Outreach and Education

Coast District Manager Bill Wells giving a field tour in the OESF

Welcome to the Learning Forest

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) calls the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF) the “Learning Forest” because it provides a learning experience for DNR as well as educators, stakeholders, researchers, and others interested in sustainable forest management. DNR shares what it learns through this website, the annual OESF Science Conference, a biannual newsletter called The Learning Forest, field tours and other educational opportunities, and publications.

OESF Science Conference

2018 OESF Science Conference
DNR researcher Dan Donato shares a project update at the 2018 OESF Science Conference in Forks, WA.
The annual OESF Science Conference is free and open to the public. Although past conferences have been held in Forks, the conference currently is being held through Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This one-day conference includes morning presentations and poster sessions on current research projects in the OESF and an afternoon workshop. The conference is announced each year on the OESF home page and is usually scheduled in late April. To view presentations from past conferences, visit DNR's YouTube channel

The Learning Forest Newsletter

The Learning Forest newsletter is a free, biannual electronic publication that shares scientific knowledge on land management in the OESF and surrounding areas. To subscribe, email the newsletter editor (Cathy Chauvin) or visit this link.

Education Opportunities

OESF Field Tour
Olympic Region District Manager Bill Wells leads a field tour in the OESF for University of Washington students.
DNR offers a variety of educational opportunities for educators, stakeholders, researchers, students, and others interested in sustainable forest management:
  • Take a walk on the Reade Hill Trail, located next to the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, WA, and read the interpretive signs.
  • Invite a DNR researcher to talk to your school or other organization about natural resource research in the OESF.
  • Arrange a field tour of the OESF for your school group, college class, or colleagues.
If you are interested in educational opportunities, including internships, or volunteer opportunities and field technician positions, send an email to the OESF Research and Monitoring Manager (Teodora Minkova). If you are interested in a field tour, send an email to the OESF Coast District Manager (Bill Wells).