Scientists & Staff
Current ResearchAs the Environmental Literacy Coordinator for the Northern Research Station, my focus is on working with scientists, staff, educators, and educational organizations to integrate research results into educational materials and programs. Much of this work is accomplished through partnerships with other federal and state agencies, and public and private organizations.
One of my greatest interests is working across agency and organizational boundaries to provide high quality science education. Over the past five years, we've worked internally with Region 9, State and Private Forestry, and the Washington Office Conservation Education staff to better coordiate our efforts across the 20-state region that we serve. These efforts allow us to provide better service to our partners and expose us to a much broader variety of environmental education programs and partners. I am also particularly interested in developing long-term relationships with schools and school districts local to our Research Labs, not just to share information, but also to expose students to green careers in their own communities.
Why This Research is ImportantEnvironmental literacy matters because people's attitudes and values about nature affect the daily decisions they make with regards to conservation and sustainability. Nationwide, efforts like the Children and Nature Network and No Child Left Inside® are reaching out to students, educators, families and communities to reconnect people to the environment in which they live. Research's participation is critical because sound, reliable scientific information is key to making well-informed choices. Our work can also support redesigned academic standards, such as the Next Generation Science Standards, which focus on a developmental progression of core ideas (K-12) and working both within and across disciplines in science and engineering.
Featured Publications & Products
- Brose, Patrick H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Horsley, Stephen B.; Knopp, Peter D.; Kochenderfer, James N.; McGuinness, Barbara J.; Miller, Gary W.; Ristau, Todd E.; Stoleson, Scott H.; Stout, Susan L. 2008. Prescribing regeneration treatments for mixed-oak forests in the Mid-Atlantic region. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-33. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 100 p.
- Finley, James C.; Stout, Susan L.; Pierson, Timothy G.; McGuinness, Barbara J. 2007. Managing timber to promote sustainable forests: a second-level course for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-11. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 47 p.
National Research Highlights
School becomes a little more interesting when students are working with real-life herons and egrets and integrating data about birds into their curriculum. Real-time tracking data is available for integration into diverse curricular areas, including science, math, English, arts, and social studies.
President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative strives to get every fourth-grader (and his or her family) out on to public lands and waters to connect to nature, play, and learn. The Forest Service’s Northern Research Station teamed up with Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry and Region 9 of the National Forest System to provide a coordinated approach to Every Kid in a Park in the eastern and midwestern states, including events in 10 of our largest urban centers.
The Forest Service's Northern Research Station and Allegheny National Forest are key partners in establishing the "Go Green Club," an after-school science club that takes students in grades 5-12 outside for a weekly environmental education program. Forest Service personnel contributed to programming, providing outdoor presentations and activities on tree species identification, forest health and diversity, wildlife, forest recreation, sustainable management, winter safety and survival, wildflowers, and careers in natural resources.
The Natural Inquirer's monograph series for middle school students and educators showcased a Forest Service researcher's work on local knowledge of morel mushroom types, habitat, and disturbance.
Building a network for place-based environmental education in Wisconsin
One of the Northern Research Station's primary partnerships supporting environmental literacy is with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, which has the mission of promoting understanding and stewardship of ecosystems through scientific research, long-term monitoring and education.
Children in Baltimore, MD, are working with Forest Service researchers and the Dance Exchange, a professional dance company, to turn their observations into movements as they learn about the environment. The result, a Moving Field Guide, is a dance representing natural events, such as bark sloughing off a tree and ducks migrating, that links students to their local environments in personal and enduring ways.