Date of Graduation

Fall 2016


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Janice S. Greene


environmental education, outdoor education, green school, field experiences, environmental attitudes

Subject Categories



Many children today may not be familiar with nature due to lack of experience and education in the outdoors. If they are not exposed to nature, then they will not be as comfortable in the outdoors. This study evaluates the effectiveness of educational activities at the Watershed Center in Springfield, Missouri on high school students' and college level pre-service teachers' knowledge, comfort levels, attitudes, and actions toward the outdoor environment. Post-field trip responses of students who came to the Watershed Center were compared to students who did not participate in a field trip. Teachers were also surveyed to assess why they brought their classes to the Watershed Center. This study found significant differences in knowledge, action scores, and attitude scores between field trip participants and non-field trip participants. Approximately 50 percent of teachers responded saying they enjoyed the hands-on activities the Watershed Center provides. The natural environment depends on people caring. Short-term experiences in the outdoors can make differences in students' attitudes and future actions.


© Brandi Niccole Silvey

Open Access

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