Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Perceptions of Forestry Students Change through Years of Study

31.05.2010
A study of Brazilian undergraduates examines their forestry-related concerns relative to their time spent in a 5-year program, in order to improve forestry curriculum

A study of undergraduates in a five-year Brazilian forestry program finds that what students perceive as important change as they progress through program. These differences suggest ways to improve forestry curriculum and create more attractive forestry programs to reverse the global decline in forestry student enrolment.

Javier Arevelo and others from the University of Eastern Finland, as well as scientists from the Federal University of Paraná, where the study was conducted, report their findings in the 2010 Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, published by the America Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

The aim of the study was to investigate differences in students’ perceptions across study years of a higher education forestry program. Students reported their forestry related concerns, rated their perceived value of competencies and experiences, their preferred work areas, and where they would pursue a Master’s program.

Across the five years of student experience, the researchers found that student later in their educational careers have a much broader variety of forestry concerns. The most frequent concern among first-years was conservation, but later-year students were just as likely to mention production, sustainable management, or forest legislation and policy.

Improving forestry curriculum will involve identifying what attracts students to the field. The authors suggest that since beginning students perceive conservation as an important concern, conservation-related issues should be incorporated into first-year studies, to capitalize on that interest.

The study also found that later-years students were more likely to give higher importance to competency related to traditional forestry areas (such as silviculture and management policy) and generic communication skills, such as oral and written communication. The authors suggest that this is a positive finding, as previous academic work has pointed out the need for improved communication skills for forestry graduates and professionals.

While the study did not find much variation on items related to experience, the importance of excelling academically decreased across study years, while the importance of having a good social life increased across study years. The authors suggest that this may signal dissatisfaction or de-motivation linked to a perception that academic achievement is not appropriately awarded.

Students in their finals years showed a greater diversity in their preferred areas of work, and showed an increasing support for consultancy. This may have been influenced by their growing awareness of their expertise, as well as interaction with their professors who perform consultancy work.

While the majority of students at the beginning of their studies prefer to continue for master programs at the same university, by their later years they equally preferred either the same university, a different university, or studying abroad. While this may represent the natural development of expanding expertise, the authors suggest it could also reflect dissatisfaction with their studies, and a progressive loss of interest in continuing their studies at the same university.

The findings from this study offer new insights into the perceptions of forestry education and employment, putting efforts for reform curricula on stronger footing. While areas and competencies that students put less emphasis on should not be dropped from the curriculum, their perceptions offer a perspective of the motivation, engagement, and effort that students gain and experience in their educational careers.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://www.jnrlse.org/issues/.

The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>