USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

2009 Science Accomplishments Report  >  Conservation Education >

Conservation Education

Students learn about the forest canopy at H.J. Andrews  Experimental Forest

The 11 experimental areas within the Pacific Northwest Research Station provide a wide range of learning opportunities for everyone from the scientist emeritus to the kindergartner. A few of the field trips and learning events held at these unique areas for long-term research are highlighted below.

  • H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Blue River, Oregon, hosted "Canopy Connections." About 110 high school and middle school students from primarily underserved schools in Eugene- Springfield learned about old-growth canopy, nutrient cycling, microclimates, and wilderness survival. The experimental forest also hosted the 2009 McKenzie Outdoor School for 20 local fifth graders who climbed into the forest canopy. They also learned about the salmon life cycle, local Native American culture, and stream ecology. On their last night, they presented a program about what they had learned to their families.
  • The Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in eastern Oregon hosted four field tours throughout the summer reaching a total of 79 people. The tours were designed to teach people about ongoing ecological research projects based at the site. Starkey also hosted a field day where 43 livestock permitees learned about sustainable livestock grazing practices on national forest lands.
  • The Wind River Experimental Forest, located in south-central Washington, hosted 10 staff members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations and 15 members of the Western Coordinating Committee for Extension Foresters. These visitors were briefed on research activities occurring at the forest and given an interpretive lift in the gondola of the Wind River Canopy Crane, one of only 10 such structures in the world.


Amphibians of Clark County, Washington: About 65 high school students learned about amphibians native to Clark County, Washington, as part of their science class.


Camp Tadmor Outdoor School: Several station employees teamed up with the Siuslaw National Forest to host Camp Tadmor, an outdoor school for more thana half dozen Oregon school districts. The scientists taught 250 sixth graders about the importance and functionally diverse roles of fungi in forest ecosystems.


Cascade Range Field Class: Station scientists accompanied 25 University of Washington students to the Cascade Mountains outside of Wenatchee, Washington, where they participated in a 2-day forest ecology field class.


Dry Ice—Discovering the Properties of CO2: Third graders from Liberty Elementary School District in Albany, Oregon, experienced science first-hand while witnessing CO2 change from a solid to a gas. The 61 students also learned about the role of CO2 in respiration and photosynthesis.


Endangered Species Panel: Sixty students at Jane Goodall Middle School in Salem, Oregon, watched a presentation and panel discussion on endangered species in which a station scientist participated as an amphibian expert.


Entomology Course: A station scientist was invited to teach a quarter-long entomology course to six students at Eastern Oregon University.


Forest Camp—Project Learning Tree: Station scientists taught more than 100 students attending "Forest Camp," an outdoor learning event for fifth and sixth graders, about the "web of life" concept. Their full day of instruction illustrated the interactive linkages between living and nonliving elements of forest ecosystems.


Green Team Outreach: Members of the station's Green Team visited Estacada Junior High School in Estacada, Oregon, to challenge the seventh- and eighth-grade graphic arts students to create posters with sustainability themes for use in station offices. Students learned about green teams and discussed ways to reduce their environmental footprint. These posters are being used in a 2010 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Planner for the station.


Inner City Youth Institute: The station continued to support the Inner City Youth Institute (ICYI). The ICYI encourages underrepresented youths to pursue higher education and careers in the natural resource and environmental fields. This year, ICYI sponsored an ecology program in a Portland inner city high school and a summer camp program for high school students from Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. This summer's camp was held at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Participants spent a week at the experimental forest, learning from scientists about forest ecosystems. The ICYI is a partnership between the Forest Service, Oregon State University, Bureau of Land Management, Portland Public Schools, and the Urban League of Portland. About 200 students participated in ICYI programs.


Invasive Aquatic Species Class: Thirty people learned about invasive aquatic species, including the devastating amphibian chytrid fungus, at Oregon State University's Central Oregon campus in Bend.

Invasive Species Workshop: The station partnered with Oregon State University's Natural Resources Education Program to host a workshop for 15 high school teachers that offered classroom exercises for students on identifying and tracking invasive species.


Northwest Science Expo: The station sponsored "Outstanding Forest Science" awards that are given to a high school and middle school student at the Northwest Science Expo. This science fair for young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians was held at Portland State University in March. Two station employees volunteered as judges.


Olympia Lab Interpretive Trail: A station scientist worked with 15 junior and senior high school students from the Tumwater, Washington, New Market Skills Center to develop an interpretive nature trail at the Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory. The scientist also was "shadowed" for 2 days by a science teacher interested in learning more about plant surveys and tree growth.


Petri Dish Experiment: Sixty-one third graders from Albany, Oregon, learned scientific methods and how to use a microscope while attempting to grow fungi and bacteria from samples taken from their hands. The students rubbed both dirty and washed hands on agar Petri dishes and counted the different-colored fungi and bacteria that grew on each.


Plant Ecology Lecture and Tour: A station scientist gave a lecture on plant ecology and led a field tour for eight students at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington.


Poster distribution: The station distributed about 200 posters related to Mount St. Helens, invasive species, fish, oak communities, old-growth forests, and sequoias. Most of these posters are requested by teachers in the Pacific Northwest, but many posters have been sent to teachers throughout the United States and overseas.


Salmon Watch: Fifty middle school students in Alsea, Oregon, participated in field and classroom sessions on the ecology of riparian zones.


Society and Natural Resources Class: A station scientist was invited to give a lecture and host a question-and-answer section on landscape patterns and forest transition. Ten students from Wenatchee Valley Community College took part.


Washington State Science and Engineering Fair: The station sponsored an "Outstanding Forest Science Project Award" to a 10th-grade high school student at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair at Olympic College, Bremerton, Washington, in April.


What Lives in a Forest? Before visiting the World Forestry Center in Portland, 65 fifth-grade students from Albany, Oregon, learned about the interconnections among animals, mushrooms, and fire as well as career opportunities in forest science.


Wolftree: Station employees participated in ecology programs that reached about 100 students from Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, middle and high schools. The station also contributed funds for supplies and equipment.




US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,26July2016 at16:44:27CDT

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