Colorado State Forest Service Offers Weeklong Fire Ecology Workshop Free to Colorado Teachers

This June, Colorado teachers will have the opportunity to attend a free weeklong forest and wildfire workshop in Durango, Colo., where they will visit forests burned in recent wildfires, learn about wildland fire as it relates to forest health and obtain materials about forest fire ecology they can share with their students this fall.

All Colorado educators for grades 4 through 12 are invited to attend the Fire Ecology Institute from June 12-17, which is being offered for the 10th year by the Colorado State Forest Service. Instructors include natural resource professionals from the CSFS, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Colorado Geographic Alliance.

The 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire site and multiple Mesa Verde wildfire sites near Durango provide an ideal setting for the learning sessions, in which foresters, firefighters, biologists, ecologists and hydrologists offer field demonstrations, experiments and example lesson plans to attending educators. Attendees are sent home with a collection of materials and resources including Project Learning Tree activity guides, fire demonstration experiments for their students and information from multiple organizations and agencies in the form of posters, DVDs and other materials.

“This workshop offers teachers the knowledge, experience and materials they need to provide their students with interesting, hands-on information about Colorado forests, fire ecology and wildfire behavior,” said Shawna Crocker, Project Learning Tree coordinator for the CSFS.

Federal Wildland-Urban Interface Program grant funds administered by the CSFS cover the costs of the workshop, making it free to Colorado educators; a $50 placeholder deposit is required, which is refunded upon completion of the workshop. Meals, materials, field trips, instruction and lodging at Fort Lewis College are all included.

The deadline to apply for the workshop is May 23. For more information, contact Shawna Crocker at (303) 202-4662 or visit to register online.