Environmental Literacy & K-12 Education

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The mission of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science includes environmental education with a focus at the graduate level but also with longstanding programs at the K-12 levels. In recent years K-12 education efforts to have concentrated on teacher education, including the following programs:

HORN POINT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION (www.umces.edu/hpl): Horn Point Laboratory annually hosts a variety of summer workshops using their environmental education facilities on the Horn Point campus in Cambridge, Maryland. Honeywell Center supports programs for science teachers and gifted and talented middle and high school students. The National Aquarium gifted and talented program uses the facility, as well as the Dorchester YMCA.

APPALACHIAN LABORATORY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION (www.alese.al.umces.edu): Appalachian Laboratory Environmental Science Education (ALESE) promotes environmental and science literacy among learners of all ages and in diverse settings. Focus areas include citizen science (e.g., POPCLOCK focused on climate change impacts on poplar trees), geospatial education, schoolyard ecology, climate change education, and education research and evaluation. The education projects build on the environmental research conducted by Appalachian Laboratory scientists.

MADE CLEAR (www.madeclear.org): UMCES is the lead institution on a multi-institutional grant from the National Science Foundation targeted at developing curricula for climate change.  This program is the Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment and Research (MADE CLEAR). The program provides information on regional impacts of climate change, strategies for teaching climate change geared toward middle and high school teachers and their students. It also provides links to standards-based lessons and multimedia for teachers. 

TEACH OCEAN SCIENCE (www.teachoceanscience.net): A group of UMCES scientists and educators have partnered to create a suite of ocean science and education resources, led by Dr. Laura Murray. This program has included running a Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE), leading teacher trainings and conducting scientific research to teaching high school ocean science courses and developing ocean-related STEM programs for public school districts. A variety of online teaching resources are available. 

FIELDSCOPE (www.chesapeake.fieldscope.org): Fieldscope is an initiative of the National Geographic Society to develop online mapping for citizen science investigation. One of the featured Fieldscope projects on Chesapeake Bay was developed with UMCES scientists led by Dr. Cat Stylinski. The Chesapeake Watershed Project allows students to investigate water quality issues on local and regional scales and collaborate with students across the Bay watershed to analyze data and take action.