Resources Climate Change

Forest Service Climate Change Education Materials

Climate Change is one the Forest Service’s four Conservation Education Themes. Since the 1980s, Forest Service researchers have contributed to a growing scientific consensus that the climate is changing on a global scale and that people can do something about it. Rising temperatures are leading to hotter summers, earlier snowmelt, declining snowpacks, more water shortages, and worsening wildfires and outbreaks of forest pests and diseases. Landscapes will change as plants and animals migrate in response.

What is the Forest Service doing?

  • The Forest Service is managing national forests and grasslands to make them more adaptable to the effects of climate change.
  • The Forest Service is working with people to increase tree planting. Trees and forest absorb carbon from the atmosphere, offsetting carbon emissions.
  • The Forest Service is exploring ways of using wood for energy--biofuels that can replace fossil fuels.
  • The Forest Service is reducing the Forest Service's own carbon emissions through energy conservation, more energy-efficient vehicles and other means.

Videos:

A 13-minute Forest Service video can be accessed at: http://www.fs.fed.us/video/climate/

(Click on the icon on the bottom right for captions.)

The 12-minute video entitled "Climate Change - Wildlife and Wildlands", online at http://www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/toolkit/video is directed at kids, especially middle grades and up.  It ends with an upbeat focus on things kids can do to make a difference.

Teaching Materials:

Project Budburst Urban Tree Phenology Project- www.UrbanTreePhenology.org

Urban Tree Phenology (UTP) is a special project supported by the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program in the southern region that builds on the innovative citizen science field campaign, Project BudBurst (www.budburst.org). UTP is designed to connect urban forest professionals, the scientific research community, and the public in the collection of useful pheno­logical data through simple observations.

Phenology is the study of life cycles events of plants and animals initiated and driven by environmental factors. Phenophases are the observable stages in the annual life cycle of a plant or animal. (Examples include “First Leaf”, “First Flower”, “First Ripe Fruit”, “Leaf Color”, and “Leaf Senescence”.)  Project Budburst Educator Resources correlated to the National Science Standards for grades k-4, 5-8, and 8-12 are downloadable at: http://neoninc.org/budburst/educators/_Educators_ActivityStandards.php

Natural Inquirer Science Education Journal - http://www.naturalinquirer.org

The Natural Inquirer is a middle-school science education journal that brings Forest Service research to life. There are numerous editions of Natural Inquirer, with many articles related to climate change research. The newest edition, “The World’s Forests,” is an excellent resource to help understand global forestry issues. Natural Inquirers can be downloaded from the Web site, or limited copies of printed journals can be ordered from the program. On the Web site, search for climate change articles, or access a list of these at: http://www.naturalinquirer.org/Natural-Inquirer-Climate-Change-Articles-v-80.html

Investi-gator Science Education Journal - http://www.scienceinvestigator.org/

The Investi-gator is a Forest-Service-created science journal designed for upper elementary school age students. The journal is written at a 5th grade level. An issue on Climate Change is scheduled for May 2011.

Forest Service’s Climate Change Education Website

To access the Forest Service’s Climate Change Education Materials, go to the Forest Service’s Conservation Education website at http://fs.usda.gov/conservationeducation and scroll down to the Climate Change Education link. Click on this link.