Thursday, August 6, 2009: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Laguna, Albuquerque Convention Center
Meg Edstrom, Ferry Beach Ecology School
Reading the Landscape is a teaching method developed and utilized by the Ferry Beach Ecology School, and is a unique approach to instilling ecological literacy using basic ecological concepts. Using Ferry Beach’s own ABCs of Ecology® as a conceptual organizer, emerging ecologists are given definitive tools for analyzing different ecosystems. Participants will learn hands-on activities to explain Abiotic (non-living things), Biotic (living things), Cycles and Change.
The activities modeled will be in an introductory format: from upper elementary/middle school students to the new outdoor enthusiast. Workshop participants will learn and practice basic ecological concepts through simple games and group activities. Additional field ecology activities and data recording will address more abstract skills and concepts for indoors and out, with activities that can be utilized in both formal and informal education settings. The teaching methodology and techniques presented have proven effective as both an introduction to the field of ecology as well as a catalyst for more complex study.
This workshop fits in well with the conference themes: students engaged in ecology education and fluent in ecological literacy will be equipped with the tools to address today’s global environmental challenges – without education there can be no conservation. Ecology education is directly pertinent to proposed “No Child Left Inside” legislation and speaks to trends such as childhood obesity, ADD/ADHD, and nature deficit disorder. Ecology education is an essential component to creating a citizenry of informed and active citizens prepared to address the ecological issues facing ourselves, our communities, and our planet.