Partnering With Community Colleges In Encouraging Future Ecologists
Monday, August 11, 2014: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
204, Sacramento Convention Center
Carmen R. Cid, Quinebaug Valley Community College
Carolyn L. Thomas, Ferrum College
Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
In collaboration with the ESA Education section, we propose an organized oral session that highlights different aspects of the roles that ecologists can play in partnering with community colleges to improve local understanding of ecological principles and enhance the diversity of cultural perspectives in students studying ecology. The purpose of this session is to provide a successful blueprint for ESA members in their regions to expand their educational improvement of regional environmental literacy and diversify the student population pursuing careers in ecology.
This oral session will showcase various ways in which the ESA membership and national environmental organizations are engaging community college students, educators and the regional public in hands-on study, teaching and learning of ecology. The session starts with an overview of the typical community college environmental curriculum, designed to enhance service-learning opportunities and provide case studies of their community environmental literacy projects. Presenters then provide examples of the type of professional development programs that are addressing the needs of community college faculty in updating their teaching of current and emerging ecological issues of concern, such as climate change, sustainability and environmental justice. Current ESA members who are former community college students now in graduate ecology programs or current community college administrators will provide guidance on best practices for engaging students from underrepresented groups in the study of ecology, through community college partnerships. Community college programs showcased will provide the current national picture in ecology education for the states of VT, CT, VA, MN and CA as well as national partnerships for improving ecology education outreach for environmental topics of major societal concern.