eLearn Forestry

eLearning is any learning that takes place through some type of digital device including but not limited to laptops, desktops, tablets or phones. While it still is a relatively new concept in the forestry and natural resources Extension, education and technology transfer arena, it has long been around in other sectors, both public and private. In fact, corporate America has been using multimedia-based, eLearning programs housed within online Learning Management Systems as their primary source of compliance and skills-based training since the early 2000s. The power in eLearning is that it can save both the time and money associated with traveling to trainings. Education and training can be accomplished at anytime, virtually anywhere. These experiences can include individual lessons or full courses, and when designed and developed well, studies show that there is no difference between learning that occurs in person and learning that occurs digitally.

The office of the Southern Regional Extension Forester is engaged in several eLearning projects and now supports several eLearning programs.

eLearn Urban Forestry

Together with the USDA FS Region 8--Urban and Community Forestry Program and the Southern Group of State Foresters, SREF has designed, developed and implemented a state-of-the-art online, distance-learning program geared specifically toward beginning urban foresters and those allied professionals working in and around urban and urbanizing landscapes including service foresters, natural resource planners, landscape architects, city officials, public works employees and others. Powered by Articulate, an industry standard eLearning authoring tool, the eLearn Urban Forestry is inexpensive and accessible with key features including Flash-based interactivity, video and professional audio. Topic areas taught within the program include tree growth and development, urban soils, site and tree selection, planting, arboriculture, assessing and managing tree risk, tree disorder, diagnosis and management, trees and construction, policy, and urban forest management. To access the modules for International Society of Arboriculture and Society of American Foresters credit, please visit cfegroup.org. To access the modules for free, please visit elearn.sref.info and finally, to access the modules for volunteer credit or a certificate of completion, visit http://citizen-forester.elearn.sref.info and look for eLearn Urban Forestry--Citizen Forester course. For more specific information, please contact Holly Campbell, Extension Associate, SREF at lboby@sref.info.


Urban Forest Strike Team Training Refresher Modules

The Urban Forest Strike Team (UFST) is a disaster response and recovery project initiated in 2007 by the Urban and Community Forestry Programs in Virginia and North Carolina. The goal of the UFST program is to quickly assess risk, damage and debris after a storm or other natural disaster. The UFST program is supported by the Southern Group of State Foresters, USDA FS Southern Region and USDA FS Northeastern Area, and since its inception, has responded to ten disasters in eleven states. Given the infrequent nature of natural disasters, there can often be a lag between training and deployment. To account for this lag and to ensure optimal readiness, in the Spring of 2012, the USDA FS Southern Region contracted with Southern Regional Extension Forestry to create a suite of online refresher modules geared specifically to past training participants in need of a quick refresher before deployment. When complete, modules will include: understanding your role, the first 72 hours, crew management and safety, field equipment, data handling, GIS support, tree risk and debris handling. For more specific information, please contact Leslie Boby SREF at lboby@sref.info.



SREF and the Longleaf Alliance (www.longleafalliance.org) have partnered to design and develop a series of continuing education opportunities for foresters, natural resources professionals, landowners and others interested in potential longleaf management opportunities. Learning objectives for the module are: 1. to recognize that planting and managing longleaf pine can be an economically viable management option; 2. to describe the costs and benefits associated with managing a tract of land for longleaf; 3. to define the basic economic metrics used to calculate forestry investments; 4. to apply these metrics with the help of an Excel spreadsheet and pre-defined assumptions in comparing and contrasting the economic benefits and costs of different longleaf management scenarios; and 5. to conclude whether or not managing for longleaf may be a viable given your own situation.  To take this module for CEUs, please visit cfegroup.org.  To access this module for free visit lleconomics.sref.info.  For more specific information, please contact Leslie Boby, lboby@sref.info

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