A major part of ICAN’s mission is the creation, gathering, and dissemination of educational resources that relate to tree canopies and forest ecosystems.
ICAN believes strongly that children’s education about the canopy is of highest importance. The long generation time of trees imposes a long-term view of conservation, so investment in educating young people is crucial to the fulfillment of ICAN’s missions. ICAN has developed several programs and projects.
In 1996, ICAN developed the “Ask Dr. Canopy!” (ADC!) program. The goals of this program are to provide scientifically sound information about the canopy to youth, and to directly connect inquisitive students with researchers.
The Temperate Rainforest Canopy Curriculum Project was conceived and implemented by a graduate student in environmental studies in 1999. The material includes interactive activities for schoolteachers and children, and a downloadable curriculum designed for students in grades 4-12. These have been designed to comply with the formal environmental education learning goals for Washington State. ICAN has also assembled a database of links to other educational resources.
Currently, no graduate level program in forest canopy studies is available. With the expertise of ICAN networked researchers, ICAN has compiled and proposed a Graduate “mini-course” in Canopy Studies. The preliminary program, not yet picked up by a higher-learning institution, includes Lecture notes, Power Point presentations, and associated readings.