GFL News

“Global Forest Link” Platform Uses GFW to Connect Students Around the World

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Tech in conservation spotlighted at Zoo

On Friday, August 13th, San Diego Zoo Global hosted an event on the topic of forestry conservation through technology. Participants included our very own Global Forest Link project!

Global Forest Link helps students save the trees

Reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan of the San Diego Union Tribune covers the details of the Global Forest Link program. This article covers different aspects of the program, ranging from the different regions that are part of the program, interviews with the creators/participants of Global Forest Link, along with details about the program.

Global Forest Watch in Education

How can we bridge the gap between technology and environmental education? This webinar introduces Global Forest Watch as a teaching tool for middle and high school classrooms. Featuring guest speakers Dr. Yvonne Andres and Dr. Elena Yulaeva, co-directors of Global Forest Link, and Dr. Leigh Zeitz from the University of Northern Iowa, who shared how they have used GFW to engage students and tips for smoothly integrating technology like GFW into classroom settings.

San Diego Regional Urban Forest Council Award

Global Forest Link won an award for the “Best Urban Forestry Educational Project”.

“May the Forest Be with You!” presented at ISTE-2016, Denver

Our presentation at ISTE-2016 in Denver, with Elena Yulaeva, Leigh Zeitz, Irina Ushakova, and Yvonne Marie Andrés. The purpose of Global Forest Link is to connect youth locally and globally to collaboratively investigate forest change, and share their observations through digital stories.

Francis W. Parker School: Global Forestry, Chicago Water

On May 26 and 27, Upper School students in Bridget Lesinksi’s and Elizabeth Druger’s Biology classes, as well as some of JP Iaconianni and Leslie Webster’s Chemistry students, took field trips that highlighted both local and global ecosystems. A visit to Chicago’s Water Processing Facility, led by Parker parent Barrett Murphy and engineer John Ellis, provided an in-depth look at Chicago’s water systems, and an interactive tree tour at the North Park Village Nature Center allowed students to collect data for a global forestry project.

Biology students participated in a pilot project that partnered students in Russian and American schools as citizen scientists. The Global Forest Link project involved students from Alma Ata, Moscow, Irkutsk and many other Russian cities, as well as students from several U.S. cities. While Parker represented Chicago for the project, the Francis Parker School in San Diego represented California.

Global Forest Link leaders explain: “Forests help purify the air we breathe and mitigate climate change. Forest health is a multidisciplinary and collaborative field of study that involves the understanding, monitoring and protection of the world’s forest resources. Global Forest Link participants have an opportunity to build an interactive database that will help environmentalists worldwide to conduct important research.”

The Global Forestry project enabled students to:

  • Engage in cross-cultural exchanges with peers from American and Russian schools, increasing awareness of global environmental issues and appreciation of other cultures
  • Learn the basics of environmental remote sensing using satellite images—a technology that is increasingly being used for environmental monitoring
  • Make authentic contributions to understanding forest change (caused by fires, drought, insect infestation, logging, human development, climate, environmental stress and excessive forest density)
  • Publish findings online, providing students with credible references for their university, college and career paths

Through Skype and Zoom and digital stories, Parker students connected with students in many Russian cities, sharing perspectives about their school days, career plans and local environment.

Thanks to Lesinski and Druger for their leadership in this ambitious project, and to Iaconianni and Webster for chaperoning the field trip. Thank you also to Barrett Murphy and John Ellis for the Water Processing Tours and Bob Porter for hosting Parker’s tree tours at the Nature Center.

US Russia Global Forest Link Wrap-Up Conference (Cultural Exchange and Next Steps)

The live interactive conference on May 24, 2016 was the culminating session of the US Russia Global Forest Link (Phase 2) project. The purpose of this event was for participants to share cultural information, summarize their experiences, and to discuss next steps.Over the past five months, students in the United States (from California, Iowa, Chicago, Washington DC) and students in Russia (more than 15 different locations) studied forest change and the implications (due to fires, drought, insect infestation, logging, human development, climate change, environmental stress, excessive forest density, etc.). Students conducted field research, documented forest change in their local community, collaborated with partner schools, connected with national experts, and created digital stories about their experience.

Parker Magazine Highlights the Global Forest Link Project