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Virtual Forest Initiative

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Virtual Forest Initiative

Virtual Forest Initiative Partner(s): Black Rock Forest Consortium

Access: Open to all
Revised: March 2013
Released: May 2009

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The Virtual Forest Initiative provides a technological framework to support and enhance research, education, and community activities at Black Rock Forest. The framework provides searchable, downloadable forest assets and resources for access, presentation, and use by scientists, educators, and community members.

As part of the larger Virtual Forest Initiative, CCNMTL developed a suite of web-based learning tools that utilizes Black Rock Forest's rich archive of scientific records such as climate field station and tree data. Used in the Earth and Environmental Sciences courses at Columbia University and Barnard College, the project gives students an unprecedented opportunity to utilize real data for comparative analysis.

In 2011, Black Rock Forest and CCNMTL were awarded a $500,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to develop two educational modules for the Virtual Forest Initiative - on chemistry and biology - to teach environmental science in New York City middle and high schools. The grant also supports class field trips to the Forest, where students can experience the forest first-hand and apply what they have learned from the online modules.

Black Rock Forest is located 50 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Highlands.

The Virtual Forest Initiative is a Digital Bridges Initiative project.

Related project categories:
Field-Laboratory | Sciences

Related news:
May-02-2013: With Virtual Forest Initiative, NYC Students Become Citizen Scientists
Mar-05-2013: Connecting NYC Students to the Forest, Virtual and Real
Mar-02-2011: Toyota Foundation Grant Enhances Science at Harlem HS
Aug-05-2010: Virtual Forest Initiative Featured at the Ecological Society of America Meeting
Mar-11-2010: Barnard Students Engage with New Virtual Forest Module
Jul-09-2009: Virtual Forest Initiative Modules Piloted at Columbia University
Jan-14-2009: CCNMTL Develops Educational Materials and Technologies for the Virtual Forest Initiative