Supporting Curriculum on Urban Forests, Carbon Storage, and a Changing Climate
Improving understanding of key urban forestry issues relating to carbon, climate change, municipal policies, and environmental justice.
Why this Project Matters
The climate, both ecological and political, is shifting. Increasingly, municipal officials, and urban planning professionals are facing a need to be fluent in topics of forest carbon management at the urban and municipal level. This fluency includes a need to understand adaptation and mitigation challenges, the ability to incorporate environmental justice into management strategies, and the skills to develop responses to new climate targets and legislation. This project will expand on previously developed content on forest carbon fundamentals to create case study-based materials for foresters, planners, builders, and decision-makers in cities and municipalities.
How the Project Is Engaging Municipal Officials and Urban Planners on the Fundamentals of Urban Forest Carbon Management
The MSU Department of Forestry will expand existing course content on the fundamentals of forest carbon management through practical, accessible, case study-based e-learning materials on forest management and climate for global cities and municipalities. Framing the larger topic of forest carbon and climate with the lens of urban forestry will provide learners with practical and applicable information that acknowledges a myriad of barriers, limitations, and opportunities to increase social equity through urban forestry and green infrastructure projects.
The project will involve primary research and research synthesis on urban forestry and climate to develop learning content. In addition to forest management practices, the proposed course will
examine the climate benefits linked with sustainable forest products and sustainable construction, including green building and mass timber construction, as well as explore policy and private sector initiatives, using case study examples, to further encourage green building.
MSU Forestry is prioritizing outreach aimed at a broad community of professionals both within the forestry sector and beyond. The course and its associated additional outputs will disseminate information to diverse populations on the importance of sustainable urban forest management. The project will also reach out to municipal and urban forester networks, including those with SFI partners the Arbor Day Foundation and American Forests, to ensure the urban forest community has a direct connection to the information. In addition, the e-learning model is both cost effective and accessible, accommodating those who cannot attend in-person events.
This partnership includes academics, conservationists, educators, Indigenous groups, and official SFI partner organizations.
Project lead: Michigan State University Department of Forestry
Sustainable forestry Initiative
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Urban and Community Forestry Program (SFI-certified organization)
American Forests (SFI partner)
Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
International Society of Arboriculture Michigan (SFI partner)
About the Michigan State University Department of Forestry
The MSU Department of Forestry has a mission to generate and translate knowledge of trees, forests, and associated natural and human systems to advance sustainable solutions for people and ecosystems. The department is creating the future of sustainable forestry through innovative research, learning, and outreach. MSU Forestry students discover their role in sustaining forests and the ecosystem services they provide, including conservation of biodiversity, wood products, clean water, and climate change mitigation. Students learn to be leaders through multi-disciplinary coursework, field studies, cutting edge technology and mentorship from respected faculty in one of the longest-standing forestry programs in the United States. Learn more.