If Trees Could Talk

Behind the Scenes:
Forest & Forest Product Research

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Teacher's Answer Key

Worksheet 1

Answers will vary for this activity. However, students should use information they learned in the essay to describe forest research.


Worksheet 2

Sentences provided below and suggested definitions, however answers will vary for this activity.

Environmental concerns

1. Sentence: There are numerous environmental concerns facing society today and most of them center on ways of maintaining an ecological balance in our world. OR There are numerous environmental concerns facing society today and most of them center on ways of maintaining an ecological balance in our world.

2. Definition: Problems, struggles, issues, effects of altering the environment in our society

Urban Forests

1. Sentence: Some researchers focus on urban forests, product safety and human health, and forest products consumption. OR For example, researchers might analyze the effects of an urban forest on air quality and water quality in the city.

2. Definition: Numerous trees, forested park, or forest located in an urban, developed, or city/town area.

Forest Disturbance

1. Sentence: These researchers might examine the economic impacts of forest disturbances, such as insect infestations.

2. Definition: Something that causes a interference or disruption in a forest therefore causing harm or damage to all or part of the forest ecosystem.

Naval Stores

1. Sentence: Research Center in Lake City , Florida , where new techniques for naval stores production were developed. Naval stores refer to the storing of products extracted from raw pine gum from living pine trees.

2. Definition: Creating and stocking up goods made from the sap/gum of pine trees.


1. Sentence: Most forest hydrologists attribute the first watershed studies in the U.S. to the Wagon Wheel Gap Project in Colorado , which began in 1909 and ended in 1926. OR Over the last century hundreds of forest watersheds have been monitored and used in watershed studies. (And numerous other options.)

2. Definition: Watersheds are areas where people get water. There are numerous watersheds through the U.S. They are natural areas that help store water for later human use/consumption.


1. Sentence: The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory made significant advances in recycling paper in the late 1960s and again in the 1990s. OR Recycling helps extend the functional life of wood fiber and helps reduce the buildup of waste in landfills. (And numerous other options.)

2. Definition: Taking old materials and reusing them to create new products.


Worksheet 3

Answers may vary for this activity, however, student should be able to show why they feel their answers are correct with examples in their “ Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits ” column. The information below should also offer some assistance.




Gerry, E



Bates, C


Zobel, B X              
Furniss, M                
Franklin, J                

Kirk, K




Person Studied: Eloise Gerry (Example of possible personality traits and possible behavior answers)

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:



Gerry had both a bachelors and masters degree. She had experience in wood anatomy and training in the preparation of wood specimens and photomicrographs.



“Gerry proved to be… determined to contribute greatly to society.”



“Gerry proved to be an exceptional scientist, a devoted Forest Service employee…” “it is not her (Gerry's) habit merely to DO, but always to DO MORE than is normally required or expected.”




When Gerry was hired in 1910 the FPL did not have a wood collection. Gerry needed wood samples, so she started collecting samples from expositions and fairs, and then moved to Columbia, MS to study southern pines.




Gerry was a pioneer for female scientist in the U.S.



Person Studied: Carlos G Bates

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:


Bates had a Bachelors of Science in Forestry. “Bates distinguished himself in three (fields): silvics, shelterbelt forestry, and watershed management.”















Person Studied: Bruce J. Zobel

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:
Expertise Zobel received a Bachelor's in Forestry, a Master's in Forestry, and a Ph.D. in Forestry. He also received numerous awards for his research.

Person Studied: Malcolm M. Furniss

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:
Expertise Furniss had a Bachelors of Science in Forestry and a Masters of Science in Entomology. “He is widely recognized for his expertise in bark-beetle identification.”

Person Studied: Jerry F. Franklin

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:
Expertise Franklin received a Bachelor's and Master's in Forest Management, and a Ph.D. in Botany. “Dr. Franklin has spent more than 40 years studying old-growth forests”


Person Studied: T. Kent Kirk

Personality Traits: Behavior that demonstrates this Personality Traits:

Kirk has a Bachelors in Forestry, Masters in Plant Pathology and a PhD in Biochemistry and Plant Pathology















Assessment 1: Application & Integration Exercise

Student assignments will vary. After students bring in their top three article choices, you should assign one article per individual or group (depending on the number of article choices this will vary). The students will be allowed to design a poster, write an article, or produce a video. These items should give a brief summary of the article assigned to the student or group, explaining the latest happenings at the Forest Products Lab. You will have access to the original articles via the FPL Press Room and be able to grade accordingly.


Assessment 2: Test

1. What is Timber Management Research?

Timber management research deals with trying to find answers to the challenges of forest regeneration (renewal), improving growth and yield, and protecting forests from insects, disease, and fire.

2. What is the Forest Product Laboratory?

The Forest Product Laboratory opened on April 1, 1910 and its primary goal was to discover new technologies for producing wood products while creating less logging waste.

3. What major research development helped the naval store industry?

The Lake City Research Center found that nearly half of the chipping labor could be saved with no loss in gum production by spraying sulfuric acid on a fresh cut to prolong the flow of gum. This one research development saved the naval stores industry about a million dollars in 1951.

4. What benefits resulted from Wood Preservative Research?

Wood preservatives extended the life of railroad ties, thus saving the railroad companies money in the long run. The early research on wood preservatives reduced the demand for railroad ties by 75 percent and lead to the use of preservation methods for other wood products as well, such as fence posts, and various building materials.

5. Explain what the Wagon Wheel Gap Project in Colorado studied.

Wagon Wheel Gap was a cooperative project with the Weather Bureau and the Forest Service. This project was to be a study of the effects of timber removal on water yield or stream flow and erosion under the conditions of the central Rocky Mountains.

6. What were some of the major research developments in recycling?

Major developments in recycling included: discovering ways to recycle paper products to create new “recycled” paper products, discovering new techniques for removing contaminants, especially adhesives to create new recycled paper products, and discovering a new process for recycling paper that lowered the cost to the producer.

7. Why is forest product research so critical?

Forest products research is critical to the social and economic well being of people on a global level, because the demand continues to increase on a natural resource that continues to decrease.


Assessment 3: Reflection

Answers will vary depending on student surveys. Students should turn in a list of the 10 or more people that they surveyed, along with their completed tally sheet and 2 Histograms.

  Essay / Worksheet 1 / Worksheet 2 / Worksheet 3 Teacher Instructions / Gerry Bio / Bates Bio / Zobel Bio / Furniss Bio / Franklin Bio / Kirk Bio / Worksheet 3 / Application and Integration Exercise / Test / Reflective Exercise Teacher Instructions / Reflective Exercise