This week, 30 educators from Colorado and New Mexico will visit areas burned in recent wildfires, learn about wildland fire as it relates to forest health and obtain materials about forest fire ecology they can share with students this fall. The activities are part of a free, weeklong forestry and wildfire workshop in Glenwood Springs, Colo., offered for the 11th year by the Colorado State Forest Service. This year’s annual Fire Ecology Institute, which runs from July 16-20, offers educators for grades 4 through 12 the chance for hands-on learning in outdoor classrooms that include the recent Pine Ridge Fire site and the historic Coal Seam and South Canyon fire sites. Foresters, firefighters, biologists, ecologists and hydrologists will offer field demonstrations, experiments and activities to attending educators. Participants are sent home with a collection of materials and classroom resources including Project Learning Tree activity guides, fire science experiments, fire ecology curricula, multimedia tools and other information from multiple organizations and agencies. “The intensity of this year’s fire season highlights the increasing importance of education about wildfire and forest ecology for learners of all ages,” said Shawna Crocker, Project Learning Tree coordinator for the CSFS. “Our group this year includes three teachers who also happen to be volunteer firefighters, and several educators who have attended the workshop previously and have experience with classroom implementation strategies.” The workshop also includes visits to a local timber sale and a community with completed fire-mitigation measures. Instructors include natural resource professionals from the CSFS, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado Geographic Alliance. Federal Wildland-Urban Interface Program grant funds administered by the CSFS cover virtually all costs of the workshop, including materials, field trips, instruction, lodging and most meals at Colorado Mountain College.
Colorado Teachers to Learn About Wildfire at Weeklong Workshop
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