Event Title

Fostering Engagement in Natural Resources Through Research : a Case Study of a High School Summer Employment Program

Presenter Information

Amy T. Grotta
Ara Erickson

Location

Peavy/Richardson Halls

Event Website

http://uenr.forestry.oregonstate.edu/

Start Date

15-3-2008 9:30 AM

End Date

15-3-2008 10:00 AM

Description

WSU Extension launched the Summer Youth Forestry Institute in 2007 as a way to engage youth in meaningful outdoor summer employment, teach science and natural resource skills, raise awareness of the functions and values of working forest lands, encourage natural resource-related careers, and enhance the management of public forest lands through community-based science. The program’s objectives are validated by research showing that nature-based, achievement-oriented learning experiences in adolescence are influential in resource professionals’ choice of careers (Wolf 2007). Ten high school students from the greater Seattle area participate in the month-long program. They receive training in forest sampling methodologies and then collect data in permanent study plots on a 1,800-ac county-owned forest. The students learn how to use tools of the trade ranging from the simple (map and compass) to the complex (Landscape Management System forest growth projection/visualization software). They then provide the data to King County forest managers to be used in a long-term monitoring program. Area foresters and other professionals serve as mentors and speakers throughout the program, so that the students are exposed to a variety of natural resource-related careers. Students receive a stipend, enabling those who must earn money over the summer to participate. The program was successful the first year in attracting students from diverse backgrounds, in imparting skills, and increasing appreciation for forests and forestry. While all participants felt they gained exposure to new career possibilities, few mentioned that their interest in forestry careers rose as a result. Long-term follow-up would be needed to accurately gauge the program’s impact on students’ engagement in natural resources.

Comments

Session #7: Innovations in Outreach Education. Presentation for 7th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources, March 13-15, 2008, Corvallis, Oregon. Featured in the ScholarsArchive@OSU in Oregon State University. Suggested Citation: Grotta, A.T., Erickson, A. 2008. Fostering engagement in natural resources through research : a case study of a high school summer employment program. UENR 7th Biennial Conference, ScholarsArchive at Oregon State University. http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8235

 
Mar 15th, 9:30 AM Mar 15th, 10:00 AM

Fostering Engagement in Natural Resources Through Research : a Case Study of a High School Summer Employment Program

Peavy/Richardson Halls

WSU Extension launched the Summer Youth Forestry Institute in 2007 as a way to engage youth in meaningful outdoor summer employment, teach science and natural resource skills, raise awareness of the functions and values of working forest lands, encourage natural resource-related careers, and enhance the management of public forest lands through community-based science. The program’s objectives are validated by research showing that nature-based, achievement-oriented learning experiences in adolescence are influential in resource professionals’ choice of careers (Wolf 2007). Ten high school students from the greater Seattle area participate in the month-long program. They receive training in forest sampling methodologies and then collect data in permanent study plots on a 1,800-ac county-owned forest. The students learn how to use tools of the trade ranging from the simple (map and compass) to the complex (Landscape Management System forest growth projection/visualization software). They then provide the data to King County forest managers to be used in a long-term monitoring program. Area foresters and other professionals serve as mentors and speakers throughout the program, so that the students are exposed to a variety of natural resource-related careers. Students receive a stipend, enabling those who must earn money over the summer to participate. The program was successful the first year in attracting students from diverse backgrounds, in imparting skills, and increasing appreciation for forests and forestry. While all participants felt they gained exposure to new career possibilities, few mentioned that their interest in forestry careers rose as a result. Long-term follow-up would be needed to accurately gauge the program’s impact on students’ engagement in natural resources.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/7thBiennial/Sessions/27