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Forestry Camp: New Ideas for Science Teachers

Science teachers from across the state are invited to participate in a Forestry Summer Camp at Pennsylvania College of Technology from June 21-26.

Sponsored in part by the Society of American Foresters, the weeklong workshop is intended to promote environmental awareness and assist educators in developing new ideas for classroom activities. Although designed for science teachers, any interested K-12 teachers who would like to infuse their curriculum with environmental awareness are encouraged to apply.

The unique, 45-hour course will incorporate forestland management theories with practical, hands-on, field-based learning. Following completion, camp participants will be awarded three in-service credits by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and be “Project Learning Tree” certified.

The setting for the Forestry Camp will be Penn College’s Earth Science Center, located approximately 12 miles south of Penn College’s main campus in Williamsport. The center’s 180 acres provide a living laboratory for learning about nature and the environment.

Topics to be covered during the intensive, structured schedule will be: dendrology, botany, surveying mensuration, silviculture, harvesting, recreation, sawmilling, wildlife management, and forest land management. Course work runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Participants will arrive the afternoon of Sunday, June 20. On closing day, Saturday, June 26, a review will be conducted from 8 a.m. to noon.

Dr. Dennis F. Ringling, professor of forestry at Penn College, will serve as the camp’s group leader.

“I believe education should be relevant and enjoyable,” Ringling stated. “I love what I’m doing because I have the potential to affect change to make a difference… Environmental awareness is paramount to our survival on this planet. We must implement this environmental awareness into our daily lives.”

Ringling joined the Penn College faculty in 1972 and is a well-known advocate of the forestry profession and environmental awareness. He is a founder of PennVironmental, an environmental issues group now part of the Penn College Student Government Association. In addition to teaching, he has been a consultant and educator for Performance Learning Systems for 18 years. In 1990, he served on the Governor’s Task Force on Vocational Education.

To assist in funding the Forestry Camp, the Society of American Foresters granted $5,000 to Penn College. The seven chapters within the Pennsylvania Division of the Allegheny Society, Society of American Foresters, are among the sponsors; the chapters include: Keystone, Northern Hardwood, Pinchot, Plateau, Rothrock, Valley Forge, and Western Gateway.

Penn College is providing matching funds of $3,200 for the Forestry Camp project; other funding includes $1,100 in industry contributions and tuition monies.

Tuition will be $350, which includes housing, meals and materials. Enrollment is limited to 21 participants, so early registration is suggested. To register, call Penn College’s Technology Transfer Center at (570) 327-4775.

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