Michigan SFI Implementation Committee and Michigan State University Use Urban Forestry to Attract New Students
Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Multicultural Forestry Professionals
Why this Project Matters
This program, led by Michigan State University (MSU), is designed to help address concerns over declining enrollments in forestry and related natural resource degree programs. Underlying this concern is a fear that current enrollment rates are insufficient to offset the anticipated losses of retirees in forestry career fields in the near future. The program is also focused on increasing the capacity of high school teachers to integrate forestry principles into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculums. Integrating forestry into STEM teaching will help enhance the attractiveness of forestry programs for students who are focused on their longer-term career paths.
Why is SFI Involved?
The SFI Community Engagement Grant Program is supporting this project. SFI’s priorities include encouraging diversity in the forest sector, educating youth, and promoting green careers — this project supports all three.
MSU Forestry will collaborate with the Ruth Mott Foundation to identify and partner with community based urban conservation groups in north Flint, Michigan, a collection of city neighborhoods characterized by high minority populations and widespread distribution of blighted property. Program participants will apply their acquired tree planting skills to aid in the instruction and engagement of neighborhood youth and broader groups of community volunteers in the successful planting of trees in targeted sites. These partnerships will help promote local long-term understanding and appreciation of ecological benefits of urban trees.
Implementing Project Learning Tree (PLT) workshops will allow for broadened participation by giving educators and students access to learning tools to engage in forestry science through interactive learning experiences. PLT is an initiative of SFI that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it.
The program aims to expand the pool of potential students by engaging multiple cohorts of diverse high school students. These students are currently underrepresented in forestry programs. The program will also support MSU’s Multicultural Apprenticeship Program, which encourages a diverse range of college students to enter MSU’s Forestry Program.
How the Project Builds SFI Community Engagement
This program, with 13 partners ranging from educators and conservationists to industry and government, will support the MSU Multicultural Apprenticeship Program. It’s a four-week summer experience program designed to give high school students the opportunity to experience college life and to explore the many exciting educational and career opportunities in forestry, agricultural and food sciences, and related fields. MAP is designed for high school students currently in grade 10 and 11 who have strong interest and aptitude in science, math and other academic areas.
This partnership includes researchers, conservationists, educators, government, and SFI Program Participants.
Project lead: Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
About the Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
In the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students use science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and creative design to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems related to food, health and the environment. In 1855, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, now known as MSU, was founded to provide a practical education to all citizens regardless of social class. It was the first institution of higher learning in the United States to teach scientific agriculture and educated students to become farmers, engineers, educators and scientists. MSU has helped grow Michigan’s economy by equipping Michigan residents with the information that they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower their children to dream of a successful future.
COPY LINK: https://forests.org/grant-msu-sic/
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.