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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: K-12 Environmental Science Education on the Us-Mexican Border

Authors
item Bestelmeyer, Stephanie - CHIHUAHUAN DESERT NAT PK
item Hyder, Paul - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIV
item Frederickson, Eddie
item Havstad, Kris
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Huenneke, Laura - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIV
item Atchley, J. - WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 2000
Publication Date: August 6, 2000
Citation: BESTELMEYER, S., HYDER, P.W., FREDRICKSON, E.L., HAVSTAD, K.M., HERRICK, J.E., HUENNEKE, L., ATCHLEY, J. K-12 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE EDUCATION ON THE US-MEXICAN BORDER. 85TH ANNUAL MEETING, ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA. 2000. ABSTRACT P. 248.

Technical Abstract: Environmental conflicts on the U.S.-Mexican border are increasing as populations grow, resources (especially water) become more limiting, and waste disposal concerns mount (e.g., low-level nuclear waste near Carlsbad, NM, and New York City sewage sludge outside Sierra Blanca, TX). The ability of the local population to evaluate potential options is limited by ygenerally low literacy levels, including low ecological/scientific literacy. The Jornada LTER and the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range have recently developed a partnership with the nonprofit Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park in order to increase understanding of the arid and semi-arid ecosystems dominating the border region. This partnership has generated a number of new programs that have effectively increased the number of students served by the LTER/ARS scientists. We are currently using a combination of structured field trips, school-based field measurements (school-yard LTER sites), and classroom visits to engage students. We are also working with teachers in several regional school districts to integrate these programs into the K-12 curriculum. Future plans include the development of a bilingual ecology curriculum for the Chihuahuan Desert and a permanent educational facility to be located in the park's 1000-acre field site.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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