The central question of this course: “why study wood?” If “why study wood” is the question, one answer would be that it is the only raw material available to us that is truly renewable in human life span terms. Wood is as important to society today as it ever was, despite the development of many man-made substitute materials, changing resource availability, and the changing needs of society. Some items on the list of wood products stay the same (lumber, plywood and veneer for building construction, furniture, shipping pallets & crates and other containers & packaging materials, railroad ties, utility poles, chemical feed stocks, etc), but the list also keeps changing to meet new needs and challenges as the resource changes. In short, wood is a far more diverse, green, and renewable resource than you might have imagined. Join us to learn about the important role of wood in human history, civilization, and our future. By the end of the course, learners will be able to: - describe wood as a raw material and its critical importance to the world economy, and the lives of the people that make that economy work. - identify the projected trend for wood consumption to continue to grow in the coming years, despite the image of wood as a "low tech" material. - identify the ways in which wood's properties can lead to its efficient and sustainable use. -identify wood's positive role in boosting the world economy and ability to lead to unexpected vocations.