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Looking at the Big Picture: Engaging Natural Resource Students in Landscape Level Planning through a Capstone Course

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In increasingly fragmented environments, it is insufficient to train natural resource students to only develop site level plans. They must be encouraged to think about planning larger landscapes. Natural resource students also need to develop competencies in “softer skills” such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and addressing public concerns. This article describes an approach to combining the pedagogies of service learning and problem-based learning in a capstone course in landscape level planning. Students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop a plan that meets the needs of diverse stakeholders who represent more than one property owner. Feedback indicates that students are learning problem solving skills and how to think and plan at the landscape level.

Keywords: forestry education; landscape level planning; natural resource management; problem-based learning; service learning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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