Event Title

Using Forest Ecology Exercises in Science Fairs to Increase Interest in Forest Resources Education: An Example From a Stand Development Study

Presenter Information

Brian R. Lockhart
Buddy Cronk

Location

LaSells Stewart Center

Event Website

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

Start Date

14-3-2008 4:00 PM

End Date

14-3-2008 4:30 PM

Description

Undergraduate enrollment in forest resource programs has been on a decline for the past 10 years, with enrollment in some programs nearing critical levels. Efforts to increase enrollment include broadening program offerings, creating new majors (especially in spatial information system offerings), and increasing recruiting efforts. One recruiting effort often overlooked is working directly with junior high and senior high school students (grades 7 through 12) interested in natural sciences on forest resource specific science fair projects. Greater involvement from forest resource professionals in encouraging and developing science fair projects could help reverse the declining undergraduate enrollment trend. We will present an example of a stand development study presented by the junior author during a series of science fair contests. The study was conducted in northeastern Oklahoma, and utilized the stem reconstruction technique for determining age distribution and height development patterns of several hardwood species in a single plot. Hypotheses included “Does tree size reflect tree age?” and “Was the tallest tree always the tallest tree?”. The project resulted in two first-place finishes and two disqualifications at four science fair contests. We will discuss implications of using stand development studies in science fairs, along with opportunities and limitations for forest-based ecological studies in science fairs, and how they can lead to increased interest in forest resources as a career.

Comments

Session #3: Recruiting and Retaining Students. 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: Lovkhart, Brian R., Cronk, Buddy. 2008. Using forest ecology exercises in science fairs to increase interest in forest resources education: an example from a stand development study. UENR 7th Biennial Conference, ScholarsArchive at Oregon State University. http://hdl.handle.net/1957/10995

 
Mar 14th, 4:00 PM Mar 14th, 4:30 PM

Using Forest Ecology Exercises in Science Fairs to Increase Interest in Forest Resources Education: An Example From a Stand Development Study

LaSells Stewart Center

Undergraduate enrollment in forest resource programs has been on a decline for the past 10 years, with enrollment in some programs nearing critical levels. Efforts to increase enrollment include broadening program offerings, creating new majors (especially in spatial information system offerings), and increasing recruiting efforts. One recruiting effort often overlooked is working directly with junior high and senior high school students (grades 7 through 12) interested in natural sciences on forest resource specific science fair projects. Greater involvement from forest resource professionals in encouraging and developing science fair projects could help reverse the declining undergraduate enrollment trend. We will present an example of a stand development study presented by the junior author during a series of science fair contests. The study was conducted in northeastern Oklahoma, and utilized the stem reconstruction technique for determining age distribution and height development patterns of several hardwood species in a single plot. Hypotheses included “Does tree size reflect tree age?” and “Was the tallest tree always the tallest tree?”. The project resulted in two first-place finishes and two disqualifications at four science fair contests. We will discuss implications of using stand development studies in science fairs, along with opportunities and limitations for forest-based ecological studies in science fairs, and how they can lead to increased interest in forest resources as a career.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/7thBiennial/Sessions/5