Project Leader: 
Laurie Thomas and Billy Thomas
Department of Forestry
Funding Received: 

The Barnhart Challenge grant will be used to purchase the latest technology initially for two of the
Department of Forestry’s educational programs with the potential for ongoing use in other programs. The
first program is the Kentucky Forest Leadership Program which has a 50 year tradition of success for high
school students. The program's hands-on approach to learning where the students "learn how to think not
what to think” has been instrumental to its success. Over the course of a week students are taught forestry
and natural resources subjects in an integrated hands-on process so that at week's end they have learned
what information or data is needed and how to collect it to create a forest management plan for an
assigned piece of property. The program typically accommodates 25 to 30 students per year from around
Kentucky. The program directors determined that a wildlife module needed to be included based on past
students evaluations. Adding the wildlife module also reflects the addition of the Wildlife Forester degree
option for students in the Department of Forestry. The second program is the Kentucky Master Woodland
Stewards Program which begins its second year in 2016. The goal of this Program is to cultivate a group of
people who: embrace woodland stewardship, want to learn more about sustainable woodland
management, and are willing to share what they learn with others. The program teaches woodland
management practices and leadership skills and in return, participants will apply these principles to
property they own or manage and actively encourage others to practice good woodland management. Last
year 24 individuals participated in this intensive three day field program at the University’s Robison Forest.