Aquatic Resources Education Association


Title of Presentation: An Evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Education Programs

Author: Michaela Zint School of Natural Resources & Environment University of Michigan 430 E. University Ann Arbor MI 48109-1115 Ph: 734-763-6961 Fax: 734-936-2195

Anita Kraemer eeEvaluations 1626 Greenleaf Lane Charlottesville, VA 22903 Ph: 804-293-9010 Fax: 419-831-9319

Abstract: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional conservation organization in the country and is known for its grades 5-12 youth and K-12 teacher environmental education programs. These programs include six types of field trips for youth, five middle school curricula, three restoration projects, a student "alumni" program, and teacher training workshops and courses. We recently assessed the CBF education program's outcomes by examining to what extent the different programs resulted in changes in characteristics associated with environmentally responsible behaviors (Hungerford and Volk, 1990). Youth and teachers who participated prior to and during 1998 were sampled. Data were collected through pre/post/retention-tests, mail surveys, and focus groups. Evaluation participants included 3,403 youth and 772 teachers. Results supported improvements to a range of extents in knowledge of ecology, issues, and actions, as well as skill in actions, environmental sensitivity, personal responsibility, locus of control, and intention to act. There was also evidence that environmentally responsible actions increased as a result of participation in CBF education programs. This presentation will focus on our evaluation's results but will also describe recommendations and subsequent changes to CBF's education programs. [This evaluation was funded by the CBF Education Program through a grant from the Toyota Motor Corporation.]