Tuesday, August 7, 2007: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
B3&4, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SS 21 - Ecology education and outreach programs at North American field stations: An important resource for an urbanized society and possible remedy for a generation with nature deficit disorder
Water, the environment, and natural resources are critical issues for present and future generations, especially with a projected doubling in the U.S population. An ecologically literate public will be needed to make informed decisions on a variety of issues as resources become limited. Yet, >85% of U.S. citizens will live in urban areas and children will have increasingly little contact with nature. The disconnection between children and nature has important health and career ramifications. Field Stations may be important mechanisms to reconnect urban youth with nature and foster increased interest in science and ecology. The Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) has over 300 members in North America, many with environmental education programs serving teachers, K-12, the public, and universities. Diverse programs provide innovative educational experiences that immerse learners into authentic, real-world, hands-on activities that stimulate imagination and understanding of difficult abstract concepts associated with science, ecology, and natural resources. The session will include several case studies of successful K-12 programs, discussion of mechanisms to better integrate ecology education and research, show how curricula can be based on state essential knowledge skills and examples of hands-on exercises about the scientific process, and the joy that accompanies new discoveries and learning. Participants are invited to join the dialogue, share experiences, and provide feedback on our proposed next steps in advancing the role of Field Stations in educational and outreach initiatives for an increasingly urban society. Field Stations and OBFS provide an additional outlet for LTER and NEON educational goals to be articulated and presented.
Organizer:Thomas L. Arsuffi, Texas Tech University
Speakers:Kaycie Sullivan, Texas Tech University
Alan Shanks, University of Oregon, Eugene

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