Schoolyard Study of Biodiversity Incorporating Site Specific Biodiversity Issues and LTER Sampling Protocols

Brook Wilke
Charles Anderson
Robin Tinghitella
John Moore
Alan Berkowitz
Laurel Hartley

Understanding biodiversity and the factors that govern it are important components of an environmental literacy framework. Yet, students rarely graduate from K-12 institutions with a robust understanding of biodiversity, particularly of their local ecosystems. Given the wealth of expertise in biodiversity science within the LTER network and education activities at LTER sites, we have the opportunity to build unique collaborations that continue to enhance ecological literacy. We propose a brainstorming / information exchange session to build within-site and cross-site collaborations around two related topics: 1) Goals for student learning about site-specific biodiversity issues, and using that information, 2) Incorporate LTER sampling protocols into schoolyard study of biodiversity. Prior to the ASM, we will send a simple survey to education representatives at all LTER sites to gather information about perceived most important biodiversity issues at each site and teaching tools and activities that are currently being used. Our findings will be presented and discussed during the working group session, and will lead into discussions of how to educate K-12 students about these important issues. One educational method we are exploring is to perform biodiversity surveys of schoolyard or neighborhood habitats, so that students have firsthand experience with the diversity of organisms right outside their doors. We will facilitate a discussion of how to simplify and modify methods already used for sampling at LTER sites for K-12 students. Such an exercise could make a connection for students between their activities and the actual science happening at the LTER sites. In addition, we will share tools and activities that can lead to better understanding of biodiversity issues and science content. We hope that this discussion will foster cross site collaborations between scientists, educators, teachers and students.

Session Info

Working Group Session 2

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Reusch Auditorium Billhiemer
Working Group Materials