Research Symposium Schedule

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI)

100 8th Ave. S.E.

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Friday, March 16, 2018


7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Registration and Check-In


8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.  

Opening Remarks by SEEA and LEEF Representatives

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Martha Monroe

Climate Change Education: What Works?

Dr. Martha Monroe, Professor of Environmental Education, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation

A variety of resources are available to help educators design climate change units and lessons for their students. Which strategies are most effective may depend as much on the goal of the lessons as the ability of the students. Our recent systematic literature review identified 49 research papers that reported effective strategies for teaching about climate change. The resulting themes suggest that elementary through university students can increase climate science knowledge with relevant, meaningful, experiential exercises, collecting data, interacting with scientists, and engaging in community or classroom projects. But most environmental educators know this is good EE! Climate change is challenging because of the controversial and value-laden issues and misperceptions that swirl around it, and well as the uneven and distant impacts. Some of the research papers in our review used deliberative discussions to help students deeply understand the issues and question their own ideas and knowledge. In this way, climate change might help educators improve their practice with other issues as well. This presentation will briefly explain the review process and focus on the key themes that might help educators emphasize valuable and effective strategies in their climate change programs.


This presentation is part of the eeWORKS program of the North American Association for Environmental Education. The work reported funded by the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP), which is a Coordinated Agricultural Project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award # 2011-68002-30185.

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Research Presentations (Part A)

9:05 a.m. - 9:25 a.m. 

Using Research to Adapt Climate Change Outreach to Diverse Communities

Dr. Rebecca Johns, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Climate change educational materials, strategies and programs cannot be “one size fits all.” Diverse communities face varying threats, from socio-economic vulnerability, to biophysical vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge. We apply research on the needs of diverse communities to the development of neighborhood specific climate change education.


9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

What’s Cycling in the Biosphere?

Sarah Davis, Abbey Tyrna, PhD, and Katherine Clements, ND

University of Florida/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Sarasota County

Join UF/IFAS Extension Agent Faculty from Sarasota County who developed a hands-on environmental and science education program for eighth graders.  We are looking to share our evaluation instruments and have participants provide insight into the best way to assess and investigate the impact of this program.

9:55 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Recreational Pathways to Connection to Nature Among Youth

Rachel Szczytko, North Carolina State University

Researchers have identified common childhood formative experiences for engaged adults, such as time alone in nature and socialization with peers. Yet, how children become and stay engaged is not well understood.  Using a classification tree, we modeled fifth-grade students’ connection to nature based on their recreation habits.

10:15 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.



10:25 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Research Presentations (Part B)

10:25 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Nurturing Mindsets in Environmental Education for In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers: The Multimedia Approach

Doug Feldmann, Northern Kentucky University

The presenter will engage attendees in contemporary electronic platforms and tools that not only promote Environmental Education in the P-12 classroom, but also underscore the importance of this concept for pre-service teachers as well.  The attendees will be able to engage the presenter's actual online university classroom during the session.

10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Learning Outcomes Linked to Participation in the Candid Critters Citizen Science Project

Charmaine Pedrozo, Lincoln Larson, and Kathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University

Candid Critters is an eMammal-based, citizen-scientist run camera trap survey of wildlife in North Carolina. Our study will investigate the educational potential of this innovative project by exploring its impacts on participants’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors with respect to conservation.

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Adult Environmental Education: Active versus Passive Pedagogy

Kelly McKenna, University of South Florida Saint Petersburg

The study compares the short-term success of both active and passive learning strategies used in environmental education.  Research on adult learners was collected throughout multiple environmental education programs throughout Pinellas County and compared to determine which strategies had the biggest impact on education and behavioral changes.  

11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Dynamic Nature Programming - Engaging Young Audiences Through Experiential Education Modeling

Brad Lympany and Matt Wynn, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation

Examination of the basic concepts of Experiential and Active Learning, presented in the context of nature based education.  Incorporation of these techniques is demonstrated through a review of 4 traditional nature activities, their history, evolution and structure of play.  With the goal of increasing rates of participation and knowledge retention.

11:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Closing remarks