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Posted on March 1st, 2022 in Forestry, Nature of Teaching, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Forestry & Natural Resources Assists with Natural Resources Teacher Institute

Group Gathered In Forest

The Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute is a multi-day professional development workshop that will bring 18 teachers from across the state to Morgan-Monroe State Forest to see firsthand how forestry works in Indiana. Sessions include tours of public and private forest lands, forest industry facilities, and forestry research in Indiana.

The goal of the institute is to provide Indiana teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest management practices. The forest environment becomes the basis for integrating the learning of many subject areas, including environmental science, biology, natural resources, and social science. STEM concepts and principles will be incorporated throughout the sessions. The program empowers teachers to foster conceptual learning, critical thinking and decision-making skills in their classrooms.

The Natural Resources Teacher Institute emphasizes the importance of conservation of natural resources with special attention given to Indiana’s forests and forest products. The project-based approach integrates hands-on study of the natural and cultural resources of the local community, addresses concepts in ecology, sense of place, civics, economics and forest land management and stewardship. Participants will develop a curriculum project about forests or forestry for their classrooms. Participants will earn 30+ Professional Growth Points and receive a stipend upon documentation of implementing curriculum project. We link the concepts to the Indiana Learning Standards and provide training in Project Learning Tree materials.

There are two opportunities for teachers to participate in this course during the summer of 2022. The first offering will be June 20-24, while the second will be July 18-22. The Institute will begin on Monday of the week at 1:00 pm and conclude on Friday at noon. The base of operations will be the Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest near Martinsville. Teachers will stay in the Training Center, sharing one of the 10 sleeping rooms. Meals will be provided.


  • Interested educators must complete an application and submit it by the deadline of March 15, 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by April 1, 2022.
  • The Institute is limited to 18 participants.


  • Must be available to participate in all days of the Institute. Individual participation only – spouses and/or children, etc, are not permitted.
  • Must be able to actively participate in all activities, which will include walking, hiking, summer temperatures, insects, etc. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities who may need assistance.
  • Must have the ability to implement a curriculum project in their educational setting.

There is no cost for participants. Those accepted will be required to pay a $50.00 deposit which will be refunded at the end of the program.
Participants will receive a stipend when documentation is provided that they have implemented their curriculum project with their students.

“One of the strengths of this program is having the time and locations to expose and involve the teachers in multiple aspects of forest management, benefits, and research,” said Lenny Farlee, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension forester and sustaining hardwood extension specialist. “This exposure provides teachers new perspectives on the importance and complexity of forests, which they can pass along to their students. I think a better understanding of forests can lead to better decisions related to their use and management in the future.”

Lead instructors for the NRTI include: Lenny Farlee, Purdue’s Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist; Donna Rogler, Forestry Education Specialist and Project Learning Tree Coordinator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry; and Mary Cutler, Tippecanoe County Parks and Recreation naturalist.

For flyer with course description: 2022 Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute
For application view: 2022 NRTI Application

Project Learning Tree
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry
The Nature of Teaching, Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Indiana Forestry Educational Foundation, Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association
Forest/Timber, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Purdue Extension
Natural Resources Teacher Institute Takes Forestry to the Classroom, Purdue FNR News

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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