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Posts Tagged: environmental

Congrats to UC Davis Distinguished Professor Lynn Kimsey: Exceptional Faculty Member

Congratulations to UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, who was recently selected the...

UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, is the recipient of the 2023 Exceptional Faculty Award from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, is the recipient of the 2023 Exceptional Faculty Award from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, is the recipient of the 2023 Exceptional Faculty Award from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2023 at 6:20 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources

Forest research and outreach compiles forestry voices in new story map project

Napa County Forest Stewardship Workshop participants gather during the series’ in-person field day. Photo by Kim Ingram.

En español

For the past four years, Kim Ingram has been listening closely to the private forest landowners who participate in her Forest Stewardship Workshop series. During the workshops, landowners share their experiences clearing thickets of vegetation, replanting post-wildfire and tackling invasive species, and their concerns of who will take care of their forest when they're gone.

To alleviate their stress, Ingram–Forest Stewardship Education coordinator with University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources–turns to natural resource professionals from CAL FIRE, local Resource Conservation Districts, and the U.S Forest Service who can share knowledge and resources with participants. Recently, Ingram developed a story map that aims to provide landowners with a platform they can use to share their experiences and ways that they have been empowered to manage their land.

"It's not uncommon for small forest landowners to feel overwhelmed with their forest management responsibilities and uncertain over what steps to take first," said Ingram. "Through the Forest Stewardship Workshops and this story map project, we hope to show that there is an entire community of forest landowners in the same situation, learning from each other and moving forward towards their management goals."

The Forest Stewardship Story Map team used ArcGIS StoryMaps to design the project, with 15 participants providing interviews and visual content. StoryMaps provides a user-friendly interface where website visitors can either click on a county to view specific interviews or scroll to view the stories.

The forestry team plans to interview at least one landowner and natural resource professional in every forested county in California so private forest landowners have a local contact or can become inspired by a project in their area.

Theresa Ciafardoni, a forest landowner in Nevada County, said that the UC ANR Forest Stewardship Workshop helped her manage postfire restoration and long-term land use planning.

Sonoma County forest landowner Craig Hayes piles slash to burn, a typical forest management activity. Photo by Craig Hayes.

"It opened up so many options and possibilities," said Ciafardoni. "All the individuals who presented in the Forest Stewardship Workshop were open to phone calls for specific questions and provided invaluable technical assistance."

Involving landowners and forestry professionals with this project was an early decision made by Ingram, who believed it was important that the map held appeal beyond hosting stories. Now, the project functions as a networking tool for landowners seeking professional assistance, too.

Past Forest Stewardship Workshop presenters shared their contact information and the motivations behind their forest management work so that landowners could find assistance in their area. The professionals currently hosted on the map include Resource Conservation District managers, UC ANR forestry advisors and private contractors. 

"The most motivated landowners are invested not only economically, but their heart is into it," said Ryan Tompkins, UC Cooperative Extension forestry advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Lassen counties. "The natural world is full of uncertainty, but they're committed to continuing education and learning about how to be a good land steward. This takes a certain level of humility recognizing that our tenure as a steward on the land is a very short period of a forest's lifetime."

View from a Lake County Forest Stewardship field day. Photo by Kim Ingram.

Looking ahead, the team envisions the map as a working document that will eventually include interviews with indigenous tribal members who focus on traditional ecological knowledge projects, interviews and information from the UC ANR Postfire Forest Resilience Program, and a feature that will filter stories by topic (e.g. reforestation or prescribed burning).

"This isn't a project that could be completed by one person," explained Grace Dean, Forest Stewardship communications specialist. "The same way that Kim and other presenters explain forest management as a collaborative process holds true for this project."

The Forest Stewardship Workshop series gives participants the ability to start as beginners and build upon their knowledge and experiences. In the same vein, this story map provides the Forest Stewardship team a solid base of real stories to add on to over time. The hope is that it will grow into a multifaceted tool reaching new forest landowners, eventually enveloping their stories within the small forest landowner community.

To view the Forest Stewardship Story Map, visit: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/bd062108d9894da7920d7aef06fe2c2c.

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2023 at 12:55 PM
Tags: environmental (2), fire (18), forestry (9), Ingram (1), July 2023 (1), Kim (1), landowners (1), map (1), stewards (2), story (1)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Project Learning Tree: Shaping the future of California forests

On this International Day of Forests, we at UC Cooperative Extension Forest Research and Outreach invite you to celebrate the future of California's trees with us. Considering the recent news coverage regarding tree mortality in California, we want to instead view this subject through a lens of hope. For it's not just the news outlets witnessing the extent of forest die-off: children, especially those in forested communities, are seeing the effects of drought, wildfire, and fire suppression policies in real time.

Project Learning Tree is a national education program leading the next generation to witness and then act on these changes. Children are the future of our forests, and we think the efforts of Project Learning Tree are a cause for celebration, don't you?

 
Students review Project Learning Tree curriculum.

Last month, Californians may have noticed a marked uptick in the news coverage of the state's forests. Local, state and national news outlets all reported on the startling approximation of 36 million trees that perished between 2021 and 2022. This number, gleaned from USDA Forest Service data, is a startling jump from the 9.5 million trees that perished the year before. The future of California's forests does not have to look like this, with large fluctuations and ever-rising numbers of dying trees. Right now, it's not easy being a tree. In 10 or 20 years? We're hopeful that the situation is different. 

Project Learning Tree (PLT), stretches across the nation to connect students to forests, even if they live miles away from one. Jonelle Mason, the PLT coordinator for Northern California region, provided more insight into the program's purpose through a sentiment many may be familiar with: “To quote Jane Goodall, ‘Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, we will help.'” Project Learning Tree is one piece in the future of forest stewardship, and as Jonelle sees it, “Forming forest-education generations creates passionate advocates. People can't save what they don't know about.”

 
Jonelle Mason, Northern California PLT State Coordinator.

A point touched on by nearly all news outlets covering tree mortality was the centuries of fire suppression practices and its ripple effects that amplify drought and wildfire damage. Students in California are aware of natural disasters affecting forests and forested communities, but not necessarily the causes.Mason posits that in closing that knowledge gap, PLT can “cultivate environmental defenders [who] will ultimately push us in the right direction.”

A crucial aspect of Project Learning Tree is that it exists as a continuing education program, meant to follow students from kindergarten to senior year of high school. Each year of learning builds upon the last, yet the topics are given nuance and depth even at the elementary school level. For instance, PLT's flagship K-8 curriculum gives second grade teachers the tools to communicate ecosystem services, plant structure and natural resource cultivation. High school teachers following the “Focus on Forests” education guide will find avenues to introduce concepts like environmental policy, and will help students understand the difficult decisions that many forest landowners face.  

Project Learning Tree encourages using multiple senses to learn about forests. Here, students use their sense of smell.

It does indeed give us a reason to celebrate the future. Young people are more active in the conversations surrounding the environment and climate change, and are aware that something must be done to protect the natural resources they have left. It's vital to translate that passion and interest into true learning, where a classroom can become the space for developing ideas for what can be done about our state's forests. Mason is quick to point out the core tenant of PLT that makes it unique: “Teaching students how to think, not what to think, about environmental concerns.”

Project Learning Tree presents concepts to students and gives them the tools to think critically through the many fields that touch forests, from the natural sciences to philosophy. California's youth has a vested interest in protecting and managing their forests, and programs like PLT give us hope that the interest can truly be translated to action. 

If you are interested in bringing Project Learning Tree to your school or home, you can contact Mason at jmason@ucanr.edu.

 

Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 12:52 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Undergrad Thesis Scores the Cover of Environmental Entomology

It's not every day that an undergraduate thesis makes the cover story of a professional journal. But that's the case with UC Davis doctoral student...

A screen shot of Grace Horne's work that appears in the current edition of the journal Environmental Entomology.
A screen shot of Grace Horne's work that appears in the current edition of the journal Environmental Entomology.

A screen shot of Grace Horne's work that appears in the current edition of the journal Environmental Entomology.

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 4:31 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Pest Management

Bill Patterson and Doris Brown: Friends of CA&ES and Friends of Bohart Museum

The UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) annually singles out individuals "for their achievements, support,...

Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson looks through a drawer during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson looks through a drawer during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson looks through a drawer during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum, looks through specimens with Bill Patterson. (Photo by Ashley Han)
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum, looks through specimens with Bill Patterson. (Photo by Ashley Han)

Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum, looks through specimens with Bill Patterson. (Photo by Ashley Han)

Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson chats with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the Lepidoptera collection at the Bohart Museum, during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. Both are recipients of the CA&ES Friend of the College Award: Patterson in 2022, and Smith in 2015. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson chats with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the Lepidoptera collection at the Bohart Museum, during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. Both are recipients of the CA&ES Friend of the College Award: Patterson in 2022, and Smith in 2015. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Entomologist and butterfly collector Bill Patterson chats with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the Lepidoptera collection at the Bohart Museum, during the international Lepidopterists' Society meeting in 2017 at UC Davis. Both are recipients of the CA&ES Friend of the College Award: Patterson in 2022, and Smith in 2015. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Entomologist Bill Patterson (center) of Sacramento and the international Lepidopterists' Society president Brian Scholtens (right), entomology professor at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, discuss butterflies with scientist-author Robert Michael Pyle, founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. UC Davis hosted the 2017 meeting of the Lepidopterists. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Entomologist Bill Patterson (center) of Sacramento and the international Lepidopterists' Society president Brian Scholtens (right), entomology professor at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, discuss butterflies with scientist-author Robert Michael Pyle, founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. UC Davis hosted the 2017 meeting of the Lepidopterists. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Entomologist Bill Patterson (center) of Sacramento and the international Lepidopterists' Society president Brian Scholtens (right), entomology professor at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, discuss butterflies with scientist-author Robert Michael Pyle, founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. UC Davis hosted the 2017 meeting of the Lepidopterists. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 1:46 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources

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