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Distance Education: A New Course in Wildland Fire Ecology

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Distance education, facilitated by modern telecommunications and computer technology, is revolutionizing delivery of college-level courses. In creating an interdisciplinary course on wildland fire, we learned that initial investments of at least $100,000 may be required, particularly for a video-based offering. Specialists in media production and web page development are crucial–not just to allow faculty to focus on content, but also to produce material that compares favorably with the TV productions students are familiar with. We further recommend conducting a pilot test with a live audience of students. Despite the challenges, we believe that many natural resource courses lend themselves to this format because of the photogenic nature of the topics and widespread interest in them, and that–over time–distance education courses can recoup the costs of their development.
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Keywords: communication; distance learning; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Professor and Head Department of Forest Resources, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, john.walstad@orst.edu 2: Senior Instructor and Media Specialist Forestry Media Center, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 3: Professor Department of Rangeland Resources, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 4: Professor Fisheries and Wildlife Department, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 5: Professor Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Station, Burns, Oregon, 6: Associate Professor Department of Forest Resources, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, 7: Professor Department of Forest Resources, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331,

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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