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Stakeholder engagement at Ridgewood Elementary School

posted Feb 26, 2014, 10:38 AM by Megan Creutzburg   [ updated Feb 28, 2014, 7:59 AM ]
In many of our projects in the DEAL lab, we engage our stakeholders in the process. These stakeholders are usually managers, other scientists, private landowners, representatives from agencies and nonprofit organizations, as well as concerned citizens.

Last week Melissa Lucash took stakeholder engagement to the next generation at Ridgewood Elementary School, where her daughter Celia is in 3rd grade. As part of her project on Climate Science and Forest Management in Minnesota, she developed an activity for Celia's class to learn about dynamic forest ecosystems and how climate change can affect them.  They used pasta of various shapes and sizes to represent tree species, including bowties (Douglas-fir), shells (alder), penne (cedar), spiral (hemlock) and elbows (ponderosa pine).  The kids all started with the same forest composition but each group was assigned different disturbances affecting their pasta forest landscapes.  At the end of the exercise, they discussed the differences in their forests and how climate-related events can shape forested landscapes.  Way to go Melissa for engaging the next generation of stakeholders and developing a creative way for kids to learn about forests and how they change!