Understanding Forests: Education for the General Public

Learn practical knowledge and skills about forest trees, wildlife, and water, as well as forest ecology, management, and silviculture.
Understanding Forests: Education for the General Public - Online Courses
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Length of Access: 365 days
Sections: 6
Length: 9 hours
Language: English
Note: This course contains materials similar to the content in Teach for Forests and Woodland Stewardship. This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about forests.

Starting at FREE

Starting at FREE


Forests are a renewable resource that provide us with over 8000 different products. Proper management ensures that they continue to provide a wide range of benefits perpetually. But how much do you actually know about forests?

Through a combination of videos and short readings you will learn about forest trees, wildlife, water, forest ecology, history, and management. You'll take away practical, hands-on skills, and be able to check your learning with short, ungraded assessments. Download and print the handouts that accompany this self-paced course.

Although this course focuses on Pennsylvania woods, much of the information applies to land in other states as well, particularly those in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Who is this for?
  • Anyone who wishes to learn more about forests.
What will you learn?

You will learn how to:

  • understand the history of Pennsylvania forests
  • recognize the current trends in forest ownership and management
  • 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 to identify trees
  • make sense of the key elements of siviculture
  • 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 

Forest stewardship Private forest landowners Woodland care Collaborative learning Action research Peer-to-peer education

More by Allyson Brownlee Muth, Ed.D. 

James Finley, Ph.D.


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