H.J. Andrews Forest Discovery Trail: An interpretation of place based on curriculum of interpretive learning trail and field trip support, 2016

  • Creator(s): Lissy Goralnik, Kari B. O'Connell
  • PI(s): Kari B. O'Connell
  • Originator(s): Lissy Goralnik
  • Other researcher(s): Sarah Minette Kelly, Mark D Schulze, Michael P. Nelson, Adam M Kennedy
  • Dates of data collection: Jun 1 2016 - Oct 31 2016
  • Data collection status: Study continues and further data collection is planned
  • Data access: Online
  • DOI:
  • Last update: Oct 31 2016 (Version 2)
<Citation>     <Acknowledgement>     <Disclaimer>    
Goralnik, L.; O'Connell, K. 2016. H.J. Andrews Forest Discovery Trail: An interpretation of place based on curriculum of interpretive learning trail and field trip support, 2016. Long-Term Ecological Research. Forest Science Data Bank, Corvallis, OR. [Database]. Available: Accessed 2024-07-18.
Data were provided by the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest research program, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 2025755), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Oregon State University.
While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is". The Andrews LTER shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of data sets.
The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (HJA) in the Oregon Cascades is one of 24 sites in the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. It supports research on forests, streams, and watersheds, and fosters collaborations between ecosystem science, education, natural resource management, and the humanities. The site currently hosts 85 interdisciplinary research projects, as well as experiential training for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, the HJA runs a vibrant professional development program for teachers. Because much of the HJA’s terrain is steep and occupied with sensitive research materials, middle and high school visits are limited to tours in designated areas. The Discovery Trail was developed in 2011 as a place for visitors (~1800 in 2014) to explore the forest and site research themes from HJA headquarters, but it is not yet amenable to unguided educational exploration. We have designed an interpretive learning trail and field trip support framework for the Discovery Trail. Our primary objective is to educate students about place while guiding them to reflect upon their own relationships with place and personal responsibility for stewardship behavior. Long-term place-based conservation research is woven with creative writing from the HJA writer’s residency program and paired with reflection and creative inquiry. Interactive trail stops enable students to engage the forest from multiple perspectives. The Discovery Trail is wired for intranet wifi and content and assessment will be delivered by digital media (i.e. iPads). We will evaluate conceptual learning according to the Framework for the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as observe affective changes in sense of place, empowerment, and expressions of care or empathy through analysis of student responses to the trail activities. Because conservation attitudes require not just knowledge about systems, but also emotional connections to the material, our learning experience will incorporate art, ethics, and reflection alongside environmental science and natural history.

Study Description Download Study Location Information: (CSV)

 Discovery Trail Pilot Trail Stops - 2016 pilot curriculum with integrated formative assessment
 Discovery Trail individual student feedback - 2016 pilot post-assessment student feedback
 Discovery Trail qualitative group assessment - 2016 pilot qualitative post-assessment group questionnaire
 HJ Andrews Forest Discovery: A conceptual framework for interdisciplinary interpretation. - Abstract for 2015 SEER Conference