Fernow Experimental Forest

Education and Outreach

[photo:] 1954 Fernow field trip participants.Although the Fernow Experimental Forest does not have a formal public education program, research results from the Fernow are conveyed in many ways, including more than 1,200 scientific journal articles and government publications, presentations at conferences for land managers and other scientists, field trips, videos, web presentations, workshops, and class room instruction.  The original demonstration objective of the Fernow is alive and well, and many guided tours of the experimental forest are provided each year to students, resource professionals, policy makers, and landowners.  Signage along the Fernow roads also shares information about experiments to area visitors.

Schoolyard Programs

[photo: Wood frog (Rana sylvatica).Scientists at the Fernow Experimental Forest worked with educators at West Virginia University and University of Alabama to develop a volume in the Natural Resources Education Series titled ‘Forest, Land and Water: Understanding our Natural Resources’.  The workbook contains active learning lessons for grades K-8.  The full workbook is not available online but you may download the topic index.
Additional information is available from Frederica Wood, Timber & Watershed Laboratory, P.O. Box 404, Parsons, WV 26287.

Undergrad Resources

[image:] Streamflow changes due to hardwood-to-conifer conversion on watershed 6.

Long-term data sets from the Fernow are available for undergraduate projects in the fields of watershed management, forest management, forest ecology, and climate change.  Natural resource courses at many partner universities include a field trip to the Fernow where long-term water resource monitoring techniques and various silvicultural prescriptions can be experienced first-hand.  Opportunities exist for summer internships and employment.  Interested students should contact a unit scientist working in their discipline of interest for more information.

Grad Resources

[photo:] Graduate student processing sediment samples to determine mineral and organic fractions.Opportunities are available for conducting graduate research projects on the Fernow Experimental Forest or with Fernow scientists. Current broad research areas include:

- Silviculture treatment effects on growth, diversity and threatened and endangered species

- Prescribed fire for species restoration and wildlife habitat creation

- Acid deposition effects on forested ecosystems

- Natural gas development effects on forested ecosystems

Guidelines for research proposals are being developed.  Until these guidelines are available, please contact Tom Schuler to discuss research you are interested in doing on the Fernow.

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