Spring 5-13-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Trish Harvey

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Jennifer Rubin

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Larissa Kabat


Ecological literacy, also termed ecoliteracy, is the understanding of the principles of organization that sustain life. It takes into account not only the knowledge that a person has about the environment, but also the person’s attitudes and behaviors towards the environment. Ecoliterate individuals have an understanding of ecological topics and a desire to solve problems that have been inflicted on the planet. The purpose of this study was to investigate how an experience at a residential environmental learning center in northern Minnesota affects the ecoliteracy of high school students. High school students (n = 28) from a small, southeastern Minnesota high school spent three days participating in hands­on learning opportunities that increased their knowledge and connected them more with nature. Analysis of pre­ and posttests, detailed daily journal entries and focus group interviews allowed for comparisons to be made in four categories: grade, gender, ethnicity and previous participation in the field experience. On average, students showed in increase of 15 percent in their ecoliteracy score over the course of the three days.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Focus Group, Survey


ecoliteracy, ecological literacy, residential environmental learning center, high school students

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