K-12: Special Global Learning Opportunity: US and Russian Youth Collaborate on Innovative Global Forest Link Project

Deadline: Ongoing

Project Duration: Now through June 2016
Register at Global Forest Link (GFL): Collaborative analysis of local forest change

Forests help purify the air we breathe. Millions of people around the world depend, directly or indirectly, on forests for their livelihoods. Forest health is a multidisciplinary and collaborative field of study that involves the understanding, monitoring, and protection of the world’s forest resources. Global Forest Link participants have an opportunity to build an interactive database that will help environmentalists worldwide to conduct important research. Global Forest Link contributes to Global Forest Watch,  a partnership of Google, ESRI, World Resources Institute, USAID, and other key US and transnational organizations and companies to monitor forest conditions worldwide.

Opportunities and Benefits for Schools and Youth Organizations:
  • Engage in cross-cultural exchanges with peers from American and other schools, increasing awareness of global environmental issues and appreciation of other cultures.
  • Learn the basics of environmental remote sensing using satellite images – a technology that is increasingly being used for environmental monitoring.
  • Make authentic contributions to understanding forest change – as caused by fires, drought, insect infestation, logging, human development, climate, environmental stress, and excessive forest density.
  • Publish findings online, providing students with credible references for their university, college, and career paths.
What Participation Involves:
  • Students and educators attend a 45-minute overview presentation from our staff. This can be done in a classroom or an afterschool setting at your location.  Typically youth participants come from the areas of environmental sciences, international studies, digital media production, student broadcast and journalism, student leadership, or service-learning.
  • Online tutorials are provided to learn more about remote observations, forest health, and effective ways to deliver findings via digital storytelling.
  • After appropriate training, youth take photographs documenting different forest landscapes in their region. Each student takes 10 or more photos and completes a short form for each photo (e.g. location, date, what is observed). NOTE: This work must be completed in March-April 2016.
  • Students produce short digital stories explaining what they observed. (e.g. report, slideshow, blog, video, podcast, song)
  • Participants exchange and discuss these stories with their peers from another country.
  • Optional: Participants engage in several real-time interactive events (via Skype).

Community Commons is a non-profit organization working on environmental education and advanced information technologies.Global SchoolNet is a non-profit that has been facilitating global, collaborative-learning projects since 1984. We recently received funding from the Eurasia Foundation to involve Russian and American youth in Global Forest Link – a collaborative analysis of local forest change. We invite Russian and US Schools to participate in this project in the first half of 2016.

Learn More:

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Elena Yulaeva, Community Commons, 501(c)(3)
E-mail: eyulaeva@community-commons.com
Phone Number: (858)-775-8664
Dr. Yvonne Marie Andres, Global SchoolNet, 501(c)(3)
E-mail: yvonne.andres@ipopp.org 
Phone Number:
(760)-635-0001