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Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Managing for Multiple Use in National Forests


Author(s)

Elizabeth A. Flaherty
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue University
eflaher@purdue.edu
Carolyn A. Eckrich
Department of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming
ceckrich@uwyo.edu
Merav Ben-David
Department of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming
bendavid@uwyo.edu

Abstract

This case study has for its central theme the importance of tree size in both ecology and natural resource management and is designed to introduce components of forest management and policy, the importance of ecological relationships, and the challenge of managing resources for a variety of uses. Students evaluate relevant forest policy and management and discuss the related challenges. They then use basic trigonometry to estimate tree height and board feet in three different management areas from angle measurements obtained using a clinometer. Finally they consider the importance of tree height and forest management on ecological relationships among wildlife and their habitat. The case can be used as an introduction to natural resource management and the importance of multiple use management strategies; as a review of trigonometry and the use of spreadsheet software; or as an example of how mathematical concepts and science are used in natural resource management. This case was developed for use in an introductory environmental science or wildlife management course but could also be used in an advanced science high school course.


Objectives

  • Discuss challenges related to natural resource management.
  • Define several terms related to forestry, ecology, and conservation biology.
  • Apply trigonometry and algebra to a real-life problem.
  • Understand concepts related to expenses and revenue in the context of resource extraction.
  • Understand the difference between English and Metric measurement systems.
  • Understand the effects of habitat (i.e., forest types) on interactions among animals in a food web.
  • Develop management suggestions based on results and by considering habitat-related policy information and wildlife habitat requirements.
  • Estimate a product using a computer spreadsheet-software such as Excel or hand calculations and analyze the dataset with basic statistics.

Keywords

wildlife management; trigonometry; data analysis; clinometer; forestry; timber; understory; canopy; succession; thinning; national forest; board feet; Prince of Wales Island; POW; Tongass

Topical Areas

Policy issues

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Forestry  |   Natural Resource Management  |   Wildlife Management  |  


Date Posted

5/31/2016

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