Teach for Forests: Forest Education for Teachers and Youth Leaders

Learn about trees, wildlife, water, and ecology. Learn to teach children and teens with activities and through curriculum recommendations. Earn Act 48 credits.


Teach for Forests: Forest Education for Teachers and Youth Leaders - Online Courses
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Length of Access: 365 days
Sections: 6
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Language: English
Note: This course offers 10 PDE Act 48 credits and a certificate. It contains materials similar to the content in Understanding Forests and Woodland Stewardship. It is designed for educators interested in learning and teaching about forests.

Starting at FREE

Starting at FREE


Forests are a renewable resource, and every day, we each use hundreds of products that come from them. It is important to teach youth about the value of forests, as they will come to care for them as citizens and potential future landowners. And when teaching youth about these topics, it is essential that you are knowledgeable about trees and forest ecosystems.

In this self-paced course you will learn about forest trees, wildlife and water. You'll also learn about forest ecology, history, and management. Videos, readings, and knowledge check activities will help you learn about the importance of forests, as well as introduce you to some practical ways for teaching and inspiring youth.

This course offers 10 Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Act 48 credits. To receive these credits, you must provide your PPID # and approve for Penn State to release your educational information for Act 48 purposes when registering. Additionally, you must pass a final quiz with a minimum score of 70%. Once you pass, it may take up to a month for your credits to be reported to and verified by PDE. Last, due to PDE requirements you will be emailed an Impact Evaluation from a Penn State Extension educator about a month after you've completed this course.

Note: You can take this course and NOT receive Act 48 credits. For more information about Act 48 credits, visit the PDE Continuing Education web page.

Who is this for?
  • Teachers working in schools
  • Leaders in youth-serving organizations (such as scouting and 4-H leaders)
  • Educators at environmental and nature centers
What will you learn?

You will learn how to:

  • teach youth using appropriate forest teaching activities and curricula
  • understand how abiotic, biotic, and cultural factors shape ecosystems
  • recognize specific habitats and species of Pennsylvania
  • use a tree ID key key to identify trees
  • make sense of the key elements of silviculture
  • understand best land use and management practices


Youth and Natural Resources Education Forest Stewardship Natural Resources Volunteerism Private Forestland Management Connecting Youth with Nature Forest Dendrology and Botany

More by Sanford S. Smith, Ph.D. 

Silviculture Timber Sales Forest Ecology Forest Vegetation Management Herbicides Invasive Plants White-tailed Deer Youth Environmental Education 4-H Forestry

More by David R. Jackson 

Avian ecology Effects of shale gas development on forests and birds forest songbirds Human impacts on bird population Wildlife habitat management on private lands Landscaping for birds and wildlife

More by Margaret C. Brittingham, Ph.D. 

Water wells, springs and cisterns Pond management Watershed management Water conservation Shale gas drilling and water Acid deposition

More by Bryan Swistock 

James Finley, Ph.D.


Great Course!

Overall this was a great course! The course was very easy to navigate and provided a lot of useful information for my job as an Education Coordinator at a nature preserve. I found the quick quizzes at the end of each section helpful in solidifying what I just learned. The only thing that I would have liked to see is a longer section on educating youth with demonstrations and more examples of possible lessons and activities.
Review by Lizzy / (POSTED ON 8/28/2018)

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