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Deforestation *

Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


The conversion of forested to unforested areas has been occurring since humans began to impact and change their environments during the agricultural revolution. Recently deforestation has become a global problem, particularly for developing industrial countries and countries with very large populations. You can use satellite mapping resources to investigate the connection between urbanization, population growth and deforestation. You can also investigate the connection between deforestation and agriculture. The practice of slash and burn agriculture was introduced into rainforest communities as a way to rapidly convert rainforest into fertile farmland. How well did it work? Try using soot and ash as an amendment to your soil to see if it increases the productivity of your soil. Do crops grow better or make more produce? Are there better more sustainable methods for growing crops in rainforest communities? How long does it take to reforest an area that has been burned? Investigate the growth of some trees to estimate the time it would take to re-grow a cleared section of forest. If you live near a forest, you can investigate which plants grow first after an ecological disturbance, like logging or a forest fire. If you live where there has been a forest fire, explore the effect the fire has had on wildlife in the area. (National Arbor Day Foundation, 2006; USDA Forest Service, 2006)

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Science Buddies Staff. "Deforestation" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 30 June 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/EnvSci_p033.shtml>

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Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 30). Deforestation. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/EnvSci_p033.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-30


  • National Arbor Day Foundation, 2006. "National Arbor Day Foundation," Washington, D.C. [accessed: 3/1/2006] http://www.arborday.org/.
  • USDA Forest Service, 2006. "USDA Forest Service: 100 Years of Caring for the Land and Serving People," Washington, D.C. [accessed: 3/1/2006] http://www.fs.fed.us/.

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