Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environment and Society

Abstract

Teachers have the difficult job of creating an educational climate in which subjects are linked and system are mutually dependent. Watershed education affords teachers thi s opportunity by using water quality monitoring as a basis for the study of any academic subject. A Ri ver Run Through Us: The Bear River Watershed Education Project (BRWEP) is a student-based program in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho. The program aims to increase understanding and concern for the Bear River watershed by engaging students in water quality monitoring. Based on our experi ence in creating, managing, and evaluating this program, a process model for watershed education was developed. The model describes how to organize resources, enli st parti cipants, train and support them. and evaluate the program. This information can be used by watershed education practitioners to implement similar programs in other basins. In its first two years, BRWEP has been particularly effecti ve at developing support materi als and trai ning teachers in water qu ality monitoring. A formative program evalu ation was conducted to illu minate ways that the program could be improved. The results suggest th at BRWEP administrators can better assi t teachers with creating an interdi sciplinary curriculum, provide teachers with more content knowledge, and devise ways to allow schools to increase their participation time. In addition to the model and eva luation, I present a multi-scalar analysis of volunteer monitoring, discuss the relevant literature, and offer a series of recommendations to improve BRWEP.

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