NAUFRP’s purpose is to advance the health, productivity, and sustainability of America’s forests by providing university-based natural resource education, research, science, extension and international programs. To advance the education component of its mission, NAUFRP has engaged in many different activities over the years.
In 2003 NAUFRP published a report entitled National Graduate Education Needs and Priorities in Natural Resources, which is more commonly referred to as the Keathley Report. This report identified national research capacity shortages in forestry and natural resources and suggested ways to address those shortages. An important outcome of this report was that it contributed to the development of the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) grants program, which funds graduate education in forestry and other agricultural disciplines.
Other efforts include hosting two diversity workshops related to forestry and natural resources education and employment, a workshop designed to identify and enhance the recruitment of students into the forestry profession, and the collection of data on university enrollments in forestry and natural resource undergraduate programs.
NAUFRP’s most recent educational initiative is focused on undergraduate education and has led to the development of a document dated March 14, 2011 and entitled NAUFRP Undergraduate Educational Enhancement Strategy. This document lists goals and possible action items, which in turn were prioritized through a survey of the NAUFRP membership. We will be working on this initiative over the next couple of years and will periodically provide the NAUFRP membership with progress updates.
Education Committee Chair – Terry Sharik, Michigan Technological University