Nature and Science

Environmental Education: Learning About FishPacific Northwest National Forests of Oregon and Washington offer tremendous opportunities to learn about science and nature through education, exploration, observation, and recreation. The most exciting way to learn about the forests is to be out there - seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling what is there. The resource materials offered on this site can help teachers and learners gain a deeper understanding of what they discover outdoors.

Aquatic Invasives

Climate Change

  • The U.S. Forest Service has several inter-related programs to help forests, grasslands and humans mitigate and adapt to global climate change. Scientists are studying how to develop science-based strategies to help ecosystems adapt to potential changes in the condition of natural resources caused by climate change. The Pacific Northwest Research Station  publishes reports and studies climate change in the Pacific Northwest.


  • Plant Associations of the West Central Cascades- From Ecoshare  the Interagency Clearinghouse of Ecological Information for Oregon and Washington.
    • Ecoshare provides information on the environment, ecology, and natural resources. Their website includes publications, data sets, code sets, GIS data, and plant photography.


The diverse streams, rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest National Forests support dozens of species of fish, many of which are classified as game fish by the states of Oregon and Washington. Northwest game fish include predominately native coldwater fish species, such as Pacific Salmon, Trout and Char, as well as warmwater fish, largely introduced from Midwest and Eastern states.

Flora & Fauna

  • Forest Trees of the Pacific Northwest-This link will take you to the Tree Identifcation home page for Oregon State University

  • Celebrating Wildflowers-Wildflower highlights across the country's National Forests

  • Find-a-Photo-The NatureWatch, Wildlife, Fish, and Threatened and Endangered Species Program's Photograph Library. Find-a-Photo allows you to access thousands of copyright free wildlife, fish, wildflower and environmental education photographs, donated by Forest Service employees and our partners and volunteers.

  • Oregon Cascades Birding Trail-Find maps, checklists and more for an area of the Oregon Cascades. Find more birding adventures across Oregon from the Oregon Birding Trails website.

  • Washington Audubon Society website - Visit the Washington Audubon Society's website for maps and information about birding trails in Washington visit.



Insects are vital to the health of ecosystems and our national forests. Check out some of these resources about insects:

  • Online Bug Guide- This resource is good! Hosted by the Iowa State University Entomology Department, Bugguide provides excellent photos of insects and information about other insect related educational materials.
  • BugInfo- the insect website of the Smithsonian Institute.
  • Monarch LIVE!- Join a distance learning adventure about monarch butterflies. During the 2008-09 school year, MonarchLIVE broadcast and webcast from several points along the migration. Those programs are available as archived video on this web site
  • Pollinator LIVE!-Participate in one of the 2010-11 school year the “Pollinator Live” webcasts to learn how the activities of bees and other pollinators benefit you. Those programs are available as archived video on this web site. Past programs are available as archived video on this web site

Invasive Plants

In the Pacific Northwest, invasive plants negatively impact native plants, wildlife and whole ecosystems. These invasives displace native plants, degrade habitat and recreation opportunities, as well as physically and chemically alter soil properties and fire frequencies. Additionally, invasive plants can jeopardize endangered plants, some of which are at risk due to invasive species, and further decrease biodiversity.

More information:


National forest watersheds in Oregon and Washington produce an abundance of clean water for the region's ecosystems. Water is crucial to native species in the region and helps provide critical habitat for aquatic organisms and many species of birds and mammals.

  • Project WET – Project WET is a program to educate people world-wide about water resources and water management. It supports its mission by providing water resource materials, conducting teacher training, and organizing community water events. It used by the Forest Service and a number of other federal and state agencies.

  • Water Science for Schools” materials - This US Geological Survey website provides a wealth of information about water, including a diagram of the water cycle with text in 36 languages, a glossary of water terms, activities and more.

  • Drinking Water and Ground Water Kids Stuff – This US Environmental Protection Agency site gives water-related lesson plans, games and activities (K-12) with an emphasis on water quality.