Semester of Graduation

Fall 2018

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The goal of this longitudinal study was to measure the attitudes and behaviors of participants of the Marsh Maneuvers program over the course of the last 25 years. The goal of the Marsh Maneuvers program is to educate students into becoming environmentally literate adults. Environmental literacy is considered herein to be people possessing knowledge about and positive attitudes and behaviors towards the environment. Although students learn basic science and environmental knowledge in the classroom, true environmental literacy is believed to require more hands-on understanding of the material. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, the following three objectives were completed. Lesson plans for the Marsh Maneuvers camp were developed in order to identify specific concepts being taught. The short-term knowledge retention of the Marsh Maneuvers participants was analyzed using pre-and posttests. Finally, the long-term impact of the Marsh Maneuvers program over the past 25 years was determined using a survey. When analyzing the short-term retention results, there was a 36% average increase in knowledge between pre and posttests, which was significant. Nontraditional education programs are designed to overcome barriers that can be presented in a traditional classroom setting (gender, age, GPA). All participants, regardless of gender, age, or GPA, saw an increase in knowledge during the program. The long-term survey results showed that Marsh Maneuvers participants had slightly more positive attitudes and behaviors. The Marsh Maneuvers participants demonstrated environmental knowledge similar to the control group with only one question being statistically significant between the two groups. Marsh Maneuvers is an effective informal education program to increase environmental literacy for 4-H members in Louisiana based on short and long term study results.

Date

10-24-2018

Committee Chair

Lively, Julie

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