Humans make decisions daily that impact biodiversity, and it is essential that citizens understand the implications of these decisions. Yet, ecological systems are extremely complex, with many details still being discovered. Our challenge is to identify the underlying principles and concepts governing the distribution of organisms, and then communicate these details to students in a way that influences their citizenship decisions as participants in local and global communities.
SBC’s Schoolyard LTER (SLTER) program is organized around a theme of watershed ecology. This approach allows for an integrated program that includes K-12 students, K-12 teachers, undergraduate and graduate students. In 2009 we focused on developing long-term connections with local, regional and state middle and junior high schools through a partnership with American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Tech Trek Program.
What skills and dispositions are needed by the high school graduate so that she or he can use knowledge and tools from environmental science to be effective decision makers and citizens? What are the pathways from elementary school through high school that might help develop this key facet of environmental science literacy? These questions are being addressed in the full richness of cultural relevance across our diverse nation in an NSF-supported project taking place at 4 LTER sites (SGS, KBS, SBC, BES) and a number of other sites in the US.
A Research Experience for High School Students program (REHS), modeled after the Research Experience for Undergraduates, was initiated at the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER in 2007 with supplemental funding to our SLTER Program.
ULTRA-Ex: Connecting the social and ecological sciences with planners, managers, and the public: Building a broad foundation for the Chicago Region ULTRA
The Chicago Region ULTRA-Ex will address a question fundamental to understanding the dynamic interactions between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem processes, and human well being in urban landscapes: In a complex urban/metropolitan system, what are the synergies and tradeoffs between conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services to people? The project focuses on the Green Infrastructure Vision of the Chicago Wilderness alliance, a conservation consortium of over 240 organizations.
The Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy is a five year research project aimed at improving Baltimore area teacher and student knowledge in the environmental sciences. The Baltimore Partnership is part of the multi-site Culturally Relevant Ecology, Learning Progressions and Environmental Literacy, Math Science Partnership (MSP) project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project focuses on the critical education juncture of students in grades 6-12.
The Luquillo Schoolyard LTER program has adopted a pipeline model to guide the development and implementation of outreach activities from K12 to graduate education. At each level students are provided with authentic LTER experiences and encouraged to continue in the field of ecology research. At the middle school level, LUQ provides the Journey to El Yunque program as a free, bilingual, web-based curriculum in ecology. It uses the context of the LUQ research on hurricane disturbance to teach students about basic concepts in ecology.
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) education mission is to enable society and the scientific community to use ecological information and forecasts to understand and effectively address critical ecological questions and issues.
SEEDS is a program of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and is the only national mentoring program for undergraduate students dedicated to the field of ecology. At its inception in 1996, SEEDS focused on faculty development in HBCUs and in 2002, turned to serve underrepresented students directly through field trips, scholarships, and leadership development. Today, SEEDS has 53 campus chapters. The poster discusses achievements of SEEDS, the challenges of implementing a mentoring program and possible solutions.
In the last fifty years, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), driven by rapid social and economic changes, world population dramatically affected long-term stability of natural ecosystems and its capacity to provide vital services such as food, water and climate regulation.