Summer 6-14-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Trish Harvey

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kyle Forbes Bissell

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Kevin J. Hannon


The question addressed in this project was: How do place­based education experiences, adventure and outdoor education experiences, and undirected time in nature impact ecoliteracy? The first part of this study used the Connected to Nature Scale (CNS) developed by Frantz and Mayer (2004) to determine whether a participant self reported as ecoliterate. The CNS is one of the most widely used tools for measuring a connection to nature in relation to ecoliterate behavior. The second step of the study used quantitative survey questions to evaluate participants on place­based education, adventure and outdoor education and undirected time in nature. The third and fourth part of the study used qualitative essays and interviews to expand on the ecoliteracy of participants and ecoliterate behaviors. The study included 168 participants from kindergarten age students through senior citizens. Analysis of the data collected led to three key discoveries: 1) that ecoliteracy develops from a combination of all three types of experiences, 2) that becoming ecoliterate does not happen all at once from one experience and 3) pro­environmental behaviors often grow as people grow older.

Research Methodology

Case Study, Interview, Survey


Environmental Studies

Included in

Education Commons