was made possible in part through a “Learn and Serve for Sustainability” grant from the Oregon Department of Education, jointly awarded to the Tillamook School District and OFRI. The Oregon Forest Literacy Program is available at Oregonforests.org, along with tools that correlate the forest-literacy concepts to Oregon’s science and social science standards, as well as to OFRI’s other educational materials.
Director of K-12 Education Programdimeofirstname.lastname@example.org
by Derek Jones
We erect dams assuming they are eternal, as if they’ll never topple over or be dismantled or fill with sediment or lose their financial rationale. Yet all dams will die. . . They’ll be reminders of an ancient time when humans believed they could vanquish nature, and found themselves vanquished instead.
— Jacques Leslie, from “Deep Water, the Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY if I asked if you knew that the nation’s second largest ecological restoration project was happening right now only a 2 ½ hour drive from Seattle? Would you be able to name the project? If given a map of the Puget Sound Region, would you be able to point out where the Elwha River is? How many of your students could do the same? The removal of two dams on the Elwha River provides students with a fascinating case study that contains elements of a wide swath of topics covered in, and out of, the classroom; engineering, social studies, ecology, mathematics, history, and geology among others. It is up to educators to make sure that such an enormous and complex project with such far-reaching implications does not go by without being appropriately utilized as a teaching tool. (more…)
Interview by Chris Gertschen
Lance Craighead is the Executive Director of the Craighead Institute, an applied science and research organization that builds conservation solutions for people and wildlife in changing landscapes. Its mission is to maintain healthy populations of native plants, wildlife, and people as part of sustainable, functioning ecosystems.
Since its founding by renowned grizzly bear researcher Dr. Frank C. Craighead in 1964, the Craighead Institute has pioneered the fields of conservation and wildlife research. Over the past four decades the Institute has conducted ecological research on grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park, genetic research on grizzly bears in Alaska, conventional and satellite radio-telemetry of wildlife, and the use of remote sensing to map vegetation and wildlife habitat. (more…)
by Chris Gertschen
For the past three decades, I have been an activist, a volunteer, a student and a teacher of conservation. My activist years gave me an advocacy perspective but I quickly saw a great need to expand my own natural science education – to give some foundation and balance to my life and love of the earth. My studies of biology as an undergrad were focused singularly on human biology and physiology. The word “ecology” was not then part of the curriculum. As a graduate student, I was introduced to a whole new world. In the natural history interdisciplinary program that I designed for myself at Boise State University, I studied geology, zoology, ecology and public affairs. And, I began to learn about conservation biology. (more…)
Kids Save a Tropical Treasure
By Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini with Rachel Crandell
Published by Dawn Publications
Reviewed by Emily Baker LeRoux
As a home schooling mother of two, I have to admit I like books. I mean REALLY like books. They seem to multiply in our house and I like to think of it as literary decoration. It works for us though; I find both kids sprawled in various rooms throughout the day with a pile of books next to them.
I first stumbled across The Forever Forest while browsing at the library on the never-ending search for books for my six-year-old animal-loving kid. Upon first glance, I thought this was just another book on the animals that live in the rainforest but I knew he’d love it so I checked it out. It turned out to be so much more. (more…)