Location

Natural Resource Room 109

Event Website

http://uenr.warnercnr.colostate.edu

Start Date

24-3-2012 10:15 AM

End Date

24-3-2012 10:45 AM

Description

Since 1988, Virginia Tech has had various programs in which undergraduate students visited public schools and presented natural resources-based information One of the more popular presentations involved teaching public school students how to identify and measure forest vegetation. In 2008, the Ambassadors for Conservation Education (ACE) Program was developed to enlist a larger, more diverse student body to participate in forestry and agriculturally-related undergraduate degree programs. In this program, undergraduates visited two parks and six high schools with forest nearby to collect forest ecological data with high school students. At each park and school we established a series of 0.02-ha permanent plots. Accurate baseline data on tree species, and tree diameter (>10 cm) were collected on all plots by Virginia Tech faculty and staff. These data, along with the exercise objectives and field trip preparation material (e.g., data sheets), were placed on the internet for use by teachers. To prepare for their teaching days, undergraduate students enrolled in a communication class where they were taught principles of effective communication. The class emphasized outdoor environmental teaching with numerous practice sessions where students improved their skills at teaching outdoors in informal settings. Undergraduates then led high school field trips where students and their teachers visited the plots and collected the same information in the pre-established plots. High schoolers learned principle of tree identification and use of diameter tapes and increment borers. Following data collection, students returned to the classroom and submitted their data via the internet. Relatively accurate data can be collected when trained undergraduates assist high school students closely. Utilizing schools with forest plots nearby greatly increased the number of students reached and eliminates the need for special field trip permission and transportation costs.

Comments

Citation: Seiler, JR et al. 2012. Undergraduate Experiential Learning Activity to Improve Communication Skills and Engage Public School Students in Forest Ecological Principles. UENR 9th Biennial Conference. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/38/

 
Mar 24th, 10:15 AM Mar 24th, 10:45 AM

Undergraduate Experiential Learning Activity to Improve Communication Skills and Engage Public School Students in Forest Ecological Principles

Natural Resource Room 109

Since 1988, Virginia Tech has had various programs in which undergraduate students visited public schools and presented natural resources-based information One of the more popular presentations involved teaching public school students how to identify and measure forest vegetation. In 2008, the Ambassadors for Conservation Education (ACE) Program was developed to enlist a larger, more diverse student body to participate in forestry and agriculturally-related undergraduate degree programs. In this program, undergraduates visited two parks and six high schools with forest nearby to collect forest ecological data with high school students. At each park and school we established a series of 0.02-ha permanent plots. Accurate baseline data on tree species, and tree diameter (>10 cm) were collected on all plots by Virginia Tech faculty and staff. These data, along with the exercise objectives and field trip preparation material (e.g., data sheets), were placed on the internet for use by teachers. To prepare for their teaching days, undergraduate students enrolled in a communication class where they were taught principles of effective communication. The class emphasized outdoor environmental teaching with numerous practice sessions where students improved their skills at teaching outdoors in informal settings. Undergraduates then led high school field trips where students and their teachers visited the plots and collected the same information in the pre-established plots. High schoolers learned principle of tree identification and use of diameter tapes and increment borers. Following data collection, students returned to the classroom and submitted their data via the internet. Relatively accurate data can be collected when trained undergraduates assist high school students closely. Utilizing schools with forest plots nearby greatly increased the number of students reached and eliminates the need for special field trip permission and transportation costs.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/38