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News Notes by Tom Gill

This list is neither complete nor exhaustive. Please contact the ISTF Webmaster  about additions to this list. Submissions made in both the English and Spanish languages are greatly appreciated. We encourage reporting any broken links or suggestions regarding the web site. Feedback is welcome!

For our Younger Visitors and their Teachers:

Resources on the Web
Rainforest adoption programs
Global Association of Online Foresters -- Ask a Forester, kidz page<>. Links, pictures, resources.
Project Learning Tree and the World Forestry Center created Global Connections: Forests of the World, a guide and activity set for educators to help students gain an increased understanding and appreciation of world forest environments, with an emphasis on the hu-man interaction with, and dependence on, those environments. The module activities provide students with opportunities to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills while investigating world forestry issues and conducting service learning action projects. The project website is:
Beginning in October 2008 and continuing into 2009, “MonarchLIVE - A Distance Learning Adventure.” – a live, electronic and interactive field trip for students, educators and communities – will connect classrooms across Canada , the US , Mexico and other countries via the internet. Webcasts will trail the migration of the Monarchs in real time, and will showcase current efforts of students, citizens and scientists. Initiated by the US Forest Service International Programs, the Prince Williams School Network in Virginia, Forest Service Conservation Education, and other partners are joining the project to integrate distance learning methods with hands-on activities to increase monarch habitat, promote conservation and foster student-led projects in urban schools and communities.. Highlights of this electronic adventure include a look at monarch winter habitat and communities in Mexico, and butterfly gardens in Chicago , IL and St. Paul , MN . Free for schools to register, hundreds of schools and thousands of students are expected to join in the program. To learn more, visit:
A Student Guide To Tropical Forest Conservation. By J.Louise Mastrantonio and John K. Francis. <>. This guide shows how modern forest practices can help stem the tide of forest destruction while providing valuable forest products for people. The tropical forests of Puerto Rico, which were abused for centuries, were badly depleted by the early 1900's. Widespread abandonment of poor agricultural lands has allowed natural reforestation and planting programs to create a patchwork of private, Commonwealth, and Federal forests across the land (fig. 2). The most frequent example in this publication is the Luquillo Experimental Forest, which could be a model for protecting and managing tropical forests worldwide.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education. <> The journal covers all disciplines in the life sciences, natural resources, and agriculture. Educators in extension, universities, industry, administration, and grades K-16, share teaching techniques, concepts, and ideas. Written by and for educators, articles published include research, notes, case studies, software, letters, editorials, newfeatures, profiles, and media reviews. A special section of the journal emphasizes K-16 education.
WildFinder is a map-driven, searchable database of more than 26,000 species worldwide, with a powerful search tool that allows users to discover where species live or explore wild places to find out what species live there. Containing information on birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, WildFinder is a valuable resource for scientists, students, educators, travelers, birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. <>
The National Museum of Natural History's North American Mammals web site. This is a searchable database of all living mammals of North America--including Mexico.<>
Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente - ANIA es una asociación privada sin fines de lucro fundada en Lima en 1995. Nuestra misión es contribuir a una sociedad sana y justa promoviendo el desarrollo e identidad de la niñez en armonía con la conservación de la naturaleza a través de la habilitación de espacios sanos y seguros, orientación y reconocimiento.

La visión de ANIA al 2006 es ser una organización líder que promueve la participación de la niñez en la conservación de la naturaleza, habiendo consolidado para ello proyectos pilotos en Madre de Dios y Lima los cuales son replicados a nivel nacional e internacional. <>
Join U.S. Forest Service experts on a free distance learning adventure to America's Rain Forests. Rain forests provide a haven for the largest diversity of plants and animals on Earth. Join scientists, researchers, and students and explore the tropical rain forest in the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico and the temperate rain forest in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. <>
The Rainforest Alliance <>. The Rainforest Alliance curriculum is unique in that it teaches science, math, language arts and social studies essentials while addressing the National Standards for Learning. The multidisciplinary curriculum presents information on forests, wildlife and local communities, and provides a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources, while giving students opportunities for direct action. All information is provided free of charge.

A multidisciplinary--and free--environmental education curriculum on the Rainforest Alliance Learning Site at can be found at: <>. aims to raise interest in and appreciation of wildlands and wildlife. It is the effort of Rhett A. Butler, the author of A Place Out of Time: Tropical Rainforests - Their Wonders and the Perils They Face. <>
The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) provides science training to teachers with the intent of giving a foundation in conservation biology and curriculum development they can use in the classroom. CERC believes that the multiplier effect of teaching teachers-- who will then teach their students---will significantly increase environmental literacy and awareness. <>
The Why Files. <> The Why Files portrays science as a critical human endeavor conducted by ordinary people. They use news and current events as springboards to explore science, health, environment and technology. The Why Files are a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization--UNESCO. Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future: A Multimedia Teacher Education Programme. <>.
The Temperate Forest Foundation is committed to educating the public about our sustainable forest resources and their effect on people and quality of life. We feel that the most effective way to do that is to educate the teachers who will be teaching future generations of citizens, voters, and policy makers to make informed decisions about sustainable forestry issues. <>
Journey into Amazonia <>.PBS series. Includes: Interrelationships in the Rainforest, Broom Forest, Soil in the Amazon, Raw Materials, Chico Mendes of Brazil, World Trade.
Vital Waste Graphics. Prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The document aims to give policymakers, experts, media professionals, teachers and students an overview of relevant waste-related issues, causes, effects, as well as possible solutions. <>

Pacific Worlds. a non-profit indigenous-geography education project for Hawai‘i-Pacific Schools. This project originally draws its inspiration from a consortium of Indigenous educators who were concerned about education and cultural preservation in their communities: <>. A Teachers Resource Guide is available with exercises and suggested projects. They invite input from teachers, students, and community members on both the websites and their Resource Guide.

EPA's Global Warming Kids' Site: <>.

Introduction to available USGS Products, Partnerships and Services for Educators K-8 grade. Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Contact: <pat_o'>. Tel: +1-337- 266-8699. URL: <>

Continuing Education Workshops in GIS. Lafayette, Lousiana, USA. The NASA/UL Lafayette Regional Application Center is coordinating with the U.S.Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior and the National Wetland Research Center in presenting a series of topical workshops pertaining to mapping, vegetation, photo-interpretation, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems. The workshops are part of an effort to exchange information and provide access to spatial technologies developed at the center for natural resource survey. The workshops are available to the general public educators, state and federal agencies. Workshop participation by the international community is also greatly encouraged. Workshop participants are eligible to receive continuing education units (CEU's) for a fee of $10 in addition to the standard registration expense.
Most of the workshops are 3 days long, creating compact presentation of materials. No previous experience in any of the topical workshop is assumed, except for advanced workshops. Appropriate handouts, photos, maps, and other forms of distributed materials are provided to the workshop participants. Some workshops will have scheduled field exercises. Hands-on exercises are utilized to involve workshop participation. Specialized workshop topics and transient workshops can be arranged based upon consultation and number of workshop participants. Scheduled workshops are subject to change. Please contact the workshop coordinator Pat O' Neil
Email: <pat_o'>.  Phone: 337 266 8699 . Workshop schedule: <>.

Ask a Forester - Learn more about forests and forestry. See the Facts on Forests Around the World. <>

Global Positioning System - A GPS Primer (Aerospace Corporation). <>

Learning about Mountains, an on-line guide to resources for teachers and kids. <>.

Missouri Botanical Gardens, Exploring the Tropics: <>

My Community, Our Earth - Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development -- a program to help middle school, secondary school, and university students from around the world learn to apply geographic methods to study and propose solutions for sustainable development issues in their communities. <>

PENN State Offers Sustainable Forestry Web Site to Teachers - Penn State recently created a Web site for teachers whose curricula include sustainable forestry and natural history. The site can be found at The Web site allows teachers to exhibit and share lesson plans related to sustainable forestry. The sustainable forestry lessons include topics such as forest biology, wildlife management and water conservation for grades K-12. Teachers from across the state who attended one of Penn State Cooperative Extension's Forest Resources Institutes for Teachers provided the current selection of more than 120 lesson plans on the site. Also included are links to numerous educational natural resources sites, a lesson plan evaluation page, lesson plan submission instructions and a direct link to the popular From The Woods publication series designed for middle-schoolers.

Global Forest Map

Mountains and Mountain Forests--Global Statistical Summary--by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDS)

Maps Page


Save a Tree--The Gaia Way. A $25 contribution pays for the costs of acquiring, planting, and caring for one Pernambuco tree (also known as the Pau Brazil tree) for a year. You receive a certificate and a picture of the tree when they plant it.

World Land Trust The World Land Trust is a conservation charity that has helped purchase and protect nearly 300,000 acres of threatened wildlife habitats worldwide. An unusual Valentines Day gift: <>.

Pennies for the Planet--Penny power for conserving biodiversity in the world's ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. <>

Adopt an Acre®-Nature Conservancy <>. Adopt an Acre® provides critical funds for rainforest acquisition and protection. This support enables the Conservancy and its partners to achieve their mission of protecting biological diversity.  Every year, Adopt an Acre® chooses two to three imperiled sites that are in critical need of protection.

Adopt a Rainforest--Rainforest Alliance. <>  Through Adopt-A-Rainforest, individuals, school groups, and other organizations are able to contribute funding to small conservation groups that are based in tropical countries and are working to stop local rainforest destruction. While some of the Adopt-A-Rainforest projects support the purchase of tropical forest lands, others make important contributions to overall community conservation efforts--funds may be used to hire, train and equip park rangers, fund environmental education programs, create buffer zones for wildlife and maintain ranger stations and other park facilities. Donors may choose a project to support, or they may ask the Rainforest Alliance to select one whose need is particularly great.

Save-an-Acre Program--Tropical Rainforest Coalition (TRC). <>. Tropical Rainforest Coalition targets the Save-an-Acre Program to small rainforest preserves that are not currently being funded by larger conservation organizations. Working with the local community, it negotiates substantial land purchases at a low per-acre price.

TRC selects acreage projects based on a number of factors: the likelihood of maintaining the forests in a pristine state, the degree of involvement of the local community, and the ability to preserve a continuous rainforest ecosystem.

TRC has actively supported projects in Paraguay, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Brazil.

FUNEDESIN <> Since 1994, FUNEDESIN has purchased more than 3,600 acres of rainforest. Recently, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment declared all of this land a Protected Rainforest.  In addition to buying rainforest, FUNEDESIN actively manages rainforest. They have prepared a comprehensive management plan and hired full-time forest rangers to look after this irreplaceable natural resource.

Rainforest Alliance-Natura Foundation <>  In 1984, the Natura Foundation, a local conservation group, began doing biological research in the Andes and working with local residents to preserve the forests. The group's efforts resulted in the creation of the Cachalú Biological Reserve -- 1,800 acres of forest mainly comprised of majestic, ancient oak trees (Quercus Humboldtii). From a biologist's point of view, the reserve is ideally located on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains. The oak forests protect some 225 species of birds and 70 species of mammals, including the endangered spectacled bear, the only bear found in Latin America. It's a small but vital reserve, and Natura is working to add more acres of forest to Cachalú.

To help secure land to add to the reserve, the Natura Foundation has launched an "Adopt an Acre" campaign. Because the Andean oak forest is so special and rare, it is important to protect more land before developers and loggers cut down the area's regal and moss-laden trees. Each acre that Natura can add to the cool, moist forests of Cachalú, which conservationists call "the land of heaven," offers more hope for the future of this special ecosystem and the people of Colombia.

Protect-an-Acre (PAA) program in 1993 as a tool to protect the world's rainforest and the rights of their inhabitants by providing financial aid to traditionally under-funded organizations and communities in rainforest regions. PAA projects prioritize gaining legal recognition of indigenous territories (a process called "demarcation"), the development of locally-based alternative economic initiatives, community organization, and resistance to destructive practices such as logging, fossil fuel development, and large-scale infrastructure projects in the rainforests. <>

Rain Forest Concern <> For a unique and everlasting gift, such as for a wedding or a birthday, sponsor an acre or more of rain forest. Each Acre costs just £25 to sponsor.

Trees for the Future. <>. Trees for the Future has a people-to-people action plan restoring trees to the world’s most degraded lands. Planting trees helps keep people productive on their lands, preserving their traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations to come.



Organizations where you may find more rainforest & tropical forest information:

Conservation International

Earth Foundation

Earth's Birthday Project


Environmental Defense Fund

The JASON Project - JASON XV: Rainforests at the Crossroads <>

National Arbor Day Foundation

National Wildlife Federation

Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Alliance

Save the Rainforest, Inc.<>

The Nature Conservancy

Tropical Rainforest Coalition

USDA Forest Service <>

●kids' website/pagina para los niños: <>

●International Institute of Tropical Forestry <>

World Wildlife Foundation




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News Notes by Tom Gill

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This page updated: 18 September 2009