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ERIC Number: EJ791429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Forest in My Neighborhood: An Exercise Using Aerial Photos to Engage Students in Forest Ecology & Land Use History
Matlack, Glenn R.; McEwan, Ryan W.
American Biology Teacher, v70 n3 p13-17 Mar 2008
Human activity has profoundly altered the deciduous forest of the eastern United States. Modern forest is a patchwork of stands of varying ages, sizes, and shapes reflecting a complex history of land use. Much modern forest is nestled in and around human communities, and faces the threat of imminent clearance for residential and commercial development. Such forest experiences a variety of human impacts, including edge effects, invasion by nonnative plants and animals, overgrazing by white-tailed deer, firewood gathering, and foot traffic. Despite its highly disturbed character, modern suburban forest still preserves some of the biological diversity of the original forest ecosystem. If diversity is to be maintained in developed regions, people who live next to forest fragments must have an appreciation of their structure and dynamics. Unlike forests of less-populated regions, isolation alone cannot be depended on to protect the Eastern forest ecosystem. To intelligently manage neighborhood forests, local residents and decision makers must have an awareness of forest ecology. Thus, education is at the core of forest conservation in the eastern United States. In this article, the authors describe in detail an exercise based on aerial photos to give students an awareness of forest ecology at the rural/urban interface. The exercise can be described as a process of guided research in which impressions based on childhood experience are used as testable hypotheses. The authors also comment on its effectiveness as a teaching tool. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive #110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A