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Savvy schools.

North Carolina teachers are going back to the classroom to learn hands-on computer skills to help them teach about the environment. Nine teachers from four central North Carolina schools participated in a day-long GIS/CITYgreen workshop at Catawba College's Center for the Environment. The workshop introduced teachers to AMERICAN FORESTS' Geographic Information Systems environmental education program, which gives students real-world learning experience and teachers an innovative, well-organized curriculum for teaching science, math, and GIS.

Sponsored by The Dale Earnhart Foundation, this was the first of five GIS environmental education workshops to be held this year in central North Carolina.

Using lesson plans as a guide, teachers learned how to create landcover data by digitally drawing the trees in their study site from an aerial photo base map of the Catawba Campus. The teachers then headed outside to perform a tree inventory, learning proper techniques for identifying trees, calculating height and trunk diameter, and determining tree health and growing conditions.

The collected field data was then entered into tree attribute tables and CITYgreen software used to run models that calculated the trees' ecological and economic benefits. Using CITYgreen's growth model, teachers "grew" the trees over a 25-year period to investigate their long-term benefits. Lesson plans help teachers and administrators bring technology into the classroom, educating students in core academic subjects and providing real-world applications for conservation and urban planning.

For information about AMERICAN FORESTS' CITYgreen environmental education program, visit:
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Title Annotation:News from the world of Trees
Author:Ray, Eric
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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