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Jamie Dahl, Colorado State Forest Service, jamie.dahl@colostate.edu (Presenter)

 

Practical experiences are essential components of natural resources education. The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) is a service and outreach agency housed in Colorado State University’s (CSU) Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR). This unique relationship provides the CSFS with opportunities to provide experiential learning to broad audiences in a variety of ways including the volunteer program and college course instruction. Many WCNR students and community members across Colorado volunteer to gain valuable experience in areas such as: wildfire and fuels mitigation, education and public awareness, urban forestry, tree plantings, watershed protection, insect and disease identification, general community and/or landowner assistance. Quality training is an important part of the volunteer experience. CSFS volunteers have the opportunity to participate in valuable training sessions on a variety of topics, including how to conduct public information and outreach activities, conservation education, CSFS Seedling Tree Nursery tours, and safe operation and maintenance of forestry equipment. The CSFS instructs collegiate courses, such as the Forestry Field Practices (F430) course at Colorado State University. Through this course students are trained in chainsaw safety and provided the opportunity to create and implement a management plan over the course of a semester. This course consistently opens doors to great internships and jobs in forestry and fire management. The CSFS is actively engaged in experiential learning in a number of other efforts across the state. All of these efforts allow the CSFS to better accomplish its mission.