Writing Appalachian Ecology: Essays and Outreach
Writing Appalachian Ecology is a summer college course funded by a National Science Foundation initiative that encourages communication and dialogue between scientists and the public. In the course, students read and discussed creative works as well as scientific papers in the classroom; listened to presentations by Forest Service scientists; traveled twice as a class to the Fernow Experimental Forest (plus camping overnight!); and composed their own creative nonfiction essays, blending science with personal reflections and experience. Students were encouraged to think about the long-term future of our planet: What could our world be like in 200 years� How will current environmental problems change the future� What will the effects of global climate change look like� The Forest Service scientists were encouraged to describe their research to a non-scientific audience and develop different communication modes. The students gained an appreciation of the role of research in understanding and ensuring the future of forests, and wrote essays that they shared at a public reading and were published. The scientists also gained insights on Appalachian forests by hearing their work described in the essays and from seeking novel ways to communicate science to a non-technical audience.
|Fernow Experimental Forest||(web site)|
Forest Service Partners