Extension’s 2011 woodland webinar series

Update:  The 2011 UMN Extension Woodland Webinar series is now over.  Complete recordings of all of this year’s presentations are linked below.  This year’s series was a big success, with registration and attendance substantially higher than last year.  Feedback was overwhelmingly positive:  We heard that webinars are more convenient and less expensive for participants.  Many of you valued the opportunity to ask questions directly of presenters.  We’re currently planning other webinars, including an ongoing woody biomass webinar series and three Fall 2011 webinars in the Options for Managing Your Woodlands series.

2011 webinars:

January 2011: Recreational Trail Design

This two-part webinar offers the basic knowledge necessary to design, construct, and maintain sustainable trails for hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-highway motorcycling, and all terrain vehicles. Sustainable trails require minimal maintenance because their design and materials hold up to intensive recreational use and severe weather conditions.

A complete recording is now available here.

The instructor is Dr. Mel Baughman, Extension Forester and Program Leader from the University of Minnesota Extension. He has taught this subject for many years to hundreds of family forest owners and natural resource professionals.



February 2011:  Forest Health: Insects and disease in Minnesota.

Minnesota DNR forest health specialist Jana Albers discusses forest health in Minnesota. Jana begins with a review of how insects and disease affect forests with examples from fire dependent and non-fire dependent forest communities in Minnesota. She discusses four types of native insects and disease, discusses how forest health has been and will be affected by a changing climate, and provides ecological context for some recent and ongoing insect and disease outbreaks.

A complete recording of Jana’s Forest Health presentation is now available here.

The instructor is Dr. Jana Albers, Northwest Region Forest Health Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Jana is a major contributor to the Minnesota Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter and knows Minnesota forest bugs and disease as well as anybody!



March 2011:  Accessing airphotos and custom maps online

Quality airphotos and maps can give a whole new perspective on your land.  They can also be tremendously valuable planning tools.  This session will offer a basic overview of the best free online mapping resources.  We’ll walk you through how to find a Minnesota airphoto, then demonstrate how to make a map that you (or others) can later access online.

A complete recording of this webinar is now available here.

The instructor is Eli Sagor of the University of Minnesota Extension.  Eli specializes in forest land ecology and management and manages the MyMinnesotaWoods website.


April 2011:  Woody Biomass in Minnesota: Opportunities for Income and Environmental Benefits

This webinar will provide an overview of the potential for wood energy in the Northeast, and provide some insight into the issues and opportunities that are facing us in the days to come.  Unlike the rest of this spring’s webinar series, this one will be organized by our friends at Penn State University through the Northeast Wood Energy Webinar series.  We’ll send connection instructions as usual.

A complete recording of Dean’s wood energy webinar is now available here. If prompted, you may need to set up a Friends of Penn State account, which you can do here.

The instructor is Dean Current of the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources and  Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management.


May 2011:  Managing ash woodlands in the EAB era

Emerald ash borer has been discovered in Minnesota and is virtually certain to spread across the state, devastating our native ash population.  While some cities are proactively preparing for the loss of their ash, many family woodland owners are uncertain how best to manage their woods to prepare for EAB.

A complete recording of this webinar is now available here.

Angela Gupta is a national leader in development of strategies for family woodland owners to prepare for the arrival of EAB and the loss of their ash.  During this webinar, Gupta will discuss her recent research and the state’s new ash management guide.



June 2011: Non-timber forest products: Through the lens of a landowner.

In 2010, we offered a webinar on non-timber forest products (NTFP) in Minnesota – a general overview of the region’s products and the range of motivations for their harvest. This year we delve deeper into the topic by exploring NTFP management and utilization from the perspective of an actual forest landowner, focusing on specific products, their uses and motivations for use, and management. The webinar follows a framework presented in the NTFP chapter of the recently released Woodland Stewardship Online, and features the insights of landowner John Peterson of Delano, Minnesota.

Dave Wilsey photoThe instructor is Dave Wilsey of UMN Extension. Dave’s teaching and research address forest-based livelihoods, with an emphasis on non-timber resources and tribal communities. He has studied non-timber forest product management and markets in the United States as well as Central and South America.

This webinar is now over.  You can view a complete recording here.



August 2011: What you need to know to teach others about EAB.

You’ve heard about emerald ash borer, you know the basic facts and now you want to make a difference in your community. This webinar will feature a very brief review of EAB and then focus on where you can get materials and information to help spread the word about this invasive forest and tree pest to others in your community – including local decision makers. Specific information about working with those individuals that have the power to allocate resources to manage EAB will be included. Please join us if you’d like to make a difference in our community.

This webinar is now over.  You can view a complete recording here.

Jeff Hahn is an expert on EAB, including identification, biology and urban management.  He is the main contact person for the University of Minnesota Extension for EAB inquiries.


Angela Gupta is a national leader in development of strategies for family woodland owners to prepare for the arrival of EAB and the loss of their ash.  During this webinar, Gupta will discuss her recent research and the state’s new ash management guide, which is currently in development, with publication expected in Spring 2010.



For more information:

If you have questions or need additional information, either leave them in the comments below or email mnwoods@umn.edu.

Funding to support the webinars is provided by the Minnesota Forest Stewardship Program.

The University of Minnesota Extension Forestry team.

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  1. I am interested in the 2011 Extension Woodland Webinar Series. The information states when the classes start but no how long they run. Could you provide me with that information?
    Also, your stated target audience is “family woodland owners”. Surely you know that most of us in that group have full time jobs away from our forests. Why schedule these webinars during the work day? If I am going to take vacation time away from work to benefit my forest, I would much rather take it to work in the woods. Why not have your classes during the evening when many more people would be available? Why ask people to burn vacation and daylight when they would be ready to spend some time learning about their forest on a cold dark winter evening and save their days off for improving their land.
    Thanks for your help and for listening.
    Tim Gossman, Chatfield, Minnesota

    1. Hi Tim. Thanks for your interest in the webinars and for your comments.

      First, webinar duration: Most webinars are an hour long, including Q&A. Some might drift a few minutes past the hour if there are a lot of questions, but we aim for an hour. The only exception is the March webinar on airphotos and custom maps, which also includes an (optional, of course) extra two hours of online assistance for those interested.

      Second, webinar timing: You raise a great point. We’ve struggled a bit with how to handle the timing. Our colleagues at Cornell University, who offer the excellent Forest Connect webinar series, present each one twice: First at noon, then again at 7pm on the same day. We could do the same, and perhaps we should, at least to see what kind of turnout we get. Unfortunately, no one time will work for everybody, no matter when we offer it.

      But, know that every webinar is recorded, and you’re free to watch them whenever and wherever you’d like. (By the way, if you register for the webinars, even if you can’t make it, we’ll send you a link to both the live and recorded versions.) Although watching the recording means you won’t get immediate answers to any questions you post, we do try to respond quickly to questions posted in the comments on any page on the site, this post being one example.

      We’re still working out how best to offer online content, and your comments are helpful. I’ll talk to our presenters and see if we can offer one or more additional evening session. Any other comments are more than welcome. Thanks again Tim for taking the time to post.


  2. By the way: This morning someone emailed me a question about whether continuing education credits would be available to professionals for these webinars.

    In the past they have (one hour per webinar), and I expect the same this time. CEUs are processed by the Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative. Here’s how to get them:

    After the session, contact SFEC’s Lisa Breuer to request CEU processing. Lisa will check your name against the attendance list that I provide her. Last year, SFEC charged a $20 fee to process webinar CEU credits.

    I’ll confirm all of these details and report back, but I think it’s safe to plan for one CEU hour per webinar.

  3. eli,

    Thanks for your quick and helpful response to my post. Since the seminars are only an hour, I plan to register and fit in what I can over lunch and check out the rest later. Thanks also for considering additional webinar sessions in the evening.