Aquatic Resources Education Association
MODEL PROGRAM

 

Title of Presentation: The Everglades Case Study: A Watershed Education Curriculum

Author: Dr. Tom Marcinkowski, Florida Institute of Technology 150 W. University Boulevard; Melbourne, FL 32901-6975 PH: (321) 674-8946; FX: (321) 674-7598; EM:

Presenters:

A/V Needs: overhead projector

Abstract: The Greater Everglades Watershed (GEW) has been of national interest since the 1940s. Since 1900, half of the historic sawgrass marsh was lost to development, and changes in GEW surface hydrology have impacted natural and nearby human communities. More recently, the GEW has become the focus of the world’s largest ecosystem restoration effort. Despite its significance, reviews of aquatic/watershed education materials (Andrews, 1992, 1995) indicated an absence of materials on the GEW designed to address the full range of goals and objectives for environmental and aquatic/watershed education. In response to teacher requests, efforts were made to obtain funding for the development and field testing of a sequential curriculum (i.e., a curriculum insert) that addressed the entire watershed (i.e., its geography, natural history and ecology, cultural history and legacy of human impacts, current problems and issues, restoration plans and efforts, and citizen involvement). Funds for The Everglades Case Study were provided by the South Florida Water Management District (Florida DEP) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The curriculum was designed to meld the above contents with a skill development and application sequence prepared by Dr. Harold Hungerford and his colleagues over the past 25 years (i.e., in Investigating and Evaluating Env. Issues and Actions, and related extended case studies). A Licensing Agreement was formed with the publisher of these curricula to permit legal use of copyrighted material. A Writing Team designed and wrote this curriculum, with review by members of three advisory committees (Scientific and Technical, Education, Balance of Perspective). Drafts of this curriculum were edited and formatted for field test use. Already trained middle and secondary teachers participated in a field test over the 1998-99 school year, using a quasi-experimental pre/post control group design. The field test draft was then edited for final publication. This presentation will address the following: (a) an introduction to The Everglades Case Study project and its "fit" to ARE; (b) an overview of this project; (c) a description of important features of The Everglades Case Study curriculum, the accompanying Teachers Guide and web page, and planned distribution mechanisms; (d) anticipated outcomes from using this curriculum and preliminary results from this field test; and (e) anticipated impacts of this project and these products (e.g., for the resource and agencies).