Resources for Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers – Activity 1 – Who Works in this Forest?

Activity 1 description: As an introduction to some of the people who work in and on behalf of forests, learners research different forest sector careers to learn what it takes to perform these jobs.

To get PLT’s Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers unit, purchase a copy from or find information about an in-person workshop in your area.

Below are some supporting resources for this activity, including the Worksheets from the guide (also known as Student Pages) and 12 additional Green Job Fact Sheets for the following green jobs: Forester, Environmental Educator, GIS Specialist, Indigenous Relations Specialist, Forestry Technician, Park Ranger, Hydrologist, Silviculture Technician, Urban Forester, Machine Operator, Wildlife Biologist, and Sustainability Manager.



The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • Adaptations for Remote Learning: Activity 1, Who Works in This Forest?

    To support you in teaching remotely we have adapted this activity for the virtual environment. Download this PDF, Educator Adaptations for Remote Learning with suggestions for using technology to support and deepen learning.

  • Remote Ready Student Pages

    Google Slides and Docs are great tools for facilitating remote learning and student collaboration. They can be integrated into Google Classroom or other e-learning platforms. Check the Who Works In the Forest for our remote-ready educator instructions and student pages.

    Please note: Resources are available as view only and require that you make a copy to your own Drive in order to edit and share with your students. To learn how, watch this demo.

  • NGSS Toolkit for Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers

    Download this PLT Green Jobs NGSS Correlations Toolkit. The Toolkit includes guiding questions, a list of science connections, and explicit NGSS correlations for each activity. Each is organized around the three dimensions of science, making it useful for educators even if their state has not adopted NGSS.

  • SAF College Guide

    The Society of American Foresters (SAF) College Guide is a go-to resource for students interested in pursuing a career in forestry or natural resources. The 2019 SAF College Guide includes a listing of all SAF-accredited programs at two-year and four-year colleges and universities, as well as 19 institutions describing their programs in their own words. It showcases the diversity of careers and people in the forestry and natural resources profession, what a career path in the natural world looks like, how to have a rewarding career in the forestry profession, and it provides real-world experiences from professionals currently in the industry.

  • Conservation Careers: Video Series from New York

    The video series On the Front Lines, created by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, profiles conservation professionals working in New York’s natural lands and environments. Select the playlist “On the Front Lines” to choose from 25 videos highlighting a variety of green careers including Wildlife BiologistForest Health Specialist, and Environmental Educator.

  • Outdoor Careers and Connections to Nature: Video Series from New Hampshire

    The video series North Country Calling: Finding Home in Northern New Hampshire documents four young people in New Hampshire who have found rewarding careers in forestry and the manufacture of wood products, in outdoor recreation and education. Their chosen paths strengthen their close connection with nature and fulfill their thirst for outdoor adventure. The videos, created by Northern Woodlands and the Northern Forest Center, highlight how residents in their 20s and 30s are upholding the North Country way of life and adapting it for the future.

  • Career Profile Cards

    Explore jobs in the environment, natural resource, outdoor recreation, and renewable energy sectors with these Career Profile Cards, developed by the Pacific Education Institute.  The cards highlight voices of individuals in those careers. Learn about the day-to-day, career pathway, and tips and tools of the trade from an Assistant Forester, Salmon Habitat Restoration Manager, Water Quality Biologist, and even the owner and founder of a Kayak company.

  • Make That Paper: Careers in Forestry Online Game

    Make That Paper: Careers in Forestry is an online game designed to help high school students learn about the forestry industry and career employability skills. In the game, students are managers in three different forest industry career tracks, hiring personnel, solving industry-related problems, and making sound business decisions. Objectives include maintaining sustainable, efficient, and successful management of the forest and production of forest products. The game is part of an ongoing partnership between GPB Education and Georgia Forestry Foundation to offer standards-aligned educational resources for 3rd -12th grade. It teaches students about working forests and real-world forestry jobs by simulating workplace scenarios and testing forestry industry knowledge.

  • Cool Jobs Video Series

    Want to show your students how fun, interesting, and just downright cool being a scientist can be? Share with them this Cool Jobs video series that highlights what scientists do, how they do it, and how they got their jobs. There are 40 videos highlighting a variety of green careers including BiologistWildlife Conservationist, and Zoologist.

  • PLT Green Jobs Youth Personality Quiz

    Project Learning Tree has launched an interactive quiz that allows youth to answer a few simple questions online and receive recommendations for a rewarding green career path that suits their personality. It’s fast, easy, and fun to do! — perfect for youth ages 12-25 looking to learn about what it takes to perform jobs in sustainability, forestry, and conservation. Try the quiz yourself at

  • PLT’s 12 Green Job Fact Sheets

    Learn more about the wide array of jobs related to forests with PLT’s 12 Green Jobs Fact Sheets, which highlights the following green jobs: Forester, Environmental Educator, GIS Specialist, Indigenous Relations Specialist, Forestry Technician, Park Ranger, Hydrologist, Silviculture Technician, Urban Forester, Machine Operator, Wildlife Biologist, and Sustainability Manager. Green jobs offer opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds, skills, interest areas, and personal qualities. Youth and adults alike might be surprised at the range of green career opportunities. These jobs help sustain forest ecosystems and ensure that forest products are produced in the most sustainable way possible also ensure that wildlife habitat is conserved, trees are replanted, and workers are treated fairly.

  • “Meet a Forester” webinar

    Conservation and Youth Education Specialist and Colorado PLT Coordinator, Danielle Ardrey, and forester/firefighter, Kelsey Lesniak, with the Colorado Forest Service co-hosted a “Meet a Forester” webinar for Girl Scouts of Colorado. More than 30 Girl Scouts from across Colorado participated in this webinar on May 27, 2020 to learn about their jobs and the science of trees, healthy forests, the role of fire on a forested ecosystem, and forest management. Listen to the recording.  

  • Forest Team GO!

    Oregon Forest Resources Institute created a fun video for grades 4-6, to show them the range of careers in the forest sector and how these professionals work together to manage forests. Forest Team GO! explains the sustainable cycle of forestry while introducing students to:

    • tree growers (botanists and seedling managers), who oversee the germination of seeds in nurseries
    • tree planters (reforestation workers), who plant seedlings by hand all over Oregon
    • foresters, who ensure trees grow healthy and fast
    • forest scientists (wildlife and fish biologists, hydrologists), who ensure fish and wildlife habitat is protected and who monitor water quality to provide clean drinking water
    • forest engineers, the team that takes information from the foresters and scientists and uses it to help design roads, bridges and river crossings so they can handle the trucks and equipment needed to cut the trees

    loggers, the people who harvest the trees and load them as carefully as possible so the ground isn’t damaged

  • Natural Inquirer Scientist Cards

    Explore more than 250 different Forest Service scientist and engineer career opportunities with the Natural Inquirer’s downloadable career cards, made in partnership with Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) and the US Forest Service. Available in both English and Spanish, career cards are available direct for download and will help youth explore the important characteristics of a scientist, with examples of research questions pursued by each profession, the common technology and equipment used in their research, and more!

  • Finding Your Path

    Learn more about the life of a field forester and more in this booklet Find Your Path from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. Joe Newton, once a professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks, now works for Lone Rock Timber in Roseburg, Oregon as a Field Forester. He collaborates with tree-planters, helicopter pilots, and other company staff to maintain the health and improvement of tree plantations. This booklet provides other forest-sector employee profiles – forest manager, natural resource ecologist, research economist, logging crew, millwright – offering advice, short job-descriptions, and the various curves they took on their career path.

  • Careers with the MN Forestry Division

    Explore forestry careers with Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources through five short videos. Learn how your tasks as a Minnesotan forester can differ depending on the season and where you work in the state – you can go from planting trees and conducting prescribed burns in the spring to snowmobiling across frozen ground to remote forested areas in the winter!

  • Guide: Regional Government Agencies – Outdoor Career Opportunities

    Learn some tips and tricks for pursuing regional opportunities working in and for the outdoors in this handy outdoor career opportunities guide. This guide provides practical advice on how to research regional agencies, where to find job openings associated with these agencies, and the ways in which to build your experience – from seasonal jobs to volunteering – so your resume stands out among the rest. Additionally, this guide provides an extensive list of available resources in each state to help you jumpstart your research and your outdoor career with a local agency!

  • Environmental Job Boards

    Explore environmental job openings through online job boards such as the Conservation Job Board and Texas A&M’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board. Filter between categories, locations, and job type⁠—and subscribe to receive email alerts for up-to-date job openings around the country. The Conservation Job Board frequently features different conservation-related online graduate programs in the United States. In Canada, PLT Canada administers a Green Jobs program with support from the Government of Canada to place youth in outdoor jobs in forest management, ecosystem, and wildlife management, Indigenous forest-based programs, recreation and interpretation, conservation and research, education, and jobs with provincial and territorial parks. 

  • Podcast Series: Learning About Green Careers

    Learn more about the work of a tree conservation ecologist in this episode from the podcast series Planted: Finding your roots in STEM Careers. Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare works at The Morton Arboretum, located 25 miles west of Chicago. She collaborates with individuals and institutions all over the world to save the brandegee oak (Quercus brandegeei) from extinction. Dr. Alvarez-Clare talks about her career path and discovering her passion in tree conservation and shares how climate change is impacting tree life cycles