Woodland Stewardship: Management Practices for Landowners

Learn about forest ecosystems, management, and stewardship practices, as well as wildlife, water, tree identification and measurement, and legacy planning.
Woodland Stewardship: Management Practices for Landowners - Online Courses
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Length of Access: 365 days
Sections: 9
Length: 12 hours
Language: English
Note: This course contains materials similar to the content in Teach for Forests and Understanding Forests. This course is designed for private forest owners interested in learning more about stewardship.

Starting at FREE

Starting at FREE


In Pennsylvania, private forest landowners own 11.5 million acres (almost 70% of the forests). While private woodlots vary greatly in size, most owners express a closeness to their land. It is a place they love, where they spend time, build memories, and appreciate nature.

Yet private lands are not necessarily well managed. Penn State University has a long history of educating people on the ways they can be responsible stewards of the woodlands. We know from research conducted in the early 1990s that Pennsylvania’s woodland owners overwhelmingly want to do the right thing when it comes to taking care of their land. We also know that landowners consider a lack of knowledge and information to be their major stumbling block in that effort. Although this course focuses on Pennsylvania woods and landowners, much of the information applies to land in other states as well, particularly those in the Northeast.

We are pleased to be able to offer this asynchronous, self-paced course online! Through a combination of videos and short readings, you'll gain a solid understanding of what it means to be a woodland steward and ways to apply your new knowledge to your own woodlot. You will learn practical, hands-on skills, as well as some "big picture" concepts related to woodland management. You can check your learning with quick, ungraded assessments, and download and print the handouts that accompany this course.

Who is this for?
  • Anyone interested in better understanding forests and stewardship practices
  • Woodland owners
What will you learn?

You will learn how to:

  • recognize the importance of forests and the need for woodland stewardship
  • outline forest management techniques
  • identify trees
  • measure diameter, height, and volume of trees
  • collect field data on a forest stand
  • protect wildlife habitat and water quality
  • develop legacy plans for the future of forest health


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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