OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Overview and History

Since its inception, the Oregon Natural Resources Education Program (ONREP) has been committed to providing educators with professional development that is relevant, meaningful, and place-based. Through hands-on, interactive, and investigative strategies that foster ‘how to think, not what to think’, educators learn how to meet state and national learning standards while engaging students in nature-based learning that promotes the development of critical thinking and creative problem solving needed for life and work in the 21st Century.

History
Late 1970’s - The Forestry Education Project (FEP) was developed by OSU College of Forestry faculty to help Oregon teachers understand and teach about Oregon’s forests. The project team, with the help of internal and external partners, developed the Oregon Forestry Notebook, which contains interactive, hands-on activities within K-12 lesson plans for classroom teachers.

mid-1980s - FEP was re-designed as the Oregon Forestry Education Program (OFEP) and takes on state sponsorship of Project Learning Tree (PLT), a multidisciplinary national environmental education program that includes forests and forestry as an organizing theme. PLT curricula promoted fair and balanced approaches to learning that engages student in “how to think, not what to think”. Forest-sector businesses and industries provided the majority of funding for the program at this time.

1993 - The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) provided funding to support OFEP’s efforts to provide PLT to Oregon Educators. The funding supported workshops and development of curricula and resources for educators at no cost.

2005 - OFEP changed its name to the Oregon Natural Resources Education Program (ONREP) to reflect the topics addressed in the program. While forests remain the primary focus, themes such as watersheds, salmon, and wildlife helped provide a better understand of the diversity and complexity of Oregon’s forest ecosystems. During this time, ONREP became the state sponsor of Project WILD.

Today – ONREP provides educators throughout Oregon with curricula, resources, and strategies to engage their students in learning about Oregon’s natural resources. Professional development is free thanks to the support of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute and other partners.