Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Janice Greene

Keywords

behavior, barriers to behavior, environmental attitude, environmental behavior, environmental education, environmental knowledge, long-term, residential program, responsible, transformational factor

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

One aim of environmental education is to promote responsible environmental behavior (REB). Residential environmental education programs provide students with non-formal, extended exposure to the outdoors and opportunities to develop confidence, knowledge, attitudes, and abilities. By enhancing these characteristics, programs aim to achieve positive changes in REB that will continue long after students return to their home communities. Research regarding the short-term gains in knowledge and attitude for residential programs is fairly extensive and most studies suggest positive gains. However, there have been few attempts to investigate long-term impacts of residential programs. This study investigates the long-term effects the residential program, Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE), has on memories, knowledge, attitude, locus of control, and REB. GLADE graduates (2009-2013) were surveyed and invited for interviews to compare initial, short-term, and long-term differences in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Situational factors that affect students after the program are also discussed. Findings indicate GLADE is a transformational factor that results in long-term growth in environmental knowledge, attitude, and leadership, but that situational factors such as community support may act as barriers to the final product of REB.

Copyright

© Catherine Marie Combs

Campus Only

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