Students from Soquel High School CTEP Participate in 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge

Soquel High School student Bohdi Dannley measures tree diameter using a diameter tape, one of the many skills learned at the 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge.
Soquel High School student Bohdi Dannley measures tree diameter using a diameter tape, one of the many skills learned at the 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge.

Four students from Soquel High School participated recently in the 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge, one group of a total of over 90 high school students from 11 schools from the Santa Cruz and central California region. The event was held at Redwood Christian Park, near Boulder Creek, California. The team placed sixth out of a field of 22 teams.

One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to help create content and signage for a self-guided tour under development at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF). After spending a day at SDSF learning about its ecology, history, and management, students developed portions of a script that will be integrated into an android-based application for smart phones. During the Challenge, the teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge.

“An amazing opportunity for students to learn, have fun, and push their knowledge of forestry to address a real issue and help the Soquel Demonstration State Forest,” said Soquel High School teacher Dr. Miriam Kaplan. Sean MacMahon, a junior agriculture student at Soquel High School, summed it up as follows: “I met a lot of new people and learned about keeping track and managing the forest. I’ll definitely come back next year!”

Group shot of students in forest
Soquel High School students created content for a new forest interpretation app at the 2015 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge, sponsored by Big Creek Lumber and Redwood Empire.
Back Row – From left to right: Bohdi Dannley, Advisor Miriam Kaplan, Sean McMahon
Front Row – From left to right: Hunter Smith, Amy Wall