Teaching Ecological Complexity Through Field Science Inquiry: Resources for Teacher Workshop Providers, Teachers, and Students

Final Report (Required, .pdf format only) : 
Stephanie Bestelmeyer
Marion Dresner

For the last three years, scientists and educators from five LTER sites (AND, CAP, JRN, LUQ, and SGS) have collaborated on the NSF-funded Teaching Ecological Complexity Through Field Science Inquiry (Ecoplexity) Project. The purpose of the project is to provide resources and training for high school teachers that will allow them to engage in authentic field research studies with their students. Our goal for this working group is to help establish new partnerships with other LTERs seeking to use this model of teacher professional development and these existing web-based resources. Ecoplexity project collaborators will introduce the project and its web-based resources to education coordinators, scientists, and students throughout the LTER network. Resources include information on setting up field science projects, data analysis tools, and more than 40 easy-to-use protocols to investigate questions on soil, plants, animals, and much more. We have worked to collect cross site data with our groups of trained teachers and have analyzed data sets from a cross site litter decomposition study. Future cross site experiments working with teachers are a possible outcome of this partnership. Working group participants will also learn methods for teaching about ecological systems using qualitative conceptual models. These models were an integral part of the project’s teacher workshops, and their sustained use had a significant, positive effect on teacher understanding of complex ecological systems. Several peer-reviewed publications have already resulted from this collaboration.

Session Info

Working Group Session 1

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm
East Side Deer Ridge Fireside
Official Participants
Additional Participants: 
Clarisse Hart - hart3@fas.harvard.edu
Jean Johnson - john2597@msu.edu
Saleit Ron - Saleit@ramathanadiv.org
Eric Keeling - Keelinge@caryinstitute.org
Michele Johnson - kissinger@msi.ucsb.edu
Bob Williams - bobwms@uga.edu
Susan Sahnow - susan.sahnow@oregonstate.edu
Sheila M. Soler - sheisoler@gmail.com