Learning Center: Carbon & Trees 

How Trees Capture Carbon

Trees absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide gas during photo-synthesis.

Part of the gas is changed into oxygen and released back into the air. The carbon becomes woody growth tissue.

After trees die, most of the woody carbon becomes part of the soil ecosystem where it remains out of the atmosphere.

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Educational Programs

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United For Trees plants trees

and offers educational experiences through environmental organizations

like partner and Trees for Tomorrow (TFT).

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Below are examples of the forestry and environmental curriculum developed by TFTAn environmental education center empowering people to make informed choices about the sustainable use of natural resources.

There are dozens other other programs available.

Three Types of Programs from Trees for Tomorrow

  1. School Programs at Trees For Tomorrow’s Campus: 1 to 5 day immersion in a northern forest

  2. Trees For Tomorrow in Your Community: An hour or a day of educational programming

  3. Virtual Programs with Trees For Tomorrow: Live virtual classroom experiences online

Elementary School

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Meet the Trees

Students will learn how to use a dichotomous key to identify common local trees and apply that skill on an outdoor tree identification course. They will then group trees into families based on their similarities and differences. 

Middle School

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Ecological Succession 

After a brief introduction on forest succession and changes, students will journey to a field site to gather data on a forest following a past disturbance.  Students will use their data to support a theory on patterns of change in the forest following the disturbance, explain the phenomenon of ecological succession, and create predictions about how the site will change in the future. 

High School

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Climate Basics

After an introduction on the basics of what climate is and how the global climate has changed over the recent decades, students will visit outdoor stations to learn about how predicted climate change will affect forest dynamics such as plant communities, water resources, and wildlife.

Conscious Consumers

Students will explore how the product choices we make affect our environment. They will assess a product's life cycle from creation to the end of its use. They will then determine ways to improve on the product's design in order to minimize its environmental impact.

Intro to Field-Based Science Skills

Students will develop observation and data collection skills by practicing journaling techniques and using a variety of tools to study trees and wildlife. This lesson is an introduction to skills that will be used throughout the forest systems strand.

Carbon Sequestration

Students will compare how much carbon is stored in different forest types. Through taking a series of forest measurements, students will estimate the carbon storing ability of each forest type. Back in the classroom, students will discuss trends they observed in the data and discuss a forest's ability to sequester carbon at different stages in its "life." They will then use the data they collect to discuss ways a forest could be managed to maximize carbon sequestration, and the pros and cons of those management decisions.