is the focus of this module?
The purpose of this module is to help students realize how complicated
environmental issues have become. As students attempt to find a
balance between the needs of conservationists and the timber industry,
they are confront reasonable options including but not limited to
the conservation and use of the old growth of the Pacific Northwest.
are some interelated teaching perspectives? The module
provides opportunities to bring in issues that are political, scientific,
environmental, social, economic and historical.
is the compelling problem that students will face in this module?
The dilemma is to make recommendations that balance the benefits
of a healthy forest with the economic needs of the people who log
issues will students encounter as they work through this module?
There are the science issues--and by no means agreement among
the scientists on those--the political and economic interplay--especially
the conflicts among the preservationists versus the conservationists,
and the conglomerates versus the four- and five-man custom cutters
and cedar shake manufacturers, the social issues of what it means
to live in a "resource community," the historical approaches
the U.S. and the Province of B.C. have taken towards resource extraction,
and even some of the literature written during 300 years of use
is the role of remote sensing in this module? Photographs
of the temperate rainforest taken from the ground tend to be limited
because you can see only to the horizon just a few miles away. Aerial
surveys and photographs provide a better view, and a faster means
of gathering information. However, the best way to quickly see what
is really happening to old-growth and regrowing forests is to look
at them from space using satellite images. Working the three remote
sensing activities in the module, your students can learn how to
obtain vital information about forests from aerial and satellite
The remote sensing activities
of "Temperate Rainforest" module provides your students
the opportunity to use part of a Landsat image to see forest conditions
in detail on Mt. Rainier and the surrounding countryside. The image
is presented with that colors approximate what you would see if
you were flying over the area in full sunlight on a cloudless day.
When using this and other satellite images, it is difficult to figure
out what you are really looking at. The best way to find out what
different shapes and colors in a satellite image really are is to
do "ground truthing." Traveling to Mt. Rainier to ground
truth the satellite images is out of the question, so we will try
a different approach: online "virtual ground truthing."
In the "Virtual
Ground Truthing" activity, a true-color part of a Landsat
Thematic Mapper (TM) image of area around Mt. Rainier is used. Click
on the photograph, and an enlargement of the satellite image of
the area will appear. Simply click within a box to see the photograph
of that area. The numbered yellow boxes represent the approximate
outlines of areas for which aerial photographs are available. The
three boxes with letters in them present an enlargement, but no
aerial photograph is available for these areas. Using the numbered
yellow boxes, students can look for specific colors, unusual
boundary shapes, and prominent features such as mountains or lakes
to help orient the learner within the different images. Subsequently,
the students can use what they learned from the aerial photographs
while virtually ground truthing the satellite image to make a land-use
map of the entire image. Using NIH Image software, the students
can outline different features of the map and choose a set of colors
to represent the different land-use types they outlined. When finished,
they can label the map and make a legend identifying the meaning
of each color. Finally, they can compare their map with the original
satellite image and should be able to see how much of the forest
has been cut down and where the stands of old-growth trees remain.
Two additional remote
sensing activities are included in the "Temperate Rainforest"
module. In the Forest Management from Space activity, the
students will first to see and then to measure the effect of forest
management policy on preservation of the old-growth forest within
different jurisdictions of the Rainier area. Using NIH Image software,
along with a TIFF version of the Rainier area map showing only jurisdictional
boundaries, and one of the images from the Virtual Ground Truthing
activity, the students should be able see where the old-growth forests
are located relative to jurisdictional lines and eventually make
some measurements. They can find the total area and old-growth forest
area for each jurisdictional type by adding up the area for each
individual section. They can find the total area and area of old-growth
forest on private lands by subtracting the totals for each jurisdictional
type from the map totals. Finally, they can compute the percent
area of old-growth forest in each jurisdictional type, and compare
each type to see how management has affected preservation.
Finally, the last remote
sensing activity deals with "Forest Fragmentation,"
the process of cutting a large forest into a number of smaller pieces.
Again, using NIH Image software and TIFF versions of satellite images
from three different areas, the students can try to compare clear-cut
sizes and/or compare forest fragmentation patterns.
Checklist--have you thought of everything?