While environmental education is paramount to providing students a well rounded appreciation of nature, many schools lack the proper training and resources to offer it. To help fill this gap, SFI Inc. will provide the Northern California Society of American Foresters with $5,000 to coordinate four Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) sessions. Each session entails an intensive six-day field workshop for K-12th grade teachers focused on forestry, ecology and how to explain these topics in the classroom. The program includes hands-on activities where teachers learn from resource professionals from all perspectives of forestry, including industrial companies, non-industrial private land owners, federal and state agencies, and forest advocates. The FIT sessions are designed to give teachers the training and tools they need to connect forest management to forest health back in their classrooms. Teachers are also provided with a $200 stipend for use in developing environmental and forestry related curriculums.
Supporting the SFI Standard
The project is aligned with Objective 17, “Community Involvement in the Practice of Sustainable Forestry”, Performance Measure 17.2, which includes “periodic educational opportunities promoting sustainable forestry, such as field tours, seminars, websites, webinars, or workshops; educational trips”.
The Northern California Society of American Foresters will partner with California Project Learning Tree; University of California Cooperative Extension; University of California-Davis; California Department of Fish and Wildlife (ProjectWILD); and Sierra Pacific Industries.
About Northern California Society of American Foresters
The Northern California Society of American Foresters, with about 900 members, is a unit of the Society of American Foresters (Est. 1900), with about 18,000 members. The Society is a national organization representing all segments of the forestry profession in the United States . It includes public and private practitioners, researchers, administrators, educators, and forestry students. The mission of the Society is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry and to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems, and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society
About Forestry Institute for Teachers
The Forestry Institute for Teachers is a multi-day residence workshop developed by the Northern California Society of American Foresters, University of California Cooperative Extension, Shasta County Office of Education, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Project Learning Tree. The FIT Program is underwritten by a consortium of public and private sources. Since 1993, over 2,100 teachers have graduated from the program.
The goal of FIT is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices. The program brings together natural resource specialists and teachers from rural and urban settings for one week, working side by side to gain a deeper understanding of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources.
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