During the summer of 2021, the OSU Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory hosted a Career and Technology Education (CTE) workshop to explore opportunities for experiential learning in forestry using the harvesting simulator system. The laboratory is directed by Kevin Lyons, the Wes Lematta Professor in Forest Engineering.

Lyons and his team introduced participants to the John Deere forest harvesting simulator system. This system, which includes a terrain editor and a forest harvesting simulator, allows for virtual and experiential learning. It empowers users to begin learning about machine operation, silviculture and harvesting system planning, and mapping topography and forest cover.  It also explores ecology and non-timber values using gaming techniques.

Figure 1. Areas where harvesting simulators can contribute to CTE programs in high schools

Workshop participants included instructors from Oregon high school CTE programs and the executive director and a student officer of the Future Natural Resource Leaders. 

John Deere forest harvesting simulator

“There was unanimous agreement from the instructors that the simulator system provides unique opportunities for a range of natural resource management topics in addition to machine operator training, “ Lyons said. “The Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory is currently collaborating with the Future Natural Resources Leaders and CTE instructors on a program to bring the simulator systems to participating high schools.”

For more information, please contact Kevin Lyons, Wes Lematta Professor in Forest Engineering and director of the OSU Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory.

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