2 – 8.16.23 – The Science of Healthy Forests

Title: The Science of Healthy Forests

Day, Date, Time: Saturday, September 16, 2023  8:15 – 3:15  Bus leave Cheyenne Mountain JHS at 8:15 AM

Contact Hours: 5.0  hours 

Food: Bring your own sack lunch.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Location: Manitou Experimental Forest, 232 County Road 79, Woodland Park, Colorado 80863

Presenters: Steven Alton, Forester and Site Manager, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Manitou Experimental Forest.  History of the Manitou Experimental Forest.  Ongoing Research.

Andy Schlosberg, Forestry: Challenges for a Healthy Forest, Colorado State Forest Service, Sandy Smith, Science Teacher,  Data Puzzles

Description: The Manitou Experimental Forest (MEF) is part of the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.  Currently, the site is home to several meteorological, ecological and biological research initiatives, including the BEACHON project, an NADP monitoring site, and a long-term Flammulated Owl study to name a few. Research at Manitou has been broadened to gain a better understanding of ponderosa pine ecosystems, the disturbance regimes active within them, and ways to best manage these urban-interface forests. Current studies include assessment of silviculture techniques to restore fire-dependent forests to a healthy condition, studies of fire history, fuels assessment, quantifying soil heat fluxes during prescribed burning under a spectrum of fuel loadings, studies of insect and bird biology, an intensive study of dwarf mistletoe ecology, and a major effort to assess human values and preferences in urban-wildland interface forests. Participants will explore the forest with a guide from the Colorado State Forest Service to look at signs of a healthy forest.The workshop ends with a look at a Data Puzzle – Megafires: Rare Occurrences or the New Normal? Data Puzzles combine classroom-friendly datasets with the research-based instructional practices of Ambitious Science Teaching to help students make sense of the natural world. Examining the data and discussing the causes of these megafires provides students an opportunity to explore the interaction of humans and their environment.


9:00 Announcements and introductions.

9:10 – 10:10 Steve Alton will give an overview of the Manitou Experimental Forest, History, Past

and Ongoing Research  

10:10 – 10:15 break

10:15 – 11:30 Andy Schlosberg will lead an outdoor walk in the woods and speak on Challenges of a Healthy Forest 

11:30 lunch

12:00 – 2:15 Data Puzzles.  Megafires: Rare Occurrences or the New Normal? Sandy Smith

2:15 – 2:30  Evaluations and Door Prizes