This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
In partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, the Forest Service is pleased to announce the second Natural Inquirer World’s Forest edition.
This edition was written from the 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment, a periodic collaborative effort between FAO and 233 countries. It introduces many aspects of the world’s forests to students world-wide, and includes topics such as the extent of the world’s forests, trends in forest cover, carbon sequestration, the status of forest health, forest values and uses, and how well we are managing our forests world-wide. Students will learn that the world’s forests contain 289 gigatonnes of carbon and will be challeneged to calculate how many elephants equal the weight of the carbon in the world’s forests (72.25 billion elephants!). In another activity, students emulate FAO’s work by using criteria and indicators to assess the health of their own school yard. Lesson plans provide guidance for teacher presentation and hands-on activities make the science come alive for students.
The first World’s Forest edition was translated into five languages and plans are underway to provide the second edition in a variety of languages as well. The edition may be viewed or downloaded at http://www.naturalinquirer.org. It will be available in hard copy by the end of the calendar year to commemorate the UN International Year of Forests.