Videos taken during the Naked trees, Killer Beetles and Dirty Water collaborative honors seminar between Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines are available on youtube! This course examines ongoing physical and social science research applications on the effects of the mountain pine beetle to regional social-ecological systems and effective methods to communicate these findings. The course is a collaborative learning effort between honors students and faculty at Colorado State University (CSU) and Colorado School of Mines (CSM) with web-based classroom linkages for presentations.
The mountain pine beetle is an insect native to the Rocky Mountain West that has played a role in the changing forest composition throughout time. Since 1996, the population of the mountain pine beetle has drastically increased due to changing climate conditions, causing massive die-off of trees in Colorado forests. Although the epidemic is on a decline, the lingering effects to the ecosystem are still being studied and need to be communicated to the public. After learning about ongoing mountain pine beetle research in the 1st seven weeks of the colloquium, students develop and discuss methods for educating K-12 students and the general public on the social-ecological effects of mountain pine beetle in Colorado forests.