We expect forests to provide various ecosystem services, beautiful surroundings for hiking and recreation, wildlife habitats, clean water, and steady supplies of wood and other products. It’s not always easy to meet all of those demands. In this activity, students will read and discuss several short articles and will propose solutions to real-life forest dilemmas.
This is one of 9 activities that can be found in PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests module. To get the activity, attend a training and receive PLT’s Focus on Forests secondary module. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Analyzing the Issue
What Makes Up an Environmental Issue?
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Skype a Scientist
The Skype a Scientist program matches more than 500 scientists with classrooms worldwide. Available for any level along the K-12 spectrum, a typical Q&A-style video chat lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and covers topics in the scientist’s area of expertise and what it’s like to be a scientist. Follow the link to browse scientists and sign up!
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment
Forest management in the eastern United States is faced with many modern challenges. To address the changes, researchers designed a long-term, large-scale experimental study of forest management and its impacts on plants and animals. This study, referred to as the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, is in its 10th year and there are already some interesting findings.
More Than Just Parks
More Than Just Parks have released their eighth national parks short film—Grand Teton. Explore Jackson Hole Valley and the foothills of the Teton Mountain Range, a land dominated by towering peaks, apex predators, and majestic beauty. To see more National Park films, visit More Than Just Parks.
Connect4Climate Student Video
Connect4Climate is an ongoing project between University of Maryland students and the World Bank. The video represents 50 sociology students’ perspectives after visiting the World Bank in Washington, DC. The video shows students’ passion and enthusiasm towards connecting other people, adults and students alike, to issues of climate change, “right here, right now, together.”
EPA Environmental Justice Blog Highlights Map Tool for Equitable Planning
In this blog post, Makara Rumley writes about the Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas, a map tool showing key areas of community well-being. Learn how this tool can be used to help understand the issues of affecting neighborhoods and encourage equitable policies, development, and planning.
Climate Change Projections
PLT partners and Outstanding Educators in Florida have created a new fifth issue article, Climate Change Projections, to spark classroom discussions on climate science. This resource can also be used in conjunction with PLT’s online high module, Southeastern Forests and Climate Change.
Bryce Canyon Electronic Field Trip
Take an electronic field trip inside Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. During this live, one-hour podcast, students will learn about the importance of the park, hunt for signs of land and aquatic dinosaurs, explore “hoodoos” (unique limestone formations), and see animals that live in this extreme environment.
Saving Southern Forests
Southern Forests for the Future has launched an interactive website for educators that focuses on threats to and the sustainable management of U.S. southern forests. The site offers time-series maps that reveal trends and changes in southern forests, which users can scroll over and zoom in on to see areas of interest. The maps can be used to support high school courses in biology, geography, earth science, and environmental science.
Endangered Species Interactive Map
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a web-based interactive map with information about endangered species success in every state: stories of species making strides towards recovery, audio interviews and podcasts with biologists about on-the-ground endangered species conservation, and more.
EPA’s new EnviroAtlas tool is designed to help communities and researchers make informed planning and policy decisions related to the environment and ecosystems. EnviroAtlas provides datasets and interactive tools to allow users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. EnviroAtlas includes over 300 data layers, letting users analyze how decisions affect ecosystems and their ability to provide goods and services. Key components include: