Tuesday, August 7, 2007: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
A2&7, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SYMP 5 - No child left indoors: Ecologists linking young people with nature
Kids need to know about nature. It nurtures, educates and instills in them a sense of stewardship of the environment. A survey reported in 2002 in the journal Science found that more children knew the characters in the electronic game Pokemon than could identify an otter, beetle, or oak tree. Richard Louv’s recent book, Last Child in the Woods, analyzes the societal problems that have arisen in the most recent generation of youth, who have essentially lost contact with nature. The author cites studies showing that environmental education programs have therapeutic value for troubled youth, cause significant reduction in symptoms of attention-deficit disorder, and lead to gains in academic grades, problem solving and SAT scores. In ‘Profiles of Ecologists – a Survey of the Membership of the ESA’ (report by Carol Brewer and Jason Taylor, 2006), 58% of the respondents developed a passion for ecology before college, and 38% were hooked by 6th grade. Almost 70% cited experiences other than classroom or teacher-inspired influence that led to their love for science. Early experiences, outside of school influenced many ecologists to seek a nature-based career.

As ecologists, we must be exemplary in our behavior by placing priority on linking young people with their environment. This can be achieved by dedicating a portion of our research time to ecology education outreach to youth. This session will feature a panel of distinguished ecology educators leading a discussion about the importance of ecological outreach by professional ecologists. The session will be launched with a keynote talk by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Eight case studies will be presented by a ecologists of different ages, races, and cultures and employing different outreach tools. Each speaker will entertain questions from the panel and audience. A final panel discussion will focus on plans for a strategic intitiative (adopted by the ESA Education Committee) with the goal of "no child left indoors by 2015". The discussion will be the basis of a white paper and willl foster continued dialogue at the 2008 ESA conference where the theme is science literacy.

Organizer:Margaret Lowman, New College of Florida
Co-organizer:Bob Pohlad, Ferrum College
Moderator:Lou Gross, University of Tennessee
8:00 AMIntroductory Remarks
8:15 AMEducation, restoration, and community action in Catalina Island, California
Carlos De la Rosa, Catalina Island Conservancy, Claudia Lewis, Catalina Island Conservancy, Aaron Morehouse, Catalina Island Conservancy, Rich Zanelli, Catalina Island Conservancy
8:30 AMThe use of Appalachian watersheds in undergraduate and community experiential education
Carolyn Lee Thomas, Ferrum College, Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
8:45 AMScience outreach for students: Initiatives to connect local schools to ecology
Jessica Wheeler, New College of Florida, Margaret Lowman, New College of Florida, Fabiana Silva, New College of Florida, Charissa Jones, New College of Florida, Colleen Mitchell, TREE Foundation, Evan Miller, New College of Florida
9:00 AMEcologists in residence: A GK-12 partnership program leaves no child indoors
David Oberbillig, Hellgate High School, Carol Brewer, University of Montana, Paul Alaback, University of Montana
9:15 AMGetting their feet wet: Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, the nation's oldest program of nature immersion for teens
Lavinia Schoene, Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, Edward Burgess, Princeton University, James Burgess, Princeton University
9:30 AMBreak
9:40 AMLast child in the woods: The Nature-Deficit Disorder
Richard Louv, San Diego Union-Tribune
9:55 AMIt's a jungle up there: Integrating canopy research with education outreach for kids
Margaret Lowman, New College of Florida, Dc Randle, St. Francis High School
10:10 AMSEEDS and science outreach and education in American Samoa
Dr. Karolyn Braun, American Samoa Community College, Milton Manase, American Samoa Community College
10:25 AMField- and inquiry-based ecology teaching: Status, challenges and opportunities for K-12 teachers
Alan R. Berkowitz, Institute of Ecosystem Studies
10:40 AMPanel Discussion
11:10 AMSynthesis

See more of Symposium

See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)