95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

WK 28 - Promoting Ecological Literacy and Climate Literacy: Successful Strategies for Public Participation in Scientific Research

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
414, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Rebecca C. Jordan
Rick Bonney , Heidi L. Ballard , Candie Wilderman , Tina Phillips and Jennifer Shirk
The pressing issues and controversies of climate change highlight the educational challenges facing all ecologists to engage the public in dialogue on ecological issues. This workshop will draw on past research and current challenges to fostering ecological literacy in public audiences by public participation in scientific research (e.g., citizen science, volunteer monitoring). Ecological literacy must be part of every citizen’s lifetime learning experience, beginning as early as elementary school and continuing through adult informal education. Engagement in science projects can help youth and adults alike develop familiarity with the general ecological concepts necessary for understanding the impacts of climate change and for making informed environmental decisions. To that end, participants in this workshop will walk away with ideas and tools for involving citizen scientists in their ecological work. We will invite participants to learn about research-based strategies to promote ecological learning in audiences who choose to participate in science as volunteers (often called citizen-science projects). The workshop will begin by outlining the means by which the public can engage in ecological science, along a continuum of scientist-driven to community-driven projects. Possible break-out groups based on participants’ interests include analyzing data for climate change impacts, understanding participant motivations and recruiting new audiences, and evaluating educational outcomes. Specialists will share efficient strategies in helping the leaders of these projects meet their goals while promoting and assessing ecological learning, including an exploration of the resources and services in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Citizen Science Toolkit.

Registration Fee: $0

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