Reinforcing Humboldt State’s commitment to the community and environmental sustainability, HSU President Tom Jackson, Jr. joined K-12 teachers from across the state to tour a lumber mill in Scotia last Saturday.
The visit was part of the Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) professional program, which is designed to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge and skills to teach their students about forest ecology and sustainable forest management practices. The program is organized by county director and forest advisor of UC Cooperative Extension and HSU faculty member, Yana Valachovic. She also brings together dozens of resource professionals and HSU faculty who help put on the program.
The annual program has institutes in four California counties—Humboldt, Plumas, Shasta, and Tuolumne—and explores forestry issues unique to these regions.
Each summer for one week, teachers stay at Humboldt State University to take classes and explore redwoods, endangered species, and water quality to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate interrelationship of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources. The experience includes field trips to non-industrial and industrial forestry operations and old-growth redwoods in the State Parks.
Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) Lumber Mill was among those stops on July 11. On a visit led by HRC managers, forest experts, scientists, and HSU alumni, Jackson and 30 teachers toured HRC milling operations. They also toured HRC’s Scotia Fisheries Exhibit, which demonstrates how HRC scientists monitor and protect the endangered and threatened species that live on HRC-owned lands.
About the Forestry Institute for Teachers
The Forestry Institute for Teachers is a multi-day residence workshop developed by the Northern California Society of American Foresters, University of California Cooperative Extension, Shasta County Office of Education, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Project Learning Tree. The FIT Program is underwritten by a consortium of public and private sources. Since 1993, over 2,100 teachers have graduated from the program.
The goal of FIT is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices. The program brings together natural resource specialists and teachers from rural and urban settings for one week, working side by side to gain a deeper understanding of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources.