CCS Our Forests

Our Forests

Overview

Project Duration

2019-2023

Location

Nevada County, California

Background

The Youth Community Action and Science in Our Forests (“Our Forests”) project trains and supports participating 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers as they work with their students, local environmental scientists, and community organizations to study local forests and fire risk in Nevada County, California. 

Partnering with Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and Sierra Streams Institute, CCS received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study youth learning through environmental science research surrounding the community-identified issue of forest health. Decades of fire suppression policy and a changing climate are redefining Northern California’s wildfire season, impacting rural communities like those in Nevada County. 

Beginning in 2019, CCS and its partners are collaborating with teachers and ecologists over four years to design targeted materials and connect youth learning with forest health. Our role examines the impacts of three key features of citizen science—collecting, analyzing and sharing data—on student environmental science learning and agency over several design cycles. We aim to create a replicable model of science standards-aligned, school-based community and citizen science surrounding forest health that can be used in classrooms beyond Nevada County after the project ends. This project builds on years of research studying youth-based community and citizen science; read more about our previous work and findings here.  

Funder

National Science Foundation

Partners

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, Sierra Streams Institute 

Blog entry

Listen to a radio interview about “Our Forests”

In early November 2019, KVMR’s Educationally Speaking program invited ​Sol Henson, the Educational Co-Director at Sierra Streams Institute, and our own Erin Bird to discuss the Youth Community Action and Science in Our Forests (“Our Forests”) project, now getting underway in Nevada County. The Our Forests project will train and support participating 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers as they work with their students, local environmental scientists and community organizations to study local forests and fire risk.

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