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Project Learning Tree Secondary Module

Project Learning Tree

PINEMAP has partnered with Project Learning Tree to develop, test, and implement a new secondary environmental education module, Southeastern Forests and Climate Change. This module provides educators with the necessary information and resources to engage secondary students in lessons about climate change, forest ecosystems, the carbon cycle, pine tree genetics, modeling, and life cycle assessments. The module explores these concepts in 13 experiential activities that are based on PINEMAP’s interdisciplinary research. The activities incorporate technology, data analysis, critical thinking, and system-thinking skills to encourage students to understand the connections between human, biological, and physical systems.

Students measure trees and calculate the amount of carbon stored in individual trees as part of the PINEMAP/PLT Secondary Module activity "Counting the Carbon". Photo courtesy of Jessica Ireland

The activities are designed for students in grades 9 through 12, though many could be adapted for middle school or college students. With its application of climate change to forest ecosystems and management, this module is intended to be used by life science, biology, agriculture, and environmental science teachers. To help educators address curriculum standards, each activity has been correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Project Learning Tree Conceptual Framework.
PLT Secondary Module_Pilot Testing_Summer 2012_9

This module is designed to help students

    • Understand how climate change could impact forests in the southeastern U.S.;
    • Understand how forests can be managed to address changing climate conditions and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
    • Enhance decision-making skills to make informed choices as consumers to mitigate climate change;
    • Develop systems-thinking skills to see connections between climate change, forests, and people;
    • Recognize that individual and community actions can help mitigate and adapt to climate change; and
    • Become part of future community PLT Secondary Module_Pilot Testing_Summer 2012conversations about climate change and potential solutions.

The module website ( provides online access to the activities and includes supplemental materials and resources. Educators will find teacher tools including audio-visual tours of the activities that include tips for leading, quizzes that gauge content comprehension prior to teaching each lesson, and videos and interactive tools that provide background information for each activity. Activity webpages also include download options for slide presentations and student worksheets in modifiable format so that educators can adapt the materials to better meet their needs.

The module is currently being pilot tested with 65 teachers in the Southeast. Their experiences and observations after implementing the activities will be used to evaluate and revise the module. The final version of the module will be released fall 2014.

Module Overview
Climate Change Symposium
Document Actions

PINEMAP Collaborators


University of Florida | Alcorn State University | University of Georgia | Auburn University | Mississippi State University | North Carolina A & T University | North Carolina State University |
Oklahoma State University | Texas A & M University | Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Virginia State University

University-Corporate-Governmental Research Cooperatives

Cooperative Forest Genetics Research Program | Cooperative Tree Improvement Program | Forest Biology Research Cooperative | Forest Modeling Research Cooperative |
Forest Productivity Cooperative | Plantation Management Research Cooperative | Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium | Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program


U.S. Forest Service | Southern Regional Extension Forestry | Southeast Climate Consortium | Additional Supporters

The Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP) is a Coordinated Agricultural Project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Award #2011-68002-30185.