Physical Science of Forests, Climate Regulation, and Carbon Storage


Course information

This short course, curated by Michigan State University's Forest Carbon and Climate Program, will develop foundational knowledge in the relationship between climate regulation, Forests, and Forest Carbon. In five modules, the course covers the 1) Carbon Cycle and Storage, 2) Humans, the Global Carbon Cycle, and Terrestrial Sinks, 3) Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Storage, 4) Forest Ecosystem Carbon Pools and Fluxes, and 5) Disturbances and their Carbon Impact. Each module will outline its respective learning objectives. Course content will include recorded presentations, links to online resources, and recommended reading.

Course start date

Course content will be accessible starting April 19.

Course pace

This course is self-paced with an expected completion time frame of up to 6 weeks. This course must be completed in sequence. Once a section is complete participants can return to the previous section.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this short course, participants will:

  1. Be familiar with and able to identify the carbon cycle and its connection to natural and human-caused global warming
  2. Know about trends in atmospheric GHG emissions and their impact on the carbon cycle
  3. Understand sources and sinks, and the role of natural forests and the forestry sector
  4. Understand that forest composition, structure, and function influence carbon storage
  5. Remember the pools of carbon with forested ecosystems
  6. Apply knowledge of forest structure differences to forest carbon pools and fluxes by forest type
  7. Be able to communicate global distribution of carbon storage in forests
  8. Remember that management planning and decision-making can minimize the carbon losses from natural and human-caused disturbances


Successful completion of the course is measured by mastering each module's quiz to assess how well you recall and apply your new knowledge. You have unlimited attempts for each quiz to master the content. Passing score for each quiz is 100%.

Course Evaluation

Participant feedback is appreciated to help course curators and subject matter experts continually improve the course for future participants.


Upon successful completion of this course, you will earn 1.5 CFEs in Category 1. CFEs will automatically be added to your CFE record located on


Upon successful completion of this course and course evaluation, participants may download and print a certificate verifying completion of the course and earning CFEs. CFEs will be uploaded to participant CFE records by the end of the day (11:59 pm ET).

Get Started or Return to Place in Course

Once registered for the course, access this course within your MY DASHBOARD. Course content is accessible within the Contents tab starting April 19. Additional course resources are available within the Resources tab.

Need Help?

For ForestEd questions, visit FAQs or email For questions about this course's content email For technical assistance, go to for self troubleshooting and/or live chat, or you can email

This content will not be available until 04/19/2019 at 9:30 AM (EDT)