Fall 12-8-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Karen Moroz

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Rebecca Detrich

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Diann Rastetter


The question for this research is: how can the relationship between climate change and the coast redwood forest be incorporated into fifth and sixth grade environmental education programs? Climate change is a real, global problem, and this capstone is intended as a resource for environmental educators to incorporate climate change into their programs. It includes a literature review of scientific research on climate change impacts on coast redwood forests and presents a lesson plan for teaching climate change in the redwood setting. The lesson plan covers basic climate science, dendrochronology, and carbon footprints, and was conducted at Westminster Woods, a residential environmental education program in Northern California. Ninety-nine fifth and sixth grade students participated, and learning was measured using pre- and post-questionnaires. Data analysis, including a mean thirty-one percentage point increase in scores, showed that the lesson plan was successful in increasing student knowledge of climate change in the redwood forest.

Research Methodology

Curriculum Development, Field Study, Program Evaluation, Survey


Environmental Studies, Science, Environmental Education

Included in

Education Commons