2007 Annual Report

21st Century Vision for Sustainable Forestry

A Teacher on
Summer Assignment

A conversation with TOSA participant, Marla Gisi

In 2007, WFPA’s Teacher on Summer Assignment (TOSA) entered into its 8th year of operation. We recently sat down with Marla Gisi, and she filled us in on her experience with the program this past summer.

Q: Where do you teach?

A: I am a Teacher/Librarian at Tumwater Hill Elementary in Tumwater, Washington.

Q: How many teachers participated in the program?

A: I am one of nine teachers in western Washington who were chosen to participate.

Marla takes a break from checking out invasive species on Weyerhaeuser land to enjoy the view of Mt. Rainier.

Photo of Marla at Mt. Rainier

Q: What does the TOSA program mean to you?

A: The program is designed to give teachers hands-on field study experience with forest products companies. I worked side-by-side with people who manage and harvest trees. My experiences both in the field and in the office allowed me to see the whole forestry industry first hand.

Q: Where were you able to spend your summer assignment?

A: I spent my six-week job assignment at Weyerhaeuser’s Vail Operations in Rainier, WA. I felt fortunate to be working with the team at Vail. This group was amazing. In addition to spending time showing me what their job entailed, they graciously and patiently answered all of my questions. I am most appreciative of their willingness to spend the day teaching me.

During her time as a TOSA, Marla was able to spend time in a processor and learn how the equipment works out in the field.

Photo of a Forest Processor

Q: What forestry activities were you able to participate in?

A: Experiences I gained were: inspecting export logs at the Longview yard, checking first year plantings and invasive species, seeing the harvest crews and marking future harvest sites, walking through a thinning operation, and touring the Mima Tree Nursery and Rochester Seed Orchard.

Q: What impact has this experience had in the classroom?

A: This fall, I was able to take this amazing experience back to my students. I was able to integrate this knowledge into a variety of lessons including research, critical thinking, and media literacy which are aligned with state Essential Academic Learning Requirements.

Marla getting ready to tour an export ship at the Weyerhaeuser Longview Yard.

Photo of Marla in front of shipping vessel

We want to thank Marla for giving her time for this interview, as well as participating in the TOSA program. If you are a teacher or know of any teachers who would be interested in participating in the TOSA program, check out the TOSA website and feel free to contact us with any questions.