This pod combines three 2-credit classes that were taught separately last year – Forestry Techniques, Woodlot Practices, and some parts of Log Building Techniques. Basic forest measurements and small scale woodlot management are closely entwined with the hands-on tools skills for safe and efficient wood cutting, tree felling, wilderness trail work, and building with logs. Cutting tools featured are the ax, cross-cut saw, and chainsaw. Be outside for the majority of every class period!
This Pod will be linked to a Work Program crew applying and practicing many of the same skills learned in class: cutting, splitting, and moving firewood; trail maintenance; and log construction projects on campus.
Enrollment Requirements and Options:
As this pod only contains one course, students are encouraged to enroll in online courses, Senior Year Research Project, or Independent Study work. Students may TA Forestry Techniques with instructor permission.
This pod includes the following courses:
Forestry Techniques 4 cr
This course introduces the broad range of skills and concepts necessary for work in a farm or homestead scale woodlot, further forestry courses at Sterling, and wilderness trail work (where power-tool use is not allowed). Wood volume calculations, standing tree measurements, tree species winter ID, compass and pacing mapping, and sampling layouts provide theoretical and mathematical foundations for forest inventory assessments in work program positions and subsequent classes. During class sessions carrying out Sterling’s Forest Management Plan; students cut logs to length, and fell trees using state of the art techniques for axes, cross-cut saws, and chainsaws. The plan’s connections to silviculture, ecology, and stewardship ethics are explained. Firewood processing, basic log construction and tool handle hanging add depth to skill development and appreciation of forest products. Log extraction is usually performed in conjunction with other Sterling courses and work crews. Students provide their own ax w/ sheath, sturdy boots, work gloves. It is possible to rent an ax and sheath from Sterling for the semester, $10.