Enriching Students. Sustaining Forests.
Teachers and Mentors Inspire a Forestry Career
Logan Wells demonstrates his portable sawmill to 4th grade students in Green County, Wis.
Monroe, Wis. native Logan Wells credits his many teachers and mentors for helping him develop his academic strengths and an interest in forestry. Wells says their enduring patience and endless encouragement gave him the confidence to "dream big" and pursue his passions.

Wells, who will graduate this spring from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Forest Science and a Certificate in Business will continue his education in the fall at Purdue University where he will be a master's candidate in the Wood Science Program. While at Purdue Wells plans to research a technique that uses computer tomography to determine the best way to cut a log to maximize its value. Wells says that while a good sawyer can determine high- and low-value points in a log, this groundbreaking technique will increase the average net gain of a timber harvest and can be done on the fly without taking years of hands-on experience to master.

Wells says his interest in forestry developed while in high school where he showed an affinity for the hands-on work of wildlife, soils, agriculture, and woodworking courses. In high school he also became deeply involved with the Wisconsin Association of FFA, eventually becoming the 2013-2014 Wisconsin State FFA President.

As Logan learned the foundations of forestry in the classroom, he also discovered an interest in business and industry as part of his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) -- a hands-on learning project that helps students apply what they've learned in FFA and the classroom to the real world. For his SAE, Wells established Smock Valley Timber, a portable sawmill business which not only sparked his interest in entrepreneurship but also in teaching forestry to others when the Natural Resources Conservation Service invited him to demonstrate his operation to 4th grade students from Green County.

Forestry provides myriad career options and Wells readily admits that he has had a tough time deciding his long-term plan. However, he says that he would like to combine his interest in forestry education and the forest products industry, possibly as a wood products extension specialist, like his mentor and collegiate advisor Scott Bowe, Ph.D.

In addition to Professor Bowe, Wells has had an incredible network of supporters, including his agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Carmen Montgomery, technology and engineering teacher Kim Cairy, and his FFA advisor Jeff Hicken. To all of his teachers and mentors, Logan says "thank you" and he wants them to know that without their support and patience he may not be where he is today. Finally, he says that "students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," - a sentiment shared by all who have benefited from the hard work and dedication of Wisconsin's teachers.
Did You Know It's National FFA Week?
According to FFA.org, the  tradition of celebrating National FFA Week began in 1947. The celebration runs from Sunday to Saturday and always encompasses February 22, George Washington's birthday, to recognize his many contributions as an agriculturist and farmer.

FFA encourages all members to advocate for agricultural education and FFA and share the impact it has on students and the future of agriculture in the United States. 

Learn more about the celebration on FFA's website and on social media using #NationalFFAWeek.
9-12 Lesson: Forest Science and Technology

Nutshell: In this lesson, students analyze the production of three construction materials used around the world - wood, concrete, and steel. In small groups, students create a life cycle analysis that illustrates the energy inputs and pollution outputs that occur during the production of each material. Students compare the renewability, longevity, and function of each material and quantify their overall environmental impact. Students work in small groups to describe how different forest management and production techniques can improve the environmental impacts of wood use. Groups study the role of science and technology in sustaining forests and analyze the current technologies used in forestry as well as the trends and issues that exist. In summary, the groups identify areas in which advances are needed and create a project proposal to organize and present a solution.  here.

View the lesson here.
Wisconsin Environmental Education Board Announces
School Forest Grant Program
Due to a generous donation from the Wisconsin Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB), is seeking proposals for a 2016 School Forest grant cycle. The Board anticipates awarding a total of $20,000, with a maximum award of $2,500 per selected proposal.

Projects that facilitate student learning about sustainable forestry practices are preferred. Public school districts with registered school forests are eligible for these WEEB grants. Projects may begin June 1, 2016 and must be completed by November 30, 2016.

Proposals are due April 1, 2016. For an application packet or more information about the program see the Board's website at http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/weeb or contact Ginny Carlton, Senior Administrative Specialist, at 715/346-3805, email: weeb@uwsp.edu.
Nail Laminated Timber Panels Make History
As reported in MinnPost, nail laminated timber panels (NLT) made history this past January as they were laid to create much of the structure of the T3 office building.

Construction is slated to be completed this fall, and the building will mark the nation's first modern tall wood building.

This article makes a great reading companion to the Forest Science and Technology lesson above. 

Name That Tree - Answer Revealed

Thank you to all who sent in an answer to our most recent "Name That Tree" contest.

Nearly all answered correctly - that the tree pictured is a Beech - and we happily gave out more than a dozen classroom sets of our Winter Tree ID Key.

Don't forget to visit our Tree Identification Tools webpage to find more identification tools and lesson ideas.
Professional Development
Upcoming LEAF Courses
All courses are worth 1 graduate credit from UW-Stevens Point (also available as Audit)
Course Fee: $100 unless otherwise noted (assumes scholarship granted)
Visit LEAF's Professional Development Calendar for registration information:
NRES 621, Special Topics in Forestry Education: Mathematics in the Forest
  • Meets April 16 and 17 at Treehaven in Tomahawk
  • Registration deadline: March 18
  • Sorry, no more scholarships available for this course! $535 for credit, $235 to audit.
Full Calendar