2018 Education & Communication Conference Recordings

Back to Package

View these 3 presentations under the Contents tab:

A Case Study in Engaged Undergraduate Research on Small- and Medium-Scale Non-Timber Forest Product ProductionJessica Leahy, University of Maine

Natural Resources Professional Societies' Visual Portrayal Online: Are They Representative? Tara Bal, Michigan Technological University

Throw Out the Cookbook to Learn GISPeter Linehan, Penn State University


A Case Study in Engaged Undergraduate Research on Small- and Medium-Scale Non-Timber Forest Product Production
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Maple syrup production, the iconic New England non-timber forest product (NTFP), is characterized by many hobbyist and other small-scale producers and several large-scale producers. Medium-scale producers are few and far between raising questions about the barriers and opportunities that exist at the small- and medium-scale production levels. This science flash will present information about an integrated project with research, education and extension objectives. The research component increases understanding of the production and marketing challenges and opportunities for small- and medium- scale maple syrup producers. The education component involves engaged research carried out by undergraduate students from the University of Maine's Honors College and the College of the Atlantic. The educational program was carefully designed to increase the research skills of undergraduate students, along with the ability to work with stakeholders. The extension component is focused on knowledge-to-action principles to help small- and medium-scale producers manage their scale decisions. Our Science Flash presentation will share this project using a case study approach. The presentation will be of interest to forest researchers who are interested in non-timber forest products, family forests, small-scale forestry and integrated projects. It will also be relevant to forestry educators who want to learn more about engaged research models and trainings that work well with undergraduate students. Finally, foresters and other forest managers will be interested in the scale management aspects of this presentation to help their clients who are at small and medium-sized NTFP production levels. Jessica Leahy, University of Maine.
Natural Resources Professional Societies’ Visual Portrayal Online: Are They Representative?
Open to view video.
Open to view video. A website visual content analysis was conducted for multiple, natural resources-related professional societies, including the Society of American Foresters. A similar review was conducted for U.S. higher education institutions that offer degree programs in various natural resource related fields, including forestry. For colleges and universities, women and minorities are more likely to be underrepresented on forestry web pages compared to other natural resource fields. For professional societies and organizations, women and minorities are more likely to be overrepresented based on membership or US demographics, though looking further, women and minorities are significantly underrepresented on the leadership or ‘about’ webpages for most professional societies. A direct relationship between web site image diversity and program enrollment or membership likely includes many other factors. However, web sites are a primary communication and marketing tool, essentially the first exposure many people have to a career field, to a program, or to a professional group they may be considering. A common lack of diversity portrayal in natural resources and forestry fields will likely not help shift societies’ view that these are critical fields for economic growth, future employment, and quality of life. Tara Bal, Michigan Technological University.
Throw Out the Cookbook to Learn GIS
Open to view video.
Open to view video. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has become a critical skill for forestry students to master. It is made up of a number of complicated software tools to both map and analyze geographic features and georeferenced information. To learn GIS students need to master complicated data concepts and often confusing software. It is easier for students to rely on a cookbook approach where they slavishly follow step by step instructions, but don't quite understand what they are doing. To advance in GIS, students must develop critical thinking skills to search for solutions and experiment until they are successful. The software is always changing, which means a GIS analyst needs to understand the background concepts, not just a series of steps. In the work world students will have to use creativity and experimentation to analyze and solve new problems. This presentation will discuss approaches to encourage undergraduate forestry students to move beyond cookbook solutions and use critical thinking and problem solving in their work. Peter Linehan, Penn State University.